Hi everyone! I hope you're doing well. It really started feeling like fall this weekend. There is starting to be a hint of color in the trees, the asters are blooming, the bluejays are migrating and the morning dew is decidedly chilly. But the days are still nice and warm and the fall crops are doing well.
The winter squash is coming in now, and there are only a few rows of potatoes left to dig. But the great thing is that many of the summer veggies continue on, especially with the relatively warm fall we've been having. So there are still tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers coming out of the garden and the greenhouses, and we should continue to have them through the next two weeks of the CSA.
In your bags this week is a nice mix of both summer and fall veggies:
Salad Mix Asian Greens Carrots Eggplant Tomatoes Cherry Tomatoes Cabbage Garlic Red Marble Onions White Potatoes Acorn and/or Delicata Squash
The Acorn squash can sit on your counter for quite a while (and it will actually sweeten up a bit if it gets to sit a while) but the Delicata, if you received it, should be used sooner rather than later. It's not a squash that holds very well. The thin skin that makes it so easy to cook (and is quite edible and tasty) means that it doesn't have the shelf life of the other winter squashes.
People often ask me how they should cook Delicata or Acorn or Buttercup or Pie Pumpkins. The good news is that it's prety much the same method for all of the hard-skinned winter squashes; you want to wash the rind, cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and scrape the cavity, then bake, usually cut-side down, on baking sheet or in a casserole dish in a 350 degree oven until tender. You should be able to easily pierce the skin with a fork when it's done. I often let mine go a little longer, because I really despise undercooked squash. It's stringy and lacks the full flavor. Cooked squash should be smooth and the flesh should be caramelized a bit where it's in contact with the pan. Yum!
Here are some recipes for your consideration:
I'll admit that sometimes I don't know what to do with greens. But whenever we harvest the Asian Greens, I munch a few leaves and I feel like there must be some excellent ways to prepare these highly flavorful, zingy greens. A friend of mine recommended this recipe:
2 cloves garlic, minced,
1 hot pepper, sliced in rings (optional)
1 big handful of green/yellow beans, trimmed
2 summer squash/zucchini sliced thick (too thin and they get mushy)
2 large handfuls of Asian greens rinsed (make sure to spin or shake off excess water)
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp ground fresh galangal or ginger
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 clove minced garlic
3 shakes/dashes cumin
Mix all sauce ingredients in small bowl
Heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (oil with high smoking pt) over medium high heat in wok.
Add garlic, beans, and pepper (if using)
Let brown 1-2 minutes. Stir, let brown 1-2 minutes. (DON'T OVER-STIR, just a quick stir to keep it from sticking. Once is fine.)
Add zucchini and squash, stir briefly
Let brown 1-2 minutes. Stir, let brown 1-2 minutes.
Add greens and turn heat to medium low. Stir constantly, and after 3 minutes taste the greens until they're cooked enough that the texture and spiciness are to your liking.
Add sauce and serve over rice or lo mein noodles.
Lo mein noodles can be started after the greens have been added. If you add them to the wok, add them after the sauce and stir.
Here's a quick and easy one that's perfect for fall:
4-6 carrots, quartered lengthwise
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 450
In a roasting pan, combine the carrots, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Toss to coat.
Roast for 20-25 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly caramelized and tender but still firm.
Here's a nice recipe from the Moosewood. The amount of cabbage is flexible.
Serves 4, takes 30 minutes
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
dash of salt
1 large green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cinnamon
sprinkle of cayenne to taste
3 cups undrained chopped tomatoes (canned or fresh) (28 oz can)
1 1/2 cups drained cooked chickpeas (16 oz can)
1/3 cup raisins or currants (optional)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste
In a large skillet, saute the onions in the oil for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the cabbage, sprinkle with salt and continue to saute for at least 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the bell pepper, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne to the skillet and saute for another minute or so.
Stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas and optional currants or raisins and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are just tender.
Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Top with feta and sliced almonds, if you like.
Serve over couscous or any grain of your choice.
We have two more weeks to go for the 2016 season. All the best,
for Lucky Moon Farm