CSA Week 17

In your share week 17:

Carrots
Shallot
Turnip or Radish
Cauliflower or Broccoli
Kale
Salad Mix
Tomatoes (Some sites only)

Full shares only:

Beets or Cilantro

Frost has hit, with the last few nights getting down to 34 degrees.  At this point, it honestly doesn’t affect us too much.  We already abandoned the zucchini to powdery mildew, and all of our tomatoes and heat loving crops are in the greenhouses.  It has to get down to about 27 degrees before the plants inside get fried, which usually doesn’t happen here until later in the fall.  We still have tomatoes for some full shares this week, and we’ll hopefully get the rest of you next week.

Instead, we have some very happy and now extra sweet kale, salad, and carrots.  All of these crops actually benefit from a little frost: it causes them to increase the sugar concentration in their cells, lowering their freezing point.  It also does a lot to relieve our aphid pressure and slows down other pests.  The kale especially is thriving with the cold nights and sunny days, so enjoy!

Some “lasts” today: last cauliflower, last radishes and turnips, though perhaps not the last broccoli?  Some of the radishes are enormous; but they are still crunchy and are now extra flavorful!  Their greens are also particularly nice this week, and remember that they are especially nutritious.  The frost is good for radishes too, developing lots of flavor.

We are also keeping the “firsts” coming with a beautiful, delicious shallot.  These have been slow to bulb out this year; usually by now they’ve dropped their tops and died back.  Our shallots are much bigger than what you usually see in stores, but they are shallots nonetheless.  Most shallots are grown from overwintered bulbs (like garlic), but these are grown from seed with our onions.  Seed grown shallots get much larger, but still have tons of flavor and store extremely well.  If you’re not familiar with shallots, they are similar to onions but more savory and flavorful, and less sweet.  You can use them in place of onions in many recipes and can usually use less than the recipe calls for.  Some people describe their flavor as a cross between onions and garlic, but I just think they have a wonderful flavor all their own.  These should be kept in a bag in the fridge.  You can also use the greens!

This week’s carrots are some of the last we’ll see of our beloved “Nelson” variety.  Every farm I’ve been on has grown this excellent carrot, but the breeder has discontinued the seed and it will no longer be available.  I have been working through my stock of seed but the germination was getting worse and worse.  I finally gave up and our last few rotations will be a selection of different varieties we’re trying.  Nelson will be sorely missed.

But the good news is that we’ve finally found a carrot that twice beat Nelson in taste tests, and it’s an open pollinated carrot instead of a hybrid.  For hybrid varieties, pollination is controlled, with every seed being a specific mix of genetics that is proprietary to the breeder.  Open pollinated seed is produced by allowing a population to breed freely, though the genetics are controlled by environmental factors and plant selection.  Hybrid seeds can’t be reproduced at home, since the seeds produced by hybrid plants don’t come true to type.  However, open pollinated seeds can be reproduced and reselected to thrive in your own environment.  We will be selling some of the carrots of this new variety (called “Coral”) to our friends at Adaptive Seeds so that they can produce seed and hopefully add them to their catalog.  We don’t do a lot of seed saving at the farm, but it’s something that I care about and contribute to when I can.


Chanterelle Mushroom and Kale Salad with Lime-Tahini Sauce

This recipe comes from Andrea Bemis from Dishing Up the DirtShe is a farmer and chef, and has a great blog with tons of veggie-centric recipes.  I liked this one because chanterelles are popping right now and the kale is especially nice this week.  She calls it a salad, but it’s all cooked and served hot.  Try using shallot instead of onion!

  • 1/2 lb chanterelle mushrooms (or mushrooms of choice) finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale, touch stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 small delecata squash, seeds removed and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds or half moons (you can leave the skin on it’s edible and delicious!)
  • grapeseed oil for cooking (or any oil you prefer)
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

For the Lime-Tahini Sauce

  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • 1 TBS low sodium tamari
  • 2 TBS lime juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp honey or pure maple syrup
  • dash of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup water

Preparation

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the tahini sauce together in a blender or food processor. Taste test and add anything. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the sliced delicata squash with a little bit of grapeseed oil, salt and pepper. Place on a prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven until fork tender (about 12-15 minutes) toss squash halfway through cooking time.
  3. Cook quinoa
  4. In a large skilled over medium heat add a little grapeseed oil. Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook for about 8 more minutes stirring often. Add kale and cook until kale is bright green and slightly wilted, about 3 more minutes. Add cooked quinoa and delicata squash to the pan. Stir well to combine. Remove from heat. Drizzle with tahini sauce and garnish with fresh parsley.

Carrot-Cake Thumbprint Cookies

Carrots make great dessert too!  Here’s a winner from Martha Stewart.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown and granulated sugars, and yolk. In another bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture to combine. Mix in oats, carrots, and raisins. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls; roll balls in pecans to coat. Space 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven; press an indentation into center of each cookie with the end of a wooden spoon. Bake until golden brown on bottoms, 10 to 12 minutes more. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.
  3. In a bowl, beat remaining 1/2 stick butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium until smooth. Beat in goat cheese until just combined. Swirl in jam. Fill center of each cookie with goat-cheese mixture; serve.

Cook’s Notes

Piping makes fast work of filling the cookies; use a plastic bag with a corner snipped off. You can also simply spoon it in.

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