Wednesday, August 29, 2018

August 30, 2018 - This Week's Box Contents, Featuring Purple Potatoes

Cooking With This Week's Box:

Zucchini or Yellow Summer Squash: Peppery Zucchini & Potato Packets on the Grill (see below); Vegetable Enchiladas with Creamy-Tomatillo Sauce; Zucchini, Bacon, Gruyere Quiche 
Zoey Yellow Onions: Peppery Zucchini & Potato Packets on the Grill (see below); Mango Edamame Quinoa Salad; Vegetable Enchiladas with Creamy-Tomatillo Sauce; Corn Stew with Chicken & Sausage

Jalapeno Peppers: Breakfast Potato Nachos (see below);  Roasted Salmon with Jalapeno;  Corn Stew with Chicken & Sausage

Red Seedless Watermelon: Honey Grilled Watermelon Caprese Salad

Large Tomatoes: Breakfast Potato Nachos (see below);  Honey Grilled Watermelon Caprese Salad;  Corn Stew with Chicken & Sausage


Purple Majesty Potatoes: Breakfast Potato Nachos (see below); Peppery Zucchini & Potato Packets on the Grill (see below)

When I was a kid, purple was one of my favorite colors.  At that time I had no idea that there were purple potatoes or purple carrots!  I do envy CSA kids who get to grow up eating all of these cool vegetables!  We’ll kick off this week’s cooking talk with a recipe for Breakfast Potato Nachos (see below).  The Purple Majesty potatoes are a good variety to use for this and make for a colorful presentation.  The potatoes are cut into thin slices and then baked as crisp as you like them, thus becoming the “chip” part of the nachos.  Top them with cheese and whatever other vegetables you like, such as black beans, tomatoes, onions, and avocado.  Put a fried egg on top and you have authorization to eat nachos for breakfast!  Our other recipe suggestion for this week’s Purple Majesty potatoes is a simple recipe for Peppery Zucchini & Potato Packets on the Grill (see below).  If you’re grilling out for Labor Day weekend, consider adding this to the menu.  If you have a camping trip planned for the holiday weekend, this is a fun thing to make over the campfire.  We used to make these at summer camp.  You can cook the packets on a grill set over the fire, or add an extra layer of foil and put the packet right into the hot coals.

Honey Grilled Watermelon Caprese
Photo from How Sweet Eats
While we’re on the topic of grilling, I want to share this recipe for Honey Grilled Watermelon Caprese Salad.  I found the link to this recipe on Ali’s blog, where she featured 15 recipes using watermelon.  I had never considered grilling watermelon, but this salad sounds delicious.  You could serve this as a side dish, or turn it into a light lunch or dinner by serving it with some slices of grilled bread and thinly shaved prosciutto.

Last week I came across this recipe for Mango Edamame Quinoa Salad.  This is an interesting, yet very simple, salad featuring fresh edamame, sweet peppers, & onions paired with fruit and quinoa to make a light summer salad.  The author also gives some suggestions for making some substitutions, so if you don’t have a mango, you could also use grapes or blueberries.  I think this salad will go nicely with Pan Roasted Salmon with Jalapeno for a light dinner option.  The heat and fattiness of the salmon dish will balance nicely with the simple, sweet salad.

If you didn’t have a chance to make the Vegetable Enchiladas with Creamy-Tomatillo Sauce from last week, I’d encourage you to give it a try this week and put this week’s tomatillos and a poblano to good use.  The filling for this enchilada includes corn, zucchini, peppers and onions.  Another suggestion for using the tomatillos and one of the poblano peppers is this recipe for Roasted Tomatillo & Chickpea Curry.  We featured this recipe in last year’s newsletter and it was a hit with many members!

Steak, Poblano and Mushroom Tacos
Photo from Gimme Some Oven
I don’t know what it is about poblano peppers, but I really like the flavor of this pepper.  So, I’m going back to Ali’s blog to make her suggestion for Taco Tuesday featuring this recipe for Steak, Poblano and Mushroom Tacos.  This recipe will make use of two poblano peppers along with onions and garlic.
Sweet corn season will be coming to an end soon, but before it does I want to try this recipe for Corn Stew with Chicken & Sausage.  This recipe will make good use of fresh sweet corn as well as the fresh tomatoes and a jalapeno from this week’s box.

We started the conversation with purple potatoes and we’ll end this week’s conversation with purple carrots!  I like mixing the purple and orange carrots and think they are beautiful in this Carrot Salad with Coriander Vinagrette & Pistachios.  This is a light, refreshing salad that will go nicely served with this Zucchini, Bacon, Gruyere Quiche.

That’s it for this week.  We’re starting to harvest winter squash this week and are hoping to send leeks your way very soon.  Enjoy these last days of summer!—Chef Andrea

Purple Potatoes

Potatoes are the fourth largest food crop in the world, following behind rice, wheat and corn. Potatoes originated in the Andes Mountains of Peru and Bolivia but have spread throughout the world and are grown and eaten all over the world.  While we’re accustomed to seeing just a few common varieties on grocery store shelves, the world of potatoes is actually very diverse with hundreds of different varieties that go beyond the common Yukon gold, red potatoes and Russet potatoes for baking.  Earlier this week we harvested these beautiful Purple Majesty potatoes which you’ll find have a deep bluish-purple skin and purple flesh.  This variety is classified as a waxy, high moisture potato, thus it is a good potato for roasting, pan-frying, and it will hold together well in soups and stews.

As a young dietetics student, I remember learning about different plant compounds (aka phytochemicals) that are nutrients with beneficial health properties for both the plant as well as the person who consumes the food.  The cool thing about these compounds is that many have color, thus you can easily look at many foods and have some indications as to what health benefits you’ll get from them.  Foods that are purple, blue and red in color are likely going to be high in anthocyanins, a water-soluble phytochemical that has these color pigments.  Anthocyanins are beneficial for cardiovascular health and contribute to lowering blood pressure.  They are also beneficial in cancer prevention.  While we now have many choices in potato varieties, choosing a purple potato from time to time can be a great addition to a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that supply our bodies with a variety of beneficial phytochemicals.  The cumulative effect of eating in this way and including a variety of different colors from day to day will benefit your overall health.

Unlike many purple vegetables, such as beans, that fade to green when cooked, purple potatoes generally will hold their color when cooked.  The color may change, depending on the cooking method as well as the other ingredients you’re preparing with them.  If you want to maximize the purple color, choose a dry heat cooking method such as roasting, baking or pan-frying.  These potatoes may also be used in soup, but be aware that they may fade to more of a blue-gray if cooked with more alkaline ingredients such as cream or milk. If you boil potatoes, it’s best to cook them whole with the skins on to best preserve the color.  Because this is a waxy potato, it is not the best choice for making mashed potatoes as they can get sticky if you mash them too much.  They will however make a pretty violet mash!

Earlier in the season we featured new potatoes.  We told you to handle them carefully as they had delicate skin.  This week’s potatoes are not new potatoes.  The vines of the plant were cut in advance of harvest, thus helping develop the skins so they are more durable and will protect the potato for longer storage.  If you need to store them for a bit, you should be fine doing so.  Just store them in a cool, dry location out of direct sunlight and don’t put them in the refrigerator.

Breakfast Potato Nachos

Yield:  4 servings

Picture from the little epicurean
Chili Spiced Potatoes:
2 pounds potatoes, sliced into ⅛-inch or ¼-inch thick rounds
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp fine sea salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
⅛ tsp ground cayenne pepper

½ cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese
½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
tomato salsa
sour cream
sliced green onions
chopped cilantro
sliced avocado
lime wedges
fried egg

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
  3. Coat potato slices with olive oil. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on two baking sheet trays, making sure the potatoes do not overlap. Sprinkle spice mixture over potatoes, flip potatoes and sprinkle spice mixture on the other side. Bake for 25-30 minutes until potatoes are tender. (Note: if you slice the potatoes ⅛-inch thickness, bake for 20-25 minutes until potatoes are crisp)
  4. Set oven to broiler setting.
  5. Layer about half of baked potatoes on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with half of black beans and half of shredded cheese. Top with remaining potatoes, black beans, and shredded cheese. Set under broiler for 20-30 seconds until cheese is melted.
  6. Garnish nachos with salsa, sour cream, sliced jalapeños, avocado slices, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro. Before serving, top with fried egg. Enjoy immediately.

This recipe was borrowed from Maryanne Cabrera and was featured on

Peppery Potato and Zucchini Packets on the Grill

Yield:  4 servings

1 ½ pounds potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme, or ½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp salt

  1. Heat the grill.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.  Divide the mixture among 4 pieces of aluminum foil, placing the mixture near one end.  Fold in half to form a packet;  then fold the edges to seal completely.  Grill the packets 25 to 30 minutes, turning over once, until the potatoes are tender when pierced.
Recipe borrowed from The CSA Farm Cookbook, by Mi Ae Lipe.

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