In The Box 10: Final Madison Delivery!
Mesclun Salad Mix – This is a lettuce mix with some spicy Asian brassicas mixed in for texture and flavor. If you don’t like the heat raw, simply pull the fringe-y purple and green leaves out when you are washing, and use those for stir fry.
Such a pretty Mesclun Mix; both textures and hues.
Arugula – Better every day. This spicy Italian green is coming into it’s own as the leaves turn a bit firmer and the flavor is more pronounced. Wonderful as a salad, IN salad, or lightly sauteed in olive oil and used to simply dress a fresh pasta.
Peppers – We picked these weeks ago right before the first frost killed the bushes. We are amazed they are still holding up in our cool storage room. You’ve got beefy round green bells and/or spicy long Anaheims. Both are ideal for stuffing and baking. “Here’s”:http://jbugskitchenantics.typepad.com/jbugs-kitchen-antics/2011/08/italian-stuffed-anaheim-peppers.html a great sausage-filled recipe.
Collards – Collards get very thick in the fall, and now is the time to slow cook them with some ham hocks or other rich stock, Southern-style. Recipe below.
Broccoli (Full Shares Only) – Our first planting of broccoli perished in the heat wave in June, but this second round was worth the wait. All brassicas improve in cold weather, and this broccoli is sweet and tender. Use the stalk as well, sliced thinly.
Leeks – These savory stalks are unique in the garden cornucopia because they are one of the first plants started in our greenhouse in February, and one of the last plants to come out of the field. In fact, we will likely still be harvesting these in December. And what a tasty harvest they make – mild and creamy in texture, these are perfect in soups.
Kohlrabi – Oh, these are very much loved by the farm family and crew, though we did receive a few facebook comments last week to the contrary. This asteroid-shaped brassica is like a cabbage/apple. You can find lots of recipes for baking with these on the web, but we highly, highly recommend that you simply peel, slice and eat. A bit of blue cheese dressing might be appropriate.
Kohlrabi in the wash tank. The leaves turn silver!
Sweet Potatoes – My gosh, we did have a sweet potato bonanza! We grew them in the new hoop house so they could have a nice, warm, long season – just what they crave. These tubers are unrelated to typical “Irish” potatoes and should be treated differently. First of all, they get sweeter if they sit a bit. Don’t use them for another week or so, since they were dug just about 2 weeks ago. Store in a cool-ish spot, but not in the fridge. “Here’s”:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/dining/19mini.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink some Mark Bittman wisdom on sweet potato use. Our favorite recipe for these is baked fries, dipped in Blue Cheese dressing.
Carnival Squash – Like a party in your box! These are really just a variation on acorn squash, but what a fun variation! Now that you’ve come to the end of our CSA season, you already know we have a soft spot for such twists on the typical. These store well and have a nutty, sweet flavor you might find familiar if you like butternut soup. This time around we’ve packed the larger ones, so you should get a few pies or dishes out of each. My best advice to you is to use 3/4 cup of the cooked squash to make these amazing “Pumpkin Caramels”:http://kitchenvignettes.blogspot.com/2012/10/salted-pumpkin-caramels.html .
Coconut Roasted Squash
This very unusual recipe is from the Will Street Coop Newsletter from October and as usual, a wine pairing is recommended: Blanco Nieva Sauvignon Blanc.
1 large acorn or buttercup-type squash
1 can coconut milk – full fat
1/2 tsp chili pouder
Zest and juice of one lime
Preheat the oven to 400. Wash and cut the squash in half, scoop out seeds and slice into wedges about 1 1/2 inches thick. In a mixing bowl, combine coconut milk, chili powder, lime zest and juice and a pinch of salt. Add squash wedges to the bowl and stir to coat. Transfer to a lightly oiled baking dish. Drizzle with a few spoonfuls of the coconut mixture and roast until tender and just starting to brown, 20-30 minutes. Serves 4.
Spicy Collard Greens
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 slices bacon
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 cups stock, chicken or smoked pork hock
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 pound fresh collard greens, cut into 2-inch pieces
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon, and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, crumble and return to the pan. Add onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until just fragrant. Add collard greens, and fry until they start to wilt. Pour in chicken broth, and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until greens are tender.
1 garlic clove, minced
3-4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bay leaf
1 cup white wine or vegetable stock
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Cut off the ends of the leeks until you get to the shank; a little of the light green part is fine, but not too much of it. Save the unused portion for making stock later. Slice through the shank of the leek lengthwise until you get to the root endâ€”do not cut through the root just yet. Clean the leeks under cold running water, as leeks are usually dirty. Once the leeks are free of any dirt or grit, cut through the root to make two long pieces of leek. Get a sautÃ© pan large enough to hold the leeks in one layer and heat the butter in it over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted and begins to foam, turn the heat down to medium and add the minced garlic and then the leeks, cut side down. Cook for 1-2 minutes, just to get them a little browned and to let the butter get into the leeks. Turn over and sprinkle with salt, then cook the other side for 1-2 minutes. Turn the leeks back over so the cut side is down, sprinkle the leeks with the sugar, the thyme leaves and a touch more salt. Add the white wine with the bay leaf and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook 35-45 minutes over medium-low heat. When the leeks are tender enough so that a knife blade pierces them easily, uncover the pot and bring the braising liquid to a rolling boil. Let this reduce by half, then turn off the heat. Add the parsley, swirl it around and serve.
Caramelized Leek Soup
2 pounds leeks (white and pale green parts only; save some dark green for garnish)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup vermouth
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
Halve leeks lengthwise and thinly slice crosswise. In a large bowl of cold water wash leeks well and lift from water into a large sieve to drain. In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook leeks in butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until some begin to turn golden, about 40 minutes. Stir in sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in vermouth and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is evaporated and most leeks are golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Deglaze kettle with 1/2 cup broth and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes more, until liquid is evaporated and leeks are deep golden. Add remaining 3 cups broth and bring soup just to a boil. Season soup with salt and pepper.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
We’ve tried a ton of recipes to get these right, and this one from cookieandkate.com really nails it. The trick is to keep the fries crispy without deep frying, and this recipe uses some cornstarch to achieve that. The author also has recipes for Sweet Potato Hummus and Rosemary Baked Sweet Potatoes. See the “whole post”:http://cookieandkate.com/2010/baked-sweet-potato-fries/ .
Sweet potatoes. Iâ€™d plan on at least one per person.
Olive oil. A couple of tablespoons or so.
Corn starch. A big sprinkleâ€™s worth.
Salt, pepper and spices. Amy suggested cumin, but I much prefer cayenne pepper, paprika or curry powder. Garlic is great as well. Itâ€™s up to you!
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into fry-shaped pieces (see photos). Try to cut them into similarly sized pieces so the fries will bake evenly. Toss the uncooked fries into a mixing bowl or a plastic bag, or just onto your baking sheet. Pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil, enough to lightly coat the fries. Season with salt, pepper, and spices. Sprinkle in corn starch. Iâ€™d try to use half a teaspoon per potato or so. Mix/shake to distribute evenly.
Pour the fries onto a non-stick baking sheet or a baking sheet covered with parchment paper (aluminum foil produces mixed results). Arrange the fries in a single layer. It is very important to keep them in a single layer, otherwise they will never crisp up. Itâ€™s best to give each fry a bit of room on the baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the fries so they can cook on all sides. I find the easiest way to flip them is with a metal spatula. Section by section, scoop up about ten fries and flip them with a quick turn of the wrist. Bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, until the fries are crispy. Youâ€™ll know theyâ€™re done when the surface of the fries change from shiny orange to a more matte, puffed up texture. Itâ€™s essential to bake them long enough, otherwise they wonâ€™t be crispy. Donâ€™t worry if the edges are a little bit brown, they will taste more caramelized than burnt.
Blue Cheese Dip
We just love the combo of blue cheese with sweet potato fries. This recipe makes a lot, but you can save it to have sweet potato fries every night for a week!
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1â„4 cup sour cream
1â„4 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 oz. blue cheese – try the amazing Roelli Dunbarton Blue, made in Shullsburg and amazing
1 leek, finely chopped with some greens
dash of Tabasco
Freshly ground black pepper
Do your best to mash this together without totally ruining the chunks of blue cheese. Add more cream if too thick.
DON’T FORGET to come and see us for the Homestead Harvest Festival this Saturday! We hope you’ll all come and bring friends to relax by the fire, play lawn games, mess around with woolcrafts and celebrate the conclusion of a wonderful season of fresh eating. Tours, crafts, stuff for sale and a potluck dinner with live bluegrass music at 6. Saturday, October 13, 2pm til 10pm. See the schedule “here.”:http://184.108.40.206/~circlemf//visit-us/lambs-and-lettuces-festival/