DIGGING DEEPER

In Your Share (Sept 11th edition)

Hot Peppers!! Add a little spice to your life with these Jalapeño, Czech Black and Bulgarian Carrot peppers. Hot peppers are now thoroughly integrated into cultures across the world – think Thai sriracha, North African harissa or Portugese piri-piri. It is almost impossible to imagine these cuisines without their characteristic spicy stuff, but the pepper plant is native only to mesoamerica. The indigenous cultures there may have domesticated peppers as early as 5000 BC. While Columbus did bring some peppers back with him to Europe, it appears that it was actually the Portuguese who spread chilies around the world. Starting in the 1500’s the Portuguese crisscrossed the globe and shared peppers, and for better worse many other things, with cultures on almost every continent. Ironically, while chile peppers were likely used by indigenous cultures in North America, most spicy “american” food has its roots in the peppers brought to this country by african slaves. If you’re interested in more details, you might enjoy this Brief History of Chile Peppers.

Amazing recipes for Hot Peppers and everything else in your share are available to members at Cook With What You Have. If you joined our Summer CSA you will find your password in the member email. Enjoy 24/7 access to recipe inspiration!

This week your share may include…

  • Fresh Beans: Purple “green” beans actually do turn green when you cook them : ) And we may also have a few yellow wax beans which are round and tender with a sweet crunchy beany taste.  
  • Chard: This rainbow chard grows in luminescent shades of red, orange, pink, yellow and everything in between. Enjoy the color, then cook it and enjoy the greens! I like to use it as a healthy and hearty replacement for cooked spinach. Chard works well in omelets, polenta, over pasta, in lasagne, etc. Or try this Lebanese recipe for Stuffed Chard, called Mehchi Selek, recommended by shareholder Laurence Qamar.
  • Eggplant: Beautiful Japanese eggplant with a few pink and Italian mixed in.
  • Garlic: Add raw to Herb Salsa Verde with parsley below or roast with Anaheim or Poblano peppers.
  • Italian Parsley: I like to think of parsley more like greens then herbs. It is more flavorful than some greens, but the flavor isn’t overwhelming so I like to use it in bulk. Often herbs are used sparingly, but  I prefer recipes that feature significant amounts of parsley. Traditional Lebanese tabbouleh often includes a much higher ration of parsley to grain than we’re used to.  Yom Ottolenghi has some great parsley recipes in his cookbooks including this charred corn salad with parsley, onion and jalapeño. I’m also a huge fan of Herb Salsa Verde.
  • Anaheim & Poblano Peppers: These are way more interesting than your average green pepper : ) Try this creative variation on the classic Chile Relleno
  • Hot Peppers: Tasty in any dish where you’d like to add a little heat!
  • Red Potatoes: Makes a great potato salad.
  • Tomatoes: Heirloom and slicing tomatoes are perfect this time of year!

Coming soon… Tomatillos!!