In Your Share (Nov 4th edition)

DSCN1555 - Version 2Welcome to the first Winter Share of the season!! It’s shaping up to be a very bountiful one – we have acres of beautiful brassicas to pick over the next few months, many beds of root crops to dig, and we’ve put up literally tons of potatoes, winter squash, onions, shallots & garlic in the barn that will feed us all through the winter. Many of the crops we grow outside get even sweeter during the winter. When the temperatures fall, plants will often turn the starches in their cells into sugars which helps to protect the tissues during freezing weather. This means that greens, root crops and one of my winter favorites – brussel sprouts – are even tastier this time of year!

In the Recipe Packet this week you’ll find recipes & tips for using all the veggies in your share!

This week your share may include…

  • Brussel Sprouts: Kissed by the frost, these are so sweet and good! Try the Dijon-Braised Sprouts in your packet or this recipe with Bacon & Hazelnuts.
  • Cabbage: Nice heads of savoy cabbage are beautiful, sweet & crunchy. Can’t wait to make the Portugese Caldo Verde in the recipe packet with this!
  • Carrots: What could be better than sweet winter carrots?
  • Celeriac (aka Celery Root): This is very closely related to celery except that it forms a hairy, knobby, bulbous root just as it comes out of the soil. Not the most attractive vegetable I know, but it shines in a variety of preparations both raw and cooked. I always have to include a link to my favorite recipe for Celery Root Remoulade. Other things I like to do with it – roasted with carrots & onions, mashed with potatoes and pureed in soup. 
  • Collards: Incredibly large leaves are tender & tasty.
  • Garlic: We just finished planting next years crop of garlic. It is one of the last things we put out into the fields in the fall and often we’re planting into mud. Not this year – the long stretch of dry weather we had through October meant the fields were dry and a joy to plant! Now that the rains have begun we’ll see some weeds sprouting so we’ll be out there flaming the beds for the next few weeks.
  • Hot PeppersThe last of the fresh summer hot peppers is bulgarian carrot. It has a pretty good amount of heat – similar to a serano pepper. Leave the seeds in if you want it HOT and take them out to lower the heat level a bit.
  • Green Peppers: The last of the anaheim peppers this week. These have a variable amount of heat – some are hot and some are not. Cut in half & roast them under the broiler skin side up until they’re charred. Let them steam for a few min in a covered container, then peel the skins off. Use them to make salsa, soup, or with rice & beans. They add an interestingly complex (& possibly spicy) flavor to any dish that calls for green peppers. They’ll keep in the fridge for a few days or freeze them after roasting to use over the winter. 
  • Onions: We had a bumper crop of red onions this year. Red Emperor is a new variety we’re trailing this year so let us know what you think of it? It probably won’t store as long as Redwing but will hopefully fill the gap until Christmas.
  • Parsley: Beautiful big bunches of Italian flat leaf parsley.
  • Watermelon Radish: These are bland green on the outside, but shocking pink on the inside. They’re an heirloom that is related to the daikon radish and is originally from China. They can be cooked, but that ruins beautiful color so I usually put them on salads. You’ll find more tips on how to use them in your recipe packet.
  • Winter Squash: Fully ripened spaghetti squash – like the ones that are in your share this week – have a mild sweet nutty flavor. I think you’ll find them to be a significant improvement over the underripe, bland and watery squash that are often sold in the store. Cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, brush with salt & pepper + butter or olive oil, and bake in the oven until soft and starting to caramelize. Take a little bite and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. They’ll never have the rich creamy sweetness of Delicata, but they have a delicate flavor all their own. Then you can go ahead and smother them with your favorite pasta sauce : )

Coming soon… Pie Pumpkins for Thanksgiving!!