The Food Project: Youth. Food. Community.

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North Shore CSA newsletter

From the Interns

close up of some lettuce
close up of some lettuce
 In the Internship Program skits are a consistent activity. Each Tuesday a group of interns presents a skit to the Summer Youth Program on the veggie of the week. This is a way to get the teenagers excited about vegetables. One of the more popular skits we’ve presented this summer is the story of Letushca, god of Lettuce.

Long ago animals roamed freely through the forest (sheep and horse run across the stage). The local villagers would hunt the animals for food. But soon the animals became faster and harder to catch. (Scene goes to a mother and her son.) “ Oh son, go and collect us something to eat, or else we will die from hunger.”

“Yes mother.” said the son. With that he left the forest in search of food. He searched high and low but found nothing. “ I give up!” he said, hanging his head with sorrow. Then, a magical thing happened! (A nearby plant unfurls its leaves to display a man dressed in lettuce leaves standing in the center of the plant).

“ Hello I am Letushca Hakima.” The boy in awe bowed down to Letushca. “Here, take this and use it wisely.” With that he gave the boy a leafy green sphere. The boy was so overjoyed ran home to show his mother what he had been given. When she tasted it she said, “ Son this is delicious, what do you call this magical plant you found?”
“ Uh, uh…” the boy searched his head for the name of the god that gave him the magical food. “Was it lettese, No it wasn’t.” he thought. “ Ah ha! Lettuce! It's called lettuce," he said.
“Son, this is just what we need to survive!” she squealed out of joy.” Go get us some more--we have to tell the others about this!”

So the boy went back to the woods and called out to Letushca. He appeared and gave him more lettuce. The boy’s mother kept sending him back for more. Then, one day the boy called on Letushca for more lettuce. “I’m sorry,” Letushca, said, “ There is none left”.
The boy said, “ I wish there was a way for us to make lettuce on our own.” Suddenly a dark figure appeared, put his hand on Letushca's shoulder and said, “ Your time is up.” Letushca vanished, as did the dark figure. The boy, now crestfallen, returned home to find his mother crying.
“ Son, we will never go hungry again!” she cried.
“ What?” said the boy.

She pointed to the back yard and the surrounding fields and showed him the rows of lettuce growing. From then on, the people grew lettuce and they never went hungry again. Many say that if you look really closely at a head of lettuce you can almost see the face of Letushca, God of lettuce.

Written by: Molly Colehower and Iliana Torres

Vegetable of the Week: Serrano Pepper

The serrano pepper, Capsicum annum, is a type of chili pepper that originated in the mountainous regions of the Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo. Common colors are green, red, brown, orange, or yellow. Serranos are very meaty and they do not dry very well.

The seeds and membranes in chile peppers contain most of the capsaicin, the compound that lends them their mouth-searing qualities. Use caution when handling these chiles. Serranos are hot enough to easily irritate the skin on the hands and it can be painful if their juice comes in contact with the eyes. Wear thin disposable surgical gloves while working with hot chiles, and don’t touch your face until the gloves are removed.

Choose chiles with deep colors, avoiding those that look wrinkled or soft. Store them in a plastic bag for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. These peppers do not retain their flavor and heat after you freeze them.

Serrano peppers are often used to add considerable heat to salsas and sauces and can be used with or without their seeds. While they do not need to be peeled, these peppers should be roasted before adding to sauces.

Tomatillo Avacado Salsa

1 lb Tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and roughly chopped
1 Avacado, peeled, chopped
3/4 cup Fresh cilantro leaves
1 Serrano chili, chopped
2 tb Fresh lime juice
1 tsp Salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and puree. Great with tortilla chips or with chicken. Makes about 2 cups.

Sassy Salsa

5 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Green, red, yellow, or purple bell pepper
4 lg Ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
1 md Onion, diced
2 Hot peppers, such as jalapeno peppers, or serrano, minced
1 bunch Cilantro, chopped
5 Green onions, sliced into 1/8 inch rings
1/4 c Olive oil
1/8 c Red wine vinegar or herbed vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp Freshly ground pepper
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
A dash of salt

In a medium mixing bowl with a cover, stir together garlic, peppers, tomatoes, onion, hot peppers, cilantro, and green onions.

Grilled Fresh Fish with Mango-Serrano Pico


4 halibut fillets (6 oz each)
12 oz strong ginger ale
2 TB fresh ginger, minced
2 TB cilantro, minced
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Mango-Serrano Pico
1 1/2 cups mango, small dice
1 1/2 cups red bell pepper, small dice
1/2 cup green onion tops, thinly sliced
4 tsp serrano pepper, seeded, minced
3 TB fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Ingredient Option: select any other mild flavored fish such as mahi mahi or Tilapia.

Allow ginger ale to go flat by pouring into a bowl and letting it stand for about an hour. Marinate fish fillets with ginger ale, ginger, and cilantro. Refrigerate 2 hours. Combine Mango-Serrano Pico ingredients, mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Prepare and heat grill. Lightly brush fillets with oil before placing on hot grill. To prevent sticking, lightly oil the bars of the grate with vegetable oil by dipping a tightly folded paper towel in oil and, holding it with long-handled tongs, rub it over the grate (be careful!). Grill fish on hot grill, 7 inches over gray flaming coals until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side, rotating each fillet a quarter turn after 1 1/2 minutes on each side to create attractive grill marks. Serve grilled fish fillets topped with Mango-Serrano Pico.

Serves 4. 

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