CSA Week 17

***This is your second to last CSA share.  Your final share will be next week.  Please bring back any CSA bags you have at home!***

In your share week 17:

Yacon
Carrots
Onion
Delicata Squash
Broccoli
Green Onion
Kale

Full shares only:

Romaine Lettuce

We’re almost to the end of the season, with just 1 week left of the CSA.  But we still have 2 new items today : yacon and delicata squash.  If you are a returning CSA member, you may remember yacon.  But if you are a new member, this may be a whole new vegetable for you.

 

Yacon (pronounced yah-CONE) is a member of the sunflower family from the Andes.  This is the tuberous vegetable that looks like a sweet potato, oblong with dark skin.  I strongly recommend eating it raw: it is sweet, crunchy, and juicy.  Think of jicama, asian pear, or even a cucumber.  We most often slice it up and eat it plain as a refreshing snack or side dish, it’s especially good with a squeeze of lime juice. Think of yacon more like a carrot than a potato; it should be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge.  It will dry out and soften if left on the counter for long.

 

We harvested the tubers a couple of weeks ago so that we could cure it before including it in the shares.  When it’s first harvested, it’s pretty bland, but as it sits the flesh sweetens and the skin darkens. But with the cool gray weather it’s been curing more slowly than usual, so it’s not at its peak flavor yet.  It is good to eat now, but it will sweeten up more if you keep it in the fridge for a week or two!

 

The skin is edible; it’s earthy and somewhat bitter.  Normally I like it, but since these aren’t totally sweetened up yet I’ve been peeling mine.  Yacon browns soon after cutting, you can toss it with a bit of lime or lemon juice to keep it white.  It can also be cooked, but I honestly haven’t found a way to cook it that’s much good, and it’s so delicious raw that I gave up trying.  Some people like to juice it (we recommend peeling it first).

 

Here is a link to a more in depth article about yacon in Mother Earth News.  One thing worth noting is that yacon’s sweetness is from inulin, which makes it extremely low in calories and a better choice for diabetics.

 

Delicata squash is probably more familiar.  These are lovely striped squash with sweet flesh and tender skin.  I like to halve, seed, and slice mine into half moons, then roast them with a bit of olive oil.  They’re also delicious on pizza or filled with a quinoa raisin stuffing.  They can be stored on the counter or in a cupboard.

 

We finally have green onions for you today, this just wasn’t their year.  They are a nice fresh flavor to go with this fall share.  Remember, you can eat both the white and green parts, raw or cooked.

Next week is the final week of the CSA!  I encourage you to look around for any extra CSA bags to return, and then bring your own bag to transfer the share into so you don’t have to return the last bag.  We will also have plastic bags available at all the drop sites so you can use those if you forget your own.  Thank you for being a member!


Yacon Grapefruit Salad

Okay, this recipe from Marthastewart.com originally called for jicama.  But it is delicious with yacon: the bittersweet grapefruit and sweet apple are a great complement to the mild crunchy yacon.

1 red grapefruit, peel and pith removed
1 navel orange, peel and pith removed
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
4 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, flakes
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 large or 3 to 4 small yacon, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
1 medium Granny Smith apple, cut into 3/4-inch chunks

Working over a large bowl, carefully carve out sections of grapefruit and orange from membranes using a paring knife, letting sections fall into bowl and reserving membranes. Transfer juices to a small non-reactive bowl; squeeze membranes into bowl. Discard membranes.

Add lime juice, cilantro, red pepper flakes, and salt to the small bowl with the juices; stir to combine. Add jicama, apple, and cucumber to the large bowl with the fruit. Pour juice mixture over fruit mixture. Gently toss to coat. Let salad stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Angela’s Stuffed Roasted Delicata Squash

Enjoy this seasonal squash roasted and stuffed with spinach, beans and cheesy topping. I’d use kale in place of the spinach, it just needs to cook a bit longer.  From Aggie’s Kitchen blog.

  • 2 Delicata squash, cut lengthwise
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini or white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 handfuls fresh spinach, torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • red pepper flakes, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scoop seeds out of each half of squash. Place on baking sheet and sprinkle salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Squash will be soft to the touch.
  2. While squash is baking, make stuffing for squash:
    Heat 1 teaspoons of olive oil in a non stick skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and chopped onion to pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add spinach to pan and cook until wilted. Add rinsed beans to pan and stir, cook until warmed through.
  3. Spoon stuffing into each squash half.
  4. In a small bowl, combine panko and Parmesan. Sprinkle evenly over each squash. Place into oven for about 15 minutes until heated through and breadcrumbs and cheese are golden brown.
  5. Serve immediately with red pepper flakes and extra Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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