Notes from the Farm
This Week’s CSA
Tired of zucchini? There will be no more after today! Also in the box: fall radishes, lettuce mix, spicy mustard mix, Swiss chard, red onions ( note: Most of the red onions bolted, meaning they decided to flower, meaning the stem is a little tough and they will not store. They are perfectly fine to eat, oddly enough we have stored some bolted onions for a long time, but that is considered unusual.) Other items:
These little beauties are pretty to behold and fun to eat. Carnival squash is a variety of Acorn squash, and stores well in a cool, dry spot. The pale orange flesh is semi-dry, firm, and very mild in flavor. Our favorite way to bake squash is to put it in the oven whole. Always a good idea to line the bottom of the oven with foil. We have not had one explode (lots of people ask that question.) After it is baked, allow to cool, slice in half and scoop out the seeds.
Originally we though it was going to frost last Thursday, so I went along and picked all the paprika, Anaheim and mystery peppers and put them into a basket. They are now in your CSA boxes. Paprika is not spicy and Anaheim only moderately so depending on growing conditions. The mystery pepper ( it is a mystery to us too) can have a bite. Of course this information is coming from three white people, two who grew up in the mid-west where black pepper is considered spicy. For those of you who are used to more heat you’ll have no problem, for the heat intolerant proceed with caution, this is pepper roulette.
Tomatillos are a distinctive and indigenous ingredient in Mexican cuisine. The fruit goes by many names, including tomato verde and husk tomato since it remains green while ripe and it grows inside a papery calyx or husk. Mexican green tomatoes grow in the wild but most cultivated varieties you find in the store are green, yellow, or purple and remain in their husk. The fruit itself is thin-skinned with a mild acid and lots of seeds. If you plan to use them quickly, tomatillos can be stored at room temperature in a cool place. For longer storage, keep inside a paper bag or perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. The fruit can be used raw but it takes well to cooking too. Roasting or simmering tomatillos can help mellow their slightly tart bite. They make a great addition to many Mexican dishes and can be used as burrito or enchilada filling or to supply the base ingredient for sauces and pork verde. However you prepare them, the husk needs to be removed and the tomatillo rinsed of the slightly tacky substance around the base. If adding to a stew (i.e. chile or pork verde), tomatillos can be chopped and added raw. If making verde or other salsa, tomatillos need to be cooked first; roasting or boiling are two typical methods.
Coriander is the seed of a cilantro plant. Coriander seeds are common in East Indian and Mexican cuisine and can also be used in pickling brines. Use them whole or grind into a powder.