Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 17
Large shares: Kabocha squash, carrots, yellow Finn potatoes, celeriac, red cipollini onions, chard, beets, mizuna, garlic, cilantro
Small shares: Kabocha squash, yellow Finn potatoes, celeriac, watermelon radishes, chard, cilantro, red cipollini onions
Greens share: green cabbage, escarole, yukina savoy
Roots share: parsnips, black radishes, turnips
Juicing share: Green cabbage, carrots, beets, cilantro, chard
Dear CSA members,
The last week has brought us freezing nights, even down into the high 20’s here. With today’s’ rain and wind I’m starting to feel like were getting deep into the fall season. I am truly amazed that my high tunnel tomatoes and peppers actually survived to see another week!
We are starting to harvest many of our fall root crops that are beautiful and at their best during the fall. Parsnips, many types of hardy radishes, parsley root, sun chokes and much more. Things get difficult to dig out in the field once the ground becomes saturated. The soil becomes mud and sticks to everything, not to mention difficulty moving around while carrying heavy crates, and eventually even the trucks get stuck in the deep mud. At that point we transition to using the 4×4 tractor and a trailer to haul stuff out of the field. Our crew gets even more props for working so hard out there as conditions become less pleasant!
We are at the beginning of another farm improvement project down at our big barn. Joseph and the crew are starting to build a new insulated room for us to store root crops and potatoes for the winter. It’s going to be great to have a place to stash them for when the weather gets really cold. If we ever get down into the teens for any amount of time our ground will freeze and we will lose those crops. This time of year and into the winter is really the only time that we can get any infrastructure improvements done! The summer is just too slammed with planting and harvest!
This really is a fitting box this week for the fall vibes that are going on, and there are quite a few new crops.
Celeriac: 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.
Kabocha Squash: A deep green skin, squat shaped squash with an intense yellow-orange color on the inside. The meat is sweeter than a butternut squash and fairly dry, good for making sauces and soups with. Before eating make sure the stem is very corky and dry which shows maturity. The squash itself will keep for many weeks if kept on the counter and dry. I think these are very beautiful and make a nice decoration in the kitchen.
Mizuna is a Japanese green that has a mild earthy, peppery taste. It is very tender and makes excellent salads and stir-fries. It will keep for 3 to 4 days loosely wrapped in plastic and stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
Yukina Savoy: An Asian green that looks a bit like spinach, but tastes like a mild mustard. It is pretty, and easy to grow, cold tolerant, nutritious, and great steamed or in stir-fries.
Black radish: This is the first year we have tried to grow black radishes. I think they are very cool looking with their textured black skin in contrast to the pretty white insides. Its flesh is crisp, white and slightly bitter and offers a hot radishy bite. The skin of the Black radish is particularly piquant, for a milder radish flavor peel Black radishes prior to serving. Black radishes can be enjoyed raw or cooked in a variety of different preparations. Sauté and braise to be served as a vegetable side dish. Cook like a turnip and smother in cream or butter. Dice and add to soups, stir-fries and stews to add a radishy bite. Grate or chop into matchstick size and add to mixed green salads. Their size makes them ideal as an hors d’oeuvre when sliced and served alongside an assortment of dips. Their flavor is enhanced by chervil, chives, sea salt and parsley. To tone down the heat of radishes slice, salt and rinse with water prior to using. To store, remove greens and wrap radishes in plastic. They will keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.
Turnips: Turnips are creamy-white with a lovely purple, red or greenish upper part where the taproot has been exposed to sunlight. Like swedes, turnips are a root vegetable and member of the cabbage family. They are a good source of vitamin C and, before the arrival of the potato, turnips were one of the main sources of sustenance for the English peasantry. These turnips are pretty mild, don’t necessarily need to be peeled and will keep for several weeks in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Great roasted in butter, boiled and mashed, braised or made into soups.
Now that we are at week 17, for those of you who haven’t signed up for the automatic payment plan now is a great time to check your balances and send in checks to take care of what remains. We have 5 weeks of CSA to go!
Have a great week, Asha
Roasted Kabocha squash with pancetta and sage: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve and seed 1 4 lb kabocha squash. Roast squash cut side down, in an oiled roasting pan in the middle of the oven until tender, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle scrape flesh from the skin. Heat 1-cup vegetable oil in a small deep saucepan until it registers 365 on a deep -fat thermometer. Fry 20 whole fresh sage leaves in 3 batches until crisp, 3 to 5 seconds. Transfer leaves with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Cool 1/4 lb sliced pancetta that has been coarsely chopped in a heavy 4-quart pot over moderate heat, stirring until browned. Transfer pancetta with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to pancetta fat remaining in pot, and then cook 1 large chopped onion, until softened. Stir in 2 minced cloves of garlic and 1 1/2 tbsp of chopped fresh sage and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add squash, 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 3 1/2 cups water and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors. Stir in 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with pancetta and fried sage leaves.
SWEET AND SPICY ROASTED KABOCHA SQUASH: 1/2 small to medium sized kabocha squash, 3 Tbs light brown, natural cane, plus a bit more for sprinkling, 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper or hot chili powder, more or less to taste, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 Tbs soy sauce Oil for drizzling – pumpkin seed oil is preferred, or use toasted sesame oil, argan oil, or walnut oil. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet or two with silicon baking liner or parchment paper. De-seed and cut the squash into slices about 1/2 cm or 1/4 inch thick. (Use a sturdy knife for cutting squash or pumpkin, on a stable surface, and be careful!) Combine all the dry ingredients. Toss the squash slices in this until coated thoroughly. Add the soy sauce and toss well again. Spread the slices in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle over them with the oil, and optionally sprinkle more sugar on them. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then turn over, drizzle with more oil and sprinkle more sugar, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Buttered Turnip Puree: peel and chop 3 large turnips. Combine with 1-quart milk, 3 fresh thyme sprigs, and 1 clove of smashed garlic in a saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the turnips are tender. 20 to 30 minutes. Drain, discarding the thyme but reserving the liquid. In a food processor, puree the turnips with 1 stick butter and 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.
Celeriac and Apple Slaw: Trim, peel, and cut into 1-inch matchsticks, 1 12oz Celery root. Cut 1 large Johnagold apple into matchsticks (2 cups). Combine together with 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp fresh cider, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, and 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving. 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.
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 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.
Mushroom, Chicory (Escarole), and Celery Root Salad: Preheat oven to 375. Wipe dirt from 1-½ lbs mixed wild and cultivated mushrooms such as Maitake, oyster, and chanterelles. Trim any tough ends, and cut mushrooms to make all pieces about the same size. Toss in a bowl with ¼ cup olive oil, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until browned, 30 t 45 minutes. Let cool. Make dressing: sprinkle a peeled garlic clove with ¼ tsp salt, mince and then flatten with the side of a chef’s knife into a paste. Scrape paste into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and add 2 tsp whole grain mustard, 1 tsp honey, ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves, ¼ cup Champagne vinegar and ¼ cup olive oil. Cap jar and shake until emulsified. Peel 1 8 oz celery root, then cut into matchsticks, dropping them into a bowl of water to prevent darkening. Pat dry, then put in a large salad bowl and add 12 cups loosely packed escarole, endive and radicchio, leaves torn into bite sized pieces. Add mushrooms. Toss gently with dressing. (Also from Nov 2011 issue of Sunset)
Honey Balsamic Beet Salad: place 2 lbs trimmed and scrubbed baby beets in a baking pan. Combine ½ cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp honey, and 1 tbsp olive oil; pour over the beets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until tender. On a platter combine ½ cups cooked quinoa, 2 cups watercress or arugula, and the beets and roasting juices. Top with chopped fresh tarragon. (From Better Homes and Gardens Magazine November 2012)
Potato-Swiss Chard Curry: Cut 3 medium, unpeeled purple potatoes, into 1-inch cubes, Put in a large pan, cover them with water and bring to the boil. Boil them for 4 to 6 minutes or until tender-crisp. Drain. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add 2 cloves chopped garlic and sauté for a minute. Add the cooked potatoes, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp cayenne pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes more. Stir in 3 cups chopped chard, and 1 lb diced tomatoes (canned is fine too). Reduce heat to med-low, cover and simmer for 4-6 minutes. Serve over rice.
Roasted Winter Squash and Beet salad: Preheat oven to 400. Tightly wrap 1 lb small beets in aluminum foil bundles. Place on middle shelf of oven. Roast 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender when tested with a sharp knife. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Peel beets and set aside. Place the slices of 1 ¼ lb of winter squash (delicata or kabocha) on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Place on middle shelf in oven; roast 15 minutes. Drizzle 1/3-cup maple syrup over the squash, and roast another 10 minutes, or until tender; cool. To make the dressing: in a small bowl whisk 1 tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, and ¼ cup maple syrup together. Add 1/3-cup olive oil and whisk until smooth. Season to taste. To assemble, place 3 cups mixed salad greens in the middle of a large plate. Arrange beets and squash on the greens. Pour half of dressing over salad. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds. Pass remaining dressing. Serves 6 to 8.
Yukina Savoy sauté: Heat 2 Tbsp sesame oil in a large skillet. Add 1 thinly sliced leek, white and light green part only, thoroughly washed, or 4 cloves chopped garlic, sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add in I bunch Yukina Savoy, de-stemmed and coarsely chopped. Sauté until just wilted. Remove from heat and add ½ Tbsp rice vinegar and 1 Tbsp Tamari. Season with black pepper and serve over rice.
Yukina Savoy with Sesame Ginger Dressing: Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add 2 heads of yukina savoy that have stems removed and leaves torn into pieces. Cook 1 minute. Remove immediately and plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Drain. Whisk together 4 tsp soy sauce 1 ½ tsp sesame oil, ¾ tsp minced fresh ginger, 1 Tbsp rice vinegar. Toss greens with the dressing and garnish with 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds. (Both recipes from http://www.twoonionfarm.com).
Swiss chard with lentils and feta cheese: heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add 2 cloves chopped garlic, and 2 red cipollini onions chopped. Sauté until tender. Add in 1-cup brown or green lentils and stir. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 min. meanwhile, wash 1 bunch of chard and trim off the stem ends. Chop the stems into ¼ inch pieces, and the leaves into bite-sized pieces. In another sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil, add the chard stems and salt and pepper to taste and sauté until tender, about 5 min. add the chard leaves and cook until wilted, about 2 min. stir in 4 tsp red wine vinegar and the reserved lentil mixture. Sprinkle with about ½ cup feta and more salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.