Week 17 CSA from Valley Flora!

  • Napa Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Eggplant 
  • Fennel
  • Red Onions
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Jalapeño Pepper
  • Serrano Peppers
  • Tomatoes

If that picture doesn't look like a batch of ratatouille waiting to happen, then I don't know what does. Usually ratatouille doesn't include fennel bulb, but I stumbled upon this recipe from a UK magazine (they eat a lot more fennel in Europe than we do here in the States) and it looked worthy of sharing: Ratatouille with Fennel. The only bit of produce not in your share this week is the dill, but some of you might have a bit leftover from last week...?

Or, if like me, all you want to eat at this time of year is raw chopped salad, then this is the recipe for you: Yotam Ottolenghi's Spiced Chickpea Chopped Salad. Yotam Ottolenghi has a cookbook called "Jerusalem" - probably the most dog-eared compendium of recipes in my entire kitchen, and it's the book I reach for every week from August through October. You'd think I'd have the recipe memorized by now, but no, I seem to like to pull that book down like an old friend and open it up to the page with the hot pink post-it note that's spattered with olive oil stains. I cheat and use canned garbanzo beans instead of soaking dry chickpeas in order to make it a fast weeknight dinner. I've also been known to add homemade croutons, feta, broiled eggplant - anything you want to bulk it up and make it even more of a meal. You could even shred some of that napa cabbage and add it to the mix. Anything goes. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

I do have a little vegetable deficit to make up for on the heels of a glorious horsepacking trip into the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness last week. Not to say that my friend, Laura, and I went hungry (I dehydrated all kinds of farm veggies and added them to our homemade backpacking dinners each night....plus we're guilty of making the horses carry in 8 carrots, 5 apples, 3 cucumbers, a bag of Jimmy Nardello peppers, 3 peaches and 4 avocadoes for our 5 day drip. But still! I've got some catching up to do this week in the roughage department. Chopped salad, watch out.

Here's a glimpse of what Jack and Lily were "up" to last week. Lots of elevation gain, innumerable high alpine lakes, wild blueberries, a thunderstorm or two, and beautiful meadows. Upon hearing some stories from our Mt. Jefferson trip, my mom referred to them as "renaissance horses." I can't think of a better descriptor: from digging potatoes on Monday to climbing mountain peaks on Friday. 

A big thanks to my crew - and my horses - for helping make our pack trip possible this season! I'm always grateful to be able to sneak away for a long weekend during peak season, and also just as happy to come back to this beautiful reality called home.