Extension share = an encore box

Last week, we said “thank you and good bye.”  Just kidding.  Now it’s time for an encore.  

This is the first time we have offered an optional Extension share.  We made the change to ease a work crunch that occurs this time of year.  Our carrots, cabbage and other storage crops are all harvested during an intense two weeks in November.  Packing CSA boxes in the midst of that effort has always felt insane and risky.  The days are short and often cold by now.  The weather is mild this fall but we have harvested during snow storms in other years.  We feared that, some year, working on a CSA delivery would cost us a storage crop.

This year, we shortened our regular CSA share from 26 weeks down to 24 weeks.  Adding this week’s extension share allows 25 consecutive weeks for you folks, and frees one week for us to focus on field work.  I think allowing ourselves one streamlined week will ease our lives greatly.

Our fall crops are not great this year but there’s still work to be done and coolers to fill … halfway.  Quality looks excellent but the amounts to harvest are simply smaller than last year.

In two weeks, we will pack Storage shares for those who signed up.  We will update you then on how our fall work proceeded.  We’ll be in touch soon once we open our 2017 registration.  After that, we say goodbye until spring.
Beth

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Lizzy harvests broccoli.  We love the mild weather.  No hats, no gloves, no bulky winter coats!

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Billy, Charlotte and Kristin wash your sweet potatoes, another job that’s uncomfortable during typical November weather.  Our seasoned crew members are tough enough for any conditions but, honestly, no one wants to be cold and soaked.

Veggie list and veggie notes (Extension share, Nov. 3/4, 2016)

Beth’s box logic.  We are sending an array of root crops to roast together.  I am intrigued with Pat’s recipe for Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts with Miso Vinaigrette.  I’ve never tried that combination, although we often roast root vegetables this time of year.  Here’s how I would roast this week’s roots.  Start with parsnips, carrots (and turnips).  Add potatoes if you have them.  Even when roasted together, the roots retain their individual flavors.  Cut in 1-inch chunks, toss with oil, spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast at 400 F until tender.  Stir once or twice while cooking.  We add thick onion wedges at the beginning, but only a few because they release moisture.  Turnips will flavor the other veggies so roast separately if you wish.  Sweet potatoes cook more quickly so roast separately and combine with the other roasted roots at the end.  Serve with Brussels sprouts steamed and dressed with slivered onions and a mustard-vinaigrette.  Alternatively, make a batch of bean and leek soup with roots or cauliflower.  Cook sliced collards in the soup for a one-pot meal.

I was eavesdropping in the grocery store and overheard this: “Just steam the cauliflower until tender, then puree it in the blender.  Melt the cheese into the cauliflower and your sauce is done.”  I thought to myself “Why have I never done this??”  I wish I’d asked the young woman how she uses the sauce but we can figure that out on our own.

Sweet potatoes, ~ 3 lb
Brussels sprouts, ~ 1 lb
Parsnips, 1.4 lb
Carrots, 2 lb
Leeks, 1 lb
Collard greens, 1 bunch
Turnip(s)
Yellow onion(s)
Garlic

Some sites get cauliflower (white or orange or purple).
Some sites get Romanesco.
Some sites also get a little broccoli.

Sweet potatoes – These are from our second Beauregard harvest.  The roots are bigger than the last Beauregard delivery; they really bulked up during the three weeks between harvests.  As usual, we will distribute a range of sizes.  All are good.

Brussels sprouts – This is terrific Brussels sprouts weather and they are finally plumping up.  This week’s sprouts are noticeably larger than the ones we sent last week.

Parsnips (tapered, cream colored roots) – Those long, white roots are not carrots, they are parsnips. The two vegetables are related.  When cooked, parsnips are sweet and starchy.  For the best flavor, brown them to caramelize the sugars.  Here are a few ideas for parsnip preparation:
– Caramelize the parsnips by roasting them in a vegetable medley.
– Parsnip fries are delicious: cut like French fries, coat very lightly with oil, place on a cookie sheet and roast in a hot oven until brown and cooked through.
– Try substituting grated parsnips in a potato pancake recipe. They brown beautifully and are very tasty.
– Steve loves pan-fried parsnips with onions and garlic.

Turnips (round root, white with purple shoulders) – Add these earthy roots to hearty grain-based stews or include in a pan of oven-roasted roots.  Lauren offers some good ideas in her recipes.
Storage: Cover and refrigerate. Will store well for about one month.

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

ROOT VEGETABLE POT PIE
I love pot pie. I absolutely adore it. It’s not an everyday or even an every week kind of meal, but a few times per year, we make pie dough from scratch, stuff it†with all the savory things and just love every bite of flaky, creamy, rich delicious goodness. This pot pie is a little different than normal. It’s totally vegetarian and packed full of everyone’s favorite fall root vegetables. If dining on veggies and butter along is not your thing, you could buy a rotisserie chicken, shred it and add it to the mix. You could dice up some ham or some bacon if you really need some meat in this dish, but I love to let the vegetables sing all on their own.
I prefer the pie dough made from scratch and always, always follow Smitten Kitchen’s directions for the perfect each pie crust. Make the pie dough the day before and stash it in the fridge for a super easy weeknight dinner.

Serves 6-8
Takes 1 hour, 15 minutes (excluding time to make pie crust because hopefully you made it the night before or bought the store-bought stuff)

4 tablespoons butter
1 pound leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
2 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes
1 cup peeled and diced carrots
1 cup peeled and diced turnips
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if vegetarians), plus more if needed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 cup milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 batch Smitten Kitchen All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough, preferably made ahead of time & chilled
Flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a Dutch oven or stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add leeks along with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes until fragrant. Add sweet potatoes, carrots and turnips. Cook for 5 minutes until soft.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and add flour. Stir well so that it evenly coats all the veggies. Keep cooking and stirring occasionally for a minute or two so that the flour starts to turn a light golden brown.
  4. Add chicken broth (or veggie broth), thyme and sage. Stir well to evenly incorporate the flour. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add a quarter cup of milk. Continue to simmer for 2-3 minutes. If the mixture seems too thick, add a little more broth. You want it to be a little thicker than a soup and a little less thick than a regular white sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  5. On a well-floured surface, roll out half of your chilled pie dough to fit in a deep 10-inch pie pan. (If you don’t have one, roll it a little thinner and fit it into a casserole dish). Add mixture.
  6. Roll out the remaining half of of the chilled pie dough on a well-floured surface. Lay it on the top of the dish and press down the edges to seal. Use a knife to cut little vents on the top crust.
  7. Combine egg and water in a small bowl until smooth. Brush over pie crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes until crust is golden brown. Enjoy!!

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BRUSSELS SPROUTS & PARSNIP HASH
Adapted from a New York Times recipe
Takes 45 minutes
Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons oil
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Generous freshly ground black pepper
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound pork sausage, cooked
1 1/2 tablespoons dried sage

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prep your Brussels sprouts by cutting them in half (quarter especially large ones; leave especially small ones whole). Toss with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, generous amount of black pepper and red pepper flakes.
  2. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until nicely brown and crispy around the edges, turning occasionally for even browning.
  3. Put parsnips in large oven-proof skillet. Cover with water. Simmer over medium heat for 3 minutes. Drain and remove from pan.
  4. Melt butter in same large skillet. Add onion along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and more freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat until soft. Add garlic and cook 3 minutes longer. Add cooked parsnips, pork sausage and sage.
  5. Turn heat to medium-high and cook for 20 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. The idea here is to brown the parsnips but not burn them. Your pan should be so hot that you can leave it for 2 minutes without stirring and when you come back, things will just be nicely browned. If the parsnips or onions burn in 2 minutes, your pan is too hot.
  6. After things are nicely browned, put pan in the oven. Roast for 10 minutes. (This timed nicely for me, as my Brussels sprouts had exactly 10 minutes left). Toss hash with roasted Brussels sprouts. Top with some fried eggs and bam! Vegetable-centric meal in 45 minutes or less.

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LOCAL THYME RECIPES

Comforting Classics

Apple Brussels Sprout Slaw
Warming Stone Soup
Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes
Beef Barley and Winter Vegetable Stew

Outside the Box Recipes

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts with Miso Vinaigrette
Stuffed Collard Greens with Moroccan Spiced Quinoa
Sweet Potato Breakfast Treat
Parsnip Biscuits with Black Pepper and Honey

Quick and Easy Meal

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips on a Bed of Quinoa

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