Wobbly Cart CSA Box # 13 9-14-10
In this weeks’ box:
Green Cabbage Red potatoes
Carrots Cherry tomatoes
Lettuce Summer Squash
A walk around the fields today revealed a remarkably fall like scene. The summer heat loving crops are so loaded with fruits and moisture from the recent rains that they are literally starting to keel over with abundance. While here and there I could spot a few yellow leaves and other signs of dropping temperatures and shortening days. Right along side all this, the fall/cool season crops were looking luscious and glistening with dew, right in their element. So, this box contains an interesting contrast of the best of the summer crops and a smattering of late season aka. Fall crops.
You’ll find a bunch of fresh kale and a couple of leeks as new additions to the mix. Kale happens to be one of my favorite vegetables; its dark green leaves are ultra nutritious as well as being versatile and tasty. These lovely leaves will be around well into the winter, if our temperatures stay above 10 degrees or so. Any colder than that and they can freeze out. If they do make it they can provide much needed vegetables all thorough the winter and into early spring when they provide their final gift. Kale will send out flower stalks that I find to be like gourmet broccoli shoots in miniature. Extremely sweet and yummy!
Leeks are also a winter standby. They have a very mild onion flavor that is highly prized by chefs, and less pungent than onions. You can chop up and eat just the white part, or use more of the green as well. Though many find the green part a little on the tough side. They need to be sliced lengthwise and then fanned out under running water to get all the sand and dirt out of their many layers. Then you can chop them up to use in your recipes. I put lots of ideas in the recipe page so be sure to check it out.
Until next week,
Wobbly Cart Recipe Page #13 9-14-10
Sausage, White Bean, Leek and Kale Soup:
Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 12 ounces of Italian sausage cut into thin rounds. Cook for 5 minutes and then add 1 chopped Leek. Saute until the leek is tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Chop 1 bunch of kale (stems and all). Add to the sausage along with 5 to 6 cups chicken broth. Reduce heat to simmer and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Add one 15 oz can of drained white beans and ¾ cup dry white wine. Cook until kale is tender about 10 min. more. Add salt and pepper and serve with Parmesan cheese.
Place 1 1/2 cups water in a saucepan with 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tbsp whole mustard seeds. Heat through, then add 2 Tbsp honey. Slice one bunch of carrots into ½ inch disks and add to the boiling saucepan alone with 6 to 8 whole garlic cloves. Lower heat and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cool to room temperature. When cool add 2 more Tbsp of balsamic vinegar and some whole cilantro leaves. Transfer to a tightly lidded container and chill. These will keep nicely for several weeks.
Kale and Carrot Confetti with Leeks and Feta Cheese:
Put 2 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 leek cut into rounds in a large pan. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 bunch chopped kale and 2 grated carrots. When the greens are wilted, about 5 minutes, stir in some crumbled feta cheese and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
Baked Chicken with Carrots, Potatoes, Fennel and Leeks:
Position rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Rinse and pat dry 1 cup up chicken or 4 breasts. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Cut the following vegetables into medium sized chunks and combine in the large baking pan: 3 peeled carrots, 2 potatoes, 1 bulb of fennel and 1 leek. Toss the veggies with 2 tbsp of olive oil and salt and pepper. Lay the chicken in the baking pan on top/nestled into the vegetables and sprinkle with a little more olive oil. Bake the chicken for 50 to 60 minutes or until the juices run clear. Remove the chicken and let sit, covered for 10 minutes. Put the vegetables under the broiler for 5 to 8 minutes or until nicely browned.
Kale Avocado Salad:
Remove part of the stems and finely chop one bunch of kale into a bowl. Add 1 tsp celtic sea salt and massage well with clean hands until kale wilts. Add 2 tsp lemon juice and massage again. Add 1 sliced tomato or a handful of halved cherry tomatoes and ¼ cup chopped kalamata olives. Then, in a blender blend up; 1 pitted avocado, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and 1 stalk celery to a creamy texture and pour over salad. Mix well to completely coat the kale leaves. The order in which you add the ingredients is crucial; if you add the oil to early the kale will not wilt as well. You can also top with shredded carrots or other veggies and toasted pine nuts.