We’ve had quite a few frosty days on the farm lately! Cold temperatures can be challenging for the harvest crew, but as long as the low’s stay in the 20’s or above most of our winter crops will do just fine. In fact many crops, like the sugarloaf chicory in the photo, will get sweeter with the cold weather. How does this work? The biochemistry of plants and many years of winter variety trials on the farm both work together to bring you some of the best tasting veggies in town! I explain some of my tips and tricks for winter farming in the post I wrote last year when it was even colder and snowing. You’ll find amazing recipes for chicory and everything else in your share are available to members at Cook With What You Have. If you joined our Winter CSA you will find your password in the member email. Enjoy 24/7 access to recipe inspiration!
Let your friends know that they can still get in on the CSA. It’s easy to sign up for a pro-rated Winter Spring CSA Share online!
This week your share may include…
- Brussel Sprouts: Tasty sprouts are still on the stalks. Remove the sprouts, trim off a few leaves, then they are ready for roasting or slaw.
- Carrots: Sweet winter carrots – yum!
- Cauliflower: This is the first time we’ve been able to offer cauliflower in December! We had a bumper crop of fall cauliflower and we have extended the season by harvesting the heads before the frost set in and storing them in the walk-in. I’m looking forward to cauliflower steaks and curried cauliflower soup : )
- Celery Root/Celeriac: is a cousin to the more familiar celery plant and has a similar flavor but distinctly different texture. I love it in vegetable soup or hardier stews and one of my favorite winter salads is this Remoulade from David Lebovitz. Or check out any of the two dozen recipes for celeriac at Cook With What You Have.
- Sugarloaf Borca Chicory: Another great winter green! These long loose romaine type heads have a pleasing balance of sweet and bitter flavors. I love them in salads where they provide a nice complement to stronger flavors like capers & lemon, or blue cheese & balsamic vinegar. Also known as Pan di Zucchero in Italy, and Zukerhut in Germany, they are traditionally grilled or sautéed. Cooking reduces the bitterness and adds complex carmelized flavors. You’ll find almost 3 dozen recipe ideas for chicory at CookWithWhatYouHave.
- Garlic: I usually sauté garlic with onions as the base for any number of culinary adventures. I’ve been really enjoying a little raw garlic in my kale salads and I’ve also been roasting whole peeled cloves with some of the root veggies. Yum!
- Black Tuscan Kale: There are many variations on the winter kale salad theme, but this recipe was the gateway for me and it is still one of my favorites.
- Onions: Italian cippolini (pronounced chip-oh-lee-knee) are sweet and mild. The baby onions are most common at the store, but we grew some BIG ones this year. They make amazing carmelized onions and are also good cut into chunks and roasted with root veggies.
- Potatoes: This yellow variety is tasty roasted alone or with other root crops.
- Purple Top Turnip: These are a great addition to roasted root veggies – especially with carrots & potatoes. Cut everything into similar sized chunks, mix with olive oil, spread onto a baking sheet and add seasonings. Salt, pepper, rosemary, oregano & thyme are all classic flavors that combine well with roasted root veggies. Turnips also make a nice winter mash with or without potatoes and/or cauliflower.
- Delicata Squash & Pie Pumpkins: I love pumpkin pie for the holidays! My favorite recipe is still my grandmothers. When I first grew pie pumpkins almost 20 years ago, this recipe was the only one I could find that actually called for fresh cooked pumpkins rather than canned. These days there are lots of versions out there. This is my sister’s favorite recipe which is lactose free and uses coconut milk. Can’t have too many pies – they all disappear quickly when my family gets together this time of year : )
Coming soon… Happy Holidays!