Large shares: spaghetti squash, cauliflower, Cipollini onions, carrots, daikon radish, Austrian Crescent fingerling potatoes, Jonagold or Akane apples, rapini, Czech Black peppers
Small share: spaghetti squash, cauliflower, celariac, Cipollini onions, carrots, Austrian Crescent fingerling potatoes, rapini, Czech Black peppers
The Man Born to Farming
The grower of trees, the gardener, the man born to farming,
whose hands reach into the ground and sprout,
to him the soil is a divine drug. He enters into death
yearly, and comes back rejoicing. He has seen the light lie down
in the dung heap, and rise again in the corn.
His thought passes along the row ends like a mole.
What miraculous seed has he swallowed
that the unending sentence of his live flows out of his mouth
like a vine clinging in the sunlight, and like water
descending in the dark?
Dear CSA members,
Hello and welcome to week one of the fall csa! The four week fall csa share is one of my favorite times in our farming year. Not only are the fall and winter crops amazing and delicious but our work days become shorter by necessity and our work load tends to slow slightly. Its a welcome relief to us after the hustle and bustle of the summer months.
That being said, the fall can also bring stormy weather, heavy rains, and a lot of muddy conditions. Our recent storm, the aftermath of typhoon Songda, brought us around 6 inches of rain and quite a bit of wind, but thankfully was nothing like the original predictions. Our Chehalis River has risen in an amazing fashion since the storm and I’m sure the salmon are loving the influx of fresh oxygenated water as they begin their fall spawning runs.
We have very nice box this week. These crops are a great representation of some of the hearty fall crops that we are so lucky to be able to grow in our mild climate. The cauliflower has been very abundant for us this year and it is so beautiful. Also, the carrots are extra sweet and crunchy this time of year with cool temperatures and abundant rain water. We still have some lovely apples from the orchard despite the windy conditions this weekend. As a whole, I feel like most of our root crops, brassicas and greens are at their best during the fall CSA share!
Most of these crops, aside from the rapini and apples will keep for some time, so you needn’t feel in an extreme hurry to get through them. Here’s a rundown on some of the less familiar items.
Daikon Radish: This large white carrot shaped radish is also a favorite in Japanese cuisine, though it is believed to have originated in continental Asia. It is used throughout China and India as well. The flavor is milder than many radishes, and makes an excellent quick pickle to garnish other dishes. It can also be cooked in stir fries and soups, grilled, or cut up as a vehicle for dip. Daikon is low in calories but high in fiber and vitamin C. Stores well in the crisper drawer for a week or more.
Spaghetti Squash: this large yellow football shaped squash is an excellent grain free substitute for pasta. It is very low in calories and high in fiber and nutrients. Halve it and bake or steam it until tender. Then use a fork to tease out the long strands of flesh that can be used just like pasta. The squash itself will keep for many weeks if kept cool and dry.
Rapini is essentially the Italian equivalent to turnip greens. Used extensively in Italian and Chinese cooking, it is not as popular in the United States but is gaining popularity. The stems are generally uniform in size (hence cook evenly) and need not be peeled. Clean it as you would other greens, removing the bottom portion of the stems which appear tough (sometimes the stems are tougher than other times depending on the age of the rapini). They stems can be removed up to where the leaves begin, and sautéed before adding the leaves to the pan. This vegetable is a source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium. To maintain crispness, refrigerate, unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag or wrap for up to 3 days.
Cipollini onions: Pronounced chip-oh-LEE-nee, this is a smaller, flat, pale onion. The flesh is a slight yellowish color and the skins are thin and papery. The color of the skin ranges from pale yellow to the light brown color of Spanish onions. These are sweeter onions, having more residual sugar than garden-variety white or yellow onions, but not as much as shallots.
The advantage to cipollinis is that they are small and flat and the shape lends them well to roasting. This combined with their sweetness makes for a lovely addition to recipes where you might want to use whole caramelized onions.
Celariac: 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. Stores well in the crisper drawer for several weeks with the tops removed.
Czech black pepper This heirloom hot pepper starts out black and then ripens to the gorgeous dark red color. They are similar in heat to the Jalapeno, but have a sweeter more complex flavor.
Enjoy and have a great week,
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Shallots, Parmesan and Herbs: halve a med/large spaghetti squash and scoop out the seeds. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place squash halves face down on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until the squash flesh is tender. In a large sauce pan melt 1 ½ tbsp butter over medium heat. Add 2 diced shallots and 2 diced garlic cloves. Cook until softened. Stir in 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, and ¾ tsp chopped fresh rosemary and cook until fragrant about 1 minute. Add in 6 cups spaghetti squash that has been scooped from the rind and toss to combine. Cook until warmed through. Stir in ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian Parsley and 2 tbsp grated parmesan and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 6.
Spaghetti Squash with Feta and Sautéed Vegetables: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Place a spaghetti squash cut side down on the baking pan. Bake for 30 min or until the squash is tender when pierced by a knife. Set aside to cool until it can be handled. Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp oil, add 1 chopped onion and sauté until tender. Add 1 minced clove of garlic and sauté for 2 min more. Add 1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes, and cook only until the tomatoes are warm. Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the spaghetti squash and place it in a large bowl. Toss with the sautéed vegetables, ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese, ½ cup sliced black or kalamata olives, and 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil. Serve warm.
Roasted Cauliflower: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Break 1 2 lb head of cauliflower into bite sized peices. Toss the cauliflower with 1/4 cup olive oil, 5 chopped cloves of garlic, and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 2 tsp kosher salt and 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves and toss again. Roast until golden and tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.