October 29th Market Recipes ft. Romanesco

Our brassicas are loving this crisp autumn weather! The brassica family is home to many fall favorites, such as romanesco, kohlrabi, radishes, and cabbage. Sadly I wasn’t able to take pictures before our samples were gobbled up yesterday, so I’ve included some other market photos for your viewing pleasure. Here’s what we sampled up downtown in the cool sunshine:

  • Watermelon Radishes, raw (October 8th Post)img_2948-2
  • Black Radishes, raw (October 8th Post)
  • Romanesco with Leeks and Chard Stem
  • Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash with Pimento Peppers

Romanesco with Leeks and Chard Stem:

Romanesco, although commonly thought of as a type of cauliflower, is actually just as separate from cauliflower as broccoli is. The formation and placement of leaves and other plant parts is called Phylotaxy, a process driven by the famous Fibonacci Sequence. Romanesco may be one of the only plants where the bare bones of this complicated mathematical form is visible and available for appreciation by the human eye. If you can bring yourself to cut into this beauty, Romanesco has an amazing nutty, cauliflower-like flavor.14656421_1322301794446585_2603067765083979695_n

  • INGREDIENTS:
    • 2 Leeks, sliced thin
    • 1 head Romanesco, broken into pieces
    • 1 bunch Chard, stems only
    • 1/2 head garlic, chopped finely (Beene Farm)
    • Olive oil
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • DIRECTIONS:
    • Broccoli and Romanesco look and taste nicest in a sauté if you maintain their form throughout the cooking process. The shapes that we chop things into change their texture and flavor. So instead of “chopping” it, try to use your knife to cut off individual little trees. Set aside.
    • Slice your leeks thinly. The entire leek is edible, even the dark green part! They cook down just the same.
    • Heat up your pan to medium-high with olive oil coating the bottom. Once up to temp, add in the leeks and let cook about 2 minutes.
    • Add in the romanesco and let cook covered 3-5 minutes.
    • Remove the stems from your chard leaves by slicing them out individually with your knife. Once you have a pile of bright stems, slice them thinly and add them into the pan.  Let cook another 3-5 minutes. I don’t like to crowd romanesco with leafy greens so that their beauty can be most appreciated, so the chard stem is a nice addition that adds some color without stealing the spotlight. But do make sure to save your greens and use them for some other delicious meal!
    • Finely chop the garlic and add it along with 1-2 pinches salt and pepper. Let cook another 3-5 minutes uncovered until the romanesco is cooked but still has some crunch.
    • Enjoy!

Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash with Pimento Peppers:

Acorn squash is the one winter squash that I grew up eating, which is strange since it is notoriously the blander of the squashes, requiring hefty quantities of butter and brown sugar to make it exciting. But the past two years we’ve been growing a new type of acorn squash that is supposed to put those bland old acorns to shame, with an intensely sweet flavor more like a delicata. It’s tiny, it’s golden, it’s Gill’s Golden Pippin. And because winter squash is always amazing when paired with peppers, I paired the sweet acorn with one of our sweetest pepper varieties, the pimento. Not only do we still have pimentos when it’s almost November, but they are still tasting as good as they did in the middle of August. 20161029_183524

  • INGREDIENTS:
    • 2 shallots, chopped fine
    • 2 Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash, sliced thin
    • 4 Pimento peppers, sliced thin
    • 1/2 head garlic, chopped finely (Beene Farm)
    • Olive oil
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • DIRECTIONS:
    • Slice off the ends off your acorn squash and then slice them in half. Scoop out the seeds, and slice lengthwise once more so that you have quarters. Make thin slices down the quarters and set aside.
    • Slice your pimento peppers in half and rip out the seeds and stem. Make thin slices down each pepper half and set aside as well.
    • Finely chop the shallots and garlic.
    • Heat up your pan to medium-high with olive oil coating the bottom. Once up to temp, add in the shallots and let cook about 2 minutes.
    • Add in the sliced pimentos and let cook covered about 3-5 minutes.
    • Add the acorn squash, garlic, and 1-2 pinches of salt to the pan and stir around. Cover and let cook about another 3-5 minutes.
    • Remove the lid and cook another 3-5 minutes until at desired softness. Add more salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

 

2016 CSA – Week 15: CSA Box Assembly

csa-week-15-graphic

CSA Newsletter – Week 15


CSA Box Assembly

This week I gained a greater appreciation for our CSA box assembly system. For no good reason other than its September and I just plain forgot (and the boxes had so many delicious veggies this week!), I didn’t to pull that last pallet of veggies out for the CSA line. I only realized that chard was missing from the box half way through the process! Adding chard to each box after they were assembled was certainly not as fun or easy as rolling the boxes down the assembly line.

Each week, we assemble the CSA boxes on Monday for midweek pickups and Friday for weekend pickups. After a morning of washing, lettuce, greens, salad mix, and filling orders, the barn is cleared to setup the CSA assembly line. The veggies are pulled out of the cooler, one pallet at a time, and are arranged in stations on either side of a rolling assembly line.  Potatoes are always first in the box followed by heavier things such as squash, melons, and cabbage. Root veggies and greens are next with onions, peppers and herbs to follow. Lettuce is always the last ingredient in the box.

This week, there were two people stationed at the potatoes, one at the acorn squash-melon station, one at the carrots-turnips-broccoli station, one at the Anaheim-poblano-dill station, one at the onions station, and one at the lettuce station. I’m at the end of the line; lidding boxes, checking to make sure that they have all of the ingredients, adding salad mix to salad lover and addict’s boxes, and making sure the right number are placed on each pallet. Once the line gets going, it’s a whirlwind of action until the last pallet is assembled.

 

Table of Box Contents

☐  Lettuce ($2.00)

☐  1½ lbs Potatoes ($2.25) – Make your own hash browns for breakfast or breakfast for dinner! See recipe.

☐  1 Honey Orange Melon ($5.00)

☐  1 Poblano Pepper ($1.00)

☐  2 Red Anaheim Peppers ($2.00)

☐  1 Bunch Hakurei Turnips ($3.50) – While these sweet turnips are delicious in salads or stir-fry’s, I typically end up snacking on them like an apple. The greens are delicious sautéed or in soup.

☐  1 Bunch Carrots ($3.50)

☐  Acorn Squash ($2.50) – Cut in half, remove the seeds (save for roasting), and bake face down in the oven until tender. Serve plain or with a little butter and maple syrup.

  Swiss Chard ($3.00)

  2 Dried Yellow Onions ($1.25)

☐  1 Dried Red Onion ($.50)

☐  Broccoli ($3.50) – Roast, sauté, grill, or make broccoli salad with garlic and sesame. See recipe.

☐  Dill ($2.00) – Use in potato salad, soups, or dips and dry the rest for later use. Dill can also be infused in vinegar, oil for, or butter for later use.

☐  2 lbs Big Beef Tomatoes ($6.00)

 Box Market Value: $41.00

 

Recipes

Homemade Hash Browns

After a weekend of hiking in the rain, I made a hearty breakfast complete with fried eggs and homemade hash browns. Homemade hash browns are delicious and easy to make.

  1. Shred potatoes and immediately put them into a bowl of cold water. Let soak for a few minutes.
  2. Place the potatoes on a (clean) dish towel, wrap them up and squeeze out any excess water.
  3. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add a few tablespoons of butter or oil. Once it’s melted, add the potatoes in a thin layer and turn the heat down to medium-high.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook until very crispy and brown on the bottom, then flip and cook on the other side.

Read More: The Pioneer Woman

 

Broccoli Salad with Garlic and Sesame

Technically, this is a raw salad but the vinegar and oil in the dressing tenderize the salad as it marinated in the dressing.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 2 heads broccoli, 1 pound each, cut into bite-size florets
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 fat garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons roasted (Asian) sesame oil
  • Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes.

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar and salt. Add broccoli and toss to combine.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil until hot, but not smoking.
  3. Add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in sesame oil and pepper flakes.
  5. Pour mixture over broccoli and toss well. Let sit for at least 1 hour at room temperature, and up to 48 (chill it if you want to keep it for more than 2 hours). Adjust seasonings (it may need more salt) and serve.

Read More: NYT Cooking

Pan Seared Carrots with Lemon and Dill

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch (about 1 pound) carrots, scrubbed and patted dry
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dill, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

Preparation

  1. Cut carrots crosswise into pieces approximately 3 inches long. Cut any thick ends in half lengthwise, so all pieces are about 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick. In a bowl, toss with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  2. Preheat pan over medium-high heat. Place carrots cut-side down on the pan and cover. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the carrots develop sear marks and are beginning to soften. Flip, cover, and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Carrots will be softened with a bit of crunch in the middle.
  3. Transfer the carrots to a bowl. Mix in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, dill, lemon juice and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Read More: TheKitchn

Winter Squash

 Gathering Together Farm winter squash display at the Corvallis Farmers’ Market

 A version of this post was first published on Wayward Spark.

Gathering Together Farm grows (among other things) seven types of winter squash on about five acres of fertile ground. Planting, tending, harvesting, washing, packing, and delivering the bounty to market requires a lot of time and a lot of laboring, but the result is monumental and delicious. Their delicata squash crop alone yields about 20,000 pounds of fruit.

buttercup squash, kabocha squash

Squash varieties have been trialed and selected over the years based on several characteristics: yield, market demand, storage, and taste. An individual variety may rate well in regards to several traits but poorly with others. Pie pumpkins are in demand, but they don’t keep very well. Kabocha squash has a decent yield, stores fairly well, and is delicious, but people often aren’t very familiar with it and are sometimes intimidated by its relatively large size.

delicata squash

Delicata squash is a perpetual favorite. Perfect size. Perfect sweet smooth flavor. Easy to cut into. Easily blends into any autumnal recipe. GTF with our partners at Wild Garden Seed grow, save, and sell a farm-original, ‘Zeppelin’ variety of delicata. (You can read the whole story of how they managed to avoid seed contaminated with bitterness like so many other farms experienced a decade ago.)

The farm’s seed/irrigation/greenhouse manager Joelene has observed that winter squash will produce more vibrant vines and have a larger fruit set if they are direct seeded in the spring. The downside of this method is that a wet spring can delay planting, or an early frost can leave a whole crop of underripe squash sitting unharvested in the field. Transplanting young squash seedlings is a more reliable though somewhat less productive method employed by GTF.

acorn squash

Winter squash begins to ripen in September, but the main harvest starts in early October. The skins of the squash harden, and the vines yellow and eventually die back. Before the first frost, teams of laborers head out to the fields to clip the squash stems and later load the harvest into industrial onion bins (with a method similar to the watermelon toss seen here). Bins are trucked back to the farm packing and storage area where they will be washed, sorted, and wiped dry by more workers with the help of a conveyor-belt sprayer system. Squash that doesn’t meet high quality control standards is donated to the regional food bank or composted.

 butternut squash, ambercup squash

Squash will generally keep for several months if it is kept in a dry place at a consistant, cool temperature. At the farm, squash that isn’t sold shortly after harvest is stored in a large shipping container with a dehumidifier.

Gathering Together Farm sells squash in all of our farmers’ market booths, to restaurants and grocery stores in Corvallis and the Portland area, and at our Farm Stand. We also have a long-standing contract for many tons of butternut squash with Oregon-based distributor of organic produce, Organically Grown Company.

This year, GTF grew the following varieties of winter squash:

Butternut

Metro‘ from Johnny’s Selected Seed
‘JSW 6823’ from Johnny’s Selected Seed
Early Butternut‘ from Osborne Seed Company
Nutterbutter‘ from High Mowing Seed Company

 

Kabocha

Delica‘ from Osborne Seed Company
Sweet Mama‘ from Osborne Seed Company
Cha Cha‘ from Johnny’s Selected Seed
Sunshine‘ (orange) from Johnny’s Selected Seed

 

Buttercup

‘Bon Bon’ from Johnny’s Selected Seed

 

Acorn

Jet‘ from Johnny’s Selected Seed

 

Delicata

Zeppelin‘ from Wild Garden Seed

 ‘Marina Di Chioggia‘ from Johnny’s Selected Seed

Sweet Meat‘ from Territorial Seed Company

CSA 2011 – Week 17: More on Storing Vegetables!

It’s hard to believe, but melons are gone and squash is here! There will most likely be a winter squash in each box for the rest of the season. Provided below is more information on storing and keeping vegetables. These are storing tips from Johnny’s Seed catalog.

Vegetables that last…

1-2 months: Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, parsley, turnips, winter squash (acorn and delicata).
2-4 months: Leeks, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash (buttercup, hubbard, kabocha, and Spaghetti).
4 months plus: Beets, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, onions, parsnips, dried hot peppers, potatoes, rutabagas, butternut squash.

Temperature and humidity play a big role in a vegetable’s ability to store. Here are some tips on how these vegetables store best below:

Cold and Humid: Beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, leeks, parsley, radishes, rutabagas, and turnips.
Cool and Humid: Potatoes.
Cold and Dry: Garlic and Onions (this is why these are best stored when dry in a paper bag, or a bag with holes; not plastic).
Cool and Dry: Pumpkins, winter squash.

Winter Squash Information:
Acorn: Last up to 3 months
Spaghetti Squash: Lasts up to 3 months
Delicata and similar types: Stores up to 4 months
Buttercup: Sweeter after storing for a few weeks; keeps up to 4 months
Kabocha: Gets sweeter when stored for a few weeks; green varieties keep from 4-5 months. Grey varieties will keep up to 6 months.
Butternut and Hubbard: Best a few weeks after harvest; will store up to 6 months.
All Squash stores best if it’s stem is still intact.

Squash Towels! Have any old towels laying around the house that need a new home? Bring them down to GTF! We are at the brink of a wonderful squash washing season and are in need of old towel donations for drying them. We’ll gladly take them off your hands!

What’s in the Box?

1.5 lb Potatoes (nicola)– Steam, roast, fry, mash; you can do just about anything with these!

Carrots, bunched – Shred them on salad, sauté in butter with salt, or eat plain.

2 onions (wallas)– Caramelize, eat raw sliced thin on sandwiches, or add to a slaw or potato salad.

1 bunch of scallions– Chop raw for salad, mix chopped green tops with cheese or eggs.

2 delicata squash– Roast with olive oil and salt, add onions, scallions, or even chopped peppers if you’d like.

1 bunch of red kale– Sauté in butter or olive oil and salt. (See recipe)

2 colored peppers- Grill, roast, or just eat raw; they are sweet.

1 bag baby onions – Cut them into quarters and add to vegetable roasts or sautés.

1 Cauliflower or Romanesco– Roast with olive oil and salt, top with cheese and scallions.

Red oak, cardinal, red Leaf, or green leaf lettuce- Make a salad, or add to sandwiches. Use to make lettuce wraps.

Tomatoes (approximately 2 lbs) – Chop raw on salad or sandwiches.

Roasted Cauliflower with cheese
1 large head or 2 small heads of cauliflower or Romanesco, cut into quarter size or larger pieces.
4 tablespoons of melted butter
Handful of baby onions(6 or so), cut in half and then sliced into quarters
1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion tops
Pinch of salt
1 cup of sourdough or whole grain bread crumbs (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the cauliflower, onions, scallion tops, butter and salt together. Place in a baking pan or dish and in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is mostly cooked but not brown yet. Add the shredded cheese on top and continue roasting until the cheese melts and starts to bubble and turn a light shade of brown. Add the bread crumbs in with the cheese if you want bread crumbs. This dish is versatile and a variety of seasonings can be used in it, such as chile flakes, chopped peppers, tomatoes, or even parsley. Mix it up! Try new things!

Roasted Delicata Squash
Cut the squash in half. Remove the seeds (you can save these seeds and roast them for eating or dry them for planting). Cut the squash up into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a baking pan or casserole dish with olive oil, some pieces of butter and salt. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, checking the squash and mixing it every 10 minutes or so. For a crispier, more caramelized flavor turn the oven on broil for about 3-5 minutes at the end. Keep a close eye on it, the squash will brown fast. I like to eat the skins of the delicata, they are not tough and have a good flavor. Try seasonings with minced garlic if you want! But it’s wonderful plain as well.

Dan the Man’s Red Kale Specialty
1 bunch red kale
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

Cut the leaves of the kale off where they end. You can remove the stem part if it’s too thick for your liking. Chiffonade (cut very thinly) the leaves and combine all the ingredients into one bowl. Mix thoroughly and serve. You can let it sit for 15-20 minutes before serving if you like, the kale will seem more cooked if you do. Dan says this recipe is a great way to eat any type of kale and the two acids in the recipe are what actually cook the kale. It is also great leftover the next day, the kale is tender as if it had been lightly cooked. Adjust the ingredients to your liking. If you like more soy sauce and less rice vinegar try that, or add some raw minced garlic if you want.

Enjoy!

CSA 2011 – Week 15: ‘Ode to the Johns’

Most of you are all aware of Farmer John, Sally, Rodrigo, Joelene, Frank, and all of the other characters that float around the farm daily. I wonder, however, how many CSA members are familiar with the Johns, meaning John Petillo and Jon Boro. These guys have a huge role in keeping the farm running, or shall I say, farm trucks running. These guys fix trucks on a daily basis. In fact, it wasn’t until this year that we even started tracking the repair jobs and since May there have been over 200. Most of these repairs are on trucks or tractors, although you would be surprised at the number of restorations that the Johns are responsible for all over the farm. For example, they have been known fix ovens, stoves, cash registers, CSA scales, building repairs, electrical appliances, anything with a motor, weed eaters, welding on market racks, computers, and much more. John P is a long time friend of Farmer John’s, and he tends to pop in almost every day. Jon B has been working here at the farm for a few years now. Together the Johns make quite a dynamic duo; needless to say we are lucky to have them here.

Mark your calendars for our CSA potluck October 16th!
3-5pm, pumpkin picking, 5-7pm potluck! We have a limited supply of pumpkins this year so if people could RSVP with the number of children coming so that we can try to assure that each child will receive a pumpkin that would be great! You can RSVP by e-mail or phone.

Acorn Squash Purée
1 acorn squash
2 eggs
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Cut the squash in half, remove seeds and set cut side down in a buttered glass baking pan with about 1/2 inch of water. Bake at 350 degrees until tender, about 1 hour. When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add eggs and nutmeg and season to taste. Transfer purée to an ovenproof serving dish. Melt the butter and pour over purée. Sprinkle on pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

What’s in the Box?

1.5 lb Potatoes (Rose Gold)- Steam, roast, fry, mash, you can do just about anything!

Carrots, bunched – Shred them on salad, sauté in butter with salt, or eat plain.

2 onions (white)– Add to any sauté, or eat raw sliced thin on sandwiches, or add to a slaw or potato salad.

Cantaloupe– Eat just like it is!

1 acorn squash– Roast in halves or chunks with salt, pepper, olive oil and/or butter. You can use the acorn squash purée in place of pumpkin for pies, bread and more! (see recipe)

1 bunch of spinach– Sauté quickly in butter or olive oil with salt. Try using garlic and white wine.

2 colored peppers, 1 lipstick pepper— Grill, roast, or just eat raw, they are sweet.

1 shallot– Caramelize, or eat raw. They are wonderful!

Chinese cabbage– make slaw, steam in chunks or add to soup or stew. (see recipe)

Green Leaf lettuce– Make a salad, or add to sandwiches, make lettuce wraps.

Tomatoes (approximately 2 lbs)- Chop raw on salad, or sandwiches.

Stuffed Cabbage
1 Chinese cabbage, outer 12 or so leaves
2 lbs ground meat, sausage, tempeh, or tofu
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 onion or shallot, chopped finely
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
1 bunch cilantro
Salt and pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons arrowroot or corn starch mixed with 2 tablespoons cool water (optional)
*Add any vegetables into this recipe for some variations.*

Remove several leaves from the outside of the cabbage and set aside.
Bring 4 quarts of water or so to boil. Blanch the leaves in the water for
about a minute or two, or until the cabbage leaves are malleable. Level out the leaves by cutting some of the thicker stalk part off or slicing it sideways. Anything cut off can be used in the stuffing. In a large skillet, cook the ground meat or tempeh until done to your liking. Add the onions, chopped trimmed cabbage, rice, sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce, chili flakes, and cilantro. Season to taste. Place a spoonful of stuffing in each cabbage leaf, fold in sides and roll up. Arrange in several layers in a ovenproof casserole dish and cover with stock. Bring to a boil and transfer to the oven. Bake at 300 degrees for about an hour. You can serve the rolls just like this, or you could remove the cabbage rolls from the dish, platter them, and place in the oven to keep warm. Bring the remaining stock to a boil and add the arrowroot/water mixture little by little to thicken. Ladle sauce onto cabbage rolls as you serve, or whenever desired.

Chinese cabbage soup
2-3 cups finely chopped cabbage
2 cups finely chopped carrots
1 onion, or shallot chopped
1 cup celery chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 cups water or stock
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat olive oil up in a large pot. Add onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Sauté on medium heat for about 5-10 minutes or until cooked halfway through. Add a pinch of salt while cooking. Add a splash of white wine and let it simmer for a minute. Add the stock or water and bring to a boil. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the cabbage and turn the burner off. Salt to taste and serve. Variation: Add 1 cup of finely chopped potato in with the onions. Or try putting chopped pieces of bacon in when you add the onions. Other veggies or seasonings can go great in this soup as well. For a spice, add a pinch of red chili flakes.

Also, if anyone has not been receiving the newsletters in their e-mail and wants to, please let me know by e-mailing me at: csa@gatheringtogetherfarm.com. I’ll get you on the list.