CSA Newsletter- Week 17
Come Visit Us at the Farm!
Welcome to October! Owners John and Sally wanted me to pass a few messages along to you all this week. John said that he’s spoken with quite a few CSA customers this season who have never been to our restaurant before, so for the remainder of the season all CSA customers are welcome to dine at our restaurant with 10% off for their entire party’s meal. We are open for lunch Tue-Fri 11-2, dinner Thu-Sat 5-9, and for breakfast Sat 9-2, but our farmstand is open for shopping Tue-Sat 9-5.
For those of you who don’t know, we have a restaurant that we call the Farmstand on our farm base, attached to the same building that we wash and pack all of our produce out of. We make all our own pastries and bake our own bread every morning, and have a tireless kitchen crew working to celebrate the vegetables we grow through new flavor combinations every week. The servers are simply lovely and adore talking to customers about all things food, farm, and friends. Our restaurant closes for the winter in mid-November, so we hope to see you soon!
Also, now that we’re in October, it’s time for our CSA members to come out to the pumpkin patch! Our jack-o-lantern crop struggled a bit this year, so unfortunately they are first come first serve, and we ask that people take just one pumpkin per family, or one per child for families with more than one. Thanks for understanding. Just come to the Farmstand anytime between now and Halloween during open hours (Tues-Sat 9am-5pm) and tell our servers that you’re a CSA customer here to hit up the pumpkin patch. They will offer everyone in your family a free, house-made potato doughnut and show you the way to our patch o’ pumpkins. Please feel free to waltz around the farm and take a look at the vegetables that will soon be on your plates!
Best, Laura Bennett
Table of Box Contents
- Scarlet Kabocha!!!—Although Delicata might be our most popular squash, Kabocha is my personal favorite. I think of them as giant chestnuts, with a nutty savory flavor and a dry yet creamy texture. As with all winter squash, Kabocha is excellent roasted and served simply with oil, salt, and pepper. However, just like Delicata, my favorite way to prepare it is fried in the frying pan. Cut into small pieces, it takes hardly ten minutes to cook.
- Parsley Root!!—Not a parsnip, parsley root. Parsnips are more sweet-dominant whereas parsley root is more savory-dominant with a particularly parsley-like flavor. Of all the lesser known roots that GTF grows, celeriac (from last week), sunchokes (to come), and parsley root are my favorites!
- Bunched Turnips!—Radishes made their debut at market this past Saturday, and now turnips are making their seasonal debut in your box! These juicy orbs are excellent sliced thin and enjoyed raw, but are also great lightly sautéed with their greens in tamari and served with rice.
- Collard Greens—These greens are tougher than most. Try cutting the leaves in half down the center and then making a stack to cut into very thin strips. The smaller pieces (sautéed in butter) will become soft and delicate.
- Purple Potatoes
- Bunched Red Beets
- Pepper Party, Continued
- 1 Sweet Red Ruffle Pimento
- 1 Anaheim—slight kick
- 1 Sweet Yellow Bell
- Sweet Onion
- Green Leaf Lettuce
- Tomato Surprise—romas or a slicer
Stuffed Collard Greens
Collard greens are great leaves to stuff. They remind me a bit of grape leaves, though they don’t need to be brined before you stuff them. Just remove the stems, blanch them, fill and cook like cabbage leaves. I used medium-grain Cal-Rose rice that I bought at my local Iranian market for these; this type of rice is perfect for stuffing grape leaves and vegetables, the package told me, because it doesn’t swell when cooking and won’t break the leaf. https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/12464-stuffed-collard-greens
- 1 large bunch Collard Greens (about 1 1/2 lbs), stemmed
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1 large Yellow Onion, finely chopped
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 1/4 cups medium-grain Rice, rinsed and drained
- 3 tbsp Pine Nuts
- 2-3 cloves Garlic (to taste), minced
- 1/3 cup Fresh Dill, chopped
- 1/3 cup Mint, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Flat-Leaf Parsley, finely chopped
- 1/3-1/2 cup Lemon Juice, strained, freshly-squeezed
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 Lemon, sliced (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you carefully stem the collard greens, trying to keep the leaves intact. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the collard leaves, in batches. Blanch for 2 minutes and transfer to the ice water. Drain, gently squeeze out excess water and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large nonstick skillet and add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until the onion is tender but not browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the pine nuts and garlic, stir together and add the drained rinsed rice. Stir for a minute or two, until you hear the rice begin to crackle, then remove from the heat. Toss with the herbs, salt and pepper, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. To gauge how much salt you will need, use the amount that you would use when cooking 1 1/4 cups of rice.
Oil a wide, deep lidded sauté pan or saucepan with olive oil. To fill the leaves, place one on your work surface, vein side up and with the stem end facing you. The leaf may have a big space in the middle where you stemmed it; if it does, pull the two sides of the leaf in toward each other and overlap them slightly. Place about 1 level tablespoon of filling on the bottom center of each leaf. Fold the sides over, then roll up tightly, tucking in the sides as you go. Place in the pan, seam side down, fitting the stuffed leaves in snug layers.
Whisk together the lemon juice, remaining oil, and tomato paste with 2 tablespoons water. Season to taste with salt. Pour over the rolls. Add enough water to barely cover the rolls and top with a layer of lemon slices if desired. They will add some bitterness to the dish because of the bitter oils in the lemon skin. Invert a plate over the rolls to keep them wrapped and in position, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover the pan, turn the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, at which point the leaves will be tender and the rice cooked. Remove from the heat and carefully remove the stuffed leaves from the water to a platter or to plates with a slotted spoon or tongs. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Taste the liquid left in the pot and adjust seasonings. Serve the rolls warm or at room temperature with the liquid from the pot as a sauce.
Stir-fried Kabocha Squash
Kabocha and other large squashes lend themselves to easy baking, but being limited to a frying pan at market forces me to cook in creative ways. Trust me, if you stir fry kabocha once, you might never go back. Cooking it in the frying pan takes hardly ten minutes, as there is very little water to cook out, and you end up with bites of creamy squash encased within crisp edges. http://blog.gatheringtogetherfarm.com/2017/10/10/csa-2017-week-18-flavors-fall
- 1 Kabocha Squash, sliced thinly thinly (you can decide if you'd like to shave the skin off first with your knife; scarlet kabocha skin is often soft enough to leave on, but the green squashes you have this week may have thicker skins)
- 1 Sweet Onion, sliced thinly
- 1 Sweet Pepper, sliced thinly
- 1/2 head Garlic
- Coconut Oil
- Salt & Pepper
Cutting up the big kabocha squash while it’s raw is the hardest part of this recipe. Be safe, take your time, and don’t chop your fingers off however tempting it may be. Follow the chopping tutorial in the link above if needed.
Finely chop your onion.
Heat a pan of oil up to medium-low temp and add in the onions, letting cook 2-4 minutes.
Add in the kabocha squash slices and stir around. Let cook covered 2-3 minutes.
Finely chop garlic and peppers and add into the pan, continuing to cook uncovered another 5-8 minutes until crispy brown on some edges, but before the pieces turn to mush.