Wednesday, August 15, 2018

August 16, 2018 - This Week's Box Contents, Featuring Edamame

Cooking With This Week's Box:

This Week’s Summary of Recipes and the Vegetables They Utilize:

Edamame: Summer Succotash Salad with Orzo (see below)

Purple Amethyst Beans: Summer Succotash Salad with Orzo (see below)

Zucchini or Yellow Summer Squash: Herb Garden Zucchini Pizza

Green and/or Silver Slicer Cucumbers: Easy Cucumber Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

White Spanish Onions & Red Onions: Summer Succotash Salad with Orzo (see below); Easy Cucumber Salad with Red Wine VinaigretteItalian Egg Bake

Missouri Garlic:  Summer Succotash Salad with Orzo (see below)

Red or Golden Grape, Sunorange or Chocolate Sprinkles Tomatoes: Summer Succotash Salad with Orzo (see below)

Green Bell and/or Green Italian Frying Peppers: Crock Pot Chicken Philly Cheese Steak

Sweet Sarah Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe Rum PopsCantaoupe Popsicles  

French Orange, Sugar Cube or Sivan Melon: No recipe recommendations….just enjoy this melon as it is!

Red Seedless or Yellow Seeded Watermelon: Watermelon Salsa

Sweet Corn: Summer Succotash Salad with Orzo (see below); Creamy Corn Pasta

This is the point in the season where we have trouble fitting everything into the box!  We have a lot to work with in this week’s box, starting with Edamame!  If you’ve never cooked edamame before, please read this week’s vegetable feature for more information. It’s quite simple, but important to cook edamame before you try to remove it from its pod.  I like to add these sweet, tender beans to salads, such as the Summer Succotash Salad with Orzo (see below) featured in this week’s newsletter.  This is a simple salad featuring fresh edamame, tomatoes, red onion, corn and the gorgeous purple amethyst beans in this week’s box.  This is a great way to use the purple beans and retain their dark, majestic purple color.

There’s nothing like the flavor of fresh sweet corn and sometimes the simplest dishes are the most enjoyable when you have good ingredients to work with.  This recipe for Creamy Corn Pasta comes as a recommendation from one of our CSA members who posted the link in our Facebook Group.  This recipe has just a few simple ingredients including sweet corn and fresh basil from your garden.  You can also garnish this dish with some fresh, diced tomatoes.

Easy Cucumber Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
Photo posted by April N on
There were several other good recipe recommendations from members on our Facebook group this week including this simple recipe for Easy Cucumber Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette.  This is a simple salad pairing cucumbers with chunks of fresh tomatoes and thinly sliced red onions.  It’s a great salad to serve with dinner and will keep well so you can take leftovers in your lunch the next day.

Last week this recipe for Herb Garden Zucchini Pizza was featured at blog.  This is a simple pizza featuring marinated slices of fresh zucchini paired with mozzarella and basil pesto as the base.  After this is baked, you could serve it with some freshly diced tomatoes and/or arugula if you like.

I typically invest a little more time in Sunday brunch than I dedicate to preparing breakfast throughout the week.  This week I want to make this Italian Egg Bake,  another member recommended recipe.  This will make good use of some of the fresh tomatoes as well as some red onions and oregano from our herb garden.  This would be delicious served with a little arugula salad such as this on the side.  This is a simple recipe for an Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette  that would pair nicely with this dish.

Cantaloupe Popsicle
Photo from Leite's Culinaria 
This is a peak week for melons!  Enjoy them while you can, as we’re nearing the end of melon season.  If you have more than you can eat fresh this week, consider eating the small personal-sized melon fresh for a snack or breakfast and use the larger Sweet Sarah Cantaloupe to make these Cantaloupe Rum Pops.  These are obviously more for the adult crowd, but here’s a recipe for kid-appropriate Cantaoupe Popsicles.

While watermelon is delicious just eaten off the rind with juice running down your chin, you can also use watermelon to make a refreshing Watermelon Salsa.  Dice the watermelon flesh and combine it with red onions, cilantro, jalapeño, etc to make this delicious salsa to serve with grilled chicken.

This week’s peppers are going towards this chicken version of Crock Pot Chicken Philly Cheese Steak sandwich .  You cook the chicken and vegetables in the crock pot and then just build your sandwich.

Lastly, we need something on the sweet side, which is where this Flourless Carrot Cake comes into the picture!  This cake is supposed to keep for up to five days in the refrigerator, if you can make it last that long!

That brings us to the bottom of this week’s box.  Next week we’re hoping to harvest tomatillos and poblano peppers for you.  We’ll also likely start seeing some colored sweet peppers next week along with more tomatoes and corn!  Have a great week and I’ll see you next time—Chef Andrea 

Vegetable Feature: Edamame

Edamame (eh-dah-MAH-may) is a fresh soybean that has grown in popularity in the United States over the past few years, but has been a part of Japanese and Chinese cuisine for much longer.  In this country edamame is most often found in the frozen section either in the pod or shelled.  True edamame intended for fresh eating is quite different than oil-seed soybeans and tofu beans most often grown to make tofu and other processed soy products.  The edamame varieties we grow were developed specifically because they produce a sweet bean that doesn’t have a “beany” aftertaste and is the preferred variety in Japan and China for fresh eating.

Edamame resembles a small lima bean encased in a pod.  The beans are sweet and tender and best eaten lightly cooked. Unlike sugar snap peas, edamame pods are not edible and should be discarded.  Edamame is hard to shell when it’s raw.  It is easiest to cook edamame in its pod first and then remove the beans from the pod.   To cook edamame, first rinse the pods thoroughly with cold water. Bring a pot of heavily salted water (salty like the sea) to a boil.  Add the edamame pods and boil for about 3-4 minutes.  You should see the pods change to a bright green color.  Remove the edamame from the boiling water and immediately put them in ice water or run cold water over them to quickly cool them.   After the beans are cooked you can easily squeeze the pod to pop the beans out, either into a bowl or directly into your mouth!  This is a great skill to teach children so they can eat them as a snack and help you shell edamame!  Once you’ve removed them from the pods, they are ready to incorporate into a recipe or eat as a snack.

You can also roast edamame in their pods.  There’s a basic recipe on our website, but basically you toss the edamame pods with oil and seasonings of your choice.  Serve the beans whole with their pods still on.  While you won’t eat the pod, you can use your teeth to pull the edamame out of the pod and in the process you’ll pick up the seasoning on the outside of the pod!

shelled edamame
You can store fresh or cooked edamame for up to a week in the refrigerator, but it is best to eat them soon for the sweetest flavor and best texture.  If you are interested in preserving edamame for later use, simply follow the cooking procedure above for boiling, cool and freeze the beans either in their pods or remove them and freeze just the bean. It’s a nice treat to pull something green out of the freezer in the middle of the winter to enjoy as a snack or incorporate them into a winter stir-fry or pan of fried rice.

Children and adults alike often enjoy edamame as a simple snack, but you can also incorporate edamame into vegetable or grain salads, stir-fry, fried rice, steamed dumplings or pot stickers to name just a few suggestions.  They pair well with any combination of traditional Asian ingredients such as sesame oil, soy sauce and ginger.  They are also a nice, bright addition to brothy soups such as a miso soup.  If you follow the suggested method for boiling edamame before shelling them, the bean will already be fully cooked, so if you are adding edamame to a hot dish or recipe, do so at the end of the cooking. 

Summer Succotash Salad with Orzo

Yield:  6-8 servings

1 ½ cups dried orzo
3 quarts water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp stoneground mustard
1 Tbsp honey
½ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup red wine vinegar
⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 ear cooked sweet corn, kernels cut off the cob
½- ¾ cup edamame beans (cooked and shelled)
1 cup diced tomato
½ medium or 1 small red onion, minced
½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup bite-sized pieces purple amethyst beans
Handful fresh basil
  1. Put 3 quarts water in a 4-5 quart saucepot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Generously salt the water, then add the orzo.  Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the orzo is tender.  Pour orzo and water into a colander to drain the orzo.  Rinse with cold water, then set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine garlic, mustard, honey, ½ tsp salt, freshly ground black pepper and red wine vinegar.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil until all is incorporated.  Taste the vinaigrette and add salt or pepper if needed.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium to large bowl, combine sweet corn, edamame, diced tomato and red onion.  Add the cooked orzo and about half of the vinaigrette.  Stir to combine.  Add more vinaigrette if needed.  You want enough that the orzo will soak up the flavor, but not so much that there is excess vinaigrette in the bottom of the bowl.  You may not need all of the vinaigrette.
  4. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and black pepper as needed.  Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes or overnight.  Just before serving, add the purple beans and fresh basil.  Either cut the basil leaves into thin slices (chiffonade) or snip into coarse pieces with a kitchen shears.
  5. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Recipe created by Chef Andrea Yoder, Harmony Valley Farm

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