- Carrots: Winter carrots take a little cleaning up, this time of year, but they are just as tasty as ever.
- Sweet potato: These are the last of our sweet potatoes from the 2011 harvest. Some of these are a little on the large side which makes them take a little longer to cook. But their culinary qualities aren’t affected, fortunately.
- Beets: These beets are a mix of the three types we grew this year: chioggia, yellow, and the standard red beet. Check out a nice beet stew recipe below. I’ve been on a raw beet kick this winter, and have been enjoying our beets grated into slaw.
- Cabbage: This green savoy cabbage makes great slaw. This one’s called ‘wirosa’ and it’s a standout in our winter garden.
- Garlic: Our 2011 garlic crop was devastated by fungal diseases, which is why we didn’t give any out during our main CSA season. What you receive this week are some of the few cloves that weren’t affected. Use them up before they sprout!
- Chicory: We’ve been eating lots of chicory cooked this winter in risottos, and also raw by shredding a little and adding to coleslaw. Its slight bitterness offsets a sweet mayo or yogurt-based dressing nicely. These chicories are far milder than the ones you received last fall. Voles love chicory far more than any human, so this is the only chance for ‘Castlefranco’ chicory this winter.
- Dried Black Beans: This is the first chance for CSA members to benefit from our experiment growing dried beans in 2011. This large black bean is called ‘Black Coco’, and it makes a very nice black bean soup. Check out a recipe below. If you aren’t a seasoned dry-bean cooker, here’s a quick run-down: Rinse the beans in a change or two of water and pick them over for any foreign material. Then cover with 5-6 inches of water, and allow them soak for 8-12 hours (overnight or while you are at work is a good time), stirring vigorously every now and then if you can. They’ll plump up during this time, and once the skins are no longer wrinkled, they’re ready to cook. Over or undersoaking won’t ruin them by any means, but it can lead to split beans when you cook them. When they are done soaking, rinse them again and add enough water to cover by an inch or two, then simmer gently for 60-90 minutes until they are tender (checking to make sure they don’t dry out). Alternatively, you can simply cook the beans without soaking. They’ll take longer to cook this way (3-6 hours) and for some they’ll be harder to digest. Some also say beans cooked this way aren’t as nutritious. Finally, don’t add acid foods like lemon juice or tomato to uncooked beans. The acid makes the beans take much longer to cook and toughens them a lot. Salt does the same thing. So add these ingredients just before the beans are fully cooked.
January 17, 2012
Black bean sweet potato chili
This is hands down our favorite chili recipe, and it’s become tastier now that we can grow almost all of the ingredients. This makes a big pot of soup, so freeze some if you can’t finish it up in a day or two.
1 ½ – 2 cups dry black beans
1 sweet potato, baked or microwaved until just soft. Don’t let it get too mushy, if you can help it.
2 t oil
3 cups diced onions
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 T minced jalapeño chile
4 t ground cumin
4 t ground coriander
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 t salt
optional minced cilantro, and or grated cheese, and or sour cream for garnish and flavoring.
Soak the bean in an excess of water for 8-12 hours, until they are plump. Drain the water, and cover the beans with an inch or two of fresh water and bring to a boil, then lower the beans to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes. Then sauté the onion, garlic and chile along with the spices in the oil and add to the beans. Peel the sweet potato and cut it into chunks and add to the soup. Let all this simmer until the beans are just tender (about an hour or so), adding enough water to keep it soupy. Then add the lemon juice and salt (and adjust by taste). Cook a few more minutes, then serve with cilantro, grated cheese and/or sour cream.
Turkish carrots with lentils and herbs
We always enjoy being served our own vegetables by friends. We get to enjoy a new preparation with good company, the taste of our own veggies, and then we get a recipe to share with all of you. This one is from my Mom.
1-2 T oilive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ t coriander. Use powdered or crush whole seeds in a mortar
¼ to ½ t red pepper flakes
½ cup French green lentils (brown lentils work too, but the taste is, of coarse, different.
5 large carrots, sliced into matchsticks, or chopped
2 T tomato paste
2 t sugar (optional)
1 ¼ cups stock or water
black pepper to taste
2 T chopped fresh mint, parsley or dill
lemon juice to taste
Extra virgin olive oil added when serving (optional)
Saute the onion for 8-10 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a minute or two longer. Next add the water and all the rest of the ingredients (except for the lemon juice and fresh herbs) and bring to a boil then simmer for 30-40 minutes or so, or until the lentils are tender. Add the lemon juice and herbs according to taste, then add a few slugs of olive oil and stir in (optional) to richen up the soup. Enjoy!
From “The Splendid Table radio show”.
Ukrainian Beet and bean stew
1 t vegetable oil
2 cups slice onions
½ cup chopped celery
3 cups water
3 cups sliced cabbage
1 cup sliced carrots
3 cups chopped potatoes
4 cups cubed raw beets (peel them first)
3 cups undrained whole tomatoes chopped (28 oz can)
2 t caraway seeds
2 T white wine or cider vinegar
½ t salt
2 cups cooked kidney beans
1 T dried dill
pepper and salt to taste
chopped scallions and yogurt or sour cream for topping (optional)
Heat the oil in a soup pan, then sauté the onions and celery until browned. Then add one cup of water, bring to a boil, and simmer everything for 5 minutes. Then add the cabbage and carrots and cook for 5 more minutes. Finally, add the remaining two cups of water along with the potatoes, the beets, the tomatoes, caraway seeds and vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil then simmer for half an hour or so until the beets and potatoes are soft. Then add the canned beans and dill and season with the black pepper. Top with the scallions and yogurt and serve!
From “Moosewood Restaurant Low-fat Favorites” by the Moosewood
December 13, 2011
December 6, 2011
November 29, 2011
- Sunchokes: Also known as Jerusalem artichokes, this vegetable usually doesn’t make it to the top of CSA members favorite vegetable list. My theory is that this is because sunchokes have a flavor that is uniquely their own, and it is a flavor we are not familiar with. In general, I think we tend to dislike flavors that are foreign. I know this is true for small children that are trying new foods, and I’ve certainly experienced it myself with veggies like Brussels sprouts. There’s a solution though. If this isn’t your favorite vegetable, try it in repetition, in several different preparations and you might get used to them. This is the advice given to adults trying to convince children to try new foods, and I think it works on adults equally as well. Most folks who are new to sunchokes feel the inclination to peel these knobby roots. I’d like to encourage you to use them unpeeled – after all, you don’t want to build an association that these are hard to deal with in the kitchen! You’ll find several recipes below. If you want to try something simple, simply roast them with other root vegetables like carrots, beets and potatoes. These will keep for a number of weeks in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
- Delicata Squash: Last chance for these tasty squash.
- Beets: These beets are a mix of golden and chiogga types. I think they both have a milder flavor, and they certainly don’t stain everything red, which can be nice if you roast them with other root vegetables.
- Daikon Radish: Try a simple refrigerator pickle recipe on your daikon radish, and prepare to be pleasantly surprised. A recipe follows.
- Asian Green: Pac choi this week!
- Chard –or- Mizuna: Remember mizuna? If you like it’s slightly pungent flavor raw use it in salad or wilted under a hot dressing. Always good lightly steamed or added to a stir fry too.
November 22, 2011
- Potatoes: This week’s potatoes are an all-purpose type.
- Pie pumpkin: As I’ve been hearing from many of you, these make a mean pumpkin pie. But, if you don’t need another pie for your thanksgiving meal try preparing this in a savory dish (see a recipe below) Like all other winter squash, pumpkins store admirably, so you don’t have to use it right away. Just don’t keep it in the frige.
- Chicory: This week’s chicory can vary from being quite open to having a dense blanched center, a little like a cabbage or a romaine lettuce. There are two types in the share this week: a round red version called radicchio and a longer type known as sugarloaf. They can both be used interchangeably. Chicory can be quite bitter for some, and although I like it raw on occasion, thinly shredded and to slaws, we usually cook it at home, which removes most or all the bitterness. Soaking the shredded leaves in ice water also really helps if you are eating it raw. Chicory is nice grilled, braised or broiled, and is nice added to a risotto. Check out a couple of recipes below
- Shallots: Like the rest of our onion crop this year, shallots performed poorly. But there’s enough for one distribution, and we thought this would be a good week to give them out. Shallots really jazz up a nice vinaigrette (its easy to find a recipe online), and are the basis of many classic sauces. Check out a recipe below. As with onions, these can sit on the counter for a good long while. If you see signs of sprouting, use them immediately!
- Celeriac: Try slipping some celeriac into your thanksgiving mashed potatoes and see if anyone notices.