CSA September 10, 2014

This Week’s CSA

Anaheim peppers

anaheim

Anaheim peppers (also known as chile Verde del Norte) are widely grown throughout northwest Mexico. These light green chiles are long, taper at the base and are usually mild in flavor. These peppers are great in chili, fajitas, burritos, veggie egg scrambles, enchiladas, or salsas, or can be stuffed and baked. As with any pepper, their flavor varies, so please taste test a tiny bit to see how much heat the pepper carries. If you are sensitive to spicy food, you will need to remove any seeds and white ribs from the pepper before cooking. Be aware of cutting hot peppers with bare hands, as you need to wash your hands well before touching any sensitive body areas! If you don’t plan to use them while fresh, the whole chili can be roasted and then frozen for later use.

baby pam pumpkins

baby pam

 

Baby Pams are small, round, orange-skinned mini pie pumpkins. These small pumpkins can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, including pies, soups, ravioli filling, breads, muffins or even a puree for young children. Pie pumpkins are best stored and treated like winter squash.

 

basil

basil_leaves_leaf_224225_l

My favorite use for fresh basil is a caprese salad: fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil and salt. Keep it well wrapped in paper towels inside plastic bag in the vegetable bin of your fridge. It will also brown if crushed by heavier vegetables, so put it on top of your veggie bin. Basil can also be stored upright at room temperature in a glass with a little water; freshly trim the ends before putting in water.

bull’s blood beets

beets

Bull’s blood beets are a beautiful heirloom beet from 1840 that has distinctive purplish-red tops.Beets are a versatile root which can be eaten raw, roasted, steamed, grilled, or boiled. Their natural earthy sweetness pairs well with olive oil, sour cream, vinegars, citrus, mustard, horseradish, dill, tarragon, onions, apples, and goat cheese. Red beets bleed and tint everything they touch but leaving the skin, tail, and at least 1 inch of the stems intact while cooking will help keep all those juices locked inside. Once cool to touch, beets are very easy to peel. Beets store best if the greens are removed. With a sharp knife, remove greens just above the stem and store separately in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. The beet root will keep well for weeks in the refrigerator in a paper bag or perforated plastic bag, while the greens are best used within a few days.

cabbage

cabbageOf course cabbage can be turned into sauerkraut and makes for some great coleslaw, but this versatile vegetable also takes well to cooking, whether it is sautéed, braised, boiled, or grilled. Cooking cabbage gives off a pungent smell that is a result of a high concentration of sulphur compounds in the vegetable. The combination of thin slicing and brief cooking times can alleviate the strong flavor. Green cabbage pairs well with butter, olive oil, sour cream, cheddar cheese, parmesan, mustard, horseradish, caraway, dill, marjoram, potatoes, apples, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. Cabbage can last for a long time stored in a plastic bag in your vegetable crisper but its nutritive value decreases with time. Remove any wilted leaves before using.

cucumbers

cucumbersAs they sit, slicing cukes tend to soften, so they are best eaten fresh. Sliced thin, cucumbers are a treat on any sandwich or salad, served on a veggie platter or just eaten fresh with a sprinkling of salt. For a twist on a refreshing summer drink, add very thin slices of cucumber to sparkling water or as a garnish to gin and tonics. Cucumbers also make a refreshing, light salad or can be added to coleslaw. Making sure they are free of dirt and dry, cucumbers can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a week or longer. Too much moisture can cause them to mold, so make sure they are exposed to air.  Once cut open, wrap cut end in plastic wrap.

dill

Although native to parts of western Asia, dill weed is usually associated with Russian and European cuisine where it is paired with fish (gravlax), pickles, yogurt, sour cream, and potatoes. Dill also goes well with beets, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, eggs, cream sauces, and salmon.  Typically the feathery fronds are used and taste best if added fresh at the end of cooking. Store dill in a plastic bag in the refrigerator

jalapeno peppers

jalapenos

Jalapenos tend to be plump and cylindrical, and range from green to red. They are named after Jalapa, the capital of the state of Veracruz. Jalapeo peppers can be used fresh or dried and can vary in spice level due to many growing variables. Removing any seeds and veins helps reduce the level of spice but always make sure to wash your hands after cutting raw chiles and taste a tiny bit raw to check the heat level.

salad mixThe trick to storing salad greens is to place them in a container (or plastic bag) with a paper towel in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. You can wash and spin dry the salad mix first for easy use. Change the paper towel regularly if needed.

In addition to traditional salads, greens can be roasted, used as a topping for pizza, or added to green smoothies!

Recipes

curried pumpkinCurried Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

1 medium pie pumpkin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch scallions, diced
2 tablespoons curry powder
2-3 cups veggie broth
¼-1/2 cup coconut milk
salt, if needed
———————
Pumpkin seeds
½ tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400˚.

Remove top of pumpkin. Quarter pumpkin and remove seeds, set aside. Scrape out remaining small seeds and the stings. Place each quarter face down in a baking dish and roast for 30-40 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Remove and let cool slightly.

Rinse seeds, removing any pumpkin left on them. Toss with olive and salt. Spread out on a baking tray and roast until crispy, 10-15 minutes.

In a sauce pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add in scallions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Stir in curry powder and let cook for 30 seconds more.

Next, carefully remove pumpkin from the shell and measure out 3 packed cups of pumpkin. Add to sauce pan along with 2 cups veggie broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 2-3 minutes.

Remove from heat and puree with immersion blender (or carefully with a regular blender), adding more veggie broth to reach your desired soup consistency. Return to heat, add in ¼ cup coconut milk, and let simmer until ready to serve.
Serve with an extra swirl of coconut milk and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Source: Naturally Ella

beet greens baconBull’s Blood Beet Greens with Beans and Bacon

2 strips bacon or 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil & 2 Tbsp. Bac’uns
1 onion, minced
1 clove garlic
1/2 to 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 sprigs oregano
3 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey or sugar
salt to taste
4 Cups Bull’s Blood Beet Greens
1 cup or more of any beans, cooked

Rinse beet greens under cold water. then cut into strips. Heat a large skillet. If using bacon, cut into small pieces and cook until crisp. Take bacon out of pan and reserve. If using fat, heat in large skillet. Add onion to skillet and cook over low heat, stirring, until nicely browned. Press or mince garlic and stir into onions. Add spices, vinegar and honey and bring to a boil. Add beet greens, cover, cook, covered, until cooked to your taste. Stir in beans and bacon bits and heat through. Taste and add salt or pepper if needed.

Source: Davis Food Co-op

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