Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 20
Large share: Black Futsu winter squash, January King cabbage, arugula, Italian parsley or cilantro, red cipollini onions, red carrots, purple potatoes, turnips
Small share: Black Futsu winter squash, January King cabbage, arugula, Italian parsley, red carrots, purple potatoes, turnips
Greens share: red Russian kale, rapini, chard
Roots share: beets, purple daikon, red cipollini onion
Jucing share: Beet seconds, red carrot seconds, red Russian kale, Italian parsley, cilantro, celariac
Dear CSA members,
I’m finding it hard to believe that we are already in November! Where exactly did the last couple of months go? The rhythm of our farming year propels us rapidly into the winter season and the last couple of boxes of the CSA. We are going extra late this year with the late start to the season this spring. But, before we know it it will be holiday time and we the farmers will get a bit of a much needed break!
Last week we saw some pretty chilly temperatures and even a bit of snow! Those of us that remain on the crew at this point in the year have had to work extra hard to get everything done this week and deserve extra props for doing it during a very cold and wet week. The days are pretty short now and we have to start later and work fast to get our days work done before we lose the light. Challenging to say the least.
As I have mentioned before most of what we do during the later part of the season is harvest and wash enormous amounts of root vegetables. We dig, grade and sort thousands of pounds each week. I really enjoy taking crates of mud-covered roots and running them through our root washing machine and seeing how beautiful they come out on the other side. It is quite a transformation.
I also love how hearty all the winter crops, even the cabbages, herbs and greens are to withstand freezing temperatures, driving rain and wind and come out looking so beautiful by the time they make it to the pack shed and into your CSA shares. All tese crops ( aside from arugula which is quite delicate and tender) will keep exceptionally well for you either in the pantry (squashes and onions) or in the crisper drawer (everything else) should you need to delay eating any of them.
I think it is extra important to eat local nutrient dense foods and lots of greens to stay healthy during the winter months. Not only are they extremely rich in nutrients and antioxidants its almost as if they impart some of their inherent hardiness to us.
Storage of hearty crops reminds me that next week we will be delivering the storage shares to those that have ordered them. Look for two waxed cardboard boxes each storage share labeled with your name at your drop sites next week. Each storage share will be about 50lbs worth of crops divided into 2 25lb boxes so be ready for that!
New crops this week,
Black Futsu winter squash: This amazing squash, also known as Japanese black pumpkin, is a rare Japanese heirloom variety. Unusual deeply ribbed and warty surface with a powdery blue/orange rind color. This squash starts out a deep green almost black color and then gradually matures to the powdery blue/orange color. Flavor has compared to chestnuts or hazelnuts. Stores well, edible & highly ornamental. These squash are amazing keepers and will keep up to 8 months. The flavor will continue to improve over the next several weeks.
January King cabbage: This variety, developed in northern Europe, is one of the most winter hardy of all cabbages. It is a semi-savoy type with a slightly flattened head that is blushed with purple. January King cabbages are known for their excellent flavor and crisp texture.
Have a great week,
Spicy Cabbage Slaw: combine the zest and juice of one lime, 1 tsp cider vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, ½ tsp salt, 1/3 cup canola oil, 2 hot chilies (stemmed and seeded), 1 plump garlic clove, chopped, ½ cup packed cilantro leaves in a food processor and process until well combined. Mix 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage, 1 cup shredded carrots, ½ cup thinly sliced red onion, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight before serving.
Quick Sauerkraut: Thinly slice 1 head of cabbage and place in a large microwave safe bowl with 1 ¼ cups apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup apple cider, 1 tbsp crushed toasted caraway seeds, and 2 tbsp kosher salt. Cover with a large piece of plastic wrap and seal edges. Microwave on high, 4 to 5 minutes. Let sit, still covered, until cabbage has absorbed its brine and bowl is cool to the touch, about 15 minutes. (from Sunset magazine May 2012)
Braised Turnips: Cook in boiling water, uncovered, over high heat for about 6 minutes: 1 ½ lbs turnips. Peeled, left whole if small, quartered if large. Drain. Melt in a large, heavy skillet over high heat 3 tbsp butter. Add the turnips and cook, stirring, until coated with butter, about 5 minutes. Add 1-cup chicken stock, ½ tsp salt, and black pepper to taste. The stock should come to bout ¾ inch up the side of the turnips; add more stock or water if needed. Reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and simmer until the turnips are tender but still slightly resistant to the tip of a sharp knife, 10 to 20 minutes. Remove the turnips to a serving dish. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until reduced to a thin, syrupy glaze. Pour it over the turnips and serve immediately.
Caramelized Onions: Heat 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil over med-high heat until the butter is melted. Add 3 lbs yellow onions, thinly sliced. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Cook stirring constantly, 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and brown, about 40 minutes. Add ½ cup dry white wine or water. Stir and scrape the pan to dissolve the browned bits. Remove from heat and season well with salt, black pepper and grated Parmesan cheese.
Mashed Potatoes with Cabbage and Scallions (Colcannon):
Place in a large saucepan or Dutch oven: 2 lbs fingerling potatoes peeled and cut into 1 ½ inch chunks. Add cold water just to cover, pile on top of the potatoes: 2 bunches scallions, white part only, sliced and 1 small green cabbage ( about 1 lb) cored and chopped into 1 inch pieces. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle boil, and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes, cabbage and scallions to the pot. Mash the mixture over low heat adding: ½ cup milk or half and half, warmed. ¼ cup butter, softened, ¾ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper. When the mixture is coarsely mashed, taste and adjust the seasonings.
Black Futsu squash with Jasmine-Kale Rice: Preheat oven to 400 degrees and quarter and clean seeds (reserve the seeds) from a Black Futsu squash, then slice into thin slices. Arrange the squash pieces (skin on) in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper, ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp cinnamon, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Transfer to the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the squash has softened and easily peels away from the skin, rotating halfway through. Meanwhile cook 1 cup brown Jasmine rice or other fragrant variety according to package directions, but add in 2 to 3 whole cloves, 2 tbsp fennel seeds, salt and pepper to taste and a touch of olive oil. In a small skillet over low heat, add your rinsed and dried pumpkin seeds. These will toast up quickly and can burn if you don’t watch them closely. Stir them often until just barely browned, then remove from pan and set aside. When rice is just about done, stir in 1 ½ cups finely chopped kale. You just want to wilt it down, not cook it, so wait until you’re just about ready to serve. Toss is ¼ cup golden raisins. Serve along side the slices of black futsu and top with the toasted pumpkin seeds.
Italian Parsley Pesto: In a food processor place 2 cloves peeled garlic, 2 cups packed, stemmed Italian parsley, a pinch of sea salt, ¼ cup walnuts, ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese. Process until they form a paste. Gradually drizzle in 2/3 cup olive oil while blending. Adjust seasoning as necessary. Great with pasta, poultry, vegetables and rice.