November 12th Market Recipes ft. Fioretto Cauliflower

A big thanks to everyone who made it down to market this week! Our Corvallis and Beaverton outdoor markets will only have one more Saturday left in the season until next spring, so make sure to take advantage before winter. Being in customer service at a farmers’ market in Oregon has been heavy this past week to say the least. I hope we can all seek comfort in the bounty of our local farms, sharing good food with our friends and family. We are perennial, and even if we lose our leaves, the frost will not be fatal. Here are some cozy fall recipes to warm you up, straight from our sample station at the Corvallis Farmers’ Market.img_3162-2

  • Braised Fioretto Cauliflower
  • Kabocha Squash with Medusa Red Kale
  • Celeriac with Lacinato Black Kale

*Note: Any time that you find your sauté pan dry in the middle of the cooking process, add more oil! Fats get a bad rap these days, but being liberal with olive oil in a vegetable sauté probably never harmed anyone.

Braised Fioretto Cauliflower

Broccoli has a well-known cousin named broccoli raab, a non-heading variety with its own unique flavor and texture. Cauliflower turns out to have a cousin of its own called Fioretto Cauliflower Sticks. At first glance, they sort of look like broccoli raab that’s been sitting around one too many weeks, but do not be perturbed by their pale color. img_3187-3-700-pixels-wideToday was my first day tasting these conspicuous florets, and I was surprised how delicious they were. They have a much sweeter taste than cauliflower, with a smooth, fresh texture. Though I ended up sautéing them at market, I firmly believe they are destined for the grill!

  • INGREDIENTS:
    • 2 bu. Fioretto cauliflower sticks
    • Olive oil
    • Salt
  • DIRECTIONS:
    • Chop off the very bottom of the cauliflower sticks while they’re still in a bunch. Then, slice the larger sprigs lengthwise and keep the smaller sprigs as is.
    • Heat up olive oil in your pan to medium high. Add in the cauliflower sticks, and let cook covered 2-3 minutes.
    • Remove lid, add in a pinch or two of salt, and continue to cook uncovered until tender another 2-5 minutes, depending on desired crispness.
    • Serve as is, just like asparagus!

Kabocha Squash with Medusa Red Kaleimg_3184-2

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. Kabocha is a dry yet intensely flavorful squash, with the sweet and savory flavor similar to a roasted chestnut. 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.20161113_113149

  • INGREDIENTS:
    • ½ Kabocha squash, sliced thin
    • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
    • ½ head garlic (Goodfoot Farm)
    • ½ bu. Medusa red kale
    • Olive oil
    • Salt
  • DIRECTIONS:
    • 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 at right, and set aside.
    • Finely chop your shallots.
    • Heat a pan of olive oil up to medium-high temp and add in the shallots, letting cook 2-4 minutes.
    • Add in the kabocha squash slices and stir around. Let cook covered 2-3 minutes.
    • Finely chop garlic and add into the pan, continuing to cook uncovered another 2-3 minutes.
    • Finely chop up ½ bunch of Medusa red kale and add it into the pan along with 2-3 pinches of salt, stirring around to distribute evenly. Let cook another 2-3 minutes until done to taste, but before the kabocha turns to mush! It’s a race against time, but it’ll always turn out delicious.

Celeriac with Lacinato Black Kaleimg_3191-2

I fondly refer to celeriac as “instant chicken soup,” as celery is a common ingredient in chicken soup and celeriac tastes like a savory version of celery. And let’s get real, nobody walks up to a celeriac and says, “oh boy, does that look delicious,” unless they’re being sarcastic. But if you can make it past their gnarly exterior, you will make your way to a wonderfully sweet and savory treasure.20161113_113253

  • INGREDIENTS:
    • 1 celeriac (celery root), sliced thin
    • 1 bu. Lacinato black kale
    • 2 large shallots
    • ½ head garlic (Goodfoot Farm)
    • Olive oil
    • Salt
  • DIRECTIONS:
    • To cut into a celeriac, I first slice off the top and then set it flat-side-down on the cutting board. Then, I take my knife and carefully shave off the skin, including all the gnarled root hairs. You’re left with a chunk of soft white root, which you can then cut into thin slices, as seen in the chopping tutorial at right. Set aside.
    • Finely chop your shallots.
    • Heat a pan of olive oil up to medium-high temp and add in the shallots, letting cook 2-4 minutes.
    • Add in the celeriac slices and stir around. Let cook covered 2-3 minutes.
    • Finely chop garlic and add into the pan, continuing to cook uncovered another 2-3 minutes.
    • Finely chop up ½ bunch of Lacinato black kale and add it into the pan along with 2-3 pinches of salt, stirring around to distribute evenly. Let cook another 2-3 minutes until done to taste.
    • This sauté is delicious on its own, and on occasion when I accidentally overcook the celeriac and it becomes mushy, I’ll just puree the whole thing with cream to make a quick hearty soup with amazing flavor.

 

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 14: Hybrid vs. Open Pollinated vs. Heirloom seeds

Many of you have been receiving some of our specialty ‘heirloom’ tomatoes each week. They seem to come in all sorts of crazy shapes and colors. Along with these some of you also get some of our big beef tomatoes as well. The big beefs are fairly uniform in color and shape and the plants have a high yield. What is the main difference between these two types of tomatoes? The seeds. The heirloom tomato seeds are old varieties from which the seeds have been saved. On the other hand, big beef tomato seeds are a hybrid variety of seed. This means that the seed was produced by the mating of two “parents” in the same species.

So, one would purposefully cross a high-producing tomato plant with one that is disease resistant in order to create a tomato that would be both high producing and disease resistant. Nowadays, from a legal standpoint, the pollination of hybrid must be controlled and the parents must be known. Hybrid crops seem great from one angle: more tomatoes, disease resistance – what could be better? However, one fallback is that the seeds saved from hybrids do not stay true to their type. So, if you tried to save seeds from a big beef tomato, the seeds may not germinate, and if they do, they may not produce fruit. If they do produce, they may not be ‘big beefs’. On top of that, hybrid seeds are generally more expensive than open pollinated or heirloom seeds.

Now, a little bit about open pollinated seeds. ‘Heirloom seeds’ is just a name for old varieties of open pollinated seeds. Open pollinated seeds are ones that are true to their type in the way that you can save their seeds, replant them and they will produce the same plant that you saved the seeds from. Some species of plants are self pollinating (beans, peas, tomatoes, and lettuce), so these do not have to be isolated by types in order to keep from crossing. On the other hand, species such as beets, brassicas, carrots, corn, and squash are cross-pollinating species, and they need to be isolated in order to keep the resulting seeds true to their parent plant.

We grow a combination of hybrid and open pollinated vegetables here at GTF. I think that there is something very valuable about being able to save seed from your own crops. But at the same time there is something very valuable about a plant that will readily produce and be vigorous. I guess you can find both qualities in some hybrid and open pollinated varieties of vegetables. I think that it’s safe to say that both seem to have their place in the vegetable farming world today.

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 (1 white, 1 yellow)– Add to any sauté, or eat raw sliced thin on sandwiches, or add to a slaw or potato salad.

Charantais melon– Eat just like it is!

Lemongrass– Use it as a seasoning in curry or Thai dishes, try steeped in soup too! Make lemongrass tea!

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

1 cippolini onion– Caramelize, or eat raw. They are sweet when cooked.

1 Broccoli or cauliflower– Steam, eat raw, or blanch and then sauté in butter or olive oil. It’s tasty roasted as well.

1 green cabbage– make slaw, steam in chunks or add to soup or stew.

Cardinal or Red oak compact lettuce– Make a salad, or add to sandwiches, make lettuce wraps.

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

1 pint of cherry tomatoes– eat on salads, cut in half and make a tomato salad with basil.

4 ears of corn– Grill in husk or steam; add salt and butter or just eat plain.

Vegetable curry
2-3 cups of chopped cabbage
3-4 carrots, sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 head of broccoli or cauliflower
1 small tomato
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped lemongrass, chopped
4 tablespoons red or green curry paste
1-2 cups of water or stock (vegetable or chicken work well)
Salt to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large pan or wok on medium. Add the onions, carrots and cabbage. Sautée for 10 minutes or so, or until the carrots are about half cooked. Add the broccoli and garlic and continue cooking for another couple of minutes.

Add the stock, coconut milk, curry paste, chopped tomato, and lemon grass. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Salt to taste. You may add more or less curry paste depending on how spicy you would like it to be.
*The lemongrass can be put in some sort of a cheesecloth baggie and steeped or put directly into the curry. It will stay woody even when cooked so I usually don’t eat the lemongrass, but infuse the flavor into the dish.
*Add some sort of cooked meat to this if you’d like! Cilantro or Thai basil goes well in this dish too.

Roasted pepper ‘pesto’
2 colored peppers
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 cup toasted nuts, almonds or filberts (optional)
Pinch of salt

Roast the peppers in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until skins start to brown. Place in a metal or glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit until somewhat cooled. Peel skins off of the peppers and remove the stem and seeds. Place the peppers aside.
Meanwhile in a blender or food processor, place the oil and garlic, Pulse until the garlic is no longer visible. Add the peppers and pulse a few times longer. Add the cheese and nuts, pulse a few more times and then salt to taste. This spread goes wonderfully on sandwiches, as a topping for many veggie dishes, or even as a dip for carrots or broccoli.