This season we grew fava beans for the first time. Customers said they were very good – but we never tasted them.
Artichokes were also new this year. We received good feedback from our customers, along with many recipe suggestions – but we’ve tried none of them.
Our first ever collard greens were part of our CSA box last week – but so far, none have made it into our kitchen.
Last year, it was fennel bulbs & tomatilloes. We were told how good they tasted – but we did not experience them ourselves.
It’s sad but true. We grow all this great food – vegetables, herbs, berries and fruit – but don’t always eat it. It’s not that we are fussy or picky. Farming takes most of our energy. There just isn’t time to prepare a lot of new foods or detailed recipes.
Of course we’re eating fresh all day long. Peaches, blackberries, tomatoes … anything that can be eaten raw, without preparation or cooking is fair game. Quick & simple dishes also appear on our menu – kale & broccoli salad, zucchini, eggplant, or peaches on the grill, fresh tomato sauce over pasta … It’s a wonderful time to be eating from the farm!
And every now & then someone (usually Lorie) has a burst of energy & finds the time to create something special. This weekend it was tomato & peach jam, using tomatoes, peaches, sweet onions & garlic – all ingredients that we have on hand right now (and that happen to be in the CSA box this week). It turned out great, so here’s the recipe …
Roasted Tomato & Peach Jam
This recipe was given to us by a customer at market. It originally comes from U of T student Lauren Classen. It is a chunky, savoury/sweet jam. Lauren spooned it into whole wheat tarts and won 1st place in the Feast of Fields appetizer contest. Spread this jam on baguette slices with Ontario goat/sheep cheese, or on sliders or mini pizzas.
10 ripe tomatoes (about 4 lb/2 kg) halved horizontally
10 ripe peaches (about 2 lb/1 kg) unpeeled, pitted, chopped
1 medium sweet onion chopped
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp (10 ml) sugar
¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
1 tsp (5 ml) sea salt, or to taste
2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped oregano leaves
Place tomatoes cut side up, without overlapping, on 1 side of a large rimmed, baking sheet or in a large roasting pan. Pile peaches & onions on the other side. Stick garlic between tomatoes. Sprinkle sugar on just the tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil & sprinkle salt & oregano over everything.
Roast in a preheated oven at 400F (200C) for 40 minutes; onions & peaches will start to brown on edges. Smash tomatoes with a spatula to release juices.
Mix everything together. Bake, stirring every 15 min. until tomatoes are dark, moisture has evaporated, and mixture is consistency of thick jam, about 1 hour. Taste & adjust salt or sugar.
Serve warm or cold. Refrigerate in sealed container up to 1 week or freeze.
** We probably roasted this jam for closer to 2 hours – our tomatoes are so juicy this year, they take longer to thicken. Increase the peaches for a sweeter jam. It is more savoury than sweet with the given proportions. We also cut down on the amount of garlic, and added some black pepper which the recipe did not call for.
Here’s another recipe, recommended by one of our CSA members. She claims to not be a bread baker, but loved this loaf – called it the best bread she’s ever made!
Fresh Tomato & Herb Bread
Serves: Makes 1 large loaf
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes or quartered Roma tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2¼ teaspoons instant (rapid rise) yeast
- ¾ cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup chopped mixed fresh Italian herbs (rosemary, basil, marjoram, thyme, sage, dill, oregano, parsley)
- To roast the tomatoes, spread them out on an aluminum foil-covered baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and roast for 10-15 minutes or until the skins of the tomatoes are collapsed and just barely beginning to brown. Puree the tomatoes in a blender and set aside.
- Combine the water, yeast, honey and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside.
- Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the tomatoes, the water/yeast mixture and the herbs. Stir with a wooden spoon or wooden spatula just until the ingredients are starting to come together, then attach a dough hook to the standing mixer and knead the dough for about 8 minutes on medium (“2” on a Kitchenaid standing mixer). The dough will still be a little sticky and tacky. If it’s too wet, add a little more flour. Remove the dough from the bowl and roll into a ball.
- Lightly oil a clean bowl with oil and roll the dough ball around in it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in a lightly warmed oven for about an hour, until doubled in size.
- Form the dough into an 8-inch square about 1 inch thick. Starting at one end, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, making sure the dough sticks to itself. Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch the seam closed. Place the dough seam-side down in a greased 9×5 inch bread pan and gently shake the dough until all four sides touch the edges of the pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and returned to a warm place until it is almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Boil 2 cups of water and pour it into a baking pan and place it on the bottom rack. If possible, place the dough above the rack with the pan of boiling water. If not, place the boiling water in two smaller pans on either side of the bread pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top of the bread is browned and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap on it with your knuckles.
- Transfer the bread to a wire rack and cool completely. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
What’s in the box
Garlic, lettuce, peaches, blackberries, onions, tomatoes, sweet peppers.
- Our crop of garlic is finally dried & ready to go. Use it with caution – the flavour is incredible!
- Lettuce is back in your share this week. It has grown well & tastes great.
- Peaches are quickly coming to an end. There are only a couple more varieties to be picked. Enjoy them while they last.
- Another taste of blackberries is in your share this week. Last year’s CSA members remember how many blackberries they would get in their box each week. This year’s crop is much smaller because the plants were damaged by the harsh winter, and so there are fewer in your share.
- Onions, tomatoes, and sweet peppers continue to produce, and are part of the box again.
Oliver, getting into the spirit of Labour Day!