Friday, September 26, 2008

Week 17; Sept. 24, 2008

Sorry for the delayed posting…
On this wet weekend, you might want to make a soup with some of your veggies. We nursed ourselves through our first colds for the season (that is, the school season) with a vegetable soup made from chicken broth, green beans, spinach (kale would work too), potatoes, leeks, chopped tomatoes and basil. See below for some other cooking suggestions.

Here’s what was in this week’s share:
1 pound beans—green or yellow wax
½ pound cooking spinach
1 acorn squash
1/2 pound mild mesclun mix
bunch of leeks
1 bok choy
1 bunch of red Russian kale
red potatoes
red onion

Bok choy- well suited to stir-frying; slice leaves into ½-inch strips and thicker, wider portion towards bottom of leaves into thinner strips, about ¼-inch wide, so that it cooks at the same rate as the leafy portion

Acorn squash- not a squash well-suited to peeling; best roasted
Here’s how:
Preheat oven to 400° F and line a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil
Slice a thin slice off both ends and then slice in half perpendicular to the ribs
Scrape out seeds
Rub cut sides and hollowed center with butter
Season with salt
Roast “bowl” side facing up until very tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 to 1 ½ hours

Kale- good braised or sautéed or chopped up in an early fall vegetable soup (see above); kale goes well with any cured meat—bacon, pancetta, ham—and garlic

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Week 16, Sept. 17, 2008

For all those hankering for comfort-type foods, we’re moving fast into fall crops. Hopefully not too fast. We’re a bit nervous about tonight’s frost warning. We’re covering up delicate crops, like greens, today to keep them protected. And then, well, we pray.

Some cooking notes from Maryellen:
winter squash- slice this in half down its length and scrape out seeds (to make a boat shape); brush cut side with oil and gently roast on a heavy baking sheet or baking pan (350° to 425° F is a safe range) ; if you place cut side down on the pan, you’ll get more caramelized flesh, which will taste toasty and sweet; I usually then just serve with butter and a sprinkling of brown sugar or maple sugar

Peppers: taste the Italian sweets—the long tapered variety—fresh; we’ve never tasted a pepper so sweet and crisp

Sweet corn: probably the last you’ll see this season; if you’ve had enough, blanch and freeze it for when you’re hankering for some this winter; or make chowder!

In this week’s share:
2 delicata squash
1 pound green beans
1 bunch parsley
2 ½ lbs. white potatoes
½ lb. salad mix
½ lb. spinach
1 bunch purple carrots
1 onion
bag of red peppers
half dozen or so ears of sweet corn
1 watermelon

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Week 15, Sept. 10, 2004

I’ve been holding off on roasting beets all summer—just because I hate to turn on my oven that time of year. It’s my absolute favorite way to eat them. The roasting seems to concentrate their sugars; they just taste so sweet. I can’t count how many farmers market customers I’ve converted into beet lovers by telling them to try roasting them. Roasting, in general, is a pretty flexible technique in terms of temperatures and times, but here’s a basic guideline:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

For 1 pound of beets: trim, peel (or don’t; the peels will slip right off when rubbed with a towel or pressed with your fork after roasting) and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges. Toss with enough extra-virgin olive oil to generously coat (1 to 3 Tbs.). Toss with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Spread on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until undersides are beginning to turn golden brown along the edges. Flip and continue roasting until tender, about 15 minutes.

I like to then serve with balsamic vinegar and crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese.

In this week’s share:

1 pound edamame (see wk. 12 share info. for cooking instructions)
Salad mix
1 pound of beets
1 large onion
1 canteloupe
7 to 8 mixed sweet peppers, mostly red
10 ears of corn
2 pounds white potatoes
yellow wax beans
1 bunch carrots

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Week 14; September 3, 2008

Our tomatoes are hanging in there, despite the damage from all the rain we had this summer. We haven’t seen or heard of anyone’s tomatoes thriving this summer—on farms or in small gardens—so we’re glad we can still keep them coming thus far.
Now, of course, we’ve hit a dry spell. We just keep nursing new seedlings with drip irrigation so that we’ll hopefully have plenty of fall greens!
Meantime, some of summer’s best are now peaking—like melons! And the peppers are sweet. We’re not one to snack on peppers, but these are so crisp and light on the palate that that’s just what we’ve been doing—when not eating the melon, that is.

In this week’s share:

1 cantaloupe
4 heirloom tomatoes
1 bag of mixed sweet peppers (6 to 7)
1 bunch of beets
1 large white onion
12 ears of corn
½ pound of salad mix (these are baby lettuce leaves, so a light dressing like a homemade vinaigrette is recommended)