Notes from the Farm
Some people fantasize about the simplistic life of living on the farm. It’s pretty nice, but simple it’s not. Sometimes it seems like everything needs to be done at once; because it does. Luckily we had a few good people who stepped in at just the right time. A big thanks to Brevy, Gulap, Lynna, and Morna who have helped us on the farm this season! We couldn’t have done it without you.
The cold weather has turned our attention to protecting the more delicate crops, namely tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. All of these plants got tucked in Friday night in anticipation of frost. Most of us who have lived in the valley long enough realize that elevation plays an important factor in temperature. Since the cold tends to settle in the low lying areas those who live in the foothills of the mountains tend to have a longer growing season. Living in the river bottom gives us the advantage of beautiful soil (for Montana) but cooler temperatures.
Just a reminder that the last week of Veggie binge is upon us! Final pick up dates September 27 and 30.
This Week’s Veggie Feast
New This Week
Commonly called Italian prunes these plums grow readily in the Bitterroot valley. They need to set out a few days to ripen, once they are a little soft they are ready to eat.
Some pretty good tasting pie pumpkins. Perfect for our current cool weather!
Pop the sprouts off the stalk to store in a bag, or eat them while they are fresh. Sprouts can be roasted, steamed, fried, or in a slaw as in the recipe below.
This winter squash is one of our favorite, it produces well in Western Montana and has deep orange flesh on the inside making it delicious and nutritious. Interestingly the mice hammered us this spring, eating seeds and seedlings in the greenhouse, favoring buttercup. This fall buttercup is once again a big hit with the rodents. Many of the skins show little teeth marks. If you are interested in eating squash seeds read on.
The World’s Healthiest Foods writes :”Seeds from winter squash make a great snack food, just like pumpkin seeds. If you scoop the pulp and seeds from inside the squash and separate out the seeds, you can place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and lightly roast them at 160-170°F (about 75°C) in the oven for 15-20 minutes. By roasting them for a relatively short time at a low temperature you can help minimize damage to their healthy oils. Linoleic acid (the polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid) and oleic acid (the same monounsaturated fatty acid that is plentiful in olive oil) account for about 75% of the fat found in the seeds.”
Cilantro gone to seed! Coriander seeds are common in East Indian and Mexican cuisine and can also be used in pickling brine.
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.
Similar to caraway in flavor, dill seed is widely used in northern Europe as an ingredient in pickling seasoning and to flavor breads, cheese, meats and vegetables, especially potatoes and cabbage.
Also: Storage potatoes, Sweet Onions, Paprika
Mexican Brussels Sprout Slaw
- 1 Cup quinoa, rinsed well
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ¼ C water
- 4 Cups chopped brussels sprouts ( 1 pound)
- 5 scallions chopped
- 2 garlic cloves grated or finely minced
- ⅓ Cup chopped cilantro ( stems ok)
- ½ jalapeño finely chopped
- 2 limes ( zest and ¼ C lime juice)
- ⅛ C olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon whole toasted coriander seeds ( optional)
- Optional Toppings : avocado, cherry tomatoes, toasted pumpkin seeds, feta or queso fresco cheese, black beans
- Rinse Quinoa well and drain. Place in a small pot with 1 ¼ Cups water and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on medium low for 10-12 minutes. Leave covered, turn heat off and let stand 5 minutes. Gently Fluff with fork.
- While quinoa is cooking, finely chop Brussels sprouts. Slice them thinly first then go back and chop. Place in a large bowl with chopped cilantro, jalapeño, chopped scallions, minced garlic, salt, lime zest, lime juice, olive oil and coriander seeds. Toss and let stand 10 minutes.
- To assemble place quinoa in a bowl, top with slaw, and garnish with any of the optional toppings above. Or platter up as a salad or side, placing quinoa in the middle, surround with slaw, and garnish with cilantro and lime or other optional toppings.
Source: Feasting at Home
Roasted Winter Squash Soup with Smokey Harissa and Crispy Chickpeas
- 1 Buttercup squash
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed ( or 1 cup soaked, dry garbanzos), patted dry.
- 1-2 teaspoons olive oil, pinch salt, pinch pepper and generous pinch smoked paprika
- 2 Tablespoon coconut oil, ghee or butter
- ½ onion – diced
- 1 apple – diced
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or ground)
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (or ground)
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne (for medium spicy)
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4- 4 ½ cups water or stock
- Garnish – plain yogurt, “smoked yogurt” crispy chickpeas, toasted pumpkin seeds, chopped cilantro and scallions
- Pre-heat Oven to 425F
- Cut squash in half lengthwise, scrape out seeds with a spoon and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, open side down.Roast squash in the oven for 40 minutes or until very tender and soft and caramelized.
- To make crispy chick peas, drain and rinse chick peas, Dry well with paper towels. toss with olive oil ( enough to lightly coat) salt, pepper and smoked paprika and spread out on separate sheet pan.
- Roast chickpeas,until crispy about 20 minutes.
- In a medium pot, heat coconut oil over medium high. Saute onion and apple for 2-3 minutes, stirring, then add garlic, turning heat down to medium. Saute a few more minutes until garlic is fragrant and golden and onions are tender. Add spices and toast for 1 minute, stirring.
- Remove from heat.
- Add the onion, apple mix to the blender with 1 cup of water (use this to rinse out the pot). Blend well, taking care to cover blender with a towel, holding lid down VERY tightly. Blend until spices and onions are very smooth. Place back in the pot. Blend the squash with the remaining water ( or stock) until very smooth, and place back in the pot. Heat over medium low heat, adding vinegar and maple. Adjust salt.
- Serve with a swirl of plain yogurt or “smoked yogurt”, crispy chickpeas, toasted pumpkin seeds, Aleppo chili flakes, and fresh cilantro.
- Notes: Instead of the spices you could stir in a few teaspoons or more to taste, of harissa paste. The “smoked Yogurt” is basically plain yogurt mixed with a bit of smoked paprika.
Source: Feasting at Home