CSA Week 16

***2 weeks left!  Your final share will be the week of Halloween.  Please remember to round up and return any CSA bags you have at home.***

In your share week 16:

Yellow Finn Potatoes
Winter Luxury Pumpkin
Herb bunch
Ruby Perfection Cabbage

Full shares only:

Salad Mix

We are winding down and these last few shares are smaller, but we still have a couple of tricks up our sleeve.  Today’s new item is a lovely head of red cabbage.  These are great raw or cooked and should store for several weeks in a bag in the fridge.  They’ve been sweetened by the frost over the last couple of weeks, as has the kale.  Try shredding it up on tacos, braising it with a pork shoulder, or sauteing it up with some of that pumpkin, or last week’s acorn squash.  Yum…

We have another pumpkin for you today, and will probably have one more before the season is out.  This week we cooked one up and made pumpkin hummous with one half and a sage onion pasta sauce with the other.  So creamy and delicious!  I love to just roast it, peel it, and puree it, then have it in the fridge to inspire some different sauces and dinners.  I like using it in dishes in place of cheese or cream, like in risotto, pasta sauce, or a casserole.  To roast it, I cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and put it face down in a large pan with a half inch of water.  Roast at 375 until a fork pokes through cleanly, about 1 hour.  Let cool and peel off the skin, then mash the flesh or puree with an immersion blender.

We’re giving you extra onions today, since this year’s crop is so strong.  When I made the pumpkin hummous, I also made a big pan of sauteed onions to go with it.  I rarely just cook onions on their own, they are usually the first ingredient that then gets added to.  But they were sweet and delicious by themselves, and the perfect accompaniment to the mild flavored pumpkin hummous.  And onions pack a nutritional punch too, which I tend to forget.  The sulfur compounds prevalent in onions and other alliums (garlic, shallots, leeks) are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory, cancer fighting, and blood pressure lowering properties.  Onions are rich in vitamins and minerals and should get credit as an extremely nutritious part of a meal!

Also rich in antioxidants are fresh herbs.  This week we’ve given everyone a bunch of some of the perennial herbs we grow, either sage, rosemary, thyme, or chives.  I used fresh sage today in my pumpkin pasta sauce, but it would have been equally good with any of the other herbs.  To use these, pick the leaves off of the woody stems (chives can be used whole).  Chop the leaves and add them to sauces, soups, braises, stocks, and stir fries.  Unlike the leafy herbs we usually include, like parsley or basil, I add these herbs early in the cooking process.  Their flavors hold up well to cooking and infuse the whole dish.

Full shares have a small bag of salad.  The rain and cold weather ground all of our outdoor rotations to a halt, and we have about 4 weeks worth of sowings that are just sitting in the field doing nothing.  But our greenhouse salad is finally sizing up, and we were able to get a few extra small bags.  We have some nice heads of romaine sizing up in the greenhouse too, so we should be able to provide a couple more salads for you all.

And one more time, please please please remember to return any CSA bags you have left at your house.  We lose bags every year, and they are a significant expense for us.  We need them back!  Thank you to everyone who has been returning them regularly, it helps us keep the cost of the CSA down.

Herbed Pumpkin Pasta

I made this for lunch today with leftover pumpkin puree and fresh sage.  It was satisfying and delicious!  It could be made without the milk or flour for a vegan version, or substitute coconut milk for a different flavor.

Puree of 1/2 roasted pumpkin, about 2 1/2 cups
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh herbs, finely chopped
3 Tbsp flour
1 cup whole milk
Olive Oil

In a large skillet, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and salt to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and herbs and cook a few more minutes.

Add flour and stir to distribute.  Cook for another minute, stirring frequently.  Add the milk and stir to distribute.  Stirring frequently, bring to a simmer and hold it there for a few minutes, until milk begins to thicken.

Add pumpkin and more salt and mix everything together.  Cook until mixture is heated through.  Serve over pasta and garnish with fresh ground pepper.

Braised Cabbage and Potatoes

This is somewhere between a braise and a hash.  From The Hungry Bluebird blog.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 3 slices bacon, diced
  • ½ pound potatoes, in 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 small cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ cup chicken broth or stock, preferably homemade
  • In a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat, heat oil until shimmering.  Add bacon, onion and jalapeños, stir and cook until the bacon and onions start to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Push bacon/onion mixture to the side and add halved potatoes in the center of the pan.  Let cook a minute or two and then stir and combine with other ingredients.  Continue cooking and stirring for another 3 or 4 minutes until just starting to brown and get tender.
  • Add cabbage, carrots and salt.  Stir to combine and pour chicken stock into pan, reduce heat and simmer and cook, stirring often until cabbage is wilted and potatoes are tender, about 20 more minutes.  Careful not to burn, adding more stock or water if needed.  Taste for salt and serve.

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