CSA 2017 – Week 19: Misty Mountain Morning

CSA Newsletter – Week 19


Misty Mountain Morning

Every day that I come to the farm I feel so lucky to work in such a beautiful place. This morning the patches of cold fog were bouncing around from field to field, sliding down the mountains and settling into the valleys before dispersing, giving way to crisp, clear, blue skies, bright with the apricity of the warm winter sun. In the heat of the season we try to get our lettuces and other cool-weather crops harvested as early in the morning as possible to prevent wilting, but at this point in the season we have to wait for the day to warm up so that the light frost melts off the leaves before we can harvest.

In addition to regular harvest, today our field crews spent the morning seeding garlic and fava beans. The garlic will overwinter to be harvested fresh in the spring as whole heads and scapes. The favas will be harvested in the spring as well for both their greens and their beans. We’ve finished the mad summer rush of tomato and pepper harvesting and are now spending the majority of our time washing and grading root crops.

Farming requires you to be able to acclimate to such a wide range of temperatures. The challenge in the summer was how to get through long, hot days in full sun. Now the challenge is how to stay warm while washing vegetables in incredibly cold water, or while harvesting vegetables in cold, dense fog and rain. It’s amazing to have such a hard-working group of people dedicated to the full farming season. Every item in this box is making its way to you because of the daily efforts of those fine individuals.

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • 2 Delicata Squash—These are the squash we’ve all been waiting for. Delicata is incredibly sweet and flavorful, and it even lends itself to easy sautéing. When sautéing, just slice it into thin half-moons. The skin is soft enough to leave on, but roasted halves of delicata are probably my favorite way to enjoy them.
  • LeeksThe butter-flavored onion of winter, perfect in any sauté, in soups, and even roasted. Make sure to use your green tops to get the most out of your leek experience, they just take a little bit longer to cook than the white part, or you can add them into a stock.
  • Green CauliflowerThese taste pretty much the same as white cauliflower, although it can sometimes have a nutty flavor more similar to the Romanesco that you got last week.
  • Parsley Root—Don’t confuse this root with a parsnip, because they are two very different things. Parsley root tastes pretty much exactly like parsley; add to a roasted root medley or sauté to taste it.
  • Black Radish—Also known as a Spanish radish, these radishes are black on the outside and white on the inside. At first taste, they may taste as sweet as a salad turnip, but the horseradish-like heat will sneak up on ya!
  • Bunched Red Radishes—Great for salads and slaws, or even lightly roasted with other roots.
  • Cipoliini Onion—With the highest sugar content out of all the onions we grow, these are perfect for caramelizing.
  • Curly Green Kale— Kale and Potatoes with fried eggs on top are a delicious autumn breakfast.
  • Nicola Potatoes—Yellow and buttery
  • Bunched Carrots
  • Sweet Onion
  • Lettuce

Recipes

Print

Kale-Stuffed Delicata Squash

Ingredients

  • 2 medium to large Delicata Squash, halved and seeds removed
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 2 medium to large Leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned of grit, split in half lengthwise, and sliced into 1/4-inch half-moons
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bunch kale, rinsed, thick stems removed, shredded
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 8 small cubes

Instructions

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Rub squash with 1 tablespoon oil and lightly season with salt and pepper, then lay on a baking sheet. If squash halves do not sit flat on baking sheet, use a vegetable peeler to trim a strip or two away from the bottom to allow them to lie flat. Bake until flesh is starting to turn tender and a paring knife inserted shows just a little resistance, about 25 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing. Heat remaining olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the apples and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, raisins and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add kale, cover pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is mostly wilted, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. Add cottage cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Mix well. Remove squash from oven and divide filling evenly among 4 halves. Sprinkle squash with additional breadcrumbs and Parmesan, and dot each squash half with 2 cubes of butter. If you have any leftover stuffing, bake it in a greased dish alongside. Return to oven and bake until squash is tender and stuffing is nicely browned, about 30 more minutes.

 

Print

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 1 large head Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.

  3. In a large bowl, add cauliflower florets, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and paprika and mix everything well to combine.

  4. Transfer everything to the prepared baking sheet. The florets should be in a single layer.

  5. Bake the cauliflower for 15 minutes.

  6. Turn the florets to the other side, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and bake 15 more minutes.

  7. Serve in a casserole and garnish with parsley.

Sunday Morning Breakfast—I’d never had parsley root before, so for breakfast on Sunday I threw a lil sauté together and it was sooooo good! I just sautéed cippolini onion, garlic, parsley root, and shitake mushrooms together, threw some chili oil in there and then poured a couple of eggs into the pan to scramble in with the veggies. I topped it with some Parmesan cheese and hot sauce and devoured it in what seemed like hardly thirty seconds.

CSA 2017 – Week 18: The Flavors of Fall

CSA

CSA Newsletter – Week 18


The Flavors of Fall

As you go through this week’s autumnal box there will be quite a few exciting and lesser known vegetables to explore. It’s quite an amazing thing to live in a place where you can grow so many different types of foods and explore so many different types of flavors. It’s even more amazing that so many of us who happen to live in this agricultural utopia don’t even know that there are such diverse and delicious foods to be enjoyed here. I certainly didn’t.

It’s crazy to imagine what it would have been like for people to live in places where they ate hardly anything but potatoes during the winter. The first time I had kabocha squash, having only ever had acorn before, I just couldn’t believe what I was tasting. I thought squash was something that had to be drowned in butter and salt to be delicious, and yet here was this squash that tasted like a roasted chestnut on its own.

And then when I had celeriac for the first time I just couldn’t understand how such an ugly-looking root sautéed simply with garlic and onion could elicit almost the same flavor profile as a rich chicken stock. And then! There’s the day that you see romanesco for the first time, making you question just about everything you thought you knew about the natural world in one glance. Soon even more flavors will start coming your way, from mushroom-flavored sunchokes and sweet earthy parsnips to savory Gilfeather turnips and incredibly herbal parsley root.

There just isn’t anything in the world quite like a new flavor. Just this week I picked a low-growing pink berry that smelled exactly like wintergreen gum—pure magic.

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Green Kabocha Squash—This squash will blow your mind! It’s basically a giant roasted chestnut, with a deeply savory and nutty flavor and a creamy yet dry texture. At the market, you’ll see a variety of green, scarlet, and grey kabochas, each with their own slight flavor variations.
  • CeleriacI had never heard of this vegetable before working for GTF, but it has since stolen my heart and has become a staple in my fall and winter diets.
  • RomanescoThis is the vegetable of all vegetables, the one and only cauliflower relative whose florets form perfect fractal patterns that look more like a work of art than food. Use just like you would broccoli or cauliflower, and for the best results, cut to keep the florets in little tree forms.
  • Conehead Cabbage—This cabbage is especially sweet, and the leaf shape makes it ideal for making gluten-free wraps.
  • Sweet Bell Pepper—These could be the last peppers of the season. We’ll have to enjoy them while we still can!
  • Spinach
  • Green Bell Pepper
  • Huckleberry Gold PotatoesEveryone on the farm agrees, these potatoes are the most beautiful of the season so far. Their skin is dark purple with hints of magenta, and their flesh is a creamy golden yellow.
  • Bunched Carrots
  • Sweet Onions
  • Lettuce

Recipes

Print

Creamed Celeriac & Apple Soup

“With its wrinkled, whitish skin and protruding stringy roots, celeriac (also known as celery root) won’t win any beauty contests, but I nevertheless find it charming—perhaps because I’m French. In France, celeriac is commonly used in salads, soups, gratins, or mashed.”

Author Adapted from La Tartine Gourmanade by Béatrice Peltre

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 celeriac, peeled & diced
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 1 large apple, peeled & diced
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp marjoram leaves (or oregano)
  • salt & pepper
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream (or coconut milk)
  • chopped parsley to serve (optional)
  • crumbles of blue cheese, to serve

Instructions

  1. To prepare the soup, in a heavy pot melt the butter over medium heat. 

  2. Add the oil and then the onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes until soft. 

  3. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. 

  4. Add the celeriac, potato, and apple and cook, stirring for 5 minutes. 

  5. Add the water, stock, bay leaf, and marjoram and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are fork-tender.

  6. When the soup is ready, discard the bay leaf and transfer to the bowls of a food processor. Puree and return to the pot with the heavy cream.

  7. Reheat the soup and check the seasoning. Serve with crumbles of blue cheese, chopped parsley, and olive oil.

Recipe Notes

Pretty much any vegetable sautéed with onions and then pureed with heavy cream will make a delicious soup. So feel free to add in carrots, spinach, romanesco, or even kabocha squash - just maybe not all at once.


*To see a tutorial on how to cut up celeriac and kabocha squash, check out this link:
http://blog.gatheringtogetherfarm.com/2016/11/13/november-12th-market-recipes-ft-fioritto-cauliflower/

Print

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.

Author Laura Bennett

Ingredients

  • 1 kabocha squash, sliced 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

Instructions

  1. 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.

  2. Finely chop your onion.

  3. Heat a pan of oil up to medium-low temp and add in the onions, letting cook 2-4 minutes.

  4. Add in the kabocha squash slices and stir around. Let cook covered 2-3 minutes.

  5. 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.

2017 CSA: Week 17 – Come to the Pumpkin Patch

CSA Newsletter – Week 17


Come to the Pumpkin Patch!

It’s crazy to think that it’s already week 17 of our CSA! We only have four weeks to go for a total of 21 weeks of produce. Sally wants to let everyone know that you are all invited to come out to our pumpkin patch so that each person in your family can pick out a pumpkin! From now through October 14th, Tuesday–Saturday 9-5, come out to the Farmstand and ask where the pumpkin patch is. Our lovely staff will give each of you a doughnut and point you in the right direction.

Also, this year the Moreland and Shemanski Wednesday markets will be ending on October 25th, a week shy of our last CSA box. To those of you who pick up at either of those markets, make sure to let Will know as soon as possible which alternate pick-up location you would like to grab your 21st box from.

Alright, enough business! What’s really exciting is the fact that watermelon radishes are back in season!!! We started growing watermelon radishes about five years ago when our farming business partner in crime at that time, Wild Garden Seed, was working on breeding them on some of our land. I remember the process vividly, as I had no idea what was required to breed any vegetable. When you’re selecting watermelon radishes for seed, you want to make sure you’re only collecting seed from the best, most flavorful, pinkest radishes in the field. But how do you do that if you can’t see the radish under the ground? Apparently, they harvest the radishes and wash them just like normal. Then they sort the radishes by color. Right at the base of the root where it tapers down to a little tail, they look to see if there is a pink blush. The brightness of that spot is an indicator of how bright the radish is on the inside. Finally, they take all the brightest pink radishes to be re-planted, now called stecklings, and plant them back in the field to let them flower and go to seed. Then we buy that seed and grow them up to become radishes once again.

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Butternut Squash—As the name suggests, this squash is creamy like butter, with a nice sweet flavor.
  • CeleryOur celery is looking beautiful out in the field. The plants are nearly quadruple the size of the celery bunch that you end up receiving, which is only the very center of the floret of stalks.
  • Watermelon RadishesTo those of you who have yet to experience their magic, these radishes are extremely beautiful and delicious. They are white-green on the outside and have a burst of pink in the center, perfect sliced into thin discs into a salad. They’ve got a crisp, juicy texture and a well-rounded combination of sweetness and heat!
  • Sweet Bell Pepper
  • Sweet Jimmy Nardello Pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Yellow Potatoes
  • Chioggia Beets—Beets come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. These chioggias are striped with concentric circles of red and white inside, and have a milder flavor than red beets. They also don’t turn everything pink, and instead can be bright color accents in a salad.
  • Collards—Collard greens are similar to kale with a lovely sweet broccoli-like flavor. Cooked down they become quite tender.
  • Sweet Onion—This time of year I love making grilled cheese sandwiches with a layer of caramelized sweet onions inside.
  • Red Onion—High in acid, great raw in salads, sandwiches, and slaws.
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes

Recipes

Print

Celery, Apple, Watermelon Radish, & Sweet Pepper Slaw

Author Adapted from The CSA Cookbook by Linda Ly

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp minced chives
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Salad

  • 1 tart apple, cored and cut into matchsticks
  • 2 celery ribs, with leaves, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced into disks and then matchsticks
  • 1 sweet pepper, sliced into very thin strips
  • fresh herb: finely-chopped basil, parsley, cilantro, etc.

Instructions

  1. To make the dressing, stir together the vinegar, chives, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil until well blended and set aside.

  2. Combine the apple, celery, cabbage, radish, and pepper in a large serving bowl and toss with the dressing (which you should feel free to elaborate on with your own spice concoction; personally, I love adding sesame oil and crushed peanuts to slaws). 

  3. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving to let the slaw soak up all the flavors. It’s even better the next day! Serve chilled.

Print

Coconut Butternut Squash Soup w/ Collards

“Once you’ve got the squash baked, this soup comes together quickly. The mellow flavors of squash, collards and red onions synergize delectably and look gorgeous together as well.”

Author Adapted from New York Times Cooking

Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow or sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 medium apple, any variety, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups prepared vegetable broth (or 2 cups water with 1 vegetable bouillon cube)
  • 2 tsp good-quality curry powder
  • 2 tsp grated fresh or jarred ginger, or more to taste
  • pinch ground nutmeg or allspice
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Garnish

  • 2 medium red onions, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 good-sized bunch collards (about 10 to 12 ounces)

Instructions

  1. Heat about half the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.

  2. Add the apple, squash, broth and spices. Bring to a steady simmer, then cover and simmer gently until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes.

  3. Transfer the solids to a food processor with a slotted spoon, in batches if need be, and process until smoothly pureed, then transfer back to the soup pot. Or better yet, simply insert an immersion blender into the pot and process until smoothly pureed.

  4. Stir in the coconut milk and return the soup to a gentle simmer. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until well heated through. Season with salt and pepper. If time allows, let the soup stand off the heat for an hour or two, then heat through as needed before serving.

  5. Just before serving, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet. Add the red onions and sauté over low heat until golden and soft.

  6. Meanwhile, strip the kale leaves off the stems and cut into thin shreds. Stir together with the onions in the skillet, adding just enough water to moisten the surface. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the kale is bright green and just tender, about 5 minutes.

  7. To serve, ladle soup into each bowl, then place a small mound of kale and onion mixture in the center.

CSA 2017 – Week 16: Salt and Pepper

CSA Newsletter – Week 16


Salt and Pepper

Welcome to fall, everyone! I just started back at OSU, and I am so grateful to be spending my time studying the history of food, something that I cannot wait to share with you all. Last week I learned all about the history of various spices and how they literally changed the world, but what stood out most to me was the amazing stories behind the most common things on the table—salt and pepper.

It seems like salt and pepper have always been there, no matter what culture or era you’re from, but apparently the two ingredients couldn’t have more different histories. There is no record of when humans first started using salt on food, though the ways in which we use salt has changed drastically over time. In some cultures, rather than sprinkling salt into food, each guest at the table would have a small salt block to lick throughout the meal.
Pepper, on the other hand, has a history much richer than one would expect, and it didn’t join salt on the table until the Romans were in power. Back then, food was treated as a vehicle for spices, and one’s wealth was measured by how many spices they could afford to use. The trade routes from India and the Molucca Islands (where peppercorns and most other spices are still grown) were extremely long, thus leading to extremely high prices. This led to the first major separation of classes in the Western world; suddenly the royalty, who had been more or less living similarly to the peasants, found themselves eating decadently-seasoned food and wearing silks.

In fact, it was the high price on spices, primarily peppercorns, that led hundreds of adventurers to search for a cheaper trade route by sea. One of those explorers was Christopher Columbus, who obviously did not succeed in finding the trade route to India. But it’s crazy to think that he never would have gone to the New World had pepper simply been cheaper. How different would things have been? Just something to ponder as you eat your way through this week’s box.

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Acorn Squash—When I was growing up my mother would bake acorn squash halves with brown sugar, butter, and bacon inside. It was amazing, I won’t lie, but if you’re looking for a healthier alternative, see the recipe on back.
  • Poblano PepperThis pepper is most commonly used to make Chiles Rellenos, as it has a chipotle-like flavor.
  • Sweet Italian Peppers
  • Yellow Potatoes
  • Bunched Turnips—We grow a variety of turnips at the farm, so you can see which variety ends up in your box. If you get purely white turnips, the entire bunch is sweet and delicious. Be sure to eat the stems and greens! If you get purple-top turnips, the stems and greens are a little on the bitter side and would be best blended into a soup rather than eaten.
  • Bunched Purple Haze Carrots
  • Medusa Kale—This kale is known for being particularly purple, though the color intensifies with the colder weather, so it may still be green yet. Sauté with potatoes, a poblano pepper, and top with fried eggs for a warm, autumnal breakfast.
  • Thyme—Fresh thyme is a wonderful treat, but if you can’t use up the whole bunch don’t fret. Just let it hang in your kitchen to dry, and then put it in soups, or crunch the leaves off into a jar for use on a later date.
  • Sweet Onion—This time of year I love making grilled cheese sandwiches with a layer of caramelized sweet onions inside.
  • Superstar Onion—Nice acidic flavor, perfect raw on salads and sandwiches.
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Grapes

Recipes

Print

Roasted Roots w/ Maple Syrup, Black Pepper, and Thyme

“This dish begs to be served with a pork chop.”

Author Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Turnips, stems removed, trimmed, and cut into 1/2 inch wedges
  • 1/2 bunch Purple Carrots, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 bunch thyme, minced
  • 1 tsp dried chile flakes

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Toss the turnip cubes with a nice glug of olive oil and season generously with salt and black pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast until fully tender and lightly browned, 25-30 minutes.

  3. Pile into a bowl, sprinkle with the vinegar, and toss to distribute. Let the turnips absorb the vinegar for a minute. Add the maple syrup, thyme, and chile flakes and toss. Taste and adjust with more salt and pepper if needed.

Print

Roasted Acorn Squash w/ Yogurt, Walnuts, and Spiced Green Sauce

“Such a stunning dish, and with so little work. I look for a mix of squash that will have differently shaped slices so that you get some drama on the platter.”

Author Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 lbs winter squash
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp slightly sweet white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, lightly roasted, roughly chopped
  • Spicy Pesto, hot sauce, or Spiced Green Sauce (below)

Instructions

  1. Mix the yogurt withthe garlic, lemon zest, and 1/4 tsp salt. Set aside.

  2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  3. Trim off the top and bottom of the squash, then peel away the skin with a paring knife or sturdy vegetable peeler. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and fibers with a stiff spoon, and cut the squash into ½ inch slices.

  4. Toss the squash, either in a large bowl or directly on a rimmed baking sheet, with 2 Tbsp of olive oil and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Spread out on one or two rimmed baking sheets, and roast until tender and nicely browned on the underside, 20-40 minutes depending on the texture of the squash. Let the squash cool slightly on the baking sheet (s).

  5. Arrange the squash slices on a platter, spoon a ribbon of yogurt on top, and then sprinkle with vinegar. Drizzle/spoon the pesto/hot sauce over the squash so it looks pretty. Scatter the walnuts on the dish and finish with a few drops of olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

 

Print

Spiced Green Sauce


Author From Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • seeds from 4 green cardamom pods
  • 1/2 cup Poblano, minced
  • 1-3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves, packed
  • 2 cups parsley leaves, packed
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Put coriander, cumin, and cardamom into a dry skillet and toast lightly about 4 min, shaking pan regularly. Dump into mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind.

  2. Blend everything including your ground spices into a food processor and pulse until all is finely chopped into a rough puree, drizzling in olive oil as you blend.

  3. Add more salt and pepper to taste and store in fridge up to one week.

2017 CSA – Week 15: The Brassica Family Trea

CSA Newsletter – Week 15


The Brassica Family Tree

Ever wonder what the heck is up with kohlrabi?? It’s this weird looking purple or green thing; people eat it I guess; but what is it exactly? To get to the bottom of this, it’s time to get to know the Brassica Family, one of the most prominent families of vegetables in the Northwest – especially in the fall.

If you can imagine the world thousands of years ago when humans were just starting to cultivate their own food, imagine one ancient brassica ancestor. From that plant, humans selected for different traits over the years. Breeding for larger flowers led to broccoli, cauliflower, and Romanesco; selecting for larger and more flavorful roots led to turnips, horseradish, radishes, and rutabagas; breeding for better leaves led to collard greens, arugula, bok choy, tatsoi, mizuna, and countless kales; flower buds got bigger and bigger until they became brussels sprouts and cabbages, and more recently kalettes; breeding for larger seeds led to canola, mustard seeds, and meadowfoam. And finally, when you breed for a larger and sweeter stem, you get kohlrabi, a wonderfully weird vegetable that sits right on top of the soil as it grows.

Isn’t it crazy to think that humans created all of these different vegetables that we have available to us today? Even sweet corn used to just be grass. I tend to get lost in thought about it every time I eat kohlrabi, romanesco, or other such funky cousins of the Brassica family tree. As the season progresses into fall, see if you can pick out the Brassicas as they debut in your CSA box.

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Kohlrabi—Shave the skin off with a knife before eating. Dip spears into hummus, grate into a slaw, fry and dip into aioli (week 5 recipe), or slice thinly and sprinkle with salt and lemon and eat as is.
  • Sweet Italian Peppers
  • Nicola Potatoes—These potatoes are as buttery as can be, perfect for hash browns, mashed potatoes, and roasted with other veggies in the oven.
  • Red Cabbage—One cabbage can go a long way! Try using some to make a jar of kraut; I have a friend who makes purple kraut regularly and his kids call it Dragon Food (see week 8 recipe).
  • Fennel—Fennel is like a licorice-flavored dill, whose mild fronds are great as garnish, in stock, or in a salad. The bulb is the main attraction, often shaved thinly and served raw with steak or pork.
  • Bunched Carrots—With this rain it is officially sweater-wearing and stock-making season! Whenever you’ve got a pot of veggie or chicken stock going, make sure to throw in your carrot tops for a nice fresh flavor.
  • Shallot—Shallots are a cross between onions and garlic, which is why they often look like they’re trying to clove up a bit. Their flavor is also much more potent than a normal onion, you may need to tag out with a friend if you’re chopping for too long.
  • Chard—let raw leaves soak in vinegar before serving in a salad; this removes the mouth-drying, oxalic nature and allows you to taste the full chard flavor.
  • Sweet Onion
  • Red Onion—Nice acidic flavor, perfect raw on salads and sandwiches.
  • Sweet Corn
  • Jalapeño—End of season jalapeños are the hottest, beware!
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes

Recipes

Print

Grilled Corn with Alla Diavola Butter and Parmesan Cheese

“Not quite a recipe, this dish is a reminder that when you have a fridge stocked with good condiments, such as my alla diavola butter, great meals are minutes away. The Italians have a few dishes they refer to as alla diavola, which means “devil style”—in other words, spicy as hell. In this butter, I bring together layers of not just heat but all kinds of good chile and pepper flavors. You can adjust up or down, depending on how intense you like your heat.”

Author Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Ingredients

  • Sweet corn, husked
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Alla Diavola Butter

  • 1/2 lb butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp dried chile flakes
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped seeded jalapeno
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce of choice

Instructions

Alla Diavola Butter

  1. Fold all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and pile into whatever container you want to serve or save it in. chill the butter for at least 1 hour to firm up and to let the flavors marry and permeate the butter.

  2. A neat option is to spoon the butter in a line onto a sheet of parchment or waxed paper and roll it into a neat cylinder. Wrap that up well in plastic or pop into a freezer bag and freeze until ready to use it or slice some.

Grilled Corn

  1. Heat a grill to medium-high.

  2. Arrange the corn—un-oiled—on the grill and cook for only a couple minutes, turning so that all sides get exposed to the heat. You just want to warm the exterior and maybe give it a kiss of smoke and flame, but you want the interior of the kernels to stay juicy and almost raw.

  3. Arrange the corn on a platter and slather with the butter, turning the ears so they get entirely coated. Shower with grated pecorino and eat right away.

 

Print

Roasted Fennel with Apples, Taleggio Cheese, and Almonds

“I created this dish by accident. I was making dinner and realized I didn’t have enough fennel for the dish I had planned to make. But I had apples, and so in they went. It has been a go-to recipe ever since. That’s what good cooking is about: adapting, trusting your instincts, and being willing to fail."

Author Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1/2 pound fennel sausage (or Italian)
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 tsp dried chile flakes
  • 2 fennel bulbs, cut lengthwise into eighths
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 ounces Taleggio cheese, torn into bits (or whatever cheese you fancy!)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp butter

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tsp olive oil, then add the sausage. Cook until it’s no longer pink, about 5 minutes, breaking it up into pieces about the size of popcorn. Scoop it out of the pan and set aside.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add 1 tbsp oil and the smashed garlic, and cook slowly to toast the garlic so it’s very soft, fragrant, and nicely golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the chile flakes and toast for another few seconds, then add the sliced fennel. Pour 1/3 cup water into the pan and cover it, adjusting the heat so the fennel steams and simmers. Check the fennel every few minutes, adding more water as it evaporates.

  4. Continue cooking like this until the fennel is getting tender but not super soft, about 10 minutes. If there’s any remaining water when the fennel is cooked, increase the heat to evaporate it quickly.

  5. Return the sausage to the pan and add the apples, almonds, thyme, and half the Taleggio. Toss and then season generously with salt and pepper.

  6. Pile this into a 2-3 quart baking dish, top with the remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs, and dot with the butter. Bake until the ingredients are hot and all the way through the cheese is melting and starting to sizzle, 30-35 minutes.

  7. Let the casserole rest for about 5 minutes and serve hot.