CSA Box # 17

In this week’s box: 

Fresh Sage     Red Onion   Fennel   Burdock Root   Red Swiss Chard   

Red Leaf Lettuce   Carrots    Austrian Cresent Fingerling Potatoes

Rutabaga   Green Cabbage   Radish   Garlic

Hello and welcome to week 17!

It is the next to last week of CSA for the summer season. Seems to me that it has just flown by. There is still an abundance of produce stored in the barns and cooler, growing in the fields and hoop-houses. You’ll get a nice selection of it this week and next. After that we hope to have you join us for the Fall CSA for four more weeks of great veggies. Just to give you an idea of what we will have available I would like to list a few: 5 varieties of winter squash, kale, potatoes, leeks, onions, garlic, beets, cabbage, lettuce, chard, mizuna, radish, watermelon radish, carrots, burdock, rutabaga, turnip, endive, herbs, peppers, parsnips, daikon radish, mustard greens, and dry beans. Sounds like the materials for some hearty winter meals to me! Most of these crops are long keeping and can be stored in your refrigerator or a root cellar like situation for some time. So you can extend your local eating as long as possible!

This week we have several new items to introduce. First off is burdock. Burdock is the root of a thistle family plant that is native to Asia and Europe. The root is popular in Japanese and Korean cuisine. In Japan it is known as Gobo. The root has a sweet, mild and pungent flavor. It can have a slightly bitter or harsh flavor to some that is easily removed by soaking the julienned root in water for 10 minutes, then draining before cooking. Burdock is both nutritious and medicinal, it is high in EFA’s, calcium, potassium, fiber, and amino acids and is excellent for liver cleansing and detoxifying, and as a diuretic. It might seem a bit unusual to you but try it! It’s delicious and good for you. See the recipe page for more ideas. I think it is best in stir-fries, salads, pickled and cooked into miso soup. You can also grate it and make a medicinal tea out of it.

Next on the new list is fresh Sage. This is a delicious culinary and medicinal herb, native to the Mediterranean region. It has many centuries of history in medicine and cooking throughout Europe. It is most commonly used as a seasoning for fatty meats, a stuffing ingredient in poultry or pork dishes, in sausages, and sauces. Medicinally, it has been found to be effective as an antibiotic, antifungal, anti-hypoglycemic, estrogenic, and in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease among other uses. You’ll find the flavor different than the dried stuff, and you’ll have to use about 1 Tbsp of fresh, for every tsp of dried called for in a recipe. Also, it will only keep a few days in your refrigerator so use it up soon!

Last but not least, the humble Rutabaga. Another vegetable of European origin, rutabaga is also known as Swedish turnip, Swede, or yellow Turnip in America. Rutabaga is a highly cold tolerant cross between a turnip and a cabbage and is a widely eaten root vegetable in both Europe and America. Interestingly, the Rutabaga was the original Jack-o-lantern in early Halloween celebrations in ancient Europe. They were carved out and used as lanterns with carved scary faces to ward off evil spirits at the beginning of the “dark season” of the year. Rutabaga can be used in almost any dish that calls for a root vegetable. They are great boiled and mashed, roasted, cooked into soups and julienned and added to salads. This will keep for a long time in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Enjoy and we hope to have you join us for the Fall Season!

Asha, Joe and the Crew at Wobbly Cart.

Recipes for Week 17:

Rutabaga and Carrot Soup

In a large saucepan, sauté 1 medium onion in 1 tbsp butter for 5 minutes. Add 3 small carrots and 1 small rutabaga peeled and chopped. Add ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp ground ginger, and ¼ tsp nutmeg. Saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock and cook covered, on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and tender. Puree the soup with 2 cups orange juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with unsweetened whipped cream and a dollop of cranberry sauce.

Spicy Burdock Root Saute (You can also use Rutabaga in this recipe)

Wash 3 medium burdock roots under running water and peel. Immerse the burdock root in water as soon as you peel it. Cut the root into 2 inch matchsticks and soak in cold water for 1 hour, changing the water every 20 minutes. This helps remove the bitterness from the burdock. In a little cup, stir together 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sake, and 1 ½ tsp honey. Heat 1 Tbsp dark sesame oil in a heavy skillet. Stir-fry the Burdock with ½ a julliened carrot for 2 to 3 minutes, until the burdock is no longer raw, but still crunchy. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp red pepper flakes and toss for 30 more seconds. Add the soy sauce mixture and stir-fry until the liquid is gone, about 1 minute. Serve hot or cold garnished with 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds.

Fall Potato Salad

Toss 2 lbs fingerling potatoes with salt and olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast in a 450 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Combine with various fall vegetables of your choice; onion, garlic, fennel, carrots, winter squash, rutabaga for example. Toss with fresh tomato wedges, basil, sage or other herbs of your choice. Dress with ¼ cup olive oil whipped with 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar.

Veggie Frittata

 Beat 8 eggs and ½ cup milk. Pour into an oiled oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Promptly add chopped chard, kale, thinly sliced potato, garlic or onion to taste. Stir to evenly combine veggies and eggs. At this point you can add feta or other cheese if desired. Cook on low without stirring until the eggs are mostly set, then transfer to an oven and broil for 2 to 4 minutes, until lightly golden on top. Cool to set before serving.

Onion and Sage Dressing

Melt in a large skillet over medium heat: 2 Tbsp butter or olive oil. Add, Stirring: 2 cups chopped onions. Transfer to a bowl and add: 3 cups dry bread crumbs, ¼ cup cooked pork sausage, 2 tsp chopped fresh sage, 1 large egg well beaten, ½ cup melted butter, ¾ tsp salt, 1/8 tsp paprika, ½ tsp poultry seasoning and 1 cup chopped tart apple or ½ cup sliced olives if desired. Moisten slightly with stock or broth. Spoon stuffing into a whole chicken or turkey, or moisten with additional stock and bake separately. Stuffing is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165.

Sauteed Cabbage

Preheat oven to 375. Shred one 2lb cabbage, outer leaves and core removed. Cook in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp: 4 slices bacon. Remove the bacon to paper towels to drain. Add the cabbage to the fat remaining in the pan, along with: ¾ cup chopped onion, 1 tsp salt, ¼ tsp paprika. Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring, until the cabbage is crisp tender. Transfer to a greased 8 by 8 by 2- inch baking dish. Spread over the top: 1 cup sour cream and bake until the sour cream is set, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with: ½ tsp caraway seeds, toasted and the crumbled bacon.

Roasted fennel

Preheat the oven to 375. Trim the stalks from and slice 2 medium fennel bulbs. Brush a baking pan with 1 Tbsp olive oil and arrange the fennel slices in a single layer in the pan. Brush the tops with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Roast for about 15 minutes, then turn and roast until the slices can be pierced with a knife and are lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature, sprinkled with: fresh lemon juice or finely shredded Parmesan.

African Groundnut Stew

Saute 2 cups chopped onion in 2 Tbsp peanut oil for about 10 minutes. Stir in ½ tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp pressed garlic cloves and sauté for a few more minutes. Add 2 cup chopped cabbage and 3 cups cubed sweet potato and sauté covered for a few more minutes. Mix in 3 cup tomato juice, 1 cup apple juice, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp freshly grated ginger, 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, and 2 chopped tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender. Add 1 ½ cups chopped okra and simmer for 5 minutes more. Stir in ½ cup peanut butter, place the pan on a heat diffuser, and simmer gently until ready to serve. Add more juice or water if the stew is too thick.

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