Posts by: wenews

This week’s CSA box contained delicious, bright green, fragrant basil.  Basil comes in many varieties and flavors, and its leaves can be smooth, ruffled, rounded or pointed. Their leaves can also be small and delicate or large and sturdy.  On many basil varieties, the small white blooms are generally pinched off before they even form, to keep the flavor of the plant from getting bitter.

Have you ever tried growing basil at home?   The basil plant grows well in a container in well-drained and fertilized soil. As it is an annual plant, you may move it indoors to a warm, sunny spot when the first signs of autumn and the cold comes and prolong its life somewhat. Basil needs the perfect amount of sunlight (about 6 hours) and also needs to be watered often. Frequent picking will keep basil productive and the plant full, so we can hope for a lot of basil this summer!

Basil has some general health-promoting benefits.  It is said to aid conditions such as: digestion, flatulence, headaches, anxiety, vomiting and cramps, memory improvement, helps to fight colds, reduces cholesterol and has antiseptic qualities. Basil’s fragrance and flavor really shine in pesto or when basil is added to salad dressings, fish, chicken, marinades, fruit, vegetable or bread salads, bruschetta, or fresh-sliced, homegrown tomatoes and homemade mozzarella.

Featured Items: Basil, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, 8-Ball Zucchini, Patty Pan Squash, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Leeks, Corn, Strawberries, Romaine, Leaf Lettuce, Cucumbers

Goods: ½ doz. Eggs, honey from Salinas Valley or Big Sur (Peter Eichorn of Country Flats Farm) and Flowers (Amaryllis or Zinnias from Jamie Collard)

¡Buen Provecho!

Catalán Family Farm


Caprese Salad (adapted from


  • 3 CSA box tomatoes, 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, 1/4-inch thick slices
  • About 1 bunch CSA Box Basil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Coarse salt and pepper


Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, adding a basil leaf between each, on a large, shallow platter. Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe (adapted from simply


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • A food Processor

Directions: Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.  Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.

*Variation: add one chopped zucchini to the blender when you add the parmesan cheese, making this more of a dip.  You may need to add more olive oil to taste!

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What a great summer CSA box this week!  Filled with corn and a new variety of summer squash!  Cue ball or Roly-Poly zucchini are a round, softball-sized variety of summer squash.  They were the first round hybrid zucchini to be grown, and now many varieties exist.  They are often a pale green color, but other varieties may be dark green or yellow.  Sweet and succulent, these zucchini are great stuffed with an assortment of summer CSA box veggies!

What to do with your cue ball or 8-ball zucchini?  They are well known to be “good for stuffing” so give it a shot!  Get creative, make a rice and assorted vegetable mixture, top it with some fresh grated cheese and bake it in the oven!  Or, try one of our suggested recipes!  They are also very tasty sliced and grilled with a little olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper.

Featured Items: Corn, Parsley, Strawberries, Leaf Lettuce, Green Beans, Cue Ball Zucchini, Celery, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Dandelion Greens and more!

Goods Corner: 1 Loaf of Bread, 1/2 Dozen Eggs

¡Buen Provecho!
Catalán Family Farm


Zucchini-Tomato Napoleon (adapted from


3 one-ball, cue-ball, or eight-ball zucchini
3 large tomatoes
1 package of fresh mozzarella cheese
3-4 leaves of fresh basil
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper


Slice the zucchini into 1/4″ to 1/3″ slices.  Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill on a preheated grill at medium heat for 4 minutes per side.  Meanwhile, wash the tomatoes and slice into 1/4″ to 1/3″ slices. Also slice the mozzarella into 1/4″ slices. Dice the basil. (If using dried basil, mix 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil with 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil.)  Now it’s time to assemble. On each plate, put down one slice of zucchini, then one slice of mozzarella, next one slice of tomato, and finally another slice of zucchini. Sprinkle with basil and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Enjoy!


Roly-Poly Zucchini Parmesan (adapted by a recipe from Cynthia Nicholson, Cooking Light)


  • 1 (1-ounce) slice French bread, torn into small pieces
  • 3 round CSA box zucchini
  • 1/4 cup packed spinach leaves
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3/4 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • Flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°.  Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 cup. Set aside. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Set pulp aside. Steam zucchini shells, covered, 6 minutes or until tender. Drain, cut sides down, on several layers of heavy-duty paper towels. Place zucchini pulp in food processor; process until finely chopped. Spoon into a bowl. Place spinach, basil, garlic, and onion in food processor; process until finely chopped.  Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add spinach mixture; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini pulp, tomato, and salt; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in breadcrumbs. Fill each zucchini half with about 2 1/2 tablespoons zucchini mixture. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until cheese melts. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

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This week’s CSA box brings us a summer favorite: Green Patty Pan Squash.  Patty pan squash can be recognized by its small size, round and shallow shape, and scalloped edges, somewhat resembling a small flying saucer.  Pattypan comes in yellow, green, and white varieties. The squash is most tender when relatively immature; it is generally served when it is no more than two to three inches in diameter.

Some common preparation techniques involve stuffing the squash or pickling them in a sweet brine.  You may also use these squash as you would any other summer squash! Try breading and frying them for an extra special treat!

Remember, squash has some great health benefits: They are a good source of magnesium, niacin, and vitamins A and C.

Featured Items: Cucumbers, Curly Parsley, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Apricots, Strawberries, Leeks, Romaine, Red leaf romaine, Green Beans, Beefsteak Tomatoes, Patty Pan Squash

Goods Corner: 2 Lip Balms and 1/2 dozen farm fresh eggs

¡Buen Provecho!
Catalán Family Farm



Pickled Patty Pan Squash (adapted from


  • 1 and 1/2 lbs pattypan squash, or a mix of yellow & green (zucchini) summer squash (about 4 cups sliced)
  • 2 tbsp pickling salt

Flavoring, per jar:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 quarter-sized slice of fresh ginger
  • 1, 3-inch strip of lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp chile flakes
  • 1 small dried Thai pepper


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp pickling salt
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar


  1. Scrub the squash and slice into 1/4-inch slices. Layer in a large bowl and sprinkle the 2 tbsp salt over the layers; allow to rest for about 3 hours to leach excess water out of the squash.
  2. Add brine ingredients to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Maintain at a low boil.
  3. Drain the squash and rinse well in cool water. To a clean, cool pint jar add flavorings and pack squash slices in, tightly, but leaving room for brine to permeate the pieces (the amount above should just fill two pint jars).  Pour boiling brine into the jar, filling to 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe rim, affix lid and add to the water bath. Repeat with the next pint jar, which can be cooled and refrigerated or processed in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
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Patty Pan Squash Stuffed with Cajun White Beans (adapted from

4 medium-sized patty pan squash
1 leek, chopped fine
1 tomato, diced
1 broccoli head, chopped fine
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. fennel seed
1/4 tsp. rubbed sage
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
1 can (15 ounces) great northern beans (or other white beans), rinsed and drained

Directions: Place the squash flat side down in a large pot. Add about 1 inch of water, cover, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 8 minutes, until a fork easily pierces the top of the squash. Remove from the pot and set aside to cool.

When cool enough to handle, slice off the top of the squash and use a melon baller to scoop out the flesh from the inside. Be sure to leave a wall of at least 1/4-inch of flesh on all sides of the squash. Turn them upside down to drain, and dice the scooped out flesh coarsely.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Sauté the leeks, tomatoes and broccoli in a large, non-stick skillet for about 5 minutes until soft; add garlic, diced squash, and remaining seasonings and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the white beans and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes.

Place the squash in an 8×8-inch baking pan. Spoon the stuffing into each shell; be sure to really pack it into the shell, and don’t be afraid to over-stuff them. Pile any stuffing that remains into the center of the baking pan, right between the squash.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops begin to brown. Serve with additional stuffing. Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish.

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Delicious, satisfying apricots! Apricots are small, orange fruits with smooth and velvety skin. They are not very juicy but are surprisingly refreshing when eaten fresh.

Originally from China, apricots first arrived to California’s sunny orchards in the late 18th Century.  Apricots are full of beta-carotene, fiber, and vitamin C. The high beta-carotene content of apricots makes them important heart health foods. As their orange color suggests, apricots are also high in vitamin A.

Apricots are enjoyed as a fresh fruit but also dried, cooked into delicious sweet treats, and eaten as jams or chutneys. The fruits can also be distilled into brandy and liqueur!  Get creative with those apricots, or simply enjoy them fresh!

¡Buen Provecho!
Catalán Family Farm

Featured Items: Apricots, Tomatoes, Strawberries, English peas, Swiss chard, Lettuce, Cucumbers, Leeks, Cauliflower, Squash, Broccoli, Cabbage, Roma tomatoes

Goods Corner: 1/2 dozen fresh eggs, 1 loaf of bread