Farm Newsletter

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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Week #20, Beth’s dad, purple + moon

Beth’s dad

My father passed away last week.  He was very frail and his time had come.  Steve and I left the farm to visit my parents for a few days, the first time I’ve seen them since the pandemic began.  I am so grateful that we had those days with my dad.  I got him to laugh a few times.  He passed the night after we left.  The funeral was this week, but we could only attend virtually – this pandemic has wrecked many things.

Thank you for the sweet messages that many of you sent.  I feel very supported by all of you, as well as our wonderful farm crew who took on extra work to allow me the space I needed.  They kept the farm running.  Thank you all.  Beth

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #20, October 1/2, 2020
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ purple
– Sampler/ moon

Green beans, 1 lb
‘Molli’ yellow potatoes, ~ 3 1/3 lb
Leeks, 1 or 2
Kale or collards
Broccoli
Romaine lettuce
Peppers, green or red or yellow, 2 – 4
Poblano chiles, 3
(Poblanos are in the bag of beans.)
Parsley, 1 bunch
Garlic

Next week’s box will probably contain sweet potatoes, winter squash, some kind of green, and more.

Yellow potatoes – These are from our friends at Driftless Organics.  ‘Molli’ is a good all-purpose potato.  Some potatoes have flaws that will need a little trimming.  
Peppers (sweet) – We’ve begun stripping pepper fields, so you’ll get a medley this week.  It’s time.  Frost is coming.
Poblano chiles (triangular, shiny, MILDLY HOT) – We’ve packed your poblano chiles in your bag of beans, so they are easy to identify.  Poblanos have lots of great flavor in combination with manageable heat.  Roast and add to soup or casseroles.  To reduce heat, remove the seeds and midveins. 


Your poblano chiles are in your bag of beans.  These are mildly hot.  All the other peppers (outside the bean bag) are sweet.

RECIPES

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

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 101
Broccoli and Braising Greens Soup
Wilted Braising Greens with Bacon and Vinegar (also a vegetarian version in the recipe)
Green Beans Braised with Bay Leaves

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 202
Broccoli Hummus
Greens and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Garlicky White Wine Reduction Sauce with Tomatoes
Niçoise Salade Chickpea Bowl

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Taco Salad with Skirt Steak & Roasted Poblano Buttermilk Dressing

RECIPES FROM LAUREN


ROMAINE CHOP SALAD WITH ROASTED POBLANO DRESSING
This recipe is intended as a lovely side salad to accompany any fall meal, but if you want to make it a full meal, feel free to add some grilled chicken or crispy tempeh.
Serves 2-4
Takes 30 minutes

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, smashed
3 cups torn sourdough or ciabatta bread
Kosher salt
1 head romaine
2-3 avocados, cubed
4 hard-boiled eggs

Roasted Poblano Dressing
2 poblanos, broiled for 5-8 minutes; put into a bowl and covered with a plate for 5 minutes
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Roast poblanos under broiler, flipping every couple of minutes so they are well charred on all sides. This should take 5-8 minutes. Place poblanos in a bowl and top with a plate to let the peppers steam and allow the skins to come off more easily. After 5 minutes, remove the poblano skins.
  3. Combine poblanos and remaining dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add more buttermilk if the mixture is too thick.
  4. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Once it shimmers (but before it smokes), add garlic and bread. Saute for 5-6 minutes until bread is toasty. Discard garlic.
  5. Serve salad by diving washed and torn romaine leaves among 2-4 salad bowls. Top with avocado, hard-boiled eggs, and fresh croutons. Drizzle with dressing.

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ONE POT GREEN CURRY
If green curry paste isn’t currently a staple in your household, it really should be. I love its bright, mellow, herbaceous flavor. I have made my own but honestly generally just keep a jar of the Thai Kitchen green curry paste (available at pretty much any grocery store in the ethnic/international aisle) on hand. It’s super tasty and also happens to taste good with pretty much any vegetable. 101 cookbooks has a Simple Asparagus Soup recipe made with green curry paste (and a handful of other ingredients) and it was the meal that converted me from a red curry to a green curry fanatic.

Serves 6-8
Takes 55 minutes

3-1/2 cups water, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 cup white rice
2 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil if vegan)
1 large yellow onion (or 2 medium shallots), diced
1 bell pepper (green or colored– whatever you have on hand), seeded and diced
2 tablespoons green curry paste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 16-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk
2 cups potato, sweet potato or winter squash (I usually use potatoes or a combination of sweet potatoes and potatoes but whatever you have on hand will work great)
1 pound steak of your choice, cubed (skip if vegan or substitute a bit more potato/sweet potato)
2 cups green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
1 tablespoon fish sauce, plus more to taste (skip if vegan)
Lime wedges, optional

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1-3/4 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Once boiling, add rice. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed (about 12 minutes). Remove the pot from the heat but leave the lid on for at least 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork just before eating.
  2. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion or shallots along with 1 teaspoon salt and cook until fragrant and softened (about 5 minutes). Add peppers and cook 5 minutes more. Add green curry paste and brown sugar, cooking until it just begins to brown and gets fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add coconut milk, remaining water and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add the steak and simmer 10 minutes longer. Add the beans and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Add fish sauce, taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

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GLAZED SALMON WITH LEEK & KALE RAMEN NOODLES
Takes 1 hour
Serves 5

6 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, divided
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 pound skin-on salmon filets
2 leeks, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons sugar
20 twists black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
5 ounces ramen rice noodles (I love anything from Lotus Foods)
1 bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

  1. Mix together 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, brown sugar and toasted sesame oil in a large bowl. Add salmon and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to marinate. If the salmon isn’t full covered by the liquid, flip once during the marinating process.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl combine leeks and garlic.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat canola oil over high heat until very hot but not smoking (about 400 degrees). Pour over leeks and garlic. Stir once and then let sit for 5 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, sugar, black pepper, red pepper flakes and salt. Toss to combine.
  5. Once oven is preheated, place salmon skin side down on prepared baking sheet. Pour half the marinade over the top. Discard the rest. Bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Bring large kettle of salted water to a boil on the stove. Add ramen noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain and add to a large bowl. Add kale while the ramen is still hot and toss to combine so that the kale wilts a bit. Add leek mixture and toss again to combine.
  7. Remove salmon from oven, flip so it is skin side up, and preheat the broiler. Finish salmon under the broiler so the skin crisps. It will take 1-2 minutes depending how hot your broiler gets. Check it frequently so that it doesn’t burn.
  8. Serve noodles with salmon and top with sesame seeds.

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Week #19

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #19, September 24/25, 2020
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

Everyone gets most items from this list:
Green cabbage
Beans, ~1.3 lb, mostly green + a few wax
Winter squash (by site, Carnival acorn OR ‘Nutterbutter’ butternut)
Tatsoi
Small bell/frying peppers, ~4, mostly green, maybe 1 red
Jalapeno chile (HOT), 1 or 2
Yellow onion
Garlic
Dill
– Some sites get broccoli.  
– Some sites get cauliflower.

Next week’s box will probably contain potatoes, leeks, poblano chiles, peppers, beans, broccoli OR cauliflower and more.

Tatsoi (bundle or head with dark green leaves) – This bok choy relative has darker leaves and thinner stems.  Easily substituted for bok choy in recipes.
Dill (bundle with fine leaves and flowers) – Cover and refrigerate.  We are sending the dill to pair with the beans.
Winter squash – See last week’s newsletter for lots of information on storing and using winter squash.  Expect to wash your squash before cooking, just a rinse and a gentle wipe.  This year, we are wiping the squash instead of running them through our brusher washer.  The change allows greater social distancing and doesn’t compromise the squash at all.  In fact, this system is probably better because we avoid wetting the squash. 

RECIPES

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

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 101
Swedish Cabbage Rolls
Dilled Green Beans with Walnuts
Cauliflower Latkes

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 202
Risotto with Braised Green Cabbage and Bacon
Green Beans with Olives
Cauliflower with a Briny Dressing

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Cabbage and Green Bean Salad

RECIPES FROM LAUREN


SHRIMP & SAUSAGE OVER BUTTERNUT GRITS
Serves 6-8
Takes 55 minutes

3 cups peeled and diced carnival or butternut squash
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
4 garlic cloves, minced, divided
4 cups milk
1 cup grits or cornmeal
1/2 cup parmesan
4 andouille sausages, thinly sliced
1-1/2 cups diced red peppers
3/4 cup scotch ale (or any mild lager-style beer)
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon dried parsley

1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Pour in butternut squash and cook for 10 minutes until soft.  Drain and set aside until ready to use.

2. In a large stock pot or deep skillet, melt one tablespoon of butter over medium low heat.  Add onion along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes until soft and fragrant.  Add half of the garlic and an additional 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  Saute an additional 5 minutes until the garlic is fragrant but before it begins to brown.

3. Add milk to pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Remove grits from heat and pour in grits slowly.  Whisk vigorously until smooth.  Return to medium heat and continue cooking and whisking until grits begin to thicken (about 2-3 minutes).  Stir in squash and remaining salt and pepper.  If you prefer looser grits, add a bit more water or milk. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Parmesan and season to taste.

4. In a separate skillet (cast-iron works great if you have it), melt remaining tablespoon of butter over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add sausage and turn heat to medium high.  Stir infrequently so sausage and garlic blackens in spots.  After two minutes, reduce the heat to medium, and add red peppers and beer.  Simmer gently for 5 minutes until reduced by half.  Add shrimp and parsley.  Cook until shrimp curl and become opaque (2-3 minutes).  Serve over warm grits.
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CABBAGE PATCH SOUP
Adapted from Taste of Home
Serves 8-10
Takes 50 minutes

1 pound ground beef (or venison)
2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2-3 colored pepper, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/2 large head cabbage (red or green or a mixture of both), chopped (about 6 cups)
32 ounces canned or boxed tomato soup (I love Pacific Organic Creamy Tomato Soup)
28 ounces canned diced tomatoes (or 4 cups diced fresh tomatoes)
4 cups water
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder

In a stock pot, combine ground meat with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook ground meat over medium heat until well browned. Add peppers and onion to the pot and cook until gently softened, about 5 minutes. Somethings might stick or brown a little. Don’t worry about that one bit.
Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and stir to combine. Bring a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 25 minutes over medium low heat until cabbage is well softened.
Taste and adjust flavors to your liking.
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CAULIFLOWER QUESADILLA
Inspired by a Smitten Kitchen recipe
Takes 40 minutes
Makes 2 beautiful quesadillas that will serve 2-4 people, depending on hunger levels

Around 5 cups roughly chopped cauliflower, you want small pieces, nothing bigger than an inch
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 yellow onaion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 cup shredded Colby jack cheese
1 cup shredded spicy jack cheese (we used habanero)
4 10-inch tortillas

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees while you chop your cauliflower and shred the cheese.

Toss chopped cauliflower with olive oil and a generous amount of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper in a medium bowl until well coated. Add to a baking sheet and place in preheated oven. Roast for 15 minutes, without touching it. You want it to brown and char in spots. Shake pan after 15 minutes and roast 10 minutes longer so new spots can take on color.

Remove cauliflower from oven and put back in medium bowl. Toss with onion, jalapeno, cumin, chili powder and lime juice.

Warm a large skillet or griddle over medium low heat. Place one quesadilla down on the skillet surface. Add half the cauliflower mixture as uniformly as possible, followed by half of the cheese. Top with another tortilla and press down slightly. Cook for 3 minutes and flip using a large spatula. Cook for another 3 minutes.

Serve warm with sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, etc. Yummmm!

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Week #18; Purple + sun

Beth’s dad

Folks, my father is very ill.  It is age-related, not COVID-19.  Steve and I plan to visit him in a few days, our first visit since the pandemic began.  Our crew will keep everything running well.  They know what to do.  However, I ask for a little more patience than usual this week and next.  Expect less precise box lists.  I take care of getting all the details right but I don’t want to burden our crew with that work.  They will prep nice boxes for you.  Also, I can’t handle any special requests.  Thank you.  
Beth.

After the rain

You too shivered through last week’s unusually cold weather.  We farmers prefer average conditions.  We held our breath during last week’s cold, rainy days. About half our winter squash crop was still in the field, and weather like that can be deadly for winter squash.  We waited a few days to let everything dry, then brought in the crop.  They looked very good at harvest, and we are hopeful that they escaped lasting damage.  We’ll know in a week or so.


From left, Kristin, John, Karen (in back), Chris, and Raul.
Like most farm jobs, this is a team effort.  Karen, Kristin, Raul and I have judged and cut squash together for years.  Chris and John tossed and piled the squash to make it easy to collect.  John was the receiver for almost every squash.  He was mortified and apologetic after dropping one squash.  One.  That’s an amazing record.


From left, Ben and Maggie.
Squash is heavy.  Let’s use the harvest belt.


Our wagonload of squash.  That’s a nice butternut harvest.  Now you understand why dropping only one squash was remarkable.  Photo credit Billy Frain.


The cold, wet weather ended our tomato crop.  Leaves this diseased cannot support ripening fruit.


On the other hand, all our brassica (cabbage family) crops loved the cool nights.  Above, the cabbage is growing well.  In contrast, you can see the dying line of trellised tomato plants in the distance.


The first cauliflower is forming, and should be ready in a few weeks.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #18, September 17/18, 2020
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ purple
– Sampler/ sun

Everyone gets most items from this list:
Winter squash, 1
Bok choy
Kale
Romano beans, 0.6 lb
Roulette chile (NOT HOT, in bag with Romano beans)
Jalapeno chile (HOT, loose in the box)
Red peppers, 1 or 2, bell or frying
A small bag of tomatoes (grape OR plum)
Yellow onion
Red onion
Basil

Next week’s box will probably contain cabbage, butternut squash and more.

Acorn squash – See below for cultivar photo. All types are cured and ready to eat. Plan to eat within two weeks.

Bok choy (large rosette with thick white stems and green leaves) – 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.  Refrigerate in a plastic bag or other container.

‘Roulette’ chiles – This chile has been bred to have the aromatic taste of habanero chiles, with almost no heat.   Snack on them to enjoy their flavor, or add them to any dish.  To reduce all chances of spiciness, remove the seeds and midveins.  We’ve packed your Roulette(s) in the bag with the beans, so you can recognize it.

Tomatoes – These are the last tomatoes of the season.  Eat these soon; they will not store well.

Yellow and red onions – Both are pungent onions, good for frying.


Look for your Roulette chile(s) in your bag of beans.

Winter Squash Primer


THIS WEEK’S ACORN SQUASH, from left: ‘Jester’ OR ‘Starry Night’ OR ‘Carnival’
Everyone gets one squash this week, of one of the varieties above.  We used to grow dark green acorn squash but switched to the newer striped varieties because they taste better, the plants are more vigorous, and the squash are so pretty.  Most of the Carnival squash are darker green than usual this year, less colorful than the bottom sample in the Carnival photo.  That’s what happens when the plants pollinate during hot weather.

We expect to have a steady supply of squash or sweet potatoes over the coming weeks.  Let’s review some basics about winter squash.

Expected life:  Some winter squash varieties are ready to eat soon after harvest, others store deep into winter.  This week’s acorns are cured and ready to eat.  Plan to eat these early varieties within two weeks of delivery.  Check the newsletter each week for storage information about that week’s delivery.
Storage:  Winter squash store best at room temperature with good air circulation.  No cooler than 50 degrees.  On your kitchen counter works.  Do not cover.
To make squash easier to cut:  Microwave on high for 30 to 60 seconds, depending on size of the squash.  This will soften the rind and flesh, making it much easier to cut.
Beth’s favorite simple preparation (acorn or butternut):  Winter squash are easily roasted in a 400F oven.  The goal is to get brown, caramelized edges.
– Split in half with a sharp knife.  
– Scoop out and discard seeds.  
– Run the squash briefly under running water, then shake off the excess water.  Place cavity-side-down on an oiled baking sheet.  The little bit of moisture seals the squash to your roasting pan.  The water soon evaporates, allowing the squash to brown and caramelize.  Caramelization really boosts the flavor.  
– Roast at 400F until easily pierced with a fork, 30 – 45 minutes depending on size.  Flip over while hot.  Add a little butter to melt and some seasoned salt.  Cut into wedges and eat.
Stuffed squash
Acorn squash have a central cavity perfect for stuffing.  Prepare your favorite fully-cooked stuffing, e.g. a rice or quinoa mixture.  Roast your squash as described below.  Preheat the stuffing.  Fill the cooked squash with stuffing, top with grated cheese and return to the oven until everything is hot.

Can you eat the rind?  In my opinion, rinds on these acorn squash are too tough to eat.  Steve eats the Jester rind.  I don’t.

RECIPES

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

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 101
Maple Squash Puree
Chicken and Bok Choy Fried Rice with Sesame Oil
Bok Choy and Pepper Salad with Ramen Noodles

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 202
Acorn Squash and Beef Chili
Bok Choy Cashew Stir Fry
Quinoa Salad with Beans, Tomato, Sweet Pepper and Feta

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Chili-Glazed Salmon with Bok Choy

RECIPES FROM LAUREN


SLOW COOKER BEEF & BOK CHOY FRIED RICE
Serves 4-6
Takes 30 minutes of active cooking time + time for slow cooker to do it’s thing (7-8 hours on low heat; 3-4 hours on high heat)

3-5 pounds beef short ribs or beef neck bones
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, divided
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 large bok choy
5 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 routette chilis, minced
1-1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
3 cups cooked white rice
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 red onion, diced

1. Place beef short ribs or neck bones in a crock pot.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, beef broth, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, grated ginger, and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes until combined. Pour over beef short ribs or neck bones. Let cook for 3-4 hours on high heat or 7-8 hours on low heat. Once cooked through and very tender, shred meet from bone and place in large bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup of the delicious juices for later use.
3. When you are ready to start your meal, use a knife to separate the bok choy leaves from your stems. Roughly chop the greens and set them to the side. Thinly slice the stems.
4. In a large skillet (preferably cast-iron or other non-stick surface), warm remaining tablespoon sesame oil over medium heat. Add bok choy stems, garlic, roulette pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to pan and saute gently for 5-10 minutes until garlic is fragrant and stems are well-softened. Place in bowl with shredded beef.
5. Add two tablespoons and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes to same pan. No need to wipe it out. Let it heat for a couple minutes then add about half of the rice followed by 1/2 teaspoon salt. It should sputter and splatter a little bit. Let it cook for a couple minutes. You want the bottom of the rice to crisp. Saute generally (scraping rice so it doesn’t stick to the bottom as necessary) for an additional 5 minutes until all the rice is coated in oil and a little golden. Add to bowl with beef and cooked bok choy stems.
6. Add another tablespoon of oil and remaining 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes followed by remaining rice and salt. Cook this second batch of rice just like you did with the first one. Add to bowl when crisped.
7. Reduce skillet to medium low heat and add last tablespoon vegetable oil if the pan is dry (it likely won’t be).
8. In a small bowl, whisk eggs together and then add bok choy greens. Add to skillet and cook for 5-10 minutes turning occasionally with a spatula until softly scrambled.
9. Add eggs to bowl of rice along with the diced red onion. Stir to combine all ingredients. Taste and add beef juices as desired for more flavor. Serve warm.
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FALL FAJITAS WITH AVOCADO MASH
Takes 30 minutes
Serves 4-6

1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 colored peppers, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 yellow onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound flank steak, cut into thin strips
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoon chili powder
1 pinch cayenne powder
2 avocados
1 lime, juiced
Tortillas
Halved cherry tomatoes, optional
Sour cream or Greek yogurt, optional
Hot sauce, optional

1. In a large heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add peppers, onions, and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the veggies to be softened and just beginning to char in places. Add steak along with cumin, chili powder, and cayenne. Saute 5 minutes longer, just until steak is cooked through.
2. Put avocado into a small bowl. Mash gently then add the juice from half a lime and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Taste and adjust flavors as desired. I used the juice from a whole lime but you may not want to.
3. Warm tortillas on a skillet or in microwave and serve with a generous portion of both avocado mash and fajita mixture. Top with sour cream or Greek yogurt, cherry tomatoes and hot sauce if desired. Enjoy!
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Week #17; Summer into fall.


The recent cold, wet weather is hard on our tomatoes and other remaining summer crops.  We think you will enjoy this week’s orange grape tomatoes.  This ‘Nova’ variety is often one of our best-tasting tomatoes as the season winds down.  




The fall crops love the cooler nights and are growing strongly.  From top, cauliflower, napa cabbage and red cabbage.


We hustled last week to bring in winter squash before the rain.  It’s curing safely in our greenhouse, and should be ready to pack in the CSA boxes soon.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #17, September 10/11, 2020
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

Red potatoes, 3.5 lb
Beets, 2 lb
Plum tomatoes, 4 lb
Orange grape tomatoes, 1 heaping pint, in a paper bag
Red frying peppers (sweet), ~4
Poblano chiles (mildly hot), 2
Lettuce
Leek, 1 or 2
Yellow onion, 1
Basil, 1 sprig
One or two sites get a bell or snack pepper.

Next week’s box will probably contain winter squash and other vegetables.

Red potatoes – These beauties are from Josh and Noah Engel at Driftless Organics.

Poblano chiles (triangular, shiny; green or brown; MILDLY HOT) –  Poblanos are the creme de la creme of chiles.  They have lots of great flavor in combination with manageable heat.  Roast and add to soup or casseroles.  To reduce heat, remove the seeds and midveins.  These will go nicely in a stir-fry with the bok choy and red peppers.

Beets – Storage:  Cover and refrigerate.  Beet roots will store for months.  Wash well to remove leaf fragments.  For all the cooking methods below, wash and scrub the beets but do not peel.  The skins slip off easily once the beets are cooked and cooled.
Cooking beet roots on the stovetop:  Slice or quarter, cover with water in a pot, and simmer until tender.  This will take from 25 to 45 minutes depending on how large the beet pieces are.  Drain.
Roasting beets in oven:  Wash beets, but do not peel.  On a sheet of aluminum foil, put beets (halved or quartered if large), salt, pepper and a few sprinklings of water.  Seal the foil packet, and roast at 400 oF until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Slip off skins once cool.
Microwave:  Slice beets in half and place in a large microwave-proof bowl.  Add ¾ inch water and cover with a plate.  Microwave on high until tender, about 9-20 minutes, depending on your microwave’s power.  Drain and slip off skins.
Uses:  Use cooked beets in cold salads, or dress simply with vinaigrette, onions, salt and pepper.  Beets are also good tossed with sour cream, minced onion, fresh herbs and walnuts.  

Leeks (look like big scallions) – These alliums have a milder flavor than onions.  Nonetheless, they can be used in recipes that call for onions.  To wash, split the leek lengthwise, from the green tops about halfway to the base, leaving the base intact.  Rinse well under running water, separating the layers to flush.  If necessary, split the leek further if soil has penetrated more than halfway down the leek.  Shake dry.  Leeks are generally eaten cooked.  They can be sauteed, steamed or roasted.  Intact leeks will store 2 to 3 weeks if covered loosely and refrigerated.  The outer leaves will yellow.  Just peel them off and discard.  The inner leek layers will be fine.

Yellow onion – These onions are much more pungent, and will fry better, than the sweet Walla Wallas we’ve sent this summer.  


Left; poblano chiles (mildly hot) are triangular and can be either green or chocolate brown.
Right; Frying peppers (sweet) this week are mostly red but could be yellow or tinged with green.  We will not send any fully green fryers this week, to make the poblanos easy to identify.


A few sites get an orange snack pepper.

RECIPES

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

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 101
Salad of Beets and Pistachios with Lemon Vinaigrette
Red Potato and Sweet Pepper “Shmash”
Fresh New England Clam Chowder

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 202
Roasted Root Vegetables with Mustard Seed Vinaigrette
Beet and Leek Risotto with Blue Cheese Sauce
Beef or Bean Enchiladas with Roasted Pepper Sauce

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Taco Salad with Pinto Beans & Roasted Poblano Buttermilk Dressing

RECIPES FROM LAUREN


TOMATO BASIL SOUP WITH WHITE CHEDDAR CRISP
*This is the one recipe where it doesn’t really matter if the tomatoes you use are rock hard and not as perfectly ripe as summer tomatoes or not. However, if you happened to have the forethought to freeze or can whole tomatoes this summer, feel free to use those. In that case, pour the tomatoes with their juices in a 9 x 11 baking pan instead of a baking sheet.

Serves 8
Takes 1 hour, 20 minutes

2 tablespoons butter
2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 pounds plum tomatoes, cored and halved* (see note)
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil (or 2 teaspoons dried sage), plus more to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
Sour cream, optional
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add leeks, onion, salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking until soft. Reduce to low and continue cooking slowly for additional 20 minutes while the tomatoes roast.
Drizzle oil over baking sheet. Add tomatoes, cut side down. (If you are using frozen or canned tomatoes, see directions above). It’s fine if they are crowded but make sure they are in a single layer. If they don’t all fit on one pan, then leave the rest for another use. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes.
Add tomatoes (with juices) to stock pot along with chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes on medium low.
Meanwhile, line a clean, dry baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 8 mounds of cheese on parchment. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 18 minutes until browned and lacy-looking. Remove from heat and allow to cool before moving.
Remove soup from heat. Puree with an immersion blender (or in a food process or blender). Add basil and cream. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve warm with cheese crisp, a dollop of sour cream, halved cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of basil.
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ROASTED PEPPER & CHERRY TOMATO PANZANELLA
Adapted from Six Seasons

Takes 45 minutes
Serves 2-4

2 pounds red, orange or yellow sweet peppers
2 large, thick slices sourdough bread (about 4 ounces)
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 leek
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 ounces salami, preferably a fancy artisan one with a lot of fennel seasoning
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-size pieces

Preheat your broilers.
Place peppers on a baking sheet and broil them, turning occasionally, until the skins are blackened and blistered. It will take 10-12 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a large bowl and cover with a towel or plate.
Turn the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Tear bread into rough bite-size pieces and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown, 10-20 minutes. Check every 5 minutes or so since every type of bread will take a different amount of time. When you check the croutons, also shake the pan to redistribute and get even browning on all sides. You want the croutons to have a crunchy exterior and soft middle.
Once the croutons are done, peel the skins off the peppers, remove the seeds, and cut into thick 1-inch slices. Place in a large bowl with leek, garlic, vinegar, red pepper flakes, cherry tomatoes, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Toss to combine. Add salami and remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, and toss again.
Right before serving, add the croutons and mozzarella. Toss mixture once more before serving and enjoy!
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POBLANO & POTATO BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

Serves 6-8
Takes 1 hour (most of it inactive)

1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 cups shredded potatoes
2 poblanos, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 pound breakfast sausage, browned
8 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup favorite cheese (I used a lovely dill havarti)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish with olive oil.
  3. Combine potatoes, peppers, onion and pork sausage in prepared casserole dish. Toss to combine.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Add hot sauce, mustard powder, and salt. Pour evenly over potato mixture.
  5. Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until the eggs are set. Add cheese and cook 5 minutes longer just to melt (or lightly brown).
  6. Enjoy!

 

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