CSA 2016 – Week 20

CSA Pickups: October 25 & 27
 
Last week’s escarole was amazing! It was perfect in my soup (see below).
escarole_4
 

  • Winter Squash (Buttercup/Black Futsu and Butternut/Sugar Pumpkin)
  • Garlic
  • Scallions
  • Leeks
  • Radishes
  • Arugula
  • Broccoli
  • Herbs/Flowers
  • Tomato/Pepper/Eggplant
  • Various Leafy Greens
  • Potato/Carrot
  • Celeriac

 
Can you believe we’re in our final week of this year’s CSA? I certainly cannot. I hope you have enjoyed your share and the thoughts and ideas shared in this blog. As we move deeper into fall and eventually into winter, remember what we’ve learned about various produce this season that you may continue to eat during the colder months. Greens can be sautéed, steamed, added to soups, stir fries, salads, and smoothies. Many if not most are interchangeable, though cooking times may vary. Swish greens in the sink or large bowl of water; let grit settle and scoop them out of the water; spin dry if not using them immediately. Store in plastic bags in the fridge for several days, but the sooner the better. Leafy greens have HUGE health benefits, so get as many as you can into your diet. For the myriad winter squash, go back to Week 16 of this year’s blog for a description of several winter varieties. They too can be used in many, many different types of preparations, and unlike greens, they can be stored a very long time. Keep experimenting, and enjoy them all winter long.

I learned a lot this season, most recently what a Black Futsu is and that it is absolutely DELICIOUS! The truth is, some weeks dealing with all the CSA bounty can feel like too much work, but I have found that when I really live into it and embrace it, it is just so rewarding. There is simply nothing like having local produce when it’s in season. I hope this will continue to be your experience with fresh veg, wherever you find it. I am grateful to the farmers and all the staff at Hilltop Hanover Farm, all who make the CSA possible, for their incredible hard work and dedication in making the CSA available. Here’s to another great year!

My very best wishes to you and yours.

Remember that winter squash can be exchanged in different recipes – it will change the flavor, but that’s all part of the adventure! Experiment and see what you discover.
 
Acorn Squash with White Beans and Sage
Adapted from Family Vegetarian Cooking by Good Housekeeping.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 jumbo onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, crushed with garlic press
1 can (15-19 oz) white kidney beans (cannellini), rinsed and drained
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
3 tsp chopped fresh sage
2 small acorn squash (12 oz each)
1 ripe medium tomato, cut into 1/4-inch dice
sage sprigs for garnish
freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion, carrot, and garlic, and cook until vegetables are tender and golden, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add kidney beans, broth, salt, pepper, and 2 tsp chopped sage; heat to boiling. Cover skillet and keep warm. Meanwhile, cut each squash lengthwise in half and remove seeds and strings. Place squash halves cut side down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Cover and microwave on high for 6-8 minutes, until squash is fork-tender. Place squash halves, cut side up, on platter. Fill each half with one fourth of the warm bean mixture; sprinkle with tomato and remaining 1 tsp chopped sage. Garnish with sage sprigs, and serve with Parmesan, if using.

 
I’m all about the soup this time of year – I made this soup by adding 2 cans of white beans and the chopped head of escarole from last week to a delicious batch of homemade chicken soup. Yum!
escarole-and-white-bean-soup

These soups and many others freeze very well. Just cool completely and store in freezer safe containers. Consider making a double batch and freezing portions in smaller, serving-size containers for lunches or other easy meals. It’s a great way to simplify and still eat wonderful, home-cooked, nutrition-packed meals in the midst of our busy lives. What are your favorite soups?

 
Apple & Squash Soup
Adapted from Family Vegetarian Cooking by Good Housekeeping.

2 medium butternut or other winter squash (about 3 lbs), cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 large Granny Smith apples (about 2 lbs), peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 carton (32 oz) vegetable broth, or equivalent homemade
4 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
fried sage leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line jelly roll pan with foil and place squash halves, cut sides down, on lined pan. Roast until very tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 40-45 minutes. Cool until easy to handle, then use a spoon to scoop out the squash from the skins and place in a large bowl. Discard skins. Meanwhile, in a 5 to 6-quart stockpot, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add onion and celery; cover and cook 10 minutes. Add apples; cover and cook until vegetables and apples are very tender, about 10 minutes longer. Add broth, water, salt and squash to stockpot; cover and heat to boiling over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. In a blender, with the center part of the cover removed to allow steam to escape, blend the soup in small batches until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Return the soup to the stockpot and heat through. Garnish each serving with a fried sage leaf.

 
Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
Recipe adapted from delish.com

Try to save some croutons for the soup!

3 Tbsp butter
extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onion
2 cup pumpkin purée, or other winter squash purée
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp honey
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
4 slices white bread
6–8 slices gruyere cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley

In a large pot over medium heat melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil; sauté garlic and onions for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in pumpkin, broth, heavy cream, honey,1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; bring to a boil and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes. Turn off heat and melt remaining butter for a silky consistency. Cover with lid and keep warm. Preheat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Spread each piece of bread with a thin layer of mayonnaise and place bread in skillet, mayonnaise side down. Top with layers of gruyere and cover with remaining bread. Cook until golden brown, flipping as needed. Cover skillet to melt cheese. Transfer to a cutting board and cut each grilled cheese into 8 pieces. Divide soup into bowls, top with grilled cheese croutons, garnish with parsley and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

 

Photo: twopeasandtheirpod.com

Photo: twopeasandtheirpod.com


Fall Vegetable Quinoa Soup
Recipe adapted from twopeasandtheirpod.com

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 cups chopped butternut squash or other winter
3 bay leaves
4 cans (14 1/2 oz each) reduced-sodium vegetable broth
2 cans (15 oz each) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup quinoa
1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
2 tsp minced fresh thyme
2 cups chopped kale or other greens, ribs and stems removed
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sweet potato, butternut squash, and bay leaves. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, and chickpeas. Stir in the quinoa and season with fresh rosemary and thyme. Cook for 15 minutes or until quinoa is soft. Stir in the kale and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve warm.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 19

CSA Pickups: October 18 & 20

The colors of the chard are so vibrant at this time of year:
chard_broccoli-raab

  • Winter Squash (Spaghetti, Buttercup, Futsu)
  • Leeks
  • Radish
  • Garlic
  • Arugula
  • Lettuce Mix
  • Celeriac
  • Tues: Kale/Chard Thurs: Escarole/Napa Cabbage (reverse of last week)
  • Herbs/Flowers
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Pepper

 
Let’s talk about Napa Cabbage
napa cabbage
Napa cabbage (aka Chinese cabbage or celery cabbage) is a sweeter and more mildly-flavored member of the Brassica family, along with its cousins brussel sprouts, kale, broccoli and the typical European cabbage most familiar in the U.S. It is thought to have originated in the Beijing region of China and is widely used in Asian cuisine. I learned today that “napa” is loosely translated from the Chinese as “leaf”. Its leaves are large, lightly colored, and crinkly, and its flavor is crisp and somewhat delicate. Napa cabbage is super low in calories, and very high in dietary fiber, antioxidants, and folates, and is a good source of vitamins C and K. Chopped or shredded, it’s great raw in salad or slaw, or it can be added to soups last minute to add a layer of freshness. Braising Napa cabbage will release its sweet flavor, leaving the stalks and leaves tender and juicy. The large leaves are ready-made for stuffing; just blanch the leaves, fill with whatever you like, and roll them up. And of course, it is a staple in most stir fries, spring rolls and Korean kimchi. Napa cabbage should be stored whole in a plastic bag in the fridge, where it will stay fresh for about a week.

Here are some ideas and variations for you to try:

Stir Fried Napa Cabbage with Mushrooms and Bacon
Recipe adapted from nomnompaleo.com

1 head of Napa cabbage, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup thick bacon, diced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
8 oz of cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chicken broth

Heat a large, heavy bottom pot over medium heat, and cook the bacon until it begins to crisp. Remove the bacon to paper towels and set aside. Add the onions with some salt and pepper, and cook until translucent. Then add the sliced mushrooms with another hit of salt and pepper, and sauté them until the moisture cooks off. Add the Napa cabbage and chicken broth, cover the pot, and reduce heat to medium low. Let it summer for about 5-10 minutes, until the cabbage is softened to the tenderness you prefer. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as needed.

 
Miso Noodle Soup
Recipe adapted from Early Morning Farm CSA

The author states this is by no means a traditional, by-the-book recipe for Miso Soup, but it is still delicious and healthful. This preparation allows for great variety, depending on your tastes and what you have on hand. You can use so much of your share this week in this soup! Let me know what you try.

4-6 cups thinly sliced vegetables and greens like turnips, Daikon or other radishes, carrot, napa or other cabbage, greens, etc.
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp grated ginger
2-4 quarts water
Rice Stir-Fry Noodles
Miso paste, 1 tablespoon per serving
Condiments to serve with including but not limited to, Gluten Free Tamari, Rice Vinegar, Sriracha Hot Sauce, Ume Plum Vinegar, Sesame Seeds

Fill a large stockpot 3/4 of the way with water and bring to a boil. While the water is boiling, prep the vegetables. Cut carrots and daikon into long ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Chop turnip in half, then thinly slice both halves. Cut slices into larger triangles. Shred napa cabbage. Cut tender greens into bite size pieces. Mince garlic. Grate ginger.

Once the water is boiling add garlic and ginger, then vegetables in order of cooking times. If using this variety of vegetables, add turnips and boil 4 minutes. Add rest of veggies then boil 3-4 minutes. Add rice noodles and cook according to package directions. Remove soup from stove.

Place about 1 tablespoon miso paste in each bowl. Ladle some cooking water over the miso paste to dissolve. Once paste is dissolved ladle soup into each bowl. Bring a variety of condiments to the table for serving. Garnish with a lime on top.

Variations: To round this meal out with a protein, we love a fried egg on top. You could also add baked tofu, avocado slices, or grilled chicken, shrimp, or steak.
 

fall-harvest-salad
Photo credit withsaltandwit.com

Fall Harvest Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Recipe adapted from withsaltandwit.com

This is a great preparation for experimenting with all of our delicious winter squash and fall greens. Enjoy the flavors of the season.

Salad:
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
2 pounds winter squash (such as black futsu, buttercup or butternut), peeled, seeds removed & cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Tbsp olive oil
5 cups kale, center rib removed, and sliced thin
1 medium apple, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup toasted pepitas (or pecans)
Salt
Black Pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Toss the squash with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Add to prepared baking sheet. Spread into even layer. Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes or until roasted. Remove and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, cook the wild rice according to package instructions. Once cooked, let it cool. In a large bowl, combine the kale, apple, dried cherries, pepitas, cooled squash and wild rice. Toss until evenly mixed. If serving immediately, toss with the dressing and serve. If preparing the salad ahead of time, store the salad in an airtight container and the dressing in another container. Dress before serving.

Apple Cider Dressing
2 Tbsp apple cider (or apple juice)
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder

In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together. Set aside until ready to serve the salad.
 

green tomatoes

I shared this recipe last year, but I don’t want you to miss it. I got it from a Georgia native after we visited the Whistle Stop Café in Juliette, GA, where the movie Fried Green Tomatoes was filmed. It’s not terribly precise, but you get the idea. Give it a try; they are so delicious!

Fried Green Tomatoes

2 big green firm tomatoes without a hint of pink
water
salt
flour
seasoned salt
non-stick spray
oil

Dissolve some salt in water. Slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch (about 1/2 cm) and soak the slices in the salt water for about 15 minutes. Combine seasoned salt and flour to taste. Spray a non-stick frying pan with spray, heat, add enough oil to film over the bottom and heat to medium high. Dredge the tomato slices in the seasoned flour, patting to coat and shaking off excess flour. Arrange slices in pan so they don’t touch each other. Raise each piece and spray again underneath. Cook for about six minutes. Spray well on top and flip slices over. Cook for another six minutes. The flour should be browned and crispy, the insides tender but not mushy. Serves two as a side dish.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 18

CSA Pickups: October 11 & 13
 
What do you think of those Black Futsu squash?
black-futsu_2

 
In your share this week:

  • Winter Squash
  • Arugula
  • Beans
  • Napa Cabbage/Escarole
  • Eggplant/Pepper
  • Radish/Turnip
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Herbs
  • Celeriac
  • Bok Choi

 

Let’s talk about Celeriac
CELERYROOTSTILLFARM
The first time I saw celeriac in our CSA pickup some years ago, I was so overwhelmed I put it right in the Swap Box. I’m here to encourage you to learn from my mistakes! Whether it’s your first time trying it or you’re a seasoned celeriac veteran, embrace the chance to enjoy this tasty root. It’s very easy to cook with and is delicious. Celeriac aka celery root is just what it sounds like: it’s the root of the celery plant. It has a mild celery flavor, but is somewhat starchy and similar to the texture of a potato. It’s wonderful cooked and mixed in with mashed potatoes and apples, or grated raw and tossed with salad greens or slaws. Celeriac is a great source of calcium, iron, and vitamin C.

To trim celery root: Use a sharp paring knife and take off about a quarter inch of the surface to get past the divots of dirt. Here are some ideas to get you started:

 
Classic Rémoulade
Recipe adapted from Keepers by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, via Nicole DeCoursy Mead

The authors suggest pairing this salad with chicken, pork, or baked ham. You can also eat it as a sandwich filling!

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Salt & Pepper
1 1/2 pounds celeriac, peeled and shredded (a food processor makes this task really easy, but you can also use a box grater–just try cutting it in half first for easier handling)
Handful of flat-leaf parsley (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the mayo, mustard, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Season with pepper, then stir to combine. Add the celeriac and parsley (if using) and toss to combine.

 

Celery Root & Apple Purée
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup large-diced fennel bulb, tops and core removed
1 pound celery root, peeled and (3/4-inch) diced
4 ounces Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and (3/4-inch) diced
1 large or 2 small Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and (3/4-inch) diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup good apple cider
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Melt the butter over medium heat in a shallow pot or large sauté pan. Add the fennel, celery root, potatoes, apples, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sauté the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cider and tightly cover the pot. Simmer over low heat (I pull the pot halfway off the heat) for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft. If the vegetables begin to burn or they seem dry, add another few tablespoons of apple cider or some water. When the vegetables are cooked, add the cream and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer the mixture to a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade and process. (You can also use a food processor but the texture will be smoother than with the food mill.) Taste for salt and pepper and return to the pot to keep warm. Serve warm. Makes 2 to 3 servings.

 

escarole
We have our first escarole in this week’s share as well. The leaves can hold on to a lot of dirt near the core, so keep that in mind when washing your escarole thoroughly. This recipe is a simple vegetarian soup, and the flavors and textures are quite delicious together. It’s a close cousin to Italian Wedding Soup; just swap small turkey meatballs for the beans (or leave the beans in, and enjoy a truly hearty soup!). And, the napa cabbage can be swapped for the escarole, if you prefer.

Escarole and Bean Minestra
Recipe adapted from Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Brother Victor-Antoine D’Avila Latourrette

8 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 large turnip, or 2-3 small or medium turnips, diced
4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 16-oz cans white beans, or 2 cups precooked white beans
7 cups water
1 cup white wine
2 cubes bouillon (optional)
1 medium-sized head escarole, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a large soup pot, sauté the onion in the oil for 1-2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and mix it well with the onion, stirring often. Add the turnip and tomatoes. Cook the soup over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the precooked beans, water, wine, and bouillon cubes (if using). Stir the soup and bring to a boil. Add the escarole and cook the soup over medium heat for about 25 minutes. Add the salt and pepper and simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve hot. If desired, sprinkle some grated cheese on top.
 

Esca-rolls (Stuffed Escarole)
Preparation adapted from Jill E. Duffy

1 head escarole, rinsed
Hard cheese, grated, e.g., Pecorino Romano or Parmigiana (a few tablespoons, but less than a 1/4 cup)
Day-old bread cut into very small cubes, or fresh breadcrumbs, maybe between 1/2 cup and 1 cup
Chopped black olives, about 12-18 olives
Capers, maybe a tablespoon’s worth
Olive oil
Pine nuts (pignoli), maybe 2 or 3 tablespoons, a handful
Golden raisins, soaked, about a small handful, maybe 1/4 cup
2 or 3 cloves of fresh garlic, sliced

Set a large pot of water to boil. Set an ovenproof skillet or small Dutch oven (or if you don’t have this, just a small skillet) over medium heat. Toast the pine nuts, dry. Set pine nuts aside. In the same pan, toast the bread crumbs lightly, 2 or 3 minutes. Set aside with the pine nuts. Lower the heat and add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the same pan. Add the sliced garlic and let it cook one minute, until fragrant, but do not brown. Add the capers and olives. Cook another 30 seconds or so, just to heat everything through and let the flavors meld. Close the flame. Add the pine nuts and breadcrumbs back to the pan and toss to coat. Pour this mixture back into the reserved bowl. Add the cheese and toss to combine. Reserve the oiled pan. When the water boils, use a pair of tongs to dunk the escarole, headfirst, into the water. Cook one or two minutes. Remove from hot water and dunk in cold water. Set upside down to drain. Gently squeeze excess water.

Preheat oven to 350. On a large cutting board, trim the tip from the escarole, then cut lengthwise into five or six pieces, if you can manage. You may find that there are not many long, flat leaves, but it’s okay. You can make do. Try to pick a few long leaves and lay them flat to start. Fan a few smaller leaves around them. Put a small scoop – about a tablespoon’s worth – onto the leaves, then roll it up like a burrito. Place it into the reserved pan (or a different, oiled baking dish if you don’t have anything suitable that can also work on the stovetop) seam down. Repeat until you have five or six bundles. Spoon the remaining stuffing on top of the escarole packages. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake, uncovered, until the top breadcrumbs turn golden, 10-15 minutes.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 17

CSA Pickups: October 4 & 6
 
pumpkins_2
 
In your share this week:

  • Green beans
  • Arugula
  • Chard/Kale/Broccoli Raab choice
  • Bok Choi
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Winter Squash (most likely Black Futsu, TBD)
  • Tomatoes (most likely the last week)
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Shallots
  • Garlic

 
fall-greens_6

So I’m seeing a lot of greens in the swap box… hang in there, and let’s get creative! Leafy greens are so incredibly healthful… eating more of them can really boost your well-being. This is true even if you have to sneak them into your family’s meals! It still counts. And remember, greens can be swapped for other greens in just about any recipe, according to what you have on hand and your taste preferences. Instead of spinach, try chard or Yukina Savoy. The tops of beets, radish, and turnips can all be swapped. Kale, broccoli raab, broccoli leaves, or collard greens tend to be more toothsome, so you may want to cook them a little longer, whatever preparation you’re using. But once they’re tender, you can swap them for spinach and chard as well. Of course, these tweaks will change the flavor of your dish, but likely not in a bad way. Try some of these ideas and see how you like them.

 
Kale Chips
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

3 cups kale, pulled from stems and torn into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425°. Place kale in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Toss well. Place kale in a single layer on baking sheets. Bake at 425° for 8-10 minutes. Watch closely to prevent leaves from burning, removing leaves as they crisp. Once cooled, the kale chips should be stored in an airtight container.

For variety, before baking, try sprinkling the kale with grated Parmesan, red pepper flakes, sweet paprika, or chipotle chili powder.

 
Curried Kale with Coconut
Recipe adapted from Real Simple

1/4 cup unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 tsp curry powder
10 cups stemmed and torn kale (about 1 bunch) or mustard greens
kosher salt and black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 to ½ tsp crushed red pepper

Heat oven to 350° F. Spread the coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes; let cool. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and curry powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add as much kale to the skillet as will fit, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, tossing frequently and adding more kale when there is room, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the lime juice to the kale in the skillet and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the coconut and crushed red pepper.

 
Swiss Chard and Chickpea Fritters with Yogurt
Recipe adapted from Real Simple

8 cups stemmed and torn Swiss chard (about 1 bunch) or spinach
1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled Feta (2 ounces)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
hot sauce, for serving

Pulse together the Swiss chard, chickpeas, garlic, cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor until finely chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Combine the Swiss chard mixture, Feta, and flour in a large bowl. Form the mixture into eight 2½-inch patties. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties, in 2 batches, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet for the second batch. Serve with the yogurt and hot sauce.

 
Provençal Vegetable Stew
Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray

1/4 cup EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil), 3 to 4 times around the pan
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 lb button mushrooms, trimmed and halved
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 green or red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 medium to large eggplant, cut in 1-inch cubes
Salt and black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped (a few sprigs)
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped (a couple of sprigs)
1/2 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)
1 14-ounce can petite-diced tomatoes or tomato sauce
Crusty bread, such as baguette

Heat the EVOO in a deep skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add the garlic, bay leaf, mushrooms, onions, celery, and peppers. Saute for a couple of minutes, then add the eggplant and season everything with salt and pepper and the fresh herbs. Cook for 15 minutes or until the eggplant is tender. Deglaze with the wine and scrape up the vegetable bits from the bottom of the pan, then stir in the tomatoes or tomato sauce and heat through. Turn off the heat and discard the bay leaf. Let the vegetables stand a few minutes, then stir and serve with the warm crusty bread and butter.

 
Bonus recipe:
This recipe was being distributed last week at CSA pick up, but there was only 1 left when I got there. In case you missed it, I’m including it here, exactly as written on the recipe sheet. Go for it, and enjoy!

Quinoa Stuffed Broccoli Leaves
Recipe courtesy of: https://fabulousfit food.wordpress.com

12 large broccoli leaves
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth (I used broth from the boiled broccoli leaves)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup broccoli slaw (made from your broccoli stems)
1 egg beaten
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese (or cheese of choice)
Your favorite marinara sauce (about 24 ounces)

Remove hard stems from broccoli leaves. Bring 6 cups of water to boiling and add broccoli leaves. Boil 3 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of liquid if desired to make quinoa. Rinse in cold water and set aside on paper towels.

Return broth to same pot used for boiling and add quinoa, onion, garlic, and broccoli slaw. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes until quinoa is done and liquid is absorbed. Let quinoa cool.

Place egg and cheese in medium mixing bowl. Add quinoa mixture and mix until well blended. Stuff broccoli leaves.

Spread marinara sauce in a thin layer at the bottom of a baking dish*. Place stuffed broccoli leaves on top of marinara sauce then cover the leaves with the remaining sauce. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 16

CSA Pickups: September 27 & 29
 
fall-greens_3

 
In your share this week:

  • Basil
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli Greens
  • Turnip
  • Radish
  • Flowers/Herbs
  • Winter Squash

 
Let’s talk about Winter Squash
spaghetti squash
 
With the cooler weather come some wonderful delights in our CSA – a variety of winter squash. While they are all fruits that belong to the same curcurbit family, there big differences between these beauties and their summer counterparts. The first has to do with when they are harvested. Summer squash are picked while still relatively immature, the skin, flesh and seeds are all edible, and they can be eaten raw; they should be stored in your fridge and eaten within a couple of days. In contrast, winter squash ripen later in the season, they’re picked when more mature, so they have hard seeds and outer rinds, and need to be cooked. Winter squash should be stored on your counter, not refrigerated. They will keep for weeks, and if kept at around 50 degrees, they can keep for months!

Choose winter squash that are heavy for their size, and avoid those with blemishes and soft spots. In general, winter squash are very versatile and can be roasted, steamed, sautéed, stuffed, or cooked in the microwave. The flavors of most varieties are somewhat mild, and can be paired with just about anything, sweet or savory. Get creative and you will be pleasantly surprised!

These are the varieties of winter squash you are most likely to see in your CSA share this year:

Acorn squash are relatively small for winter squash, and – surprise! – acorn-shaped. They have yellow-orange flesh, and their outer skin is dark green and edible. Their flavor is sweet, nutty, and relatively mild, and their texture is somewhat fibrous. Their size makes acorn squash particularly fun to stuff and bake.

Black Futsu squash are very special, and a new variety for me. This is an heirloom variety of Japanese pumpkin, about the size of a grapefruit or a little larger. The black futsu goes through quite a transformation as it grows (check out this link for some great pictures of its different phases). I’ve read that they are best when the outer skin is a brownish/ruddy color, and that the flesh ends up with a rich and creamy texture, and nutty flavor. I can’t wait to taste them!

Buttercup squash is green with lighter spots or flecks, and a bulbous cap or “turban” on its blossom end. Its flesh is a deep, dark orange, and it is rumored to be one of the most flavorful of all of the winter squash varieties, similar to a sweet potato. Buttercup squash are very high in Vitamin A/beta carotene and fiber, and have some Vitamin C.

Butternut squash is a widely-used and delicious variety. A hit with many who profess not to like the taste of squash, butternut is easy to peal, its flesh is sweet and tender, and it can be used in so many preparations, including any recipe that calls for pumpkin. Butternut is fat free, full of fiber, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamins A & C.

Delicata squash (aka sweet potato squash, peanut squash, or Bohemian squash) are lovely little guys whose flavor is similar to sweet potatoes. Their skin is lightly colored with green stripes, and is edible. The flesh is pulpy and somewhat sweet.

Spaghetti squash may be more familiar, as they have been all the rage in recent years with the advent of the Vegeti. When cooked, scraping out the flesh forms strands that look like spaghetti, and you can serve it up like you would spaghetti pasta (tomato sauce, pesto, etc.). They tend to be large and yellow, and the more yellow the skin, the riper the fruit and sweeter the flesh tends to be. (That said, this is not one of the sweeter-tasting winter squash varieties, so we tend to stick with savory preparations.) I learned recently that although it may sound counterintuitive, the larger spaghetti squash are likely to be more tender and sweet than the smaller ones.

Sugar Pumpkin or Pie Pumpkin This variety is cute and small, and perhaps mis-named, as it is not terribly sweet, nor as my baker friends tell me is its texture great for pie (they prefer butternut squash in their pumpkin pie!). It is, however, delicious roasted and has a wonderful pumpkin flavor, and better for baking than the large jack-o-lantern pumpkins. Sugar pumpkins are usually 6-8 inches in diameter, and their seeds are excellent for roasting.

Here are some recipe ideas to get you started!

 
Fettuccine with Balsamic Delicata Squash & Greens
Recipe adapted from thekitchn.com

1 lb fresh or dried fettuccine
2 Delicata squash (1 to 1 1/2 pounds total)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt, divided
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 sweet yellow onion, such as Vidalia, sliced
1/4 lb pancetta, diced (about 2/3 cup)
1/4 tsp dried red chile flakes
10 oz greens of your choice (choose any from your CSA share!), washed, stem removed, chopped crosswise into 1/2-inch ribbons
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Slice the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Slice crosswise into 1/4-inch thick crescents, discarding the root and stem ends. Grease a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Arrange the squash slices in one layer and sprinkle with the vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place the baking sheet on the lower rack of the oven and roast, agitating every ten minutes, for 25-30 minutes until squash skin shows some wrinkling. Remove from oven and set aside.

Set 4 quarts of water with 1 tablespoon salt to boil in a stockpot. While the water is heating, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the onion slices and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until onions caramelize to a light brown color, about 10 to 12 minutes. Scrape from the pan and set aside. In the same pan over medium heat, cook the pancetta and chile flakes, stirring frequently, until crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Raise the heat to high and add the greens, stirring until wilted.

When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a few tablespoons of pasta water, and add that water to the pan with the greens. In a large serving bowl, combine the cooked pasta, greens, roasted squash, and caramelized onions. Serve with freshly cracked black pepper and Parmesan.
 
acorn squash_2 
Acorn Squash Soup
Recipe adapted from Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Brother Victor-Antoine D’Avila Latourrette

2 large acorn squash
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 cups water
2 cups milk
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
pinch sugar
salt and white pepper to taste
chopped parsley

Peel the squash and cut it into chunks. Place them in a soup pot and add the chopped onion, rice, chopped celery, and water. Cook the soup, covered, over medium heat until the vegetables are tender. Strain the soup through a sieve or blend it in a blender. Reheat the soup and add the milk, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil, then simmer for 2-3 minutes. If you find that the soup is too thick, add some more water, little by little. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving, hot.

 
Roasted Black Futsu with Jasmine Rice & Kale
Recipe adapted from greengirleats.com

One medium black futsu squash, quartered and sliced
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup brown jasmine rice or other fragrant variety, prepared according to instructions
2-3 whole cloves
2 Tbsp fennel seeds
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 1/2 cups of kale or other greens from your CSA, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

Start by getting that squash in the oven. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and arrange your squash pieces (skin on) in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Toss them in your olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon and cayenne until evenly coated. Transfer to the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the squash has softened and easily peels away from the skin, rotating halfway through.

Meanwhile, get your rice started according to package instructions. Add your cloves, fennel seeds, salt and pepper to taste and just a touch of olive oil.

In a small skillet over low heat, add your (rinsed and dried) pumpkin seeds. These will toast up quickly and can burn if you don’t watch them closely. Stir them often until just barely browned, then remove from the pan and set aside. When the rice is just about done, stir in your chopped kale. You want to just wilt it down, not cook it, so wait until you’re just about ready to serve. Toss in your golden raisins. Serve alongside your beautiful slices of black futsu and top with your toasted pumpkin seeds.

 
Spaghetti Squash with Ricotta, Sage, and Pine Nuts
Recipe adapted from thekitchn.com

2 lbs spaghetti squash
1 Tbsp olive oil
6-8 fresh sage leaves
3/4 cup ricotta
2 cloves garlic, mashed or grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pierce the whole squash in several places with a knife or fork, place it in a baking dish, and bake until flesh is tender, about 1 hour. Remove squash from oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small pan. Quickly fry sage leaves until crispy but not burnt. Crumble sage leaves into a large bowl and combine with ricotta and garlic. Set aside. Cut the roasted squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Pull a fork through the flesh to separate and remove the strands from the shell. Add to the bowl with the ricotta mixture. Combine squash and ricotta mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with pine nuts before serving.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 15

CSA Pickups: September 20 & 22
 
fall-flowers_2

 
In your share this week:

  • Basil
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Kale/Broccoli Raab/Chard
  • Bok Choy
  • Yukina/Mizuna
  • Beets
  • Radish/Turnip
  • Flowers/Herbs

 
We have thoroughly enjoyed the selection of radishes in our share the past few weeks – even those super-pungent nero radishes! Have you tried any special recipes with the radish tops? See below for an interesting flavor combination, in a quick stir fry that takes under 5 minutes. Don’t forget that you can always sauté them simply in olive oil and garlic (my go to!), and feel free to combine the different types of greens in the same pot. We have found that the tops of radishes, turnips, and beets are all quite harmonious when cooked together. Give them a try!

As we’re getting into the cooler nights and moving into fall, our delicious produce lends itself to warmer dishes and comforting preparations. Check out the selections below and enjoy!

 
sweet-and-sour-stir-fried-radishes-and-greens

Sweet and Sour Stir-Fried Radishes With Their Greens
Recipe adapted from The New York Times

1 generous bunch large radishes, with greens (about 1 pound total), or 2 smaller bunches
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp agave nectar or honey
2 Tbsp chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 Tbsp peanut, canola, sunflower, or grape seed oil
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger
1 bunch scallions, chopped, white and green parts separated
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

Cut away greens from radishes and trim off bottoms of the stems. Wash in 2 changes of water and spin dry. Chop coarsely. Trim away tips of radishes and quarter lengthwise if large, cut in half if small. In a small bowl or measuring cup combine soy sauce, vinegar, agave nectar or honey, and stock or water. Have all ingredients within arm’s length of your burner. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Add oil to wok or pan and swirl to coat sides, then add garlic and ginger and stir-fry for no more than 10 seconds. Add white parts of scallions and stir-fry for 30 seconds to a minute. Add radish greens, salt and pepper and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes more, until they wilt, and stir in radishes. Stir-fry for 1/2 minute and add soy sauce mixture. Stir-fry for a minute more, then stir in cilantro and scallion greens, stir together for a few seconds, add cornstarch slurry and stir until vegetables are glazed (less than 30 seconds). Remove from heat and serve.

 
New Orleans Green Gumbo
Adapted from Family Vegetarian Cooking by Good Housekeeping.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 32-oz carton vegetable broth, or equivalent homemade
1-1/2 lbs fresh greens (like collards, mustard greens, spinach, chard, Yukina savoy, or whichever you have on hand), cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tsp salt-free Cajun seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 large all-purpose potato, peeled and shredded
4 cups water
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
Hot sauce for serving

In 5-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in broth until blended. Stir in greens, seasoning, salt, potato and water; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce the heat to low; cover and simmer until soup thickens slightly and greens are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and remove from heat. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with hot sauce.

 
chard_6
 
Wait! Before you scroll right past this because the combination sounds too weird (as I might), give it a try! This is a simple and delicious way to make spinach or other greens. Experiment and see what you come up with!

Italian Spinach with Garbanzo Beans and Raisins
Adapted from Family Vegetarian Cooking by Good Housekeeping.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 can (15-19 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 bunches (10-12 oz each) fresh spinach or other greens like chard or Yukina savoy, tough stems trimmed, washed and dried very well
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 tsp salt

In a 5-quart Dutch oven, heat oil with garlic clove over medium heat until the garlic is golden; discard the garlic clove. Add crushed red pepper and cook 15 seconds. Stir in garbanzo beans and cook until hot, about 2 minutes, stirring. Increase heat to high. Add spinach, raisins and salt. Cook just until spinach wilts, 2-4 minutes, stirring. Remove to bowl and drizzle with fresh olive oil before serving.

bok-choy_2
 
Chicken Bok Choy Noodle Bowls
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 Tbsp gochujang (Korean red chile paste)
1 Tbsp sugar
4 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup shallots, sliced
2 Tbsp white miso or doenjang (Korean soybean paste)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp fish sauce
1 lb firm water-packed tofu, cubed
3 baby bok choy (about 6 ounces), chopped or halved
4 oz. thin brown rice noodles (mai fun)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup julienne-cut daikon radish
6 Tbsp sliced green onions
2 Tbsp sliced serrano or jalapeño pepper, if desired

Rub chicken thighs with the gochujang and sugar; grill over medium-high heat 4 minutes on each side. Let stand 10 minutes; cut into large dice. Bring stock, 1 1/2 cups water, and next 4 ingredients (through fish sauce) to a boil in a Dutch oven. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Add tofu and bok choy; reduce heat to low. Prepare noodles according to package directions. Add noodles to pan; cook 4 minutes or until heated. Divide soup among 6 bowls; top with diced chicken, mushrooms, radish, onions, and Serrano (if using).

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 14

CSA Pickups: September 13 & 15
 
fall_radishes_2

 
In your share this week:

  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Kale/Broccoli Raab/Chard (pick 2)
  • Asian Greens – Bok Choy/Mizuna/Yukina (pick 2)
  • Beets
  • Radish/Turnip
  • Herbs/Flowers

 
Let’s talk about Asian Greens:
asian-greens

As we transition into Fall, we are seeing wonderful bunches of greens in our shares. But what are they, and what do we do with them??

Mizuna:
Mizuna is a Japanese mustard green that has deeply-cut fringed, feathery leaves. It’s similar in taste and appearance to wild arugula and frisée and can be substituted for either of these greens in most recipes. Mizuna has a mild mustard flavor and adds a nice touch to salads, but you can also use it in stir fries and soups. If cooking, steam or sauté it as you would spinach. It is best to eat mizuna right away, but can last several days in your refrigerator if loosely packed in plastic.

Yukina Savoy
Like many of the Asian greens in your share, Yukina Savoy is a member of the cabbage family. It is also known as Asian spinach, and you can use it in any recipe that calls for regular spinach such as soups, pastas, stir fries, and salads. Its leaves are a very dark green and they have lots of texture and body to them. Raw, the flavor has a slight bite but cooking it tames its flavor, resulting in a very mild-tasting green. Yukina savoy is full of vitamins A and C as well as fiber. It tends to keep its color and texture a little longer than its cousins, but still should be used within about a week.

Bok Choy / Bok Choi / Pak Choi / Chinese Chard
Known by any of these names, boy choy is also a member of the cabbage family. It is rich in vitamins A, C and folate. Boy choy is somewhat delicate and should be eaten relatively quickly after harvest. If you can’t get to it within a couple of days, blanch the green parts and freeze in zipper bags. (Note that the white bases of the leaves do not freeze well; they have a high water content, and when frozen, their cells break down resulting in a mushy mess.)

Since stir fries are such a popular preparation for Asian greens, I wanted to share this excellent primer from Early Morning Farms: How to Make a Stir Fry without a Recipe. Check it out and let me know what you think! In the meantime, here are some other ideas of what to do with all those luscious greens. What is your favorite preparation?

 
Wonton Soup
Easy Wonton Soup
Adapted from Nicole DeCoursy Mead

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger root
1 garlic clove, chopped
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 small head of Asian greens such as yukina savoy or bok choy (spinach works too!), tough stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
1 package store-bought frozen wontons or potstickers (or make your own if you are feeling ambitious!)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 chopped scallions (for garnish)

In a soup pot, add oil and sauté ginger and garlic for a few minutes on medium heat. Add the broth and raise the heat to high. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer, add greens, wontons, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Simmer until wontons are cooked (according to package directions) and greens are wilted. Serve and garnish with chopped scallions.

 
This recipe was originally shared several years ago by the Farm, but it’s worth repeating:

Yukina Savoy With Sweet Chili Shrimp
Adapted from original recipe posted at Access Atlanta

1 bunch Yukina Savoy or other greens, stems and leaves separated
1 bunch green garlic or green onions
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb large shrimp, peeled
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce

Cut Yukina Savoy stems and green garlic or onion in 1/4-inch slices. Roughly chop the Yukina leaves. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add stems and garlic or onion. Reduce heat and sauté vegetables until tender, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to high and move vegetables to one side of the skillet. Add shrimp in one layer. Cook 3 minutes on one side, then turn and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in Yukina Savoy leaves and chili sauce and stir constantly, heating until leaves are wilted. Serve immediately. Serve with brown rice.

 
Cold Yukina Savoy with Cilantro
Adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables

2 shallots, finely chopped
white wine vinegar
1 bunch Yukina Savoy or other greens, washed, trimmed, dried and chopped into thin ribbons
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
fresh cilantro (if not available, try using a little ground coriander instead)

In a large bowl, soak the chopped shallots in a little white wine vinegar for 15 minutes. Then toss in the Yukina Savoy with the shallots and vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper (sprinkle ground coriander if not using cilantro). Let this mixture sit for about 10 minutes. Add fresh cilantro (if using) to taste. Adjust the seasonings to your liking by adding more vinegar, olive oil, salt and/or pepper.

 
Udon Noodle Soup with Bok Choy and Poached Egg
Adapted from thekitchn.com

8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 whole star anise
1 stick whole cinnamon
4 large eggs
4 (7-ounce) packages fresh or frozen udon noodles
1 bunch bok choy or other Asian green, leaves sliced into ribbons
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
6-8 Tbsp soy sauce

Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a large saucepan. (The broth should be about 2 inches deep in the pan.) Add the star anise and cinnamon and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to infuse the broth with the spices. When finished, use a slotted spoon to remove the spices. Crack the eggs into separate measuring cups and slip them into the simmering broth, one at a time. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the noodles and bok choy. Stir very gently to submerge the noodles and bok choy, but so as not to break the eggs. Cook for another 2 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are completely set but the yolks are still loose. (Cook for an additional minute if you like your yolks set.) Off the heat, gently stir in the soy sauce and the spring onions. Taste and add more soy sauce if necessary. Divide the soup among 4 bowls and eat immediately.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 13

CSA Pickups: September 6 & 8
 
I couldn’t resist the amazing color palate of these tomatoes:

sungold varieties
 
In your share this week:

  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Kale/Broccoli Raab/Chard (choice of 2)
  • Potatoes
  • Asian Greens – Bok Choy/Mizuna/Yukina
  • Beets
  • Herbs/Flowers

 
sausage&peppers
I’ve been wanting to make sausage and peppers all season and just never got around to it, until last night that is. It ended up being proportionally meat-heavy, though less so than it appears in the pic (I had just added the sausage back in). But still, all the veg was from our CSA and it was delicious!

Let’s talk about potatoes.
potatoes
It may be a little late because we’re nearing the end of potato growing season, but I hope this information will still be useful for you. One medium potato contains no fat, sodium, or cholesterol, and is around 110 calories. Potatoes are rich in several nutrients, including vitamins B6 and C, magnesium, potassium, and are a good source of dietary fiber. And while about half of the potato’s fiber is stored in the skin, I learned that most of its nutrients are contained within the potato itself.

Potatoes should be stored in a perforated plastic bag or paper bag, in a cool, dry place. The storage space should be as well-ventilated as possible, but away from direct sunlight. I learned this week that when potatoes turn green from being in too much light, that green color is actually a build-up of the natural chemical solanine (remember last week’s post about nightshades?). The solanine can give a bitter taste, and be aware eating too much of it can make you sick. Keep an eye (haha) on your potatoes and keep them out of direct light.

I have been hoarding our potato shares for several weeks, as I need quite a few to make something for our family of 6! Thankfully they have kept beautifully, and I look forward to preparing one of these recipes this week.

 

Lemon Herb Potatoes
Adapted from United States Potato Board

2 lbs white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, dill or oregano are all great choices)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp lemon juice
4 lemon wedges, for garnish
4 herb sprigs, for garnish

Place potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain. In a large skillet, melt butter with oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook about 5 minutes or until onions are soft but not colored. Add potatoes, herbs, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring and crushing potatoes with a spatula, about 5 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned. Garnish each serving with 1 lemon wedge and 1 fresh sprig of the herb(s) you chose.

 

Grilled Potato Salad With Feta Vinaigrette
Recipe adapted from cookinglsl.com

3 lb potatoes
salt and black pepper to taste
vegetable oil for pan-grilling the potatoes
2 cups mixed greens

For the dressing:
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1 shallot, chopped
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
green onions and parsley for garnishing

Place potatoes in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover them. Add 1 tbsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are cooked, but not too soft. Drain potatoes. Let them cool down. Peel potatoes, if you’d like, I prefer them peeled. Slice potatoes into 1/8-inch rounds. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Brush or spray with vegetable oil. Prepare your grill (or a ribbed skillet), spray lightly with vegetable oil. Heat the grill to medium heat. Grill potatoes for 4-5 minutes per side, until browned, turning once. Set the potatoes aside and allow them cool a bit.

For the dressing:
Add all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk to combine.

To assemble:
Place mixed greens on a large plate, and place cooled potatoes on greens. Pour dressing over the top. Garnish with chopped scallions and parsley.

 

Here’s a great idea for combining the potatoes and peppers in your share.

Potato Stuffed Peppers
Adapted from Sandra’s Easy Cooking

6 bell peppers (or any on hand)
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Filling:
8-10 small potatoes from your CSA share, shredded
1 yellow onion, shredded
Salt to taste
1 tsp ground black pepper
Few sprinkles of chili powder
1 Tbsp olive oil

Topping:
Sour cream (optional)

Preheat the oven on 375 degrees. Wash peppers and cut in halves; remove all the seeds. Place them in a baking pan large enough to hold them all; sprinkle with a little salt and just lightly spray or oil them. Place in the oven and bake for about 6-10 minutes (depending on thickness) or until you are finished with the filling. Meanwhile peel and shred the potatoes and onion. Add salt to taste, ground black pepper, chili powder and oil. Mix the filling until it is fully combined. Take the peppers out of the oven and stuff them with the filling mixture until each half is full. Once you’re done stuffing all the peppers, cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and return to the oven. After the first 15 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking uncovered at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until potatoes are done. Top with a dollop of sour cream (if using) and serve immediately.

Author’s note: This can be stored in the airtight container for a few days. Just reheat and eat, however it’s better if served right away.

 
Bacon-Potato Smash Hash
Recipe adapted from Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien

20 oz (about 18) baby red potatoes
4 slices center-cut bacon or turkey bacon
1 cup chopped red and green bell peppers
1 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1/4 tsp each salt and black pepper
4 dashes smoked paprika
olive oil

Place potatoes in a microwave-safe dish with 2 Tbsp water. Cover and microwave for 6-8 minutes, or until mostly softened. Meanwhile, bring a large skillet to medium heat. Cook bacon until crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Chop or crumble bacon. On a large cutting board, gently smash potatoes with a spatula (or other flat utensil), breaking them into bite-sized pieces. (Roughly chop, if needed.) Discard excess bacon grease from skillet. Add 1-2 tsp olive oil to the skillet and bring to medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir until veggies have slightly softened and browned, about 6 minutes. Raise heat to high. Add smashed potatoes, chopped/crumbled bacon, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir until potatoes are lightly browned and slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle each serving with a dash of paprika, and serve.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 12

CSA Pickups: August 30 & September 1
 
peppers_2016
 
In your share this week:

  • Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Herbs
  • Chard
  • Potato
  • Garlic
  • Beets

 
Let’s talk about nightshades.
peppers & eggplant_2 potatoes heirloomtomatoesstill
The principal edible members of the nightshade family are eggplant, almost all peppers, white potatoes (not sweet), and tomatoes – all abundant in our shares at this time of year. Nightshades are part of the Solanaceae family of over 2,500 different species (including tobacco), but most members of this family are in fact toxic to humans if eaten. Many do, however, have extensive medicinal properties. Some people are sensitive to the compound found in all nightshades, solanine, which can contribute to joint pain and inflammation. However, the vast majority of people does not have this sensitivity, and should be able to enjoy nightshades as much as they like, actually reaping benefits from their antioxidants which may reduce inflammation in the body. If you are concerned that you may have this sensitivity due to joint pain or other symptoms of inflammation, try giving up nightshades for 14 days or more, and observe whether there is any effect on your symptoms.

Now on to this week’s recipes:

 
D.I.Y. Cooked Tomato Salsa
Adapted from thekitchn.com

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 jalapenos, chopped*
1 cubanelle pepper, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
4 tomatoes, (seeded and) chopped
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

In a large pot, heat the oil and add the jalapenos, cubanelle, pepper garlic and onion. Sauté gently until everything is soft – about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and simmer for about 10 minutes to allow it to boil down.

Add salt to taste and chill until ready to serve.

*Note: With this preparation, it is recommended that you leave the seeds and membranes in the jalapenos, as they cooking process greatly reduces the spice.

 
Spicy Stewed Sausages with Three Peppers
Adapted from Mario Batali

2 lbs sweet Italian sausage, pricked all over with a fork
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
2 green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
2 yellow bell peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb—trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
4 serrano chiles, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise
1 habanero chile, seeded and thinly sliced
Salt
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese (3 ounces)
Crusty bread, for serving

Light a grill. Brush the sausages lightly with oil and grill over a medium-hot fire, turning, until nicely charred and just cooked through, about 16 minutes total. Set a large cast-iron skillet on the grill and add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the peppers, onion, fennel and chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt. Add the sausages and wine to the skillet and simmer until the wine has reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Remove from the grill and sprinkle half of the pecorino cheese over the sausage and peppers. Serve with bread, passing the remaining pecorino at the table.

 

Greek Herb Ratatouille

Adapted from Taste of Home

The author says he was inspired by the movie Ratatouille – who could resist that?

1 small eggplant
2 small zucchini
2 small yellow summer squash
4 plum tomatoes
1 large sweet onion
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp each dried thyme, oregano, tarragon and basil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup (4 oz) crumbled feta, or shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Cut vegetables into 1/4-in. thick slices. In a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish, layer the eggplant, zucchini, squash, tomatoes and onion. In a small bowl, combine the butter, parsley, garlic and seasonings; pour over vegetables. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Serve with a slotted spoon. Yield: 13 servings (3/4 cup each).

 
Roasted Swiss Chard and Potato Cake
Adapted from Whole Foods

1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch Swiss chard, thick stems discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
1 cup grated Jarlsberg or Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat butter and oil in a (10-inch) seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Spread out onions evenly in the bottom of the skillet and remove skillet from heat.

Arrange a third of the potatoes in a single layer on top of the onions in the bottom of the skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with a third of the chard and scatter a third of the cheese over the top. Repeat the process to layer the ingredients two more times, ending with the cheese.

Cover skillet tightly with a lightly oiled piece of aluminum foil and bake until potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 1 1/4 hours. Gently remove foil then return skillet to the oven and bake until cheese is bubbling and browned on top, about 15 minutes more. Set aside to let rest briefly, then slice into wedges and serve.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 11

CSA Pickups: August 23 & 25
 
Did you choose a melon or sungold last week?
mini watermelons

In your share this week:

  • Herbs
  • Flowers
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Tomato
  • Sungold/Blueberry Pint
  • Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Eggplant

 
How are you making out with all your late summer produce?

Now that tomatoes are here, let’s review some basics. Picked tomatoes do best at room temperature, 55-80 degrees. Tomatoes are best when stored on your counter, stem side down and out of direct sunlight (not the refrigerator!). This helps to preserve freshness and taste. The cold temperature of the fridge will toughen the skin and takes its toll on the fresh flavor. Refrigerated tomatoes should be brought back to room temperature before use.

I looked for the whackiest tomatoes I could find last week, and these are the ones I chose:
heirloom tomatoes_1

I decided to make a quick tomato sauce with them, as I thought the colors would mix in an interesting way, especially with the fresh basil. So I sautéed some garlic in olive oil, chopped up the tomatoes, and just put them directly into the oil. As they started to cook, I chopped in the fresh basil and some salt. I stirred from time to time, but basically let them cook gently on medium-ish heat. This is what happened over about 20 minutes:
 
sauce_1 sauce_2 sauce_3 sauce_4 sauce_5 sauce_6
 
It’s so simple and was so incredibly delicious. I was chatting with my sister while I was chopping the tomatoes. She explained she prepares her fresh tomato sauce by throwing the cored tomatoes into her food processor, then she cooks that down. She says the puree is very watery when you take it out of the food processor, but you just cook it down until it’s the consistency you want. Or, if you’re short on time, just get it started, freeze it, and cook it down when you’re ready to use it.

Now, I personally prefer a chunky sauce with lots of texture, but that is not so for everyone in my house. How do you like your tomato sauce? And what about your soup?
 
tomatochilegazpacho

Gazpacho Andaluz (Andalusian Cold Tomato Soup)
Recipe adapted from Saveur

1 slice country-style bread, about 1″ thick, crusts removed
2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 lb. very ripe tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt

Optional Garnishes
1/2 green pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
1 cup (1/2″) croutons
1/2 small white onion, peeled and finely diced
1 small tomato, seeded and finely diced

Soak bread for 1/2 hour in a small bowl in water to cover. Squeeze out moisture with your hands. Purée bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and 1 cup water in a food processor until very smooth. Season to taste with salt. Chill gazpacho in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Adjust seasoning. Serve in individual glasses, or in soup bowls with garnishes on the side.
 
Herb, Chard, and Feta Soup
Adapted from Bon Appétit

Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 lb Swiss chard leaves (center ribs and stems removed) or spinach, coarsely chopped (about 10 cups)
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 Tbsp dried mint
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Garnishes
5 oz plain Greek-style yogurt (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup mixed chopped herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, and mint), divided
4 oz feta, crumbled, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh lemon juice (optional)
Olive oil (optional)

To make the soup, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until translucent and soft (do not brown), 7–8 minutes. Stir in chard, broth, parsley, cilantro, fresh and dried mint, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm soup before continuing.

Optional: If you are looking for a smoother soup, simply purée it. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Return to pan.

Garnishes
Place 1/3 of yogurt in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup warm soup; whisk until smooth. Repeat process twice more, adding a total of 1 cup more soup. Whisk yogurt mixture into soup in saucepan. Stir 1/4 cup herbs and half of feta into soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, if desired.

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with remaining 1/4 cup herbs and 2 oz. feta. Drizzle with oil, if desired.

 
Summer Garden Soup
Adapted from Family Vegetarian Cooking by Good Housekeeping.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cups water
3 medium zucchini and/or yellow summer squash, coarsely chopped
2 red and/or yellow bell peppers, coarsely chopped
3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed with garlic press
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
sliced fresh basil leaves for garnish

In a 5-quart stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion and cook until tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add water, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, fennel seeds, salt, and black pepper; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove 4 cups of soup from the pot. In a blender with the center part of the lid removed to allow steam to escape, blend the 4 cups soup in small batches, until smooth. Return pureed soup to the pot. Reheat the soup to serve hot, or refrigerate to serve cold later. Garnish with basil.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer