CSA Week 12

In your share week 12:

Yellow Finn Potatoes
Napa Cabbage
Radish
Peppers
Tomatoes
Onion
Salad Mix

Full shares only:

Kale
Italian Parsley

This is a lovely fall share for a very fall-like week!  It’s pouring out my window as I write this, but fortunately it stayed mostly dry for our harvest yesterday.  I decided to wait until after this system passes to put in my cover crop, and I’m hoping that wasn’t the wrong decision.  I’d like to flush some more of our weed seed bank, and this rain is perfect for germination, but hopefully it will dry up enough to get the tractor back out there for one last pass.

Lots of great veggies today, including a lovely head of napa cabbage.  Napa cabbage, also called Chinese cabbage, is mild flavored and extra tender, and it is great raw, cooked, or fermented into kim chi.  Raw it’s great as a green salad, as a base or crunchy addition to noodle salads, or makes a good coleslaw.  Cooked, it’s most often used in stirfries, but I use it in lots of dishes.  I’ve been eating a lot of it recently, stir fried with rice, shredded on tacos, and in a simple soup with chicken stock, ginger, and noodles.  It keeps extremely well in the fridge, you can just peel off as many leaves as you want to eat at a time and leave the rest in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Potatoes today are yellow finn.  These are the latest variety we grow, and they are similar to a yukon gold.  They are buttery and tasty and store particularly well.  At this point, the potatoes are cured enough to keep them in a paper bag in a cabinet or on the counter.  Just make sure they are kept in the dark so they don’t turn green or sprout.

People often ask me about the varieties of potatoes we grow and how best to cook them.  I’ll admit I’ve always been a bit fuzzy on the best uses for the different types, but I just found a helpful article from Martha Stewart that breaks it down well.  Check it out here.

Most of you will be happy to see peppers today. These are one of the most difficult crops for us in our cool climate.  They are very difficult to get started in the spring, grow slowly, and take a long time to ripen.  This is pretty early for us to have them, typically they are an October/November crop here at the coast.

We are very limited in the types that we can grow to full ripeness.  We’ve found that some of the extra early, thin walled bell peppers do the best and have the best flavor for us, so that’s what you’ll see in your share.  Today’s are a mix: Sweet Chocolate is a brown pepper, and Carmen and Shepherd’s Ramshorn are both red.  All of our peppers have a long, pointed shape, but they aren’t hot.  They are sweet and crunchy with excellent, rich flavor.  You can eat them raw or cooked. Store them in a bag in the fridge.


Shoyu Cabbage Soup

Napa cabbage takes center stage in this vegetarian ramen-inspired cabbage soup.  By Alison Roman for Bon Appetit, March 2014.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage, chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups cooked ramen or soba noodles
  • Hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek) and fresh cilantro leaves (for serving)
Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 10–12 minutes. Add cabbage, broth, shoyu, vinegar, and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover partially with a lid, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, 15–20 minutes; season to taste with more shoyu if desired. Serve over noodles topped with hot chili paste and cilantro.

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

With lentils and cremini mushrooms as well as the traditional carrots and peas, this vegetarian take on the traditional British potato-topped meat pie is hearty and delicious. We use French green lentils because they hold their shape in cooking. From Martha Stewart Living, January/February 2019

  1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add Worcestershire, bay leaf, 4 cups water, and lentils; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Stir in peas; remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes and garlic in a medium saucepan; cover with 2 inches of cold water. Season generously with salt; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until a knife pierces potatoes easily, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain; return potatoes and garlic to pot. Add butter and milk; mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer lentil mixture to a 2-quart baking dish. Dollop with mashed potatoes; spread evenly to edges. Transfer to a baking sheet; bake until golden and bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes. Let stand 20 minutes; serve.

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