CSA Week 18

1 more week to go: Next week is the final main season pickup.

In Your Share:

 

Carrots
Beets
Fennel
Leeks
Green Onion
Kale
Broccoli or Cauliflower

Full Shares Only:

Lettuce

Carnival Winter Squash
Cucumber or Zucchini

This is a heavy share for October!  In spite of the rain, most of our crops are still looking good out there.  Instead of succumbing to mold, so far they just keep getting bigger.  The fennel are HUGE (and tender and tasty), the carrots are fat and lovely, and our green onions are getting so tall that they’re falling over. Our final rotation of broccoli is full of deep green heads and succulent shoots, and it seems to be holding up well against the rain.  Crown rot can be an issue for us with late broccoli, but these are fighting it off long enough to get it to you.

The cauliflower seems to be responding well to the boron sprays, and we have the nicest heads we’ve gotten from these rotations today.  Unfortunately, this will likely be the last of it, since there aren’t many heads left over there.  Now I know how to identify and cure this problem, though, so I’ll be keeping a closer eye and hopefully will catch future boron deficiencies before our field turns into a cauliflower graveyard.  I’ve suspected boron deficiencies in other crops as well (especially beets and spinach), so it will be worth exploring if this can help us have better production all around.

New today are leeks, which are one of my favorites but aren’t our most productive crop.  Leeks are milder than onions and have a savory flavor all their own.  I love to use them in soups, sautes, and braises.  I use the whole leek, greens and all, and I don’t usually find ours to be too tough.  We have peeled and washed them, but leeks are notorious for catching soil in their many leaf bases.  You will probably want to give them a good rinse before using them.  Typically I slice them lengthwise, lay them cut side down, and slice them into thin half moons.  If you don’t want to cook with the greens, they are a great addition to stock.

We pulled the cucumbers out last week, but were able to pick enough to give them to some of you today.  The zucchini plants are going downhill, but we gave them a few days off from harvest and lots are still sizing up nicely.  So full shares get what will (probably) be the last of these summery crops.

Note that next week is the final main season pickup!  We have a few more spots available for the extended season, so please let me know if you want to sign up.  We will continue to deliver to all of our usual drop sites, and we have some lovely crops waiting in the wings for November.  Harvest season isn’t over yet!


Leeks and Chanterelles

It wouldn’t be fall in the northwest without leeks and chanterelles. This is a basic mixture that can be eaten by itself or as a side dish, put into an omelette, mixed with roasted potatoes or quinoa, used as a filling for quiche, or stuffed with rice into squash.

 

Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Chop into medium pieces:

            1 pound chanterelle mushrooms

Add to the skillet and dry sautee (no oil) while the mushrooms release their juices. You can either strain off the juice to use for another purpose or wait for it to steam away. When the water is all gone and the mushrooms just begin to stick, add:

3 Tbsp butter

            2 leeks, chopped coarsely

            1 tsp fresh thyme

            salt and pepper

Stir and sautee for about 15 minutes, or until leeks are caramelized and mushrooms are well-browned.

 

If using as a stuffing or filling for quiche, stop cooking after the mushrooms and leeks just begin to brown, as they will continue to cook in the oven.

I often will make this into a meal by adding a chopped bunch of kale 6 or 7 minutes before they are done and serving with rice or quinoa.


Linguine with Fennel and Tuna

From marthastewart.comCrisp, mild fennel is livened up with lemon juice and capers, and then tossed with linguine and canned tuna. This light dinner is ready in just 20 minutes.

1 pound linguine

2 medium fennel bulbs, (8 ounces each)

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons capers

Coarse salt and ground pepper

2 cans (6 ounces each) solid light tuna, drained

Cook linguine according to package instructions. Drain and return to pot; reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.

 

Trim fennel bulbs; reserve 1/4 cup chopped fronds. Quarter, core, and thinly slice bulbs crosswise; cook in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until golden, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Add to pasta along with fronds, lemon juice, capers, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and reserved pasta water.

 

Season with salt and pepper. Flake in tuna. Gently toss.

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