CSA 2018 – Week 19: Fractals in Fall

Hi folks,

This week’s box is home to a very special guest—Romanesco. This unique fractaled beauty is a very direct view into the ways in which plant growth is defined by mathematical laws. Fractals are infinite patterns that repeat at multiple scales. Staring in at the florets of a romanesco you can get lost in the same way as you can with computer-generated fractal images.

Once upon a time I was fairly obsessed with fractals. I played around with geometry any time that I had a pen, constructing logarithmic spirals that obeyed the same laws of the Fibonnacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13…) that cells and leaves and branches must obey as plants grow. The arrangement of leaves on a stem, of stems on a branch, and of branches on a full plant is known botanically as phyllotaxy. These arrangements allow for leaves and branches to occupy their own space and maximize sunlight exposure without shading one another. Modern engineers even copy this organization to create hip highrises with balconies that each have privacy and a nice view. All plants obey these laws of nature, but certain plants such as romanesco are simply good at flaunting it. Just a little piece of farming that is often never seen.

Best, Laura Bennett

Table of Box Contents

  • Romanesco—This is probably the coolest vegetable you’ll ever see. Its fractal structure looks like it was digitally created with the Mandelbrot set when in fact it is just a product of nature. Its texture is quite like cauliflower but with a nuttier flavor. Cut the spears off stem by stem to maintain their perfect fractal shape.
  • Buttercup Squash—Buttercup squash is moist like a sweet meat squash with a Kabocha-like chestnut flavor. The blue stem end is known as a turban and makes this squash very nice for stuffing with a lid.
  • Watermelon Radish—We started growing this radish a few years ago and it has been a farm favorite ever since. It is a large radish that is pale green on the outside with a pink burst center. The flavor varies throughout the season, but they can range from mild to quite spicy depending on the weather. Their texture however is consistently crisp and refreshing.
  • Savoy Cabbage—When a leaf is said to be savoyed, it means that it’s rumply, like lacinato kale, which has savoy cabbage genes in its history. These rumples allow for many nooks and crannies to be filled with soups and sauces, making for a particularly delicious cabbage experience and textural delight.
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Cilantro
  • Bunched Carrots
  • Nicola Potatoes
  • Pepper Surprise
  • Dried Sweet Onions
  • Red Leaf Lettuce
  • Tomato

Recipes

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Vegetarian Stuffed Buttercup Squash

Adapted from https://all-thats-jas.com/buttercup-squash.html 

Ingredients

  • 1 Buttercup Squash, about 3 to 3 1/2 pounds
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup Quinoa
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 8 oz Crimini (Baby Bella) Mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 large leaves of Kale, stem removed and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp White Wine or Water
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 cup Raw Almonds
  • 2 stems fresh Parsley, finely chopped
  • 2-3 oz feta cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut a hole on top of the squash, shaping a lid by inserting your knife on an angle. Discard seeds and loose fibers. Rub the inside with some oil. Set aside.

  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  3. Place quinoa in a saucepan and cover with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat immediately and let gently simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onions, mushrooms, and kale until soft, 3-5 minutes.

  5. Add the wine, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook for about 5 more minutes. When the liquid is almost evaporated, add cranberries, almonds, and parsley. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the flavors.

  6. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cooked quinoa. Add the crumbled feta cheese and toss to combine. Fill the buttercup squash with the quinoa stuffing.

  7. Place the squash on a baking sheet. Replace the lid on top and bake for about an hour, depending on the oven and on the size and type of the squash. Check the squash flesh with a knife from time to time and stir around the stuffing with a spoon.

  8. The squash is ready when skin is browned and bubbly and the flesh is soft. Garnish with parsley and feta.

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Buttermilk Bagna Cauda

Adapted from https://food52.com/recipes/5108-buttermilk-bagna-cauda 

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves Garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • 3 tbsp Butter, unsalted
  • 4 Anchovy Fillets
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 pinch Salt, more if needed
  • 2 tbsp Buttermilk
  • Fresh and lightly blanched vegetables, like asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, Romanesco broccoli, small carrots, etc., at room temperature

Instructions

  1. Drop the garlic and thyme into a small saucepan, add the butter and melt over low heat. Simmer the garlic (pulling the pan off the heat if the butter ever bubbles actively) until it's softened, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add the anchovies and mash with a wooden spoon to dissolve them. Stir in the olive oil and let heat through. Season with salt -- taste as you go! (LB addition—I also stir in extra olive oil and spicy pepper flakes)

  3. Whisk in the buttermilk. Serve with a platter of vegetables. Kalamata olive bread is also traditionally served with this dish.

CSA 2018 – Week 18: October on the Farm

Hi folks,

We can’t believe it’s already week eighteen! There are only three more weeks of CSA to go after this! Our cauliflower, broccoli, and romanesco game is on point with some of the biggest and most pristine florets that I’ve ever seen. Brassicas will be stealing the spotlight for the next few weeks; they just love this weather. Though we might have icy fingers, muddy boots, and full-rain gear strapped on, you can see the dew-covered broccoli plants standing strong and almost glowing in the cool air.

Things are slowing down significantly out at the farm. We moved our start time to a luxurious 7:30 am and the summer sensation of feeling rushed at all times has officially passed. Now we play the weather game where we wait as long as we can to harvest our winter storage roots so that they can sweeten up with cold temperatures, but not too long into the rainy season that the ground is too wet to work with. Our sunchoke patch is bursting with ten-foot tall sunflowers, the last hurrah of their growth cycle before root harvest. I can’t wait for those savory mushroom-like morsels! Even when things seem like they are coming to an end, there are still so many beginnings to look forward to.

Best, Laura Bennett

 

Table of Box Contents

  • Delicata—Delicata is particularly versatile, being incredibly sweet and easy to cut into a variety of shapes. You can bake them as boats or roast them in stuffed halves. My favorite is to slice them into half-moon shapes and sauté them with garlic and poblanos, and serve with fried eggs & chili oil.
  • Jester—This flashy squash is a cross between acorn squash and delicata, and as you can see it has the shape of an acorn and the coloring of delicata. I find myself using it more like an acorn squash, cooking it like my mother did by baking it in halves with brown sugar, butter, and bacon, but there are a thousand better ways to utilize it as well! The skin isn’t quite as delicate as delicata, but it’s not the toughest either, so munch if you feel so inclined.
  • Cauliflower—Cauliflower is the vegan dream! You can make the creamiest sauces, dips, and dressings with blended cauliflower (both steamed and raw) that are completely dairy free. I once was quite skeptical of some vegan chicken wings that were served to me until I realized that they were just fried cauliflower in a tasty wing sauce—it was SO GOOD (see link: https://food52.com/recipes/39759-general-tso-s-cauliflower). And as always, you can just chop up some little white trees and enjoy them raw in their sweetest, crunchiest form.
  • Dried Shallot
  • Lacinato (Black Kale)
  • Bunched Carrots
  • Harvest Moon Potatoes
  • Sweet Red Italian & Orange Bell Pepper
  • Dried Sweet Onions
  • Red Leaf Lettuce

Recipes

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Fall Greens w/ Delicata Squash, Caramelized Apples, and Bacon

“Hearty greens such as kale, mustard, and chicory are necessary to support the weight and bold flavors of the salad’s other ingredients: crescents of roasted squash, smoky bacon, sweet caramelized apples and onions, and the slightly sharp acidity of cider vinegar. Search for a mix of the young, smaller leaves of the robust greens rather than the more mature large leaves. If ever a salad smelled and tasted like autumn, this is it!” —Adapted from Erika Reagor’s recipe in the Portland Farmers Market Cookbook, p 137

Ingredients

  • 1 small Delicata/Jester Squash
  • 4 cups Black Kale, sliced thinly
  • 4-6 oz thickly sliced Bacon
  • 1 firm, tart Apple, such as Pink Lady, skin on, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large Onion, thinly sliced (~1 cup)
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set them aside.

  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a large spoon. Slice each half into ¼ -inch half moons and add them to a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of the oil, the salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss the squash pieces until they’re evenly coated, spread them in a layer on one of the baking sheets, and bake them until they are tender and lightly caramelized, but not mushy, 12-15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, lay the bacon slices 1 inch apart on the other baking sheet. Put the sheet in the oven with the squash and cook the bacon for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan front to back and cook the bacon until it is crispy, 3-5 more minutes. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and cool completely.

  4. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter begins to foam and bubble, add the apples and a pinch of salt. Sauté until the apple slices are tender and lightly browned, 5-8 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and remove the apples to a large serving bowl.

  5. Return the sauté pan to the heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. When it begins to bubble, add the onions and pinch of salt. Cook the onions until they’re very soft, lightly golden, and sweet-tasting, 20-30 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, toss to coat the onions, and add them to the bowl with the apples.

  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar with the mustard and honey. Slowly drizzle in the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, whisking to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  7. To serve, add the greens to the bowl with the apples and onions. Crumble in the bacon pieces and add the squash. Toss the salad with the dressing to coat the ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. 

 

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Potato Hash with Sweet Peppers & Onions

Adapted from  http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/2012/09/potato-hash-with-bell-peppers-and-onions.html 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 6 medium Potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Sweet Bell Pepper, diced
  • 2 tsp fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes, toss to coat with oil, and place a lid on the pan. Allow the potatoes to cook covered for 10 minutes.

  2. Remove the lid and increase the heat to medium high. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and vegetables turn golden brown.

  3. Add the parsley and garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.

  4. (LB Addition) Then plop a couple fried eggs on there, and you’ll be set.

CSA 2018 – Week 17: Come Visit us at the Farm!

CSA Newsletter- Week 17


Come Visit Us at the Farm!

Hi folks,

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
  • Leeks
  • 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

Recipes

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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

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. 

  4. 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.

 

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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 

Ingredients

  • 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

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.

CSA 2018 – Week 16: Autumnal AF

CSA Newsletter – Week 16


Autumn AF

Well this is certainly the most autumnal box yet! What a treat to have the sweet and buttery delicata squash, creamy and savory celeriac (otherwise known as celery root), crazy crisp kohlrabi, napa cabbage, kale, and a good grip of summer goodies still hanging on. This box might require you to think outside the box and try things that you’ve never had before, I hope that you have fun in the process!

We’ve been harvesting acres of winter squash by hand for the past couple of weeks. First, you wade out into the sea of withering sqush vines with your squad of fellow farmers and clip the sqush at their stems with loppers. We do this for hours and hours. Next, often the next day, we get ready to to pick them up. Some people pick up squash off the ground and toss it to others who are standing beside a large wooden bin as it moves slowly forward with the help of the tractor, and like this we keep going for more hours. It’s like tossing melons in the summer, only they’re not round and they have stabby stems to avoid catching. 😉

We let different varieties of winter squash cure after harvest for varying amounts of time, during which their flavors become fuller, both sweeter and more savory. We then have to wash the squash and hand dry each one with towels to get the soil off from when they were sitting on the ground. A big thanks to all the hands that made this squash possible—it’s the best crop we’ve had in a while!

Best, Laura Bennett

Table of Box Contents

  • Delicata!!!—This is what we’ve all been waiting for. Delicata is the most loved winter squash that we grow. It is particularly versatile, being incredibly sweet and easy to cut into various shapes. You can bake them as boats or roast them in stuffed halves. Slice them into half-moon shapes and sauté them with garlic and serve salted. No recipe needed!
  • Celeriac!!!—What is this strange looking knotty root you say? Celeriac (sell-airy-ack) is a cousin of celery that allocates its sugars and nutrients to the root rather than the shoot. It has a savory, celery-like, potato-like, chicken-soup-like flavor. It is amazing cooked and pureed with cream into a creamed celeriac soup. It is amazing diced sautéed with shallots and garlic in the morning and topped with fried eggs and chili oil, or cheese, or herbs or all of the above! It is amazing cut into 1” round steaks and seared like steaks. It’s my FAVORITE.
  • Kohlrabi!!—Broccoli is an enlarged flower, radish is an enlarged root, and kohlrabi is an enlarged stem crop. They sit on top of the soil in a way that no other vegetable grows. The flavor of this gem is like a sweet, turnip-like, broccoli-stem-like brassica flavor. Peel the skin, slice it up, and dip into hummus or grate into a slaw.
  • Napa Cabbage—Sweet & crisp with a kale-romaine flavor and texture; makes great slaw or kimchi.
  • Green Kale—first fall leaves are delicate and mild
  • Bunched Carrots—Getting sweeter as it gets colder!
  • Roma Tomatoes—the penultimate tomatoes
  • Sweet Bell Pepper
  • Red Italian Pepper
  • Nicola Potatoes
  • Yellow Storage Onions
  • Lettuce Surprise

Recipes

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Napa Cabbage Wedge Salad with Apples & Buttermilk Dressing

A fresh take on the classic wedge salad, with Napa cabbage, crisp apples, red onion, and a robust, creamy buttermilk Parmesan dressing.—Elizabeth Stark, adapted from https://food52.com/recipes/31357-napa-cabbage-wedge-salad-with-apples-and-buttermilk-dressing 

Ingredients

Buttermilk Parmesan Dreessing (or buy a dressing!)

  • 1 clove Garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 tbsp Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Sour Cream
  • 2 tbsp Buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan, finely crumbled or shredded

Napa Wedge Salad

  • 1 small head Napa cabbage
  • 1 small Red Onion (use sweet onion, no prob)
  • 2 Crisp Apples
  • Kohlrabi (slice thinly or grate)
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan, crumbled (plus extra)
  • 1 tbsp Chives, minced
  • 1 pinch Sea Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the garlic, sherry vinegar, Dijon, and sea salt with a fork. Whisking vigorously with the fork, drizzle in olive oil and then whisk in sour cream. When mixture is thick and creamy, slowly whisk in buttermilk. Finally, add the crumbled Parmesan, and whisk vigorously to combine.

  2. Chill dressing in the fridge while you prepare the salad.

  3. Keeping the core intact, slice Napa cabbage lengthwise into four equal quarters. Arrange on a large platter.

  4. Either with a mandolin or a sharp knife, carefully cut the red onion into paper thin slices. Core and cut apples into 1/8-inch thick slices. In a medium-sized bowl, toss apples and onions with a pinch of sea salt and a tablespoon of the prepared dressing.

  5. Tuck dressed onion and apple slices all around and between the leaves of the cabbage wedges. Drizzle the Napa wedges with most of the remaining dressing. Finish with chives, a pinch of sea salt, plenty of fresh ground black pepper, and scattered Parmesan.

 

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Roasted Celery Root & Carrots

From the Food Network: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/roasted-celery-root-and-carrots-recipe-1973889

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Celery Root, peeled & ct into 1" chunks
  • 6 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp Hot Paprika
  • Kosher Salt
  • 3 lbs Carrots, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • Serve with aioli or mayonnaise to dip into! You can add garlic and fresh herbs to mayonnaise to make it a little more interesting, but there's no shame in mayo.

Instructions

  1. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and preheat to 425 degrees F.

  2. Toss the celery root with 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and salt to taste in a bowl. Pile onto a double layer of heavy-duty foil; bring the ends together and crimp closed to seal. Put the packet on another baking sheet and roast in the middle of the oven until almost tender, about 25 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, toss the carrots with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon thyme and 1/2 teaspoon paprika in a bowl; season with salt. Spread on the preheated baking sheet and roast until tender, about 35 minutes.

  4. After the celery root has roasted for 25 minutes, open the foil and spread on the baking sheet; roast 15 more minutes. Toss with the carrots and parsley.

CSA 2018 – Week 15: Keeping it Simple

CSA Newsletter – Week 15


Keeping it Simple

We all know by now that this modern world we live in is becoming faster and more complicated by the day, and it’s hard to not get caught up in it. It’s easy to become obsessed with perfection—the perfect response to an email, the perfect caption for your Instagram photo, the perfect meal to serve to impress your friends with. Whatever it is, it’s all too easy to let yourself get anxious about these things, as if life could possibly be less amazing just because you couldn’t find that one exotic ingredient for a dish you’re preparing for a dinner party.

I’m someone who falls into these modern-day traps regularly, so I find myself seeking out simplicity in order to balance myself out. One way that I like to rebell against productivity and content obsession is to make super simple food that doesn’t look particularly “pretty.” I love to stir fry onions and carrots together with tamari and eat it with fresh cilantro on top and nothing else. It’s a plate of brown mush and I love it. Sometimes for dinner I’ll just have roasted potatoes with butter with sauteed cabbage on the side. Simple. Maybe it’s a little burnt. Maybe it’s not salted properly. Who cares. We all do simple random little things when we’re in a rush or just don’t want to put in the time, but we rarely value those simple things as much as I think they deserve.

This life is too short to not enjoy even the simplest of things to the fullest. A baked potato with salt and butter is a beautiful thing. Slices of cucumber dipped into ranch (that’s right, ranch, not some artisanal aioli) is a beautiful thing. Staring blankly out the window while you pick at your teeth is a fine way to spend a few moments, or more. Respect!

Looked at another way, the complex things in this world that impress us so much are actually quite simple. And the simple things that we often shrug off are actually incredibly complex. It’s all perspective. So we might as well enjoy the beauty in things whichever way we happen to see them in the moment.

Best, Laura Bennett


Table of Box Contents

  • Purple Carrots—tis the season of roasted roots! I love roasting carrots whole, but roasting purple carrots whole is next level beautiful.
  • Red Shallot—don’t forget, shallots are a cross between garlic and onions, which is why their flavor is so much more potent than a regular onion, and why you can see shallots trying to clove up, growing in funny shapes. Use like an onion in any dish.
  • Sweet Corn
  • Purple Cabbage—In my opinion, purple cabbage is one of the most beautiful vegetables that we grow. Sure, from the outside it’s just a heavy purple ball. But slice that thing in half and boom! You’ve got a striking piece of art created from the folds of deep purple and bright white leaves. Plus it’s super-duper sweet! 😉
  • Swiss Chard—the oxalic nature of chard lends it to have somewhat of a mouth-drying effect when eaten raw. To combat this, I love to lightly braise chard with butter and garlic.
  • Pepper Party!
    • Sweet Orange Bell
    • Sweet Red Italian
    • Red Jalapeno
  • Nicola Potatoes
  • Persian Cucumbers
  • Yellow Storage Onions
  • Fresh Dill
  • Lettuce Surprise
  • Cherry Tomatoes

Recipes

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Cabbage Confetti Quinoa

“When my friend Kyra feels under the weather, her husband, Jason, whips up a batch of quinoa and cabbage as ‘comfort food’ to speed her healing (much more healthful than my comfort food, tapioca pudding). If you can, start with chilled cooked quinoa—leftovers from the fridge are perfect—since freshly cooked quinoa is a bit too moist here. Otherwise, cook a batch of quinoa and let it cool before adding it to the pan. This dish tastes amazing with just the vegetables and spices, too, so you can skip the quinoa altogether and enjoy the colorful ‘confetti’ by itself.” 

—Adapted from Laura Russell’s book on Brassicas.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Small Head Red Cabbage
  • 2 tbsp Butter/Vegetable Oil
  • 2 large cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 Sweet Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric (or fresh!)
  • Salt
  • 2 cups White Quinoa, cooked

Instructions

  1. To chop the cabbage, cut out the core with the tip of a knife and place the cabbage cut side down. Cut into about ¼-inch-thick slices, rotate the slices 90 degrees, and cut across the slices to create roughly ¼-inch pieces. You should have about 4 cups.

  2. Put the butter, garlic, and ginger in a large (12 inches or wider), deep frying pan over medium-high heat. When the garlic and ginger start to sizzle, add the bell pepper and cook, stir it occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until starting to soften. Add the cabbage, turmeric, and a pinch or two of salt and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes, until the cabbage wilts. (The cabbage is perfectly delicious at this point. If you like skip the quinoa and eat the dish now.)

  3. Stir in the quinoa and another pinch or two of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes more, until hot. Taste and add additional salt if needed. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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Crispy, Buttery Smashed Potatoes

“Joe Rossi… and his daughter Gabrielle co-manage Rossi Farms, where they grow eighteen varieties of handpicked heirloom potatoes. The power of potatoes to satisfy deeply and completely should not be underestimated. The essence of this humble ingredient is most successfully captured with the simplest of preparations. Here, high heat, butter, and herbs transform fingerling potatoes into a crunchy, wildly addictive cross between a French fry and a baked potato.”

—Recipe adapted from Gabrielle Rossi of Rossi Farms, from the Portland Farmers Market Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Potatoes, unpeeled
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1 tsp Garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp finely chopped Herbs, such as Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, Chives, or a combination

Instructions

  1. Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover them with cold water by several inches. Generously salt the water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until just before they are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them cool for 10 minutes.

  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  3. Lightly coat a baking sheet with oil. Evenly space the boiled potatoes out across the sheet and, using a small glass or a fork lightly coated with oil, gently flatten each potato by pressing down until it mashes into an oblong shape. Brush the potatoes generously with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste, and bake them for 10 minutes. And the garlic and herbs to the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, brush the potatoes again, and bake until they are golden brown and crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes more.