Large Shares: Spinach, Delicata Squash, Leeks, Potatoes, Red Onions, Butterhead Lettuce, Carrots, Sweet Peppers, Celariac, Parsnips, Fresh Thyme, Garlic
Small Shares: Eggplant, Delicata Squash, Leeks, Red Onion, Lettuce, Carrots, Cabbage, Fresh Thyme, Garlic
Dear CSA members,
Seems like almost overnight the leaves have turned color and are blowing down in the fall wind. What happened to summer? The week’s have flown by and now we are reaching the end of our season. It has been an amazing journey and such a pleasure growing and packing these vegetables for you. Hope you have enjoyed the journey as well! We still have tons of produce in the fields and barns to carry us through the next several months, as this week’s box will reflect. We have many of our best fall staples this week. A fresh bunch of spinach for the large shares, as well as, our first taste of leeks, Delicata squash, thyme, celariac and parsnips. Delicata squash is a delicious winter squash variety. This long yellow and green striped squash will keep for several weeks on your counter top or in the pantry, and in fact will develop more flavor in time. To eat cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and bake face down in a buttered glass baking pan at 350 degrees until tender. Scoop out the sweet and tender flesh and enjoy. There are many ways to use winter squash including baking them into pies. If you don’t want to eat it now, it will keep for several weeks, so no hurry. The large and unusual knobby root with celery-like tops is celeriac. When the root is scrubbed and peeled, inside is a firm ivory flesh. The celeriac roots is very low in starch and is a nice alternative to potatoes and other starchier root vegetables. It tastes like a subtle blend of celery and parsley. You can use it in soups, grated into salads, roasted in a pan of other root vegetables, or even French fried instead of potatoes. Large shares will also get 1 lb of parsnips. These are the gorgeous white carrot-like roots. Indeed, they are related to the carrot and have been eaten as a vegetable since antiquity. The parsnip develops an incredibly sweet and rich flavor once we have had several weeks of cold weather, a phenomenon that has occurred early this year! You can enjoy parsnips peeled, then roasted, fried, boiled and mashed and even raw. Both parsnips and celeriac will keep a very long time if wrapped and refrigerated. Thyme is an herb from a low growing woody perennial plant. This aromatic herb can be used for cooking, medicine, and aromatic purposes and stands up very well to our robust fall and winter vegetables. The leaves are excellent fresh added to your dishes near the end of cooking to preserve the delicate flavor. Also, you could easily dry your thyme for later use by spreading the sprigs out in a warm dry location for a few days, then stipping the dry leaves off into a storage container. And last but not least, another star of the fall and winter: leeks! These tall alliums look like giant scallions and are and excellent addition to your fall and winter menu. Slice the leek lengthwise and rinse out any sediment before chopping. The white part is the most desirable and adds a sweet subtle onion flavor to your dishes. Leeks are superb in soups, braised, or sliced very thin and crisp-fried and a garnish. Hope you enjoy! And please remember to return your CSA boxes to the drop site and well as clear up any remaining balance on your account before the season is over. Thank you! Asha, Joe and the Crew at Wobbly Cart
Fall Potato Salad: Toss 2 lbs cubed 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, carrots, roasted winter squash,celariac or parsnips for example. Toss with fresh tomato wedges, basil, thyme or other herbs of your choice. Dress with ¼ cup olive oil whipped with 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar.
Roasted Carrots with Parsnips and Thyme: Preheat oven to 350. Peel and trim 1 lb each of carrots and parsnips and cut them inhalf lengthwise. Large ones can be quartered. Place them on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the carrots and parsnips with 3 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp honey. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Scatter 6 sprigs of fresh thyme on top. After 10 minutes, give the veggies a toss and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes until soft and slightly caramelized. Serve warm.
Celeriac Mash: Peel and dice 3 ½ cups of celeriac. Cook celeriac in a large saucepan of boiling slated water for 15 minutes. Add 1 12 oz potato that has been peeled, and cut into 1 ½ inch chunks, and boil until celeriac and potato are very tender, about 15 minutes longer. Drain. Return to same saucepan; stir over medium-high heat until any excess liquid in pan evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup heavy cream and 2 Tbsp butter; mash until mixture is almost smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Leek and Potato Gratin: Preheat oven to 375. In a large pot of salted boiling water, parboil 3 lbs potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick, for 5 minutes. Drain potatoes well and set aside. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp unsalted butter over medium heat. Saute 10 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1 inch pieces (washed thoroughly), and 4 chopped garlic cloves until leeks are tender about 7 minutes. Set aside. In a buttered 9 x 13 inch baking dish, arrange half of reserved potatoes in an overlapping pattern. Pour 1 cup cream and ½ cup milk over the top and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Top with reserved leeks and arrange remaining potatoes. Pour another cup of heavy cream and ½ cup milk and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt. Bake until potatoes are tender, top of gratin is golden brown, and most of the cream and milk have been absorbed, about 45 minutes. Garnish with parsely. Serves 12. From November 2011 issue of Country Living magazine).
Delicata Squash with Thyme and Cider Glaze: Peel 2 medium Delicata squash with a vegetable peeler, cut it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each piece in half lengthwise again, then crosswise into ½ inch thick slices. Melt 3 Tbsp unsalted butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add and 1 Tbsp coarsely chopped thyme and cook, stirring, until the butter just begins to turn golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not brown the herbs. Cooking the herbs in butter mellows their flavor and improves their texture. Add the squash to the skillet, then 1 ½ cups unfiltered apple cider or juice, 1 cup water, 2 tsp sherry vinegar, 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat at an even boil until the cider has boiled down to a glaze and the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and season with pepper and additional salt if needed. ( from The Herbfarm Cookbook by Jerry Traunfeld).
Delicata Squash Rings: Preheat oven to 375. Take a whole delicata squash and slice it across sideways. This will make ring shapes out of it. Scoop the seeds out of the middles of your squash rings. Lightly oil a large cast iron skillet with olive oil. Lay the rings out in a single layer across the skillet. Place in the hot oven. Bake for about 10 minutes. Then flip the rings with a spatula. Bake the other side until both sides are lightly browned and the squash is tender. Remove from oven and serve.
Frizzled Leeks: Cut 2 leeks (white and very light green parts only) into 2 inch lengths and then cut lengthwise into very fine shreds. Rinse the shreds thoroughly, using your fingers to separate the pieces and remove any grit hiding there. Drain thoroughly and blot dry with a clean towel. While the leeks dry, heat 2 to 4 cups canola oil in a deep pan. The pan should hold about 1 ½ inches deep of the oil. When the oil surface is shivering, add a few leek shreds and fry for 10 to 15 seconds. Remove the leeks to a paper towel lined platter to drain and cool. The oil should be hot enough to crisp the leeks golden brown in about 10 to 15 seconds, adjust temperature as needed. Fry the leeks in small batches until all are golden and crisp. Lightly season them with salt and use for snacking or to top salads and creamy soups. They will keep in an airtight container for 3 days at room temp.