Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 19
Large shares: Butternut squash, yellow finn potatoes, leeks, carrots, rutabaga, vitamin green, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers
Small shares: Butternut squash, yellow finn potatoes, leeks, carrots, rutabaga, vitamin green, sweet peppers
Greens share: January King cabbage, arugula
Roots share: red carrots, sunchokes, fingerling potatoes
Juicing share: carrot seconds, beet seconds, apples, January King cabbage, chard
Dear CSA members,
Happy Halloween! 6 am sure seems like an early start on October 31st! When we convened at the old barn it was a cool and frosty 28 degrees this morning. Amazingly, for as late in the season as it is, the cooler was mostly packed to the ceiling when we started and virtually empty by the time the delivery trucks left the barn. We move and distribute many hundreds of pounds of produce each Tuesday morning.
We did have a great morning packing shares though, with everyone solidly into their routines and certainly knowing the drill on this 19th week of CSA deliveries. Hard to believe there are just 3 weeks to go!
Whatever your reasons for joining a CSA; supporting local agriculture, doing something better for the environment, or seeking to eat better and improve your health we hope you have found some of them fulfilled by this point in your journey with us.
Perhaps you are cooking more meals at home and from scratch, eating more vegetables, and changing your relationship with food, as well was what is available to us locally. I love that we have a relationship with our land and we eat what is in season and available from our land for the better part of the year. It may mean learning about new vegetables and trying things you have never had before, but I also appreciate this authentic sense of place that only having a relationship with a farm or a piece of land can provide.
The fall vegetables we have now are becoming sweeter and more delicious as the temperatures drop and there is more abundant rainfall. There are also generally less insect pests around the colder it gets, which usually makes the greens look extra beautiful. This will be a great week to make some warming soups and stews, such as potato leek or carrot rutabaga to help offset the chilly weather. I was pleasantly surprised to find another picking of cherry tomatoes for the large share in the high tunnel as well as so many sweet peppers. I may have lost them last night, but I haven’t had time to run up and check yet!
New this week:
Butternut squash: this yellow bell shaped squash has a sweet and slightly nutty flavor. When ripe the flesh is deep orange in color. Butternut squash is best eaten roasted, grilled, or mashed to make soups, or desserts like pies and muffins. To roast: cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds (reserve them to roast in the oven with salt or soy sauce if desired) place cut side down on a oiled baking sheet, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until softened. Once cooked the flesh can be used in a variety of ways or just eaten as is with butter and brown sugar! Will keep for many weeks if kept cool and dry.
Rutabaga: this cross between a cabbage and turnip is one of the many edible manifestations of the brassica family. Rutabagas have been eaten for centuries by humans and are excellent roasted and mashed. They are very high in nutrients and fiber and low in calories. Will keep for many weeks in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
Vitamin Green: White stalks and very glossy green leaves. Mild-flavored for salad, steamed, or stir-fry. Easy to grow, unfazed by heat, very cold-hardy. Good choice for winter and early spring salads. Eat stalks, leaves, and flowers! Very tender, use up a.s.a.p.
Leeks: Leeks are a member of the allium family of onions, garlic, scallions etc. They are milder, sweeter, and more delicate in flavor than onions are are often used in soups and broths. To clean, cut the leek in half vertically, and fan out the sheaves under running water to get out any dirt that may be hiding there. The white part is the desirable portion, as the green leaves tend to be tougher and stronger flavored. You can store leeks in the crisper of the refrigerator for several weeks if they are left untrimmed.
Sunchokes aka. Jerusalem Artichokes: Sunchokes look like small, knobbly potatoes but crunchier, sweeter and do have a slight taste of artichoke. They practically contain no starch, but plenty of inulin (not insulin), which becomes fructose when spuds are stored in the ground or refrigerated. The humble sunchoke is considered gourmet fare by many. Raw, it’s an excellent substitute for water chestnuts in hot and spicy stir fries, or cooked in cream soups, broiled with sweet potatoes, or simply scrubbed and baked. Store them in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper.
Have a great week,
Maple-Braised Butternut Squash with Fresh Thyme: Melt 6 tbsp butter in a heavy large deep skillet over high heat. Add 1 3 to 3 1/2 lb butternut squash, halved lengthwise, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes, sauté 1 minute. Add 1 ¼ cups low-salt chicken broth, 1/3 cup pure maple syrup. 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme, 1 tsp coarse sea salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer, to cook squash until almost tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer squash to a large bowl. Boil liquid in skillet until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Return squash to skillet. Cook until tender, turning occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with more pepper, if desired. (From Bon appétit.)
Butternut Squash Cheesecake with Chocolate crust and Salted Caramel: Make crust: Preheat oven to 350. Whirl 9oz of chocolate wafer cookies in a food processor until finely ground. Whirl in ½ cup melted unsalted butter just until incorporated. Pour crumbs intp a 9-inch springform pan and press over bottom and about 1inch up the sides of the pan. Bake 7 min, then let cool on a rack. Reduce heat to 300. Make filling: In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 3 8oz pkg cream cheese, at room temp, ¾ cup sugar, and ½ cup light brown sugar, and 1 tbsp flour until smooth. Beat in 4 large eggs, one at a time. Add in 1 cup of cooked, pureed, butternut squash, ¼ cup each heavy cream, sour cream, and maple syrup, the zest of 2 medium oranges, 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice. Beat until just blended. Wrap the bottom of your pan with foil, pressing it up the outside. Set the springform pan in a roasting pan and pour filling into the crust. Pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come about halfway up the side of the spring form pan. Bake until the cheesecake barely jiggles in the center when gently shaken, about 1 ¼ hours. Let cheesecake cool on a rack 1 hour, then chill until cold, at least 5 hours. Whisk 6 tbsp store-bought caramel topping with 1/8 tsp table salt in a bowl and spoon over the cheesecake. Arrange ½ cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans around the rim and sprinkle flaked sea salt over pecans for garnish. (adapted from a recipe in the November 2011 issue of Sunset Magazine.)
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.
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.
Potato Leek Soup: Melt 3 tbsp butter in a soup pot over low heat. Add and cook, stirring, until tender but not browned about 20 minutes 2 large leeks, chopped. Stir in 1 1/4 lbs peeled and thinnly sliced yellow finn potatoes. Add 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer until the potatoes are soft about 30 minutes. Puree until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme to taste.
Fried sunchoke chips with rosemary salt: fill a large bowl with cold water. Slice 2 lb of scrubbed sunchokes into thin rounds about 1/16th inch thick, immediately dropping them into the cold water to prevent browning. Rinse and drain 3 times, pat very dry with paper towels. In a large heavy skillet heat 1 inch of cooking oil to 375 degrees, and monitor with a thermometer. Mix 1 tbsp salt with 1 ½ tsp fresh rubbed rosemary leaves and set aside. Fry the sunchoke slices in small batches until golden brown and crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Using a skimmer remove the finished chips to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle chips with the rosemary salt and serve.
Sunchoke and Sausage Soup: Dice 4 slices turkey bacon. Place the turkey bacon, 16 oz sausage, 1 lb sunchokes, washed, peeled, halved and cut into ½ inch slices, 6 yellow finn potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks, 3 stalks celery, diced, ½ large onion, diced, 1 leek white and light green parts only, chopped, 3 cups chopped fresh greens (vitamin green!) or spinach, and 2 cloves minced garlic into a large saucepan. Pour in 1 quart chicken stock and season with ½ cup chopped fresh parsely, 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, 1 pinch cayenne pepper, 1 pinch ground paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir ¼ cup flour into 1 cup water until no lumps remain. Stir into the simmering soup, and continue simmering, covered, 30 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. (adapted from a recipe found on allrecipes.com)
Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Put 2 lbs of unpeeled diced potatoes and 6 cloves of garlic in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water and add 1 tsp salt. Boil until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and then mash with a potato masher. Add a splash of cream, and a few tbsp of butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.