Notes from the Farm
Harvest, harvest, harvest. It’s time to start bringing everything in from the fields. Last weekend we worked on digging the last of the beets, hauling more Wallas into a drying shed, and searching for the ripe winter squash.
This Week’s CSA
Potatoes, sungold tomatoes, lettuce mix, Walla sweet onions, zucchini (who knows, may be the last), mokum carrots, red Russian kale, cucumber, chives…
The edible part of a leek is the white part plus an inch or so of pale green. Smaller leeks are more tender, making them perfect for grilling or braising, while larger leeks are perfect for soup and gratins. Due to how leeks are grown, they often have lots of dirt between the leaves so they need to be washed well. Cut off the greens an inch above the white part and slice off the roots, leaving a thin piece attached so that the leaves remained joined at the base. Halve the leeks lengthwise down the middle to the root end. Rinse well under running water while you fan the leaves to make sure you are getting dirt stuck between leaves. Cut leaves can also be rinsed after cutting. If using in a soup, leeks do not caramelize well so they are best lightly cooked. In addition to the classic Vichyssoise and Cock-a-Leekie soups, leeks go well with potatoes, fennel, celery, capers, parmesan, goat cheese and olives.
Once again our friend John is providing some fun fruit to the CSA boxes. These plums are freestone, meaning your can easily split them open and take out the seed without use of a tool. They are not quite ripe, letting them set out on your counter for a few days should do the trick.
Leek Potato Soup
1 pound leeks, cleaned and dark green sections removed, approximately 4 to 5 medium
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Heavy pinch kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
14 ounces, approximately 3 small, Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced small
1 quart vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon snipped chives
Chop the leeks into small pieces.
In a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and a heavy pinch of salt and sweat for 5 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook until the leeks are tender, approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the potatoes and the vegetable broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until the potatoes are soft, approximately 45 minutes.
Turn off the heat and puree the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream, buttermilk, and white pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately, or chill and serve cold.
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, 2005
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 5 large plums, halved, pitted, each cut into 8 wedges
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Sift flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and salt into small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat 6 tablespoons butter with 2/3 cup sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then extracts. Beat in dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with sour cream in 2 additions. Spread batter in pan.
- Arrange plum wedges on their sides in 4 long rows atop batter. Mix 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar in small bowl. Sprinkle over plums. Melt 2 tablespoons butter. Drizzle over kuchen.
- Bake kuchen until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer pan to rack. Cool until just warm, about 30 minutes, or to room temperature. Cut into 4 lengthwise strips. Cut each strip crosswise into thirds.