We have some lovely storage vegetables for sale. The key to storing veggies for the winter is having a space that is both on the cooler side and also relatively dry. A closet or pantry can work well for those that do not have a root cellar. A basement can be a great storage space for vegetables as long as it does not get damp.
We have Red, and Yellow Storage Onions. Both of these varieties can last through the winter and into the spring. White Sweet Onions store through November, but are mild and sweeter that the reds and yellows. All onions $1.25/lb
Shallots, the gourmet of alliums, store almost forever, or until next July, whichever comes first. Garlic lasts well over the winter and into spring. Both are $4/lb
Winter Squash, anyone? We have Pie Pumpkins, Sunshine Kabocha, Green Kabocha, Gray Kabocha, Carnival, Delicata, and Spaghetti. Lots of size variation so let us know if you want S, M, or L. $1.25/lb
Lovely Sprouts perfect for a quick vegetable side dish, roast them in the oven, add balsamic vinegar, tiny bit o’ honey and voila! $4 per stalk.
Add crunch to your winter. Store cabbage in a fridge. We have some medium sized heads and some small heads. $1.50/lb
Worm Pooze is worm castings, minerals and humates all in a cute little package with instructions on the back. Use on indoor plants for a nutrient boost! $5 per bag
Compost can be added to your vegetable and flower gardens in the fall. It helps to retain moisture, blankets the soil for overwinter protection (giving an extra layer between the cold, soil microbes, and roots), and provides readily available nutrients for the spring. $50 per Bobcat bucket
Unscreened Worm Castings are great for outdoor gardens and flower beds to condition the soil, balance nutrients and it is relatively odorless. $1/ lb
I am writing this as the rain drizzles, stops and drizzles some more. Harvesting beets this morning was a bit chilly and it feels like Autumn is officially here in the Bitterroot. We have had a gorgeous, long late summer, much to everyone’s surprise considering the looming fire danger since early June. The long summer has also allowed us to harvest at a leisurely pace (relatively speaking) and given many crops a few extra weeks to ripen. We are very thankful. We thank you too for eating locally grown food, for committing to take the time to pick up your vegetables and for eating well!
(We will have storage vegetables for sale in the coming weeks. Feel free to contact us to place an order.)
Storage Onions! Due to the beautiful, warm September days our onions just kept growing. We waited and waited for the tops to die back but they never did. We harvested them last week, before the rain so they can start to dry or “cure.” These onions are ready to eat, but not ready to store. To store them the tops need to be completely dried out, which seals the body of the onion from the stem. You can hang them somewhere out of the way while they cure; a pantry, the garage, a closet. Somewhere dry where it will not get too cold. Once they are dry simply clip the stems off.
Sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem artichokes) are a new vegetable for many people. They are gaining popularity in recent years due to their high nutritional value, high fiber (in the form of inulin) and low carb content. Since we dig them up, like a potato I assumed they were a tuber, but according to Serious Eats: “A sunchoke is a woody-looking tuberous formation found on the rhizome (horizontally growing underground stem) of a type of sunflower.” Sunchokes are very versatile, they can be fried, roasted, steamed and eaten raw. Add them to a roasted vegetable dish, use as a base for soups, or thinly slice as a topper for a fall salad. They store well in the fridge in a container or a plastic bag for a couple of weeks.
Pie Pumpkins are just the ticket for making your own pumpkin puree and a very delicious pumpkin pie. Making puree is not difficult; there is a recipe below if you want specific details. Here’s how I make mine: I put the whole pumpkin in the oven, turn the oven on somewhere between 350-400 (who needs preheat?) and then go outside, forget that I am baking a pumpkin until something jogs my memory and then come racing back into the house hoping there is not a charred pumpkin in the oven. I turn off the oven, open a window (if necessary), pull the pumpkin out with hot pads, set it on a plate to cool and go outside again until the smoke clears. Eventually I come back inside, cut the pumpkin open, scoop out the seeds, peel the skin off. Voila, pumpkin. Now I can use this to make a pumpkin pie filling.
The pumpkin should store well at least into December. If you notice soft spots appearing you can make the pumpkin puree (in recipe below) and use or freeze.
Buttercup has a dark green exterior and a bright orange interior. The flavor of the buttercup squash’s flesh is sweet and nutty, with a creamy consistency more in line with that of a baked sweet potato than a pumpkin, which tends to be more fibrous and watery by comparison. The flesh can tend toward dryness, a flaw that is easily compensated for by cooking method. Steaming and baking are preferred methods of preparation, as both will bring out the sweetness of and add moistness to the flesh.
3 cups peeled and diced Sunchokes
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Place the Sunchokes in a 2-quart saucepan, and cover with water.
Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil simmer for 15 minutes, or until easily pierced with a knife.
Remove from the heat, drain, and place the Sunchokes in a food processor with the heavy cream, butter, salt and white pepper.
Process for 10 to 15 seconds, or until a smooth puree is formed.
Remove from the bowl of the food processor, and place in a heat resistant bowl set over a water bath to keep warm for serving.
2 pounds sunchokes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider
2 ½ tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup halved, cored, and thinly sliced Granny Smith apples
1 cup halved, cored, and thinly sliced Honeycrisp apples
6 ounces skinned smoked trout, broken into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons sliced fresh basil
Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and sunchokes in a large bowl; toss to coat. Spread sunchokes, cut sides down, on a baking sheet; bake at 400° for 25 minutes or just until tender and golden. Cool completely.
Combine dill, shallots, apple cider, cider vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add apples and sunchokes; toss gently. Place on a serving plate. Top with trout and basil.
Select a couple of small-ish pumpkins. Cut the pumpkin in half. With a spoon or a scoop, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center. You don’t have to be too thorough with this.
Place all the seeds into a bowl (you can roast them later and make pepitas). Repeat until all the pumpkin pieces are largely free of seeds and pulp.
Place pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet (face up or face down; I’ve done both) and roast in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes, or until pumpkin is fork-tender. They should be nice and light golden brown when done.
Peel off the skin from the pumpkin pieces until you have a big pile of the stuff. If you have a food processor, throw in a few chunks at a time. A blender will work, too, if you add a little water. Or you can simply mash it up with a potato masher, or move it through a potato ricer, or process it through a food mill.
Pulse the pumpkin until smooth. If it looks too dry, add in a few tablespoons of water during the pulsing to give it the needed moisture. (Note, if the puree is overly watery, you should strain it on cheesecloth or over a fine mesh strainer to get rid of some of the liquid.)
Dump the pureed goodness into a bowl, and continue pureeing until all the pumpkin is done.
You can either use this immediately in whatever pumpkin recipe you’d like, store it in the freezer for later use.
To store in the freezer, spoon about 1 cupful of pumpkin into each plastic storage bag. Seal the bag with just a tiny bit of an opening remaining, then use your hands to flatten out the pumpkin inside the bag and push out the air. Store them in the freezer until you need them.
(The author of Smitten Kitchen has several notes about this recipe on her site, it is worth reading)
Crust 1 1/4 cups (155 grams) all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) fine sea or table salt 1 stick (4 ounces or 115 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks 1/4 cup (60 ml) very cold water, plus an additional tablespoon if needed
Filling 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree, from a 15-ounce (425 gram) can or homemade 2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) fine sea or table salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves A few gratings of fresh nutmeg (or a pinch of ground nutmeg) 1 1/3 cups (315 ml) cold heavy cream 3 large eggs
Topping 1/2 cup (95 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter 3 tablespoons (45 ml) heavy cream 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt, or a little less of a coarse salt 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract 3/4 cup (85 grams) pecans (I coarsely chopped 1/2 cup, left the last 1/4 cup in halves)
Make the pie dough:
By hand, with my one-bowl method: In the bottom of a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Work the butter into the flour with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles a coarse meal and the largest bits of butter are the size of tiny peas. (Some people like to do this by freezing the stick of butter and coarsely grating it into the flour, but I haven’t found the results as flaky.) Add 1/4 cup cold water and stir with a spoon or flexible silicone spatula until large clumps form. Use your hands to knead the dough together, right in the bottom of the bowl. If necessary to bring the dough together, you can add the last tablespoon of water.
With a food processor: In the work bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add butter and pulse machine until mixture resembles a coarse meal and the largest bits of butter are the size of tiny peas. Turn mixture out into mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup cold water and stir with a spoon or flexible silicone spatula until large clumps form. Use your hands to knead the dough together, right in the bottom of the bowl. If necessary to bring the dough together, you can add the last tablespoon of water.
Both methods: Wrap dough in a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours, or you can quick-firm this in the freezer for 15 minutes. Longer than 2 days, it’s best to freeze it until needed.
Form the crust: On a floured counter, roll the dough out into a 12 to 13-inch circle-ish shape. Fold dough gently in quarters without creasing and transfer to a 9-inch standard (not deep-dish) pie plate. Unfold dough and trim overhang to about 1/2-inch. Fold overhang under edge of pie crust and crimp decoratively. Return to fridge until ready to fill. (See Notes below for par-baking directions, if desired. I rarely desire this.)
Heat oven: To 400°F (205°C).
Make the filling: Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a sputtering simmer and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Scoop cooked pumpkin filling into bowl, and whisk in cold cream until smooth. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Pour filling into prepared pie crust.
Bake pie: For 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F (175°C) and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, until only the center barely jiggles and a toothpick inserted into it comes out pumpkin-free. (Damp is fine, but the toothpick shouldn’t have loose pumpkin batter on it.)
Let pie cool on a rack completely, if you, like me, prefer your pumpkin pie cool. You can hasten this along in the fridge. This pie is now ready to serve, but if you want to gild the lily a little, make the topping as well.
Make pecan praline topping: In a small/medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, cream and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla and pecans.
Serve pie: In wedges, ladles with pecan praline sauce. Extra pie (an unfamiliar phenomenon) keeps in the fridge for up to a week.
We have gotten several frosts, the winter squash vines are crunchy underfoot, and the basil plants have turned brown. Frost cover has saved the tomatoes several times over. But really this is the most abundant time of the year! So many wonderful fall crops that are filling and nourishing. Some of the vegetables in your share can be put aside for a time if you are catching up from last week. The sprouts, winter squashes and carrots all have a longer shelf life.
Below are a few recipes to inspire you. I have made the glowing carrot turmeric soup many times (with ground turmeric instead of fresh). It is one of my favorites and has even gotten two thumbs up from my non-soup-loving household members. We also tested out the balsamic/honey roasted Brussels sprouts; easy and yummy.
Those of you who have been our CSA members for years may know how I go on and on about Sunshine winter squash. It is my favorite, not only for it’s cheery bright color on the outside, but also for it’s rich flavor. The inside of this winter squash is also a deep orange. Unfortunately, the mice know a good thing when they see (or smell?) it. Sunshines get chewed on more than the other varieties of winter squash in our field, so I am guessing it is a favorite of theirs. The squash is remarkably resistant, the skin forms a scab over the chew marks if they are not too deep. This squash has been harvested and cured for 3 weeks now, so it is ready to eat. It can also store in a dry, cool spot. Dry is more important than cool. Just be sure to check it every week to make sure that it is not getting soft spots. If it is you can still bake it and cut around the icky parts.
The flesh of sunshine is typically drier than an acorn or delicata. Due to the thicker skin most people do not try to peel this squash before cooking it. It makes for a great addition to soups and casseroles and also makes a fine substitute for pumpkin in a pumpkin pie.
Brussels sprouts on the stalk are fun for seeing how this mini cabbage look-a-like grows. If you don’t have room in the fridge for the whole stalk, the sprouts can be easily popped off the stalk and stored in a plastic bag.
Brussels sprouts can last a long time but they are best when eaten sooner than later, as their flavor becomes more assertive over time. Any food item that goes well with cabbage or cauliflower also makes a great pairing with Brussels sprouts, including butter, cream, blue cheese, mustard, capers, garlic, bacon, and vinegar. Brussels take well to steaming, roasting, or braising. If cooking whole, cutting an X in the bottom brings heat to their centers more quickly. Generally the small round heads are cut in half or thinly sliced, allowing them to cook faster and better absorb more sauce or seasoning.
This week you will get a bag of mixed Anaheim and Cayenne peppers. Cayennes are long, skinny and usually much hotter than Anaheims. In the photo the Anaheim is on the left, the cayenne on the right. Anaheims can be roasted, made into chile rellenos, added to an egg dish or salsa, a versatile pepper. Cayennes are on the spicy side and can also be added to a variety of dishes if you like heat. They also dry really nicely, so you could make your own cayenne powder by grinding up dried cayennes. There are several ways to go about this. If you are patient you can string them up using a needle and thread. I usually thread through the bottom of the stem and they dry just fine but there is the possibility of mold forming on the inside of the pepper using this method. We also have dried them whole on screens. This method requires the least amount of effort after you find a screen and appropriate location, but does take up more space. the last method is using a dehydrator or an oven to dry them. This takes more energy but gets the job done more quickly and eliminates the potential mold issue. Here is one website I found explaining all of these techniques more fully.
Not new this week, but new last week when I was unable to write the newsletter is Carnival squash. This little beauty is not only fun to look at but has a mild taste and smooth texture. These squashes can be peeled before being cooked, or baked whole in the oven.
Carnivals can store a long, long time. We stored 15 of them on the uppermost reaches of our kitchen shelf last winter, because we didn’t have anywhere else to put them. Even though our kitchen stays pretty warm Carnival lasted into April!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Balsamic Vinegar and Honey
Preheat oven to 425°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Directly on the prepared baking sheet, toss the Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons of the oil, the salt, and the pepper. Roast, stirring once halfway through, until tender and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of oil, the balsamic vinegar and the honey over the roasted Brussels sprouts. Toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, then serve.
*If you have some brussels sprouts that are very large, cut them into quarters. They should all be cut about the same size to ensure even cooking.
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup crumbled goat cheese or feta
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
To prepare the squash, use a sharp chef’s knife to slice through it from the tip to the stem. I find it easiest to pierce the squash in the center along a depression line, then cut through the tip, and finish by slicing through the top portion just next to the stem. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy bits inside, and discard those pieces.
Place the squash halves cut side up on the parchment-lined pan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the squash, and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Rub the oil into the cut sides of the squash, then turn them over so the cut sides are against the pan. Bake until the squash flesh is easily pierced through by a fork, about 30 to 45 minutes. Leave the oven on.
Meanwhile, cook the quinoa: In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until all of the water is absorbed, 12 to 18 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cranberries. Cover, and let the mixture steam for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
In a medium skillet, toast the pepitas over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the pepitas are turning golden on the edges and making little popping noises, about 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
Pour the fluffed quinoa mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Add the toasted pepitas, chopped green onion, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Taste and add additional salt, if necessary.
If the mixture is very hot, let it cool for a few minutes before adding the Parmesan cheese and goat cheese. Gently stir the mixture to combine.
Turn the cooked squash halves over so the cut sides are facing up. Divide the mixture evenly between the squash halves with a large spoon. Return the squash to the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the cheesy quinoa is turning golden on top.
Sprinkle the stuffed squash with the remaining 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, and serve warm.
We have gotten three light frosts now. Some of the zucchini, pepper and winter squash leaves got zapped. We are steadily harvesting and bringing some of the storage crops in while tending to the frost sensitive crops by covering what we can. Most of the winter squash has been harvested as well as the sweet white onions and green cabbage.
The late summer planting of frost tolerant crops are doing well. This week we have arugula, next week we hope for radishes. We often have more luck with these crops in the fall, with fewer flea beetles chewing up the leaves.
This Week’s Veggie Feast
Corn, Spaghetti Squash, Arugula, Garlic, Red Potatoes, Green Cabbage, Tomatoes
New This Week
Corn is versatile and can be added to soups, stews, pancakes, bread, soufflés, and casserole dishes. It can be sautéed, steamed, boiled, creamed, or grilled with great results. In addition to the traditional corn on the cob or succotash, sweet corn makes a grate addition to salsa. Grilled corn kernels (remove kernels with knife after corn has cooled), roasted peppers, red onion, garlic, black beans, cilantro and lime juice will make a delicious salsa that goes well with tacos and grilled pork or fish.
To prepare spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Bake or boil it until tender. You can also bake it whole, like you would a potato. Once squash is cooked, use a fork to rake out the stringy flesh (which is spaghetti like) all the way to the rind and serve.
Store squash in a cool, dry place (preferably 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit) up to 3 months. Refrigeration will make the squash spoil quickly, but squash can be stored in the refrigerator 1-2 weeks. Cut squash should be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated.
Arugula is a leafy green in the brassica family. The flavor is often described as “peppery.” Medical News Today has these suggestions for adding arugula into your diet:
Add a handful of fresh arugula to an omelet or scramble.
Throw a handful of arugula and blend into a fresh juice or smoothie.
Sauté arugula in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Eat as a side dish or top a baked potato.
Add arugula leaves to a wrap, sandwich, or flatbread.
This garlic is cured and can last for several months. It stores best in a cool, dry space.
Lasagna spaghetti squash boats
1 medium spaghetti squash, halved and seeds removed
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 c. baby spinach
1/2 cup ricotta (preferably whole milk)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 lb. ground beef
16 oz. marinara sauce
1 1/2 tbsp. torn basil, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
Grated Parmesan, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°. Drizzle cut sides of spaghetti squash with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Place halves cut side down on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly, then use a fork to break up squash strands. While the squash is still warm, divide spinach and ricotta between squash boats and toss gently with fork.
While squash is baking, make sauce: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground beef, using a wooden spoon to break up meat. Cook, stirring often, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Drain excess fat, then stir in marinara and basil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.
Fill each boat with sauce, then top with mozzarella. Bake until mozzarella is melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes.
Garnish with more basil and sprinkle with Parmesan, if using.
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.
In my opinion shallots are basically small, fancy onions that cost more money. The seed to grow them is also spendy, which is part of the reason they cost more. The really cool thing about shallots is that they can last forever. We still have shallots from last season! Which is a testimony to how well they keep. But you probably don’t want to store this shallot, you want to eat it. Some people think shallots are not the same as onions, such as people that write for Bon Appetit, who state “Shallots have a delicate and sweet flavor with a hint of sharpness, while onions bring a more intense heat.”
Celeraic (also known as celery root) is one of two varieties of celery that has been cultivated over the years from wild celery that is native to Europe and parts of temperate Asia. In celeriac, the base of the plant is enlarged and looks like a gnarly root vegetable. Don’t be turned off by its looks, as it has a deeper and sweeter flavor than the familiar celery ribs.
Celeriac can be eaten both cooked and grated raw for salads. For cooking purposes, this root vegetable takes well to soups, purees, and gratins. The root needs to be scrubbed well and peeled. To peel the root, cut the top and bottom ends off to create a stable surface and then using your knife, cut away the peel in a downward motion. If you have a heavy duty peeler, you can try using that if the root is not to knobby. Cut pieces turn brown quickly, so place cut pieces in a bowl of water acidulated with lemon juice or vinegar. If you prefer to use the entire vegetable, any pairings from peeling can be put in a vegetable stock. Take time to remove and save the green ribs before storing, which can be added to stocks or soups. We often dry the leaves and stems and save them for the winter to flavor soups and casseroles. They retain their flavor very well.
If you need inspiration Epicurious has several recipes and there is a simple, tasty recipe below.
We decided to give everyone a little cayenne pepper in case you want to make some salsa and add a little heat. They should get redder and hotter if we get a long enough season. If you don’t want to use the cayenne now you can let it sit out on your counter. It will slowly dry out, it may even turn an orangish color, and you can use it later. We will have an assortment of hot peppers later in the season.
Dock is a common weed that grows on our farm. It is one of the first greens to appear (along with dandelions). Most dock plants have already gone through most of their growing cycle, producing flowers and seeds and are about to put their energy back into their long taproot. But in late summer there is a new flush of young dock plants that sprout. These plants still have young, tender leaves that are a great treat (if you like greens). According to the website Eat Weeds; “They have a tart, lemon-tasting leaves and are used similarly in cooking. It is often agreed that the youngest plants are best and make a tasty ‘spinach’, while others find the taste ‘sour’ but ‘hearty’.”
Apple Celeriac Salad
1 cup celeriac 100g peeled weight
½ large apple
2 slices bacon
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
¼ cup chopped parsley 4tbsp
For the dressing
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 tbsp walnut oil
¼ tsp Dijon mustard
Whisk together the lemon juice, oils and mustard for the dressing first so that it is ready to use.
Peel the celeriac, removing all the outer layer and any dark, hairy indents. Peel and core the apple. Coarsely shred both and toss with the dressing to prevent browning.
Cook the bacon as you prefer (eg under broiler, in oven/in pan – this can be done ahead) and cut into slices. Roughly chop the parsley.
Add the bacon, pumpkin seeds and parsley to the apple and celeriac and toss to combine well. Serve.
Tuesday morning we woke up to the first frost on the farm. Our dome and grass were covered in shiny white crystals. We spent some time Monday evening rolling out the frost cover to protect vulnerable crops. We covered tomatoes, basil and peppers, as well as our trial scarlet runner beans, pictured above. Leon set up the irrigation late Monday night and got up at 3 am on Tuesday to turn it on. The water protected the beans, winter squash and a few other crops. Today after harvest we rolled up the frost cover to store for the next go. This effort is time consuming, but allows us a longer growing season and more vegetables for everyone. Needless to say we are kind of tired, so excuse a potentially lame newsletter.
Oddly, the only frost damage we have noticed thus far is the parsley, which is generally frost hardy. The Swiss chard to the west and the zucchini to the east were untouched. The first frost usually ushers in a bit of harvest mania, like grey squirrels in an oak tree we get real busy. Tomorrow we will start the first onion haul so they can start drying down for storage.
The recipe “Swiss Chard with Potatoes” is inspired by friend and CSA member A.R. She sent us a lovely recipe on using copious amounts of Swiss Chard, with a smile. Right now that recipe is in my stack of papers and books, waiting to be found :-), The recipe below is similar in approach and ingredients. Bon appetit!
This Week’s Veggie Feast
Dragon Tongue Beans, Red Onion, Green Beans, Salad (Yah!), Carrots, Cucumber, Tomato Mix, Cauliflower, Swiss Chard, Yukon Gold Potatoes
New This Week
The bright colored dragon tongue beans are considered a heirloom Dutch wax type green bean that originated in the Netherlands. This yellowish-green bean with variegated purple strips is great both raw and cooked. Once cooked or pickled, the purple color tends to dissipate. Like other varieties of bush beans, dragon tongue beans have an edible shell. Just remove the stem end before cooking. If not serving raw, these beans will make a great addition to bean salads, stir fries, salads, or cooked on their own for a side dish.
Red onions have a little more zip than the sweet whites you have been getting. They are still fresh, or uncured, so best to use it up within the week. It can store in the fridge.
Swiss Chard with Potatoes
2 pounds yellow potatoes about 4 medium, peeled and diced (¾ inch)
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds Swiss chard ends trimmed, cleaned, ribs separated from the leafy part, cut into ½-inch pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil separated
3-4 cloves garlic fresh, roughly chopped
pinch red pepper flakes optional, or more
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice from ½ lemon and olive oil optional, to garnish, from ½ lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil optional, to drizzle over the top
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
Add the diced potatoes and the salt.
Reduce heat to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until they become tender and can be easily pierced with a knife.
While the potatoes are simmering, properly clean and chop the chard into ½ inch strips. (refer to details in post).
When the potatoes are tender, add the chopped chard stems.
Boil for 3-5 minutes or until just beginning to soften. The total time depends on their size.
Next, add the leafy chopped portion of the chard and boil for approximately 30 seconds. Gently drain all the vegetables in a colander.
Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet or cast iron pan.
Add the coarsely chopped garlic and red pepper flakes (if using).
Turn on the heat to medium-high. Once the garlic begins to sizzle and starts turning golden, reduce the heat to medium. Add the mixture of boiled chard and potatoes.
Season with salt and pepper according to taste.
Sauté until most of the liquid evaporates. Stir often.
Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil.
Season your water properly with salt.
Add the oil, garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) to the pan first, and then turn on the heat. This allows the garlic to slowly cook, preventing it from burning.
Start cooking your potatoes in a pot of boiling water as we want to exterior to be soft.
Add the lemon juice once the pan is off the heat to preserve its bright flavor.