WEEK 22: Oct. 12 – Oct. 18, 2009 CSA Newsletter

This Week’s Share:  Potatoes, Winter Squash, Onion, Braising Greens, Radish, Pepper mix, Tomatoes, and Beets OR Carrots.

Week 22

Recipes, Information and what-nots

Howdy friends….sorry to leave you hanging last week, but the week got away from me with the Harvest Party plans and a very dear friend visiting us from Colorado. Here we are, back on track with another week of yummy vegetables to eat. But first I would truly like to thank all of you who made it out to the farm Saturday. It was an absolutely gorgeous fall day on the farm! We had a great time and all the garlic for next year is now planted. Everyone worked really hard…thanks again!

The Winter Squash  is finally fully underway. Better late than never. This year’s bounty is behind last years by about a month. It never ceases to amaze us how despite our refining methods in annual crop planning, certain things do better than others each season due to things out of our control. The planning part is really the small part.  Anyway, Winter Squash is here. Here’s a blurb from Provident Organic Farm…

 
The term “summer” and “winter” for squash are only based on current usage, not on actuality. “Summer” types are on the market all winter; and “winter” types are on the markets in the late summer and fall, as well as winter. Thus, the terms “summer” and “winter” are deceptive and confusing. This terminology was never meant to confuse— it just dates back to a time when the seasons were more crucial to man’s survival than they are now. “Good keepers” became known as winter vegetables if they would “keep” until December. Winter squash comes in shapes round and elongated, scalloped and pear-shaped with flesh that ranges from golden-yellow to brilliant orange. Most winter squashes are vine-type plants whose fruits are harvested when fully mature. They take longer to mature than summer squash (3 months or more) and are best harvested once the cool weather of fall sets in. They can be stored for months in a cool basement-hence the name “winter” squash.
 
 We, here at Love Farm Organics grew a lovely little variety which did quite well called Honey Bear. Honey bear sets a new standard for taste in acorn squash – deliciously starchy and sweet. It’s cute, small and compact size makes it easy to work with and cook up quick. It taste’s better than regular acorn squash to me. We also have Delicata’s, Sweet Dumplings and Golden Acorns. You may also get  Butternut squash, Kabocha’s or red Kuri (Buttercup type) squash. Or you may get a large blue-hued squash, which is a  Hubbard-type we grew originating from Australia.  Here’s a recipe for the Kabocha squash that looked pretty good …. http://www.justhungry.com/sweet-and-spicy-roasted-kabocha-squash  And a great sounding bean and butternut stew…. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/06/health/nutrition/06recipehealth.html 

 The dish below makes a great side dish for dinner or a traditional holiday meal. Enjoy the squash!

Carmelized Winter Squash ~ from the LA Times        

Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 teaspoons minced rosemary
2 teaspoons minced lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds peeled winter squash, cut into roughly 1/2 -inch cubes (5 cups diced)
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over low heat until lightly browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.

2. Combine the rosemary, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl and add just enough lemon juice to moisten. Stir together with a spoon, crushing and smearing to make a thick herb paste. The garlic and rosemary should be extremely fine because they will need to cook in a flash.

3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When it is very hot, add the squash. Sprinkle with salt and toss to combine, so the squash cubes are evenly coated with hot oil and seasoned with salt.

4. Cover tightly and cook without stirring for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and stir the squash. The cooked sides should be starting to caramelize. Cover and cook 2 minutes.

5. Remove the lid and toss the squash. Reduce heat to medium, stirring occasionally, until the squash cubes are just tender enough to pierce with a small sharp knife, about 5 minutes. The squash should appear somewhat glazed and browned on much of the surface but should not be so cooked that it falls apart.

6. When the squash is cooked, sprinkle with the herb mixture and the remaining lemon juice. Toss to coat the squash, letting the herb mixture sizzle briefly and become aromatic. Taste and adjust the seasoning for salt, lemon juice and black pepper. Scatter the pine nuts over the squash and transfer to a bowl.
**Each of 6 servings: 133 calories; 2 grams protein; 14 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 9 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 394 mg. sodium. Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times.

 

This Week your share will also include the very last of the Tomatoes and the Peppers. We have had a hard frost out here on the farm and most all tender bushes are, as they say, toast. There was much fruit still on the plants in various stages of ripening. Some of you may need to keep your tomatoes on the counter for a few days to fully ripen.

The first frost does wonders for the Braising Greens. Don’t pass the greens by this week as the flavor is superb this time of year. Kale and Chard are tolerant of the cold and taste sweeter after the first frost. Here in the Pacific Northwest it is possible to eat fresh greens all winter long. We’re lucky!

Also in the share this week you will find Potatoes and Onions. These are great staples for the winter season ahead. Keep them in cool, dark storage and they will last, along with your squash for weeks if not months.

Lastly, some root crops return for your weekly share. You will all receive a Radish bunch, I know much to some of your disdain. They truly are good for you and have a nice flavor this time of year.  Here is a sweet little recipe for cooked radish… http://www.recipezaar.com/Cooked-Radishes-are-Yummy-147329 

Also, you all will receive either a nice bunch of  Beets or Carrots.  Hopefully you’ll have a hankering for whichever comes your way. We love the beets and they are so good roasted, with the squash or potatoes. Below is a version of the traditional fixture recipe I often prepare. I am huge on the goat cheese right now. I have been spoiled lately with an aunt who makes it fresh with her farm goats milk…..delicious.

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Sweet meets savory in this stunning salad. Dappled with goat’s cheese and dark red roasted beets, this baby spinach (ALSO great with chard slightly wilted) side dish is lightly coated in a sherry walnut vinaigrette. The Dijon makes this dressing lovely. Toasted walnuts add a tasty crunch and a burst of flavor. Pistachios are a very good substitution. Add cubed avocado for a little something extra or dried cranberries or pear slices……. Yum! Serves 6.

Ingredients:

10 small red beets
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup walnut oil
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound baby spinach, roughly chopped
5 ounces arugula, roughly chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Preparation:

Heat oven to 400°F. Place beets on a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and make a pouch out of the foil, sealing it tightly. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let beets steam for 10 minutes. Open pouch and let beets cool slightly. Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, mustard, agave nectar or honey, and garlic in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oils and season with salt and pepper. Set vinaigrette aside. After beets have cooled enough to handle, remove and discard skins and cut into bite-size pieces. Mix beets with half of vinaigrette, then mix spinach and arugula with the rest of the vinaigrette. Transfer greens to plates and top with beets, walnuts, and goat cheese.

Bon Appetit!

FARM NEWS:  Not much more to tell….first frost, putting beds to sleep, cleaning up the fields. It is starting to get crisp and cold and, wet and rainy. We are feeling the readiness of hibernation :->

Next week is the last week of the 2009 Season. Hope to see you…ta for now.

 

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