Fall CSA Box # 1 October 26th, 2010
Hello and welcome to the Wobbly Cart Fall CSA!
In this weeks box:
Watermelon Radish Parsnips (1lb) Bell Peppers
Desiree Potato Lettuce Hot Peppers
Parsley Lacinato Kale
Yellow Onion Spaghetti Squash
I’m so excited for the first week of the Fall CSA and want to be sure to thank everyone for joining. Many of you are continuing on from the summer season, but many of you are new to the Fall CSA or were with us for the Fall season last year. We really appreciate the support from all of you! Joining this CSA means we have a market for much of the delicious edibles still on the farm at this time of year, when many are no longer thinking of local produce, and market sales can be slow as the weather gets colder. In actuality, it seems to me there is more to eat than ever, and you get to reap what we have sown! Thank you for supporting us!
Many of the crops you will be enjoying were seedlings in the greenhouse way back in early July, and have been slowly maturing and sweetening as the days have gotten shorter and weather less favorable. (Though that warm stretch in October was quite delightful, if unusual). One of the keys to having great produce in the Fall and Winter is simply to start the crops way earlier than you would think. Things can grow quite well in our Fall and Winter as long as they have plenty of time to size up before it gets too dark, cold and wet.
Some of the produce may be slightly unusual sounding to you, but give it a chance and we think you will be pleasantly surprised. One such item is the Watermelon Radish. On the outside it looks a bit like a green and white turnip, but slice it open and you will be treated to an amazing sight. Its insides are blushed a beautiful watermelon shade of red. Sliced, it looks just like a miniature watermelon, though its flavor is that of a mildly sweet radish. They are great sautéed, added to salads, or thinly sliced and wilted with good sea salt. The greens are quite edible when cooked in soups or stir-fries if you want to get adventurous.
Another new item are the Parsnips. These long white roots are prized for their sweetness. When cooked they have a creamy texture and they make nice additions to mashed potatoes or mashed on their own. (see recipe page). They keep for a long time in a closed plastic bag in your refrigerator crisper.
The potatoes are a variety called Desiree. It has a pinkish red skin and yellow interior. This variety is known for its ability to hold up in gratins and scalloped potato dishes and has a firm and slightly waxy texture. They are prized by gourmet Chefs throughout Europe. Blemishes may need to be peeled away, but other than that they are great with the skins left on.
Amazingly, you will also be getting some of the last of our Bell Peppers this week. They have held up quite well in the late season and survived some light frosts and wild weather. Be forgiving of their appearance, they are still quite good.
The last item I want to talk about is the Spaghetti Squash. The insides of this winter squash really do resemble spaghetti when cooked, making it great for anyone who is on a wheat free or gluten free diet, or who just wants to add more vegetables to their diet. It makes a great base for any number of pasta sauces or cooked into vegetable pancakes instead of potatoes. It can be baked whole in the oven after piercing several times with a fork. It should be done after 20 to 30 minutes. Then when cool enough to handle, halve it, scoop out the seeds, then scrape out the spaghetti like strands into a bowl. It can also be microwaved whole in the same manner, on high for about 15 minutes on the turntable.
I really hope you all enjoy the box!
Asha, Joseph, and the Crew at Wobbly Cart
Fall CSA Recipe Page #1 October 26th 2010
Pureed Roasted Parsnips
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel about 2 lbs of parsnips, make a cut off the top of the fat end of each parsnip. This will show you the extent of the inner core. Often this core is stringy and woody, especially at the larger end of the parsnip. When you are prepping the parsnips, cut around this core. Chop the parsnips, discarding the tough cores, and place in a medium sized bowl. Pour 3 tbsp melted butter over them. Stir to coat. Lay out the parsnips on a roasting pan in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, at 400 degrees, until lightly golden, turning over one halfway through the cooking. Put the cooked parsnips into a blender or food processor. Add 1 ½ cups of water and pulse until pureed to the desired consistency. Add more water if necessary. Add 1/8 tsp nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
Carrot, Apple, and Horseradish Salad
Stir together well: 3 large carrots, coarsely grated (2 cups), 1 large tart apple, peeled, cored, and coarsely grated, ½ cup sour cream, 2 to 3 Tbsp grated, peeled fresh horseradish, 2 Tbsp chopped parsley, 2 Tbsp snipped chives, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp sugar. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, 1 hour. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Makes 4 to 6 servings (From the Joy of Cooking)
Beijing Radish Salad
This can be made with watermelon radishes or other types… 1 bunch watermelon radishes or one medium daikon radish
2 tablespoons rice or balsamic vinegar (or a combination),
1 tablespoon soy sauce,
1 teaspoon sugar,
2 teaspoons sesame oil,
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped. Wash and julienne radishes. They can be peeled or not as you like. I often use a mandoline to do the julienne-ing, or you can grate them. Mix together the rest of the ingredients and dress the radishes with the dressing. (From http://www.mariquita.com)
Spicy Chicken and Spaghetti Squash Skillet Halve one Spaghetti squash and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down on a buttered baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh, allowing it to separate into pasta –like strands. Reserve. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy skillet over med-high heat. Saute ½ cup minced onion, 3 to 4 cloves minced garlic, minced, and 2 finely chopped scallions. Add 12 oz cooked chicken or turkey meat and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in 2 cups canned tomatoes, and ¼ cup dry red wine and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add 2 tsp fresh oregano, 2 tsp capers, 1 tsp crushed red pepper and 3 Tbsp finely chopped Italian parsley. Pour sauce over the cooked warm spaghetti squash.
Scalloped Desiree Potatoes Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 by 12 baking dish. Melt 4 Tbsp butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 onion that has been thinly sliced. Cook for 4 minutes or until soft. Remove from heat. Set aside. Slice 1 lb of Desiree potatoes into ½ inch thick rounds. Whisk together 1 pint of heavy cream and a pinch of ground nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange a layer of potatoes over the base of the baking dish. Top with a layer of onion. Drizzle with a little of the cream mixture. Repeat the layers until all ingredients have been used. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are just tender. Remove foil. Cook for a further 30 minutes or until the top is golden.