Week #21, EOW/green


Kristin and Karen prepare winter squash for this week’s delivery.

Most years, we clean your winter squash by running it through a brusher washer.  This year, we’ve decided to simply wipe the squash unless it’s too muddy.  We moved the job from the pack shed to our lovely greenhouse to allow more social distancing and good air flow.  With the top vent open (look to the left of the peak) and the side open (at right), there’s a stream of fresh air flowing past each person.

It’s been a good move!  The light is better so it’s easier to judge the squash quality.  Just as important, it makes this job more pleasant.  Our greenhouse is a favorite place on a sunny day.  With the good air flow, we can work close enough together to talk.  Honestly, if I can give our crew any simple pleasure during this crazy year, I’ll do it.


Please wash your winter squash to remove any bits of soil.


Fennel harvest

I hope you’ve all gotten outside during this beautiful Indian summer.  It’s certainly made our lives easier.  Look at the amazing, vibrant color of the fennel.


Fennel, our most elegant, aromatic vegetable

Box logic

We’re happy to be able to send a few favorite combinations.  We’re packing ginger and cilantro together because they pair naturally with bok choy or daikon.  Add the onion and jalapeño and you’ve got a great flavor package for any stir fry.  We’re sending a small winter squash so you have an extra vegetable to roast alongside the sweet potatoes.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #21, October 8/9, 2020
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

Bok choy
Fennel, 1 bulb with fronds
Sweet potatoes, 1.75 – 2 lb
Small winter squash (acorn or small butternut)
Small green peppers, 3 – 5, mostly green
Daikon radish, 1 purple + 1 white
Yellow onion
Jalapeno chile
Cilantro, 1 bunch
Baby ginger, 1 small piece
– Some sites get broccoli.
– Some sites get cauliflower.

Next week’s box will probably contain winter squash, broccoli OR cauliflower, napa cabbage, scallions, and more.

Bok choy (large rosette with thick white stems and green leaves) – Refrigerate in a plastic bag or other container.
This Asian green is good for stir-frying or sautéing or in soup.  You can think of the stems and leaves as two separate vegetables.  The stems require longer cooking.  The leaves will cook almost as quickly as spinach.  Bok choy stores well, so feel free to pull off leaves as you need them, or use the whole head at once.  

Fennel (bulbs and lacy fronds) – Refrigerate.  If not using within a few days, separate the fronds and the bulb and store separately.
Fennel is a ‘swing vegetable’; it can be used raw or cooked.  Clean well and slice as thinly as possible for use in raw salads.  It is good simply prepared with olive oil, lime or lemon juice, salt and shaved parmesan cheese.  Cooking softens and sweetens fennel, and mellows its anise flavor.  Both the bulb and leaves are edible.  Here are ideas from Alice Water of Chez Panisse about how to use fennel:  ‘It’s strong anise characteristic seems to suit fish particularly well.  … We use fennel all the time.  We add the feathery leaves to marinades for fish and to numerous salads, sauces and soups and we use them as a garnish, too. … The bulbs are sliced and served raw in salads in various combinations with other vegetables, parboiled for pastas; caramelized and served as a side dish; braised whole; or cooked in vegetable broths & fish stocks.”

‘Beauregard’ sweet potatoes – Store your sweet potatoes at room temperature.  They suffer chilling injury below 50 F.
Here are a few things we’ve learned about sweet potatoes:
– For best flavor, cook your sweet potatoes so they brown and caramelize.  We have a simple, favorite way to roast sweet potatoes.  We used to prepare sweet potato fries in the oven.  Now we just quarter the potatoes, rub with olive oil, dust with salt and place cut-side-down on a cookie sheet.  Roast in a 450 F oven without turning until soft.  The flavors will caramelize (like sweet potato fries) but preparation is simpler and the cooking time less exacting.  Slender sweet potato fries go from undercooked to overcooked in the blink of an eye.  Larger slices are less exacting, and therefore are easier.  Small sweet potatoes can be cut just in half.  Jumbos will need to be chopped into pieces.  Otherwise, they take a long time to cook.
– This first batch of sweet potatoes will need slightly longer cooking than ones from the supermarket, perhaps because they contain higher moisture so soon after harvest.
– Sweet potatoes are good at any size. We have cooked everything from tiny to jumbo and consistently find that all sizes taste good.

Korean daikon radishes (oblong, white & purple) – Refrigerate.  The interior color of the purple ones is lovely.  Slice thinly and add to salads, cook lightly in mixed vegetable medleys or cut into matchsticks and add to pasta salads.  For many Korean radish recipes, visit the Maanchi website, www.maangchi.com/ingredient/korean-radish 

Yellow onion – Store at room temperature in your kitchen if you plan to eat soon.  For longer storage, keep in a cool, dark place. 

Jalapeno chile (HOT) – Refrigerate.

Peppers – Refrigerate, if possible in the warmer part of your fridge.  If not, they’ll still be fine in the fridge.

Cilantro – Refrigerate in a tight container.  It wilts easily.

Baby ginger – Eat soon; baby ginger is perishable.  Wrap in a damp cloth or paper towel, and keep in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.  You can also freeze your ginger, then grate as much as you need from the frozen knob.
This is baby ginger, bright white and pink because it hasn’t grown a brown epidermis yet.  The ginger sold in stores grows for a long season in warm places like Hawaii.  Baby ginger is special because it has the full ginger flavor and spiciness but almost no fibers.  That’s why it’s used to make the pickled ginger served with sushi.  I asked the crew to wash it lightly to avoid bruising.  Expect to do a final wash before using it.


Korean radish


Baby ginger

RECIPES

Visit our 2020 Recipe Log or our 2019 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 101
Simple Cioppino
Chilled Chinese Noodles
Soy Glazed Sweet Potatoes

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 202
Bok Choy Fennel Salad
Breakfast Bahn Mi Sandwich with Daikon Pickles
Chicken and Veggie Enchiladas

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Salmon with Bok Choy, Ginger and Sesame

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

SOBA NOODLE BOWL WITH PORK MEATBALLS
Adapted from Dishing Up the Dirt
Serves 4
Takes 55 minutes

½ yellow onion, roughly chopped
7 garlic cloves, divided

1/2 cup raw bok choy leaves
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha
1 pound ground pork
1-2 daikon radishes, peeled and shaved or cut into matchsticks (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons Canola oil
1/2 pound Soba noodles
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced

¼ cup cilantro leaves, diced

  1. If using a food processor, combine onion, 4 of the peeled, whole garlic cloves, and raw greens. Process until everything is finely chopped. You may need to scrape down the sides with a spatula once or twice since there isn’t a ton in there. Add the fish sauce, sriracha and ground pork. Process until everything is well combined. If not using a food processor, mince the onions, 4 peeled garlic cloves and raw greens, and toss into a large bowl. Add the fish sauce, sriracha and ground pork and mix until smooth.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape pork mixture into 20-24 meatballs (a little smaller than golf-ball size) and place on parchment. Chill in the fridge or freezer (wherever you have room) for 15 minutes while you matchstick all your carrots and daikon.
  3. Heat canola oil in a large heavy skillet (cast-iron works great here) over medium high heat. When it is just about smoking, add half of the chilled meatballs and reduce heat to medium. Cook, turning occasionally for about 10 minutes until well-browned on all sides. The oil may spit and splatter. This is a great time to use a grease guard or splatter screen if you have one. Repeat with second half of meatballs. You shouldn’t need to add any more oil for the second batch. When these are finished cooking, add already cooked meatballs to pan (it will be crowded) and place hot pan in oven to stay warm.
  4. Bring salted water to a boil over high heat. Add soba noodles and cook according to package directions.
  5. While the noodles are cooking, prepare your sauce by mincing your remaining 3 garlic cloves and then adding maple syrup, tamari, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and ginger to a large bowl. Add cooked noodles and daikon. Toss with tongs to combine.
  6. Serve immediately with warm meatballs on top! Garnish with cilantro.

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CURRIED SWEET POTATO SOUP
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Feel free to substitute you peeled and diced winter squash for up to half of the sweet potatoes if you’d like some sweet potatoes for other things.
Takes 1 hour, 20 minutes
Makes 6 cups

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon siracha hot sauce
13.5-ounce can coconut milk
4 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock

  1. Add butter and oil to a large stock pot. Melt butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic as well as a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes, spices and hot sauce and turn the heat up to medium. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the coconut milk and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender and liquid is nicely reduced.
  3. Let cool and puree with an immersion blender. We don’t puree until completely smooth. We like some small chunks of sweet potato in there, but that is up to you. Taste and adjust seasoning. Top with chickpeas if you are feeling extra fun!

Cumin Roasted Chickpeas

15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-2 teaspoons Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss chickpeas with oil, cumin, salt and pepper. I use 1 teaspoon of salt if I’m making these chickpeas for my sweet potato soup (because it’s already a little salty) and 2 teaspoons of salt if I’m making these chickpeas as a non-soup-addition, generally-delicious snack. Roast for 20 minutes or until crunchy. Take out the pan and shake it occasionally for more even crisping.
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STEAK SANDWICH WITH FENNEL CILANTRO SLAW
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Takes 1 hour, 20 minutes
Makes 6 cups

½ yellow onion, divided
¼ cup fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1-2 sirloin steaks, about 12 ounces each
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons capers, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped fennel fronds
1/3 cup mayonnaise
8 slices sourdough bread, toasted

  1. Thinly slice your onion. Set half to the side for later use and dice the other half. Place the diced onion in a small bowl. Add lime juice and let rest while you prepare your steak.
  2. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Heat heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium high heat. Add vegetable oil, allow to heat for a minute and then add steaks to pan. Cook, undisturbed until well-browned, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until second side is also well-browned, about 3 minutes. Remove steaks and let rest while you finish your slaw.
  3. Add capers, jalapeno, fennel and reserved sliced onion to diced onion. Toss until well combined. Add cilantro and fennel fronds and toss again. Taste and adjust seasoning as you desire.
  4. Thinly slice steak.
  5. To serve, spread mayo evenly on 4 slices of bread. Top with steak followed by slaw. Finish with remaining slices of bread. Devour immediately!

 

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