Hello good people,
Week 13 and it has been hot! Holy buckets. We did a whole bunch of work at the new farm over the weekend. My parents came out to help repair and replaster ceilings (they’re 105 years old and still going strong!) and paint rooms in the house and to play with Maybelle while Heather and I took some time to dig up all the rhubarb from the perennial patch at the old farm, split it, and move it to the new farm. First planting at the new place! The roots will stay dormant in the ground until next spring at which point they’ll establish themselves as a new plant. Things are starting to get real around here as we make some tangible and visible progress towards getting to our forever farm. Don’t forget you can come visit it during our Fall Garlic Planting/Farm-warming party on October 24th, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What’s in the box
- Romano Beans (3/4 lb small, 1 lb med, 1.5 lb full)
- Peppers (1 small, 2 med & full)
- Baby Kale (1/2 lb small & med, 3/4 lb full)
- Broccoli (1 lb small, 1.25 lb med, 1.5 lb full)
- Onions (1 small, 2 med & full)
- Shiso (1 bunch everybody)
- Shelling Beans (1.5 lb med, 2 lb full)
- Head Lettuce (2 full only)
- Cucumber (1 full only)
- Tomatoes (3/4# full only)
Shell beans are the in-betweeners of the bean world. They aren’t meant to be eaten whole (pod and all), as you would haricots verts or a snap bean. They can be, but aren’t always, meant to be dried like a black turtle bean or a vermont cranberry. They are, in fact, meant to be shelled out of the pod fresh, cooked, and enjoyed for their creamy texture and lovely flavor. Still trying to grasp what, exactly, these gorgeous pink and white beans are? Well, edamame that you’d eat as an appetizer at a sushi restaurant is a shell bean. So are lima beans!
Shell the beans out of the pod and cook in some broth or water until tender. They will take less time than a dry bean since they do not have to be re-hydrated. About a pound of unshelled beans will yield a cup of uncooked shelled beans. See some good ideas in the recipe section below.
Our little bean sheller
Wash Your Other Beans
Romano beans are back! I love these beans boiled with a little salt or just as a raw snack and am excited to have them around for another few weeks. Storing them wet reduces their shelf life, so we opted not to wash them before they came to you. Give them a rinse before eating.
Everyone has mostly familiar items in their boxes this week, so I am going to focus on Shelling Beans and Shiso. Yeah, try to say that one three times, fast!
Shelling beans are pretty nifty and really quite a rare find. They have a very small window of availability, and I’m going to send you to some recipe sites that really highlight and celebrate these gems of the late summer garden. The ever-resourceful folks at Martha Stewart have a nice Shell Beans and Greens Salad recipe here. Replace the dandelion greens with the baby kale in your box and you’ve got a great way to showcase your beans. If the weather turns a bit cooler, as predicted, give this Fresh Shell Bean and Tomato Stew a try. Canned tomatoes would work very nicely here, too, if you don’t have fresh ones. Just a few steps from the bean and tomato stew is Pasta e Fagioli. This is one of those recipes that has people arguing all over the place about how to best make it, so follow your instincts and go with a version you like. This one looks great to me (it also mentions in detail the very same type of bean that’s in your box), and we’ll be enjoying it one of the cooler nights this week. You can even use your lovely Romano beans as the fresh green bean, and don’t even worry about the zucchini, we’re not using it either.
Shiso is a really fun, cool, different and rarely seen herb of Japanese origin. Slice it thinly and use it wherever you might use basil or mint. You can’t go wrong with its citrusy and cumin-like taste. Here’s a link to a Shiso Julep recipe that we posted last year, and here is the link to our version of a Japanese-style Shiso Pesto. Yum! I think this will be on our dinner menu this week as well…and for those of you that get into the research side of food as much as I do, here is a link to a cool blog entry from Chocolate and Zucchini, all about shiso. Shiso would also go great paired with your shell or romano beans this week.
Sneak-Peek-Best-Guess at Next Week’s Box:
- romano beans
- mustard greens
- winter squash! (yes it’s that time again!)