CSA Blog – Week 20

October 9, 2012











Thank you for joining the CSA this year. We’re so excited with how this season went and we hope you enjoyed all the produce you received in your share. Please join us again next year for our 2013 CSA. The farm stand will remain open until the end of October and we’ll also be at the Yorktown Farmers Market until the end of the month. On behalf of the staff at Hilltop Hanover Farm, thank you!  –Brett Alcaro, Head Farmer


In your share this week: 

  • Celeriac (Celery Root)
  • Turnip Greens
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Carrots
  • Arugula
  • Mizuna
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Scallions
  • Winter Squash
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant



Broccoli is part of the cabbage family and was introduced to the U.S. by Italian immigrants. Broccoli is a super veggie: It contains many anti-cancer nutrients, and it’s also a great source of vitamin C and fiber.

Broccoli rabe or raab is related to the turnip, but it’s often called broccoli rabe because its buds resemble small heads of broccoli. It’s also commonly called rapini. Broccoli rabe has a slightly bitter taste, which can be tamed by cooking, and is high in vitamins A, C, and K as well as calcium and iron.



Pasta with Broccoli Rabe & Turkey Sausage
Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis

1 large bunch broccoli rage, stems trimmed
1 pound orecchiette pasta or your favorite shape
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound turkey Italian-style sausage, casings removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch dried crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Cook the broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp tender, about 1 minute. Transfer the broccoli rabe to a large bowl of ice water to cool, saving the cooking water. Bring the reserved cooking water back to a boil. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up into pieces with a spoon, until browned and juices form, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, when the reserved cooking water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Strain the broccoli rabe and add it to the pan with the sausage mixture and toss to coat with the juices. Add the pasta to the skillet. Stir in the cheese and serve immediately.


Cape Cod Chopped Salad
Adapted from Ina Garten

4 oz. thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 oz. arugula or mizuna, stems trimmed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 medium apple, peeled and diced
¼ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
⅛ to ¼ cup dried cranberries
3 oz. blue cheese, crumbled

1½ tablespoons good apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed orange juice
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ to ⅓ cup of good-quality olive oil

In a large bowl, toss together all the salad ingredients. For the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, orange zest and juice, mustard, maple syrup, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil (if you like your salad more tangy, use only ¼ cup of oil). Toss the salad with enough dressing the moisten. (You will probably have some leftover. Keep it for tomorrow’s salad–you’ll want to make this again!) Sprinkle with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings for lunch or an appetizer.


Sautéed Turnip Greens 
Adapted from The Neely’s

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped shallot or onion
1 small clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 pound turnip greens, washed, stemmed, and chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoons chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted

Heat olive oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic and red pepper and saute until tender and fragrant. Add the washed and cleaned turni greens. Mix together. Cook until they have wilted down, about 3 minutes. Add pepper to taste. In a small bowl, whisk the Dijon mustard with the chicken stock. Add to the wilted greens and cook until the liquid has all but evaporated. Add the toasted nuts and serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.


Brussels Sprout Leaf Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 large lemon)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound Brussels sprouts
2 cups arugula or mizuna, or a combo
1/2  small head Belgian endive or radicchio, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds or chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese

Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Salad: Using a small paring knife, remove the outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Reserve the cores for another use. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprout leaves and cook for 1 minute. Drain and put in a bowl of iced water, then transfer to a colander to drain. Put the Brussels sprout leaves, arugula or mizuna, endive or radicchio, and almonds or walnuts into a large salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss together. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve. Makes 2 to 3 servings.


CSA Newsletter produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.

CSA Blog – Week 18

September 25, 2012



With fall comes a return to the abundant greens that love to grow in the cooler weather. In the next few week, we expect to begin harvesting several new vegetables the CSA hasn’t seen yet this year: broccoli rabe, endive, celeriac, Japanese turnips, broccoli, and mizuna. We’ll continue to have pie and carving pumpkins for sale until we run out.  It may seem like Halloween is far off, but our pumpkins came in early and they’re looking for good homes. One of my favorite things to eat this time of year is pumpkin soup with coconut! –Farmer Mike Fedison

In your share this week…

  • Lettuce
  • Escarole
  • Bok Choy
  • Tatsoi
  • Radishes
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Leeks
  • Carrots
  • Winter Squash
  • Arugula
  • Onions
  • Pie & Carving Pumpkins and Corn Stalks available for sale!
This leafy green is soft and silky when simmered down, but it can be eaten raw in salads, too. Escarole is in the endive family, but it’s less bitter than other members of the clan. This green is chock full of vitamins A, C, and K, plus it’s a great source of folic acid and fiber. Check out my recipe for easy and satisfying white bean and escarole soup below–it’ll warm you up on a cool, fall night.

Escarole & White Bean Soup
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 head escarole (about 1 pound), chopped into small piece
4 cups of reduced-sodium chicken broth (or more if you like more broth)
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1-ounce chunk of Parmesan cheese
Kosher or sea salt
6 teaspoons of high-quality, extra-virgin olive oil
Crusty bread, for serving

1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot overmedium heat. Add the shallots or onion and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the escarole and sauté until wilted, about 3 minutes.  2. Add the chicken broth, beans,and Parmesan chunk. Simmer until the beans are heated through, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 3. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil. You can also grate some Parmesan or pecorino over the top. Serve with crusty bread. Makes 4-6 servings.


Asian-Style Vegetable Noodle Bowl
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
2 large cloves garlic, grated
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 to 3 carrots, chopped
1 large or 2 small head bok choy or tatsoi, stalks chopped and leaves shredded
2 small bell peppers, thinly sliced or chopped
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain. 2. While the pasta is working, using a blender or food processor, combine a splash of the boiling water (before you add salt), the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, honey (or agave), tomato paste, vinegar, sesame oil and hot sauce until smooth. 3. Get all of the remaining ingredients ready for a quick stir-fry. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over high heat.Add the carrots, bok choy stems, and bell pepper and stir-fry for 3 or 4 minutes, then add the scallions, bok choy leaves, and ginger sauce and toss for 1 minute. Pour over the drained noodles and top with the sesame seeds. Pass more hot sauce around the table.

Gorgonzola Tart with Kale, Mushrooms, and Cranberries
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

This free-form tart, almost like a pizza, would make a substantial side dish to grilled chicken sausages, which is what I served it with. It takes some time to assemble so if you’re in a hurry to get dinner on the table, you could substitute store-bought pizza crust or skip the tart part entirely and just make the veggie topping and  crumble gorgonzola over the top.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temp
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Veggie Topping:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups (8 oz.)  sliced mushrooms (button, cremini, or shitake)
1 medium leek, white and pale green only, halved lengthwise, rinsed, and chopped
1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
8 ounces kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Cheese Layer:
4 ounces gorgonzola
1/3 cup cream cheese, at room temp
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the crust: Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until incorporated, about 2 minutes. With the machine running, slowly add 1/3 cup water and mix until a dough forms, adding more water if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time (I added 3 more tablespoons water). Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. For the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3 minutes. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 1/4-inch-thick circle, about 9 inches in diameter. Brush with olive oil. Grill for 4 minutes per side. Let cool slightly.

For the veggie topping: In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, leeks, shallot, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies are soft, about 8 minutes. Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 6 minutes. Add the chicken broth and cranberries. Bring to a boil and scrape up any browned bits. Season with salt and pepper.

For the cheese layer: In a food processor, combine the gorgonzola, cream cheese, sour cream, honey, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Blend until smooth.

To assemble the tart: Using a spatula, spread the cheese layer evenly over the crust. Spoon the filling on top. Cut the tart into slices and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers
Adapted from Everyday Food 
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes in puree
1 jalapeno chile (ribs and seeds removed, for less heat), minced
2 small onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves (2 whole, 1 minced)
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 can (19 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 peppers such as bell, Italian, or poblano chiles, halved lengthwise (stems left intact), ribs and seeds removed
1. Preheat oven to 425. In a blender, combine tomatoes in puree, jalapeno, half the onions, and 2 whole garlic cloves; puree. Season with salt. Pour sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; set aside. 2. In a medium bowl, combine beans, cornmeal, 1/2 cup cheese, remaining onions, minced garlic, cumin, and 3/4 cup water; season with salt and pepper. 3. Dividing evenly, stuff pepper halves with bean mixture; place on top of sauce in baking dish. Sprinkle peppers with remaining 1/2 cup cheese; cover baking dish tightly with aluminum foil. 4. Bake until peppers are tender, about 45 minutes. Uncover, and continue to cook until sauce is thickened slightly and cheese is browned, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool 10 minutes.
Weekly CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.


Help Us Win An Orchard – Week 2

We are now in the thick of it!  100 worthy community groups are competing for the 17 winning spots—the prize is an entire orchard.  While the schools have pulled into the lead, we can still be one of the winners if everyone remembers to vote EVERY day until August 29.  Even a small group can win if all their members continue to vote.  HHF is just under 450 votes—let’s shoot for 1,000 before the official last frost date—May 15!

Here’s how:
Click here and you’ll go to the Communities Take Root website
Register once or log in, if already registered
Scroll down the page and find “NY”—you’ll see Friends of Hilltop Hanover Farm—
Click Vote!  Then collect your coupon for $1.00 off Edy’s fruit bars
Put “Vote!” in your Outlook, daily minder, or calendar so you don’t forget!

Apple Picking Is So Much Fun!

Now, let’s talk apples, possibly the quintessential Northeastern fruit.  Do you know how many apple varieties exist?  There are somewhere around 15,000 named varieties in North America; today, about 11 are available in your supermarket.  Red Delicious makes up the majority—around 40%.  And taste often takes a back seat to looks.  Why?  Back before widespread refrigeration, trucking and alternative foods, different kinds of apples were needed to ensure a continuous supply of fruit.
In the 1700’s, potable water was an issue.  It was much safer to drink hard cider—even for children.  For cider, you need at least 3 kinds of apples:  bitter, sweet and bitter-sharp.  Some of the bitter-sharp apples (Kingston Black, Stoke Red) taste puckery  and astringent , but they add that jene sais quoi to apple cider.  Orchards are now growing these apples and re-introducing Americans to hard cider, especially in New England.

Even as late as the 1940’s, massive amounts of apples weren’t trucked in from Washington State (or Chile!) in January.  Apples had to be preserved year round to be available in the Northeast during the winter and spring months.  You needed apples that stored well—hard, starchy apples that slowly became sweeter in storage.  And high-tech methods like Controlled Atmosphere Storage didn’t exist back then–only cool, humid root cellars.  Apples like Winter Banana, Ben Davis and Newtown Pippin were planted for this purpose.   Certain kinds of apples were best for dried for snacks and reconstituted for pies, like Yellow Transparent; they could be peeled and hung over the stove to be dried.  Apples that made great applesauce in June and July, well before fall, were valued highly:  Red Astrachan was a good one.  And of course, for eating out of hand, it would be hard to do better than Ashmead’s Kernel, Esopus Spitzenberg and White Winter Pearmain.  Need cold hardiness? Try Northern Spy.  Southern climate?  Black Twig could work. Want large size?  Wolf River’s your ticket.  Sweet, snappy flavor?  Try Yates.

There is an apple out there for most any growing condition.  We’ll talk about the breeding programs that bringing us disease-resistant apples and the various organic growing techniques available in our next blog.   Stay tuned, and vote!

Spring On The Farm

by Dana Schlanger

The warm weather is here and winter has disappeared, and with it, the farm is becoming vivified with tons of new crops!  In our fields you’ll find veggies such as snow peas, sugar snap peas, beets, Swiss chard, cabbage, carrots, and chiogga.  Head into the greenhouse and you’ll see succulent spinach, cabbage, and plenty of lettuce -Red Soul, Tropicana, New Red Fire- you name it.  We hope you’re looking forward to the vegetable’s harvest as much as we are!

Check out Facebook for more of Dana’s photographs.

Dana of Yorktown High School, has been interning with us, over the past few months, helping us out with publicity and social media.