This Week’s Share
- Collard Greens
- Winter Squash
Cabbage- Melissa is a crinkle-leaved savoy cabbage. It is perfect for slaw and salads.
Carrots- The carrots just get sweeter and sweeter. Although not perfect because of the rust fly damage they continue to be delicious. As we crop plan for next season we are talking about what pest management practices we can put into place to minimize this problem. The first step is always trying to choose more resistant varieties so we will be trialing a few new types for 2008.
Celeriac- Celeriac also known as celery root is grown for its edible bulbous root crown. Do not be put off by its rough exterior; inside is a surprisingly delicious and versatile vegetable. Celeriac has an excellent crisp texture raw or cooked, and super concentrated celery flavor that enhances its usefulness as both vegetable and seasoning. Peeled celeriac will darken when exposed to air. To slow this process, toss with lemon juice or keep in water. Lemon juice can also be added to cooking water. Raw celeriac is excellent. Try celeriac sticks tossed in your favorite dressing or grate it raw into a salad.
Collard Greens- Cook a bit longer then you would kale and enjoy this nutritional green. See recipe below.
Leeks- Leeks can be substituted in any recipe that calls for onions. They are slightly milder then onions and do take a bit longer to become tender when sautéing. They are a welcome addition to any winter soup.
Onions- These Copra Onions will store for many weeks.
Parsnips- Parsnips are another root vegetable that sweeten with the frost. A simple root vegetable roast is a wonderful way to enjoy all the roots in your share. Cut your parsnips, carrots, potatoes, celeriac, beets (if you have any left from last week) into one-to-two inch cubes. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt to taste. Roast at 400 degrees until tender.
Potatoes- Roasted, mashed, baked, fried potatoes must be one of our most versatile vegetables around.
Pumpkin- Snackjack pumpkins produce hull-less seeds that are ideal for roasting. The flesh is tender and sweet perfect for pie making.
Shallots- Another allium that can be used like onions or leeks but its milder flavor allows it to be incorporated raw into sauces and dressings.
Winter Squash- The two varieties in your share this week are Sugar Loaf which is a Delicata variety and Blue Ballet which is a Hubbard variety. The Sugar Loaf can be sliced into circles, the seeds scooped out, coated with olive oil and a little salt and baked at 400 degrees until tender. You can eat both the flesh and skin. The Blue Ballet once baked can be incorporated into soups or curries.
Winter Squash Gnocchi
1 winter squash
1 1/4 c plain flour
1/2 c freshly grated parmesan
6 T butter
a little freshly grated nutmeg.
1. Segment the squash and scrape out the seeds. Rub with a little oil and roast in a medium oven with a few sprigs of rosemary for about 45 minutes until just soft but not browned. Scoop the flesh from the skin.
2. Put a large pan of salted water on the boil. Beat the eggs with salt and pepper and mix with the squash, flour, nutmeg and about two thirds of the parmesan to make a dry dough. The easiest way to do this is using your hands and squeezing handfuls through your fingers.
3. Take a handful of dough and with dry hands role into a 1/2 inch wide log on a well floured surface. Cut into 1 inch long sections and when you have a plate full drop them into the rapidly boiling water. They are cooked when they rise to the top.
4. Scoop them out with a perforated spoon and gently fry in a pan with the melted butter until they start to color. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan and perhaps some chopped herbs.
Potato and Celeriac Puree
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup of cream
4 potatoes, peeled
hot milk (optional)
fresh ground black pepper
Put garlic cloves in cream and simmer gently until quite soft, then puree with the cream. Cook potatoes until tender, then drain. Cook celeriac in boiling water and also drain. Pass celeriac and other ingredients through a food mill or food processor. Beat in a little boiling milk with a wooden spoon if puree is too stiff. Adjust seasoning. Reheat puree in a covered bowl in a microwave or in a steamer, top with carmelized shallots and serve.
Milder than onions, shallots are used widely in Asian cooking as well as French. They are useful chopped finely and then allowed to soak in a little red wine vinegar and sugar. This makes a great base for a salad dressing or salsa. The following dish is great served with steak and roast vegetables or on your mashed potatoes and celeriac.
1 tbsp butter
4 sprigs of rosemary
1 tsp sugar
6 oz red wine
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Heat butter in a pan and add shallots – toss until they are browning – add rosemary and cook until shallots are starting to caramelize. Add sugar, dissolve and add wine and vinegar. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. When you are about to use, uncover and reduce liquid until shallots are shiny and have a syrupy glaze.
Citrus Collards with Raisins
Recipes from America’s Small Farms
1 bunch collard greens
Coarse sea salt
½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced (or sub shallots)
1/3 cup raisins
2 medium oranges
Remove the stems from the collards and discard. Stack four or five leaves on top of one another. Roll the leaves into a tight cylinder. Slice crosswise, cutting the leaves into thin strips. Rinse the leaves in cold water and drain in a colander.
In a large pot over high heat, bring 3 quarts water to a boil and add 3 teaspoons salt. Add the collards and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove, drain, and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and set the color of the greens. Drain
In a medium sauté pan, over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic or shallots and sauté for 1 minute. Add the collards, raisins, and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Section the oranges, reserving the juice. Add the oranges and juice and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Do not overcook (collards should be bright green)
Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Please remember that December is current member re-sign up month. Please fill out the 2008 Community Farm Agreement and mail in your $100 deposit to secure your slot. The cost for the CSA in 2008 will be $845.
It’s hard to believe this is the last week of CSA. It has been a real pleasure to have the opportunity to nurture this produce so it can in turn nurture your family. Please enjoy this last, winter-hearty share! Best wishes for a safe, healthy and festive holiday and winter season.
Although a lot of things slow down on the farm after the CSA season is over, there is still a lot that needs to get done. The list of winter chores, activities and projects is growing steadily. To begin, the fields need to be cleaned up. This consists of removing all the floating row cover fabric from the fields, rolling it up and storing it in the barn as well as removing all the hoops from the fields too. All of the irrigation has to be removed from the fields as well. The drip ‘tape’ gets rolled back onto spools and stored safely in the barn for the winter so it can be used in the years to come. We also have to clear all the trellising (metal stakes and bamboo) from the tomato, pepper, eggplant and cucumber fields. Then at the end of January we start seeding in the greenhouse and the whole cycle starts over again. Most of the farm planning goes on during the winter as well. The managers stay busy reviewing this past year, planning the crops for next year, placing next year’s seed order, and laying the groundwork for the year ahead. The apprentices will spend the winter working on their Independent Winter Projects, gaining more farming knowledge through seminars and working on the long list of farm projects.
Where to get fresh, local food through the winter
Just because the CSA season is ending doesn’t mean your supply of fresh, seasonal and local food has to dry up. There are a variety of ways to continue to share in the harvest for the next few months. For starters, there are still three more Saturdays to enjoy the Portland Farmer’s Market on the South Park Blocks. The Hillsdale Farmer’s Market operates every other Sunday from November through April, and weekly during the spring and summer. People’s Food Co-op in SE Portland offers a weekly farmer’s market every Wednesday from 2-7. You can, of course, always visit local co-ops and grocers that offer local and seasonal produce.