tribecacsa

Tribeca CSA Newsletter – Week 9

In Weekly Newsletter on August 13, 2009 at 9:35 PM

Thanks for bringing in bags and egg cartons. Please keep them coming!

News

As we approach mid-season we would love to see some photos you’ve been taking of the vegetables, fruits, and eggs, and especially your summer culinary creations! Every week we’re hoping to post a “Photo of the week” submitted by a Tribeca CSA member.

This week we are very excited that our delivery included some long awaited SQUASH BLOSSOMS –  send around your recipes and serving tips! We figured out that Google Groups is the best way for us to communicate with announcements as well as exchange recipes. To keep things organized and searchable, we will categorize the recipes by ingredients so the posts can thread that way. Simply reply to a post to link your recipe with the others!

Why are pears harvested green?  Check out the Pear tipsheet from Just Food. 

Cheese share reminder:

First cheese distribution is next week!

Interested in helping with CSA Events? Please email lizzv@tribecacsa.org!

Next Week’s Work Shift:

The people doing workshifts on August 18th are:

2-4:30: Vasudev G. and Michelle G.
4-6:30: Guendalina H. and Janna T.

Vegetable Highlight: Squash Blossoms

squashblossomsSquash blossoms (also sometimes called “zucchini flowers”) are cheap and plentiful in Latin America, where they are called flores de calabaza, but around here they’re mostly a farmers’ market delicacy.  Nutritionally, the flowers are similar to lettuce; you’d have to eat a lot to get much out of them. Aesthetically, however, they can bring a dish to life with a splash of color and texture. Depending on who you ask, they taste like popcorn or something slightly sweet and nutty; or, more poetically, like pure summer and squash perfume.  There are many ways to cook and enjoy these beauties—fried, baked, souped-up or stuffed.

Now, when it comes to squash blossoms, there is one very important but simple question: is it a boy or a girl?

Male blossoms grow from the branches of the squash; female blossoms bear fruit. Male blossoms will be downy, even hairy to the touch; female blossoms will have a soft, fleshy ovary center behind the blossom—which develops into the fruit; the male won’t.

Why is this important?  Well, it may be a matter of taste. Some say the male blossom is preferable because the lump of squash ovary is not there. Easier to prepare and eat.  Others say the female blossom is not only plump but succulent. This fruitier blossom is delectable.  One thing is for certain, there are more male flowers than female flowers on each plant, and the male flowers keep longer. Fruitier female squash blossoms spoil quickly and should be prepared and served on the same day they are picked. Male blossoms will keep a few days.  Male blossoms appear first. The female flower will contain a 4-part pistil in the center.

Store: Squash blossoms are very perishable. Arrange them on paper towel lined tray, refrigerate and use within one day.  Male blossoms will keep for 1 week at 50ºF (10°C) and 2 to 4 days at 40ºF (4°C). Chilling injury will occur if held for several days at temperatures below 50ºF (10°C).  You can also freeze, can, pickle, or dry squash blossoms. If cooked, blossoms will store in the freezer for 6 to 8 months.

Prepare: Open and inspect squash blossoms for insects before using them. Pull off and discard the green calyxes surrounding the bottom of the blossom. Clean blossoms by gently swishing them in a bowl of cold water. Shake them dry. Trim or snip out the anthers or style.

Serve: Use squash blossoms as a garnish raw on crêpes, green salads, fruit salads, soups, and quesadillas.

Recipe: Squash Blossom Quesadilla

Delicate flores de calabaza (squash blossoms) are delicious in quesadillas, soups, and tacos or simply battered and fried on their own.

  • 2  8″ flour tortillas
  • 1 cup grated queso oaxaca, a creamy Mexican string cheese
  • 5 fresh squash blossoms
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • Salsa

1. Top one flour tortilla with 1/2 cup grated cheese. Trim squash blossoms and remove and discard their stamens. Arrange squash blossoms over the cheese, overlapping them slightly. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and tortilla.

2. Heat canola oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook quesadilla, flipping once, until cheese is melted and quesadilla is golden brown on both sides, 4–5 minutes in all. Transfer to a plate, cut into quarters, and serve immediately, with salsa, if you like.

Other recipes:

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