Fall CSA: Week 2 – OCt 8

IMG_0606In this share:

Jerusalem Artichokes, Golden Beets, Buttercup Squash, Lettuce, Parsnips, Broccoli, Collards, Sweet Onion

Winter Squash

Our initial relationship with winter squash was one of hesitation and fear. How do we even get inside one of these bohemoths, let alone transform it into something remotely edible? Admittedly, the winter squash lives on the stranger side of the food world, often looking more like a holiday decoration, or some weird celestial rock, than something you’d want to stick in the oven. But it is our great hope that you all will eventually come to love these strange fruits as much as we do, as they are one of the most important players in bridging the fresh food gap during the cold Pacific Northwest winters. Their thick skin, study frames and dense flesh allow for storage up to several months with very little reduction in quality – indeed some even improve with age! In addition, they’re one of the most nutrient rich food stuffs on your winter plate, ranking super high in fiber, potassium, iron, niacin and, especially in the orange-fleshed varieties, beta carotene. And undoubtedly, once you get to know how to cook a few varieties, you will find their flavors to be invaluable in your winter eating experience. Nutty, savory, sweet and adaptable to oh so many situations!

“But what do with them!,” you ask.  We’ll you can find endless recipes online, on our website, or in most cookbooks (our favorite book for squash and other winter staples is “Recipes from the Root Cellar,” which you can buy at Linds in Freeland). But more simply, you can always get away with just shoving the whole thing in the oven at 400 degrees.  Let it bake 20-50 minutes, depending on the size of the squash, until it’s easy to penetrate the skin and flesh with a knife.  Then bring it out, cut it open, scoop out the inner seeds and pulp and serve it up with a little butter and seasoning.

Most winter squash with long-term storage ability, such as the Buttercup Squash in your share, benefit from a “curing” process, or a 10-14 day period under 80-85 degree temperature and high humidity, in order to help them finish ripening and heal any wound they might have incurred. Often this can be done in the field, if temperatures remain high during harvest time. This year we cured them in our greenhouse. Acorn squash are the one type of squash we grow that do not benefit, but in fact quickly deteriorate, when cured. Their relatively thin-skinned fruits are not built for long-term storage and are most tasty when eaten soon after harvest. Delicata is another type that can be eaten directly after harvest.

 

Radicchio Seared in the Skillet with Mozzarella

Nathaniel and I enjoy this Deborah Madison (my vegetarian cooking hero!) recipe for it’s wonderful simplicity. We do as she suggests and make it in a cast iron skillet that provides just enough heat to really sear the radicchio. She also recommends serving it on a mound of soft polenta or grits as the nutty flavors of the radicchio are a great match with corn.

1 large head radicchio -
3T olive oil -
1 garlic clove, minced -
2T balsamic vinegar -
1 (4oz) ball of fresh mozzarella, cut into rounds

Rinse the radicchio, cut it into wedges but make sure to leave the root end intact. 
Brush with olive oil, season with sea salt and fresh black pepper. 
Heat cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When hot add radicchio and press down wedges to ensure contact. 
Reduce heat and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. 
Turn and cook on other side. The leaves should get crisp in places. 
Scatter garlic over radicchio, add vinegar and cover with cheese. Cover pan and cook until cheese is melted, 3 minutes. Season with pepper and serve.

Wilted Spinach Salad with Fennel

When the cool weather comes, I’m rarely in the mood for a raw, cold salad. But a warm, wilted spinach salad… YES PLEEEEASE! You can top this with your carrots, peppers, or anything else you can conceive of. Here’s the basic idea (taken from recipephile.org). Lots of folks online say they enjoy this with herbed shrimp or chicken. We just like it solo.

1 fennel bulbs (chopped fine)
- 1/3lb spinach
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1 red onion or shallot (finely chopped)
- 1 1/2 lemons (juiced)
- Crumbled Gorgonzola or Blue cheese (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the oil into a saucepan and turn heat to medium.  Add the garlic and shallots or onions and sauté until translucent (about 2-3 minutes).  Add the fennel and continue to sauté until it is translucent.  Add the lemon juice and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat then toss with the spinach.  Add salt and pepper to taste, top with cheese and serve. Everyone will love you for it!

Summer is Over…what happened!?

Hey All, Sorry for the several-week lapse in blog updates. August and September came and went before you could say “celeriac, ” and now the fall CSA is briskly underway. Whoa there. Anyhow, here are some photos of the final 5 summer CSA shares. We’ll slowly be populating our recipe list with new entries, so keep coming back to our site to renew your culinary inspirations! IMG_0454 IMG_0501 IMG_0523 IMG_0565 IMG_0591

White Bean and Sausage Ragout with Zucchini, Kale, and Tomatoes

I just saw this recipe on the cooking light website and want to try it tonight! You can use three of your veggies in it! Skip the sausage if you’re vegetarian– I’m sure it’d still be fantastic!

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 links sausage, cut into 1/2inch slices

1 zucchini chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced                      

6 cups chopped kale (

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and sausage until sausage is browned. Add zucchini and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add kale and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve immediately.

Awesome Asian-style Beans with Basil

Awesome Asian-style Beans with Basil

1 lb. fresh beans

1 1/2 tbsp. chopped garlic

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 tbsp. sesame oil

3 tbsp. soy sauce

 

Heat sesame oil in pan, saute beans for about 3 minutes, add garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir-fry for about 2 min. Add soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pepper until sauce coats the beans. If you want it thicker of a sauce, you can add a bit of cornstarch and water mix to it. Garnish with sesame seeds and basil and enjoy!