2016 CSA – Week 16: Root Cellar Farm Style

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CSA Newsletter – Week 16


Root Cellar Farm Style

It’s also that time of year that our coolers start to fill up with bins (25 to 60 ft2 ) of cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and beets. Soon, they will be joined by bins of parsnips, sunchokes, salsify, scorzanera, burdock, celeriac, and parsley root.

We have two walk-in coolers on the farm that we do store some of these root crops in, however, these coolers also hold all of the refrigerated produce that we send to market, all of the restaurant orders before they are delivered, and some CSA boxes too! Needless to say, it starts to get cozy in the coolers around this time of year.

We also have a shipping container that is modified to be a cold storage unit. It has a refrigeration system hooked up to it, and it is insulated with straw bales on the top and sides. We are able to store up to 36 bins of storage crops in this space but it is still not enough! As a result, throughout the season we store up to 60 bins of various crops every season at a cold storage facility nearby.

Root crops that are stored at their optimum temperature can last through the winter; on a small scale you would use a root cellar. We wash or clean one bin at a time and with so much variety, it is very important that we are able to keep the additional harvest fresh until it is ready to be washed and enjoyed.

Thanks in part to cold storage techniques, we are able to have a larger variety of produce in the winter months for folks like you and me to enjoy!

 

Table of Box Contents

  Lettuce ($2.00)

☐  1½ lbs Potatoes ($2.25) – Try them sautéed with kale, see recipe.

☐  1 Buttercup Squash ($4.00) – Buttercup squash has a smooth, dry texture and a lightly nutty flavor. It is delicious any way you cook it. Halved and baked, cubed or sliced and roasted, or in pie!

☐  2 Colored Peppers ($2.00)

☐  Bunch Radishes ($2.50) – Radishes are delicious raw in salads but they are equally delicious cooked. Try the recipe for braised radishes with shallots.

  Lacinato Kale ($3.00) – Fall kale is a bit bitter before the frost so I prefer to sauté or blanch it before eating.

  2 Dried Yellow Onions ($1.25)

  1 Dried Shallot ($1.00) – Shallots taste somewhere between garlic and onion and are delicious raw in salads as well as caramelized with just about anything.

☐  Broccoli ($3.50)

☐  4 Ears Corn ($4.00) – If you don’t eat the corn straight off the cob, try making grilled corn guacamole. See recipe.

☐   ̴ 1 lb Big Beef Tomatoes ($3.00)

 Box Market Value: $28.50
Recipes

Grilled Corn Guacamole

  • 3 ears Corn, Shucked
  • 6 whole Avocados, Diced
  • 1 whole Large Tomato, Diced
  • 1/3 cup Onion, Finely Diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Diced Fresh Jalapeno
  • 1 whole Lime, Juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro Leaves

Preparation

  1. Grill corn until nice and golden, with good grill marks on the kernels. Allow to cool a bit, then cut the kernels off the cobs. Set aside.
  2. Halve avocados and remove pit. Cut avocado into a dice inside the skin, then scoop out with a spoon.
  3. In a bowl, combine corn kernels, diced avocados, diced tomato, jalapenos, minced garlic, lime juice, salt, and cumin. Stir gently to combine. Add cilantro and stir in.

Read More: The Pioneer Woman

 

Radishes Braised with Shallots and Vinegar

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 large shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 pound radishes, about 2 bunches, tops trimmed and radishes sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 Preparation

  1. Heat the butter and bacon over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy skillet — preferably cast iron. Cook for about 5 minutes. When the bacon is cooked through and getting crispy, place the radishes cut-side down in the pan and cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes or until the bottoms begin to brown. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for another minute.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar and the water — the water should just come up around the sides of the radishes. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the radishes are tender.
  3. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced into a syrupy sauce. Add the the parsley and stir to wilt.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Read More: The Kitchn

 

Sautéed Potatoes with Black Kale and Nigella

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch black kale (about 1/2 pound), stemmed, leaves washed in 2 changes water
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds potatoes, such as yellow potatoes or Yukon golds, cut in small dice (about ½ inch)
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 shallots, minced

Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When water comes to a boil, salt generously and add kale. Blanch 2 to 3 minutes, until just tender. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, drain and squeeze out excess water. Cut squeezed bunches of kale into slivers and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat in a heavy, preferably nonstick, 12-inch skillet and add potatoes. Turn heat down to medium-high and sear without stirring for 5 minutes, then shake and toss in pan for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until just tender and lightly browned. Add salt and continue to toss in pan for another minute or two, until tender. Add remaining teaspoon oil, shallots and nigella seeds and cook, stirring until shallots are tender and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in kale and additional salt if desired and cook, stirring or tossing in the pan for another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, taste and adjust seasonings, and serve.