Ginger-roasted pears and rutabaga

If you’ve never had rutabagas, here’s a great way to try them. Ginger-roasted pears add sweetness and a touch of spice—the perfect balance for this earthy root vegetable. Slice one extra pear and roast it (with the cubes) to use as garnish. 

  • 1 pounds rutabagas, peeled, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 firm pear peeled, cored, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/6 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Coarse kosher salt

Cook rutabagas in pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Combine oil, lemon juice, ginger, and sugar in large bowl. Add pears; toss to coat. Spread on prepared sheet. Roast until tender, turning pears every 10 minutes, about 35 minutes total.

Drain rutabagas; return to same pot. Mash to coarse puree. Stir over medium heat until excess moisture evaporates, 5 minutes. Add cream, butter, and thyme. Mix in pears and any juices from baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer to microwave-safe bowl. Cover; chill. Rewarm at 1-minute intervals.

Frisee

Frisée (aka curly endive).Yes, it’s another semi-bitterish flavored green. But come on now, we all like bitter things… coffee, chocolate come to mind. We just have to get used to embracing a bit of bitter in our salads as those are the types of leafy vegetables that grow best in the cool season. The Europeans love this stuff and I think it’s gonna catch on here, too- someday… Maybe you’ll start the trend! I once heard on the radio all these winter greens are best with an “assertive dressing.” That made me smile, but I like it. The French love a salad called “Frisee au Lardons” (curly endive with bacon and egg). Google it if you want the specifics. It’s basically a frisee salad, topped with poached eggs, fried and chopped bacon, with a dijon, vinegar and garlic dressing. Sounds awesome. We just made up a salad with frisee that was super tastey and pretty much uses whatever is in your share this week. Here’s the basic idea….

Frisee Salad with tons of goods contained in your third cool season farm share box

1 head frisee- cut up finely, 1 celeriac (pealed and chopped small), 1 onion (pealed and chopped), 1 delicata squach (cut in half, de-seeded, then chopped in 1/4 chunks), DRESSING, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tbs brown sugar, 2 cloves minced garlic, 3/4cup olive oil, 1tsp salt, pepper to taste, 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles, 1/8cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Roast the celeriac, squash, and onions for about 20 minutes and 400 degrees. Mix the dressing ingredients together. Top the chopped frisee with dressing, blue cheese, and pumpkin seeds. This salad got 8 giant thumbs up (two thumbs each from four people!)!

Roasted Delicata

Delicata Squash is hands down our favorite squash (well… hands down tied with buttercup squash). Like with all our winter squash, we take the lazy (but wise) person’s approach and put the whole thing in the oven at 400 degrees and bake it until it can be pierced with a fork. Then we cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, add some salt and butter and enjoy! The skins are so tender you can eat them, too! We do love the below recipe as well and very much recommend you try your squash this way…

Roasted Delicata Squash Rings Serves 2-3 as a side dish

1 large or two small delicata squashes,
3 tablespoons of canola, olive, or grapeseed oil,  2 cloves minced garlic,
1 tsp of salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and oil cookie sheet. Slice each delicata squash in half horizontally (to preserve circle-shape) and scoop out the seeds with a small spoon. Then slice 1/4-inch rings. Toss the rings with the oil, garlic, and salt, making sure that there is just enough oil to coat. Place the rings in a single-layer on the prepared baking sheets and roast for 20-25 mins, turning them over halfway through. The squash should be fully cooked and lightly browned on each side.  Add more salt to taste, if desired.

Sesame Mustard Greens

2. Mustard Greens. Hmmm. Not sure you’re into them? Well, I just read a Huffington Post article that claims they are as nutritious as KALE (I’ve never heard that before— but they must be close). Substitute these guys for any recipe with kale, collards, or chard (and just cook them for 1/2 the recommended time). They have a spicy, nummy punch that will happily awaken your tastebuds. We’re prone to making our greens Asian style. Put this on rice with some chicken or tofu and yipee!- you’re a hero again!

Sesame Mustard Greens (from simplyrecipes.com)

1/2 cup thinly sliced onions

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 pound mustard greens, washed and torn into large pieces

2 to 3 Tbsp chicken broth or vegetable broth

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil

 

In a large sauté pan, sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant. Add the mustard greens and broth and cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted. Toss with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Week 4

In this share: Mustard Greens, Kale, Frisee, Delicata Squash, Garlic, Celeriac, Yellow Onion, Carrots, Apples (bonus from our landlords )

COVER CROPS!

It’s that time of year again when the field transforms, bed by bed, from a mosaic of lush greens into a growing blanket of brown. The summer crops have all been tilled in and the fall crops are quickly being whittled away. The work doesn’t end with the harvest however, as we still need to prepare our fields for their long, wet, winter hibernation. So, this past week we have been busy spreading cover crop seed. We purchased the Winter Rye, Oats, Tritacale, Peas, and Vetch from Osborne Seed Company, a great local source of certified organic cover crop seed. Why bother, you ask? Well, cover cropping plays a critical roles in maintenance of farmers’ fields, especially those that rely on organic methods for their fertility and weed management. Let us explain:

 

1)    Cover cropping prevents erosion and leaching. The roots of cover crops, particularly the grasses, cling onto soil particles, protecting them from the onslaught of winter rains. Even mild precipitation can move large amounts of soil downhill and leach highly soluble nutrients, such as nitrogen and calcium, from our sandy soils.

2)    Cover cropping suppresses weed growth. Weeds that get established in the fall can complete their life cycle and release seed before the fields are dry enough in the spring to till them in. Thus, it’s important to establish a good stand of cover crop before the weeds can get a foothold. It may not prevent total weed germination, but will slow their growth so that they can still be managed when spring comes around. 

3)    Cover cropping adds organic matter and nitrogen to the soil, increasing overall tilth and fertility. In the spring, all that  cover crop plant material is tilled into the ground, becoming food for bacteria and other decomposes, who in turn help mineralize soil nutrients and make them available to plant roots. The grasses such as rye, aats and tritacle are heavy in carbon, which help to increase overall organic matter. Peas, vetch and favas are legumes, all of which have root nodules loaded with bacteria who suck nitrogen out of the air and make it available to plants and soil organisms. Carbon and Nitrogen are the two most critical building blocks of living organisms, thus grasses and legumes make a great cover crop team!

4)    Other benefits include disrupting pest and disease cycles, providing habitat for   animals, attracting pollinators and other the beneficial insects in the spring when the legumes are flowering, and providing overall beauty to the farm.

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.