CSA Box # 16 10-4-11
In this Week’s Box:
Radishes Leeks Dill
Mustard Greens Snow Peas Carrots
Lettuce Eggplant Yellow Finn Potatoes
Peppers Garlic Beets
Hello to all,
Fall weather is officially upon us! The regular doses of wind and rain and the darkening days are here to stay. I greatly appreciated that last little stretch of sun we had the other week, now that I have the feeling there wont be much more of it this year. Cottonwood leaves along the river are starting to turn a bit golden and the barn is filling up with winter squash and pumpkins! It’s very lovely to see.
While I do savor the sun when it makes an appearance, I also love the feeling of the harvest season and getting ready for winter. I start baking more often and making hot pots of soup and chili. This would be a great week to make a potato leek soup! I’m thinking of having a big cider making party here at my place as the Johnagold orchard and several other large heirloom trees are loaded with fruit this year. Maybe it will be a simultaneous garlic planting and cider pressing with the crew!
Our box also reflects our cooling weather! The last few weeks for the eggplants and peppers are upon us. You’ll be seeing a lot more robust greens, carrots, root vegetables, potatoes, winter squash, onions and leeks in the last few weeks of the Summer CSA. That reminds me, if you are interested in our Fall CSA Season starting October 18th I have included a flier in your box. Just fill it out, send a check or pay online, or at market and send it back to us! We’d be happy to have you join us for four more weeks of farm fresh produce!
New on the harvest list this week is Leeks. These lovely alliums were planted by my own hands way back in March! It seems hard to believe that it takes that long for them to mature, but I suppose it is their slow growing nature that makes them so hardy. Leeks are prized by chefs for their mild onion-like flavor. They are excellent braised, cooked into soups, sautéed, fried, and raw in salads. The choice part of the leek to eat is the white and light green parts of the stalk. The dark green leaves are considered by many to be woody and slightly bitter. To cook; cut off the root end, and the dark green leaves on top. Slice the leek in half lengthwise. Open up the layer of the half leek under running water to remove any sediment that may have been trapped inside. The chop or slice how you need them for your recipe.
Asha, Joe and the Crew at Wobbly Cart
Potato and Leek Soup: Melt in a soup pot over low heat: 3 Tbsp butter. Add and cook, stirring, until tender but not browned about 20 minutes 6 leeks, chopped. Stir in 1 ¼ lbs potatoes that have been peeled and thinly sliced and 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Makes about 8 cups. (From the Joy of Cooking).
Southern Style Greens: Combine in a large pot and bring to a boil: 10 cups water, 5 oz salt pork or bacon, or 1 lb ham hocks. Reduce heat and boil gently, partially covered for 1 hour. Wash well 3 lbs of any greens: Kale, Mustard, Radish greens, Collards, Beet Greens… De-rib any leaves if necessary, then tear or cut the leaves into small pieces. Add to the pot, along with if desired: 1 small dried chile pepper. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, just until the greens are tender, 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the type, stirring occasionally. Serve with vinegar and hot pepper sauce.
Beet Greens: Heat a large skillet over medium heat with 2 Tbsp butter or olive oil. Add and cook, stirring until the greens are wilted, about 5 minutes: 4 cups chopped beet greens including stems, 1 Tbsp freshly grated horseradish, 1 tsp grated onion, ½ Tbsp Dijon Mustard, and 1/8 tsp salt. Add ¼ cup water. Cover and simmer until the greens are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until all the liquid has evaporated. If desired, remove from heat and stir in ½ cup sour cream.
Roasted Garlic: Preheat the oven to 325. Cut the top 1/3 from 4 heads of garlic. Drizzle the cut portions of the garlic head with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Wrap each head tightly with aluminum foil, place in a baking dish, and bake until the garlic is soft and tender about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve hot or at room temperature. Makes a great spread for bread, or served with olives and goat cheese as an appetizer.
Roasted Whole Eggplant: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make several slits with a knife into 1 eggplant. Fill the cuts with garlic slivers. Set in a baking dish. Bake until the eggplant has collapsed, about 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on size. Remove to a colander so that any juices can drain off, then cut in half and scoop out the pulp. Leave it coarse or mash it into a puree. Use for eggplant dips, such as Baba Ganoush, or season to taste with any of the following: Extra- virgin olive oil, melted butter, toasted sesame oil, chopped fresh herbs, fresh lemon juice or any vinaigrette, plain yogurt, salt and black pepper.
Braised Leeks: Bring to a simmer in a large skillet: 3 cups chicken stock plus 1 tsp salt. Trim, halve lengthwise, and wash, 4 large or 6 medium leeks. Add the leeks to the simmering liquid, cover and simmer until tender when the cut sides are pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Turn the leeks several times as they cook so that they do not dry out. When done, carefully remove each leek, draining off the excess liquid, and place cut side up on a platter. Drizzle or sprinkle over the top Vinaigrette, butter, olive oil, chervil, chives, tarragon, or parsley, salt and black pepper to taste.
Stir-Fried Snow Peas: Remove the stems and strings from 1 lb snow peas. Heat a Wok or large skillet over high heat. Add and heat until almost smoking 1 Tbsp peanut oil and add: 1 Tbsp peeled minced fresh ginger. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the peas and stir –fry vigorously until all are shiny and coated with oil. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp chopped basil and ½ tsp salt. Stir-fry until the peas are hot about 1 more minute.
Roasted Carrots: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss together 1 ½ lbs carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks, olive oil to lightly coat, 1/8 tsp dried thyme or several sprigs fresh thyme, and salt and black pepper to taste. Spread the carrots in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until golden and tender, about 1 hour. (all the above recipes are from the Joy of Cooking).