This is the final week of the main season CSA! Please return all remaining CSA bags.
In Your Share:
Yellow Finn Potatoes
Winter Luxury Pumpkin
Full shares only:
We made it! This is the final week of the main season CSA. We actually have a lot more than usual for this late in the season, so I’ve been pleased with the variety and quantity we’ve had these last few shares. Lots more coming for extended season members!
There are 2 new items today. Brand new to many of you (except last year’s CSA members) is yacon. 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. We like to eat it raw, and it is sweet, tender, mild flavored, 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. I like the flavor of the skin (it’s earthy and somewhat bitter), but you may prefer it peeled. It will brown soon after cutting, you can toss it with a bit of lemon juice to keep it white. It can also be cooked, though we love it’s crunchy texture so much that we never do. Some people like to juice it (we recommend peeling it first). Store it in the fridge in a plastic bag, it will dry out and soften if left on the counter for long.
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.
One favorite is a “Winter Luxury” heirloom pumpkin. Make sure to grab one when you get your share! These make the most fantastic pumpkin puree: flavorful, sweet, and velvety. I’ve used the puree to make pies, soups, risotto, and more. They are also delicious to roast and eat with butter or other toppings, although I think their texture is better pureed. I cook them the same way I cook winter squash. Cut it in half, put it in a pan with a bit of water, and roast it at 375 until a fork goes through it easily. To puree it, I just scoop out the seeds, peel off the skin, and use my immersion blender (you can also use a food processor, a regular blender, or a potato masher).
If you take a large pumpkin and don’t want to use it all at once, the puree freezes well. I’d roast the whole pumpkin, since it won’t keep for long once it’s cut open. Left whole and uncooked, these pumpkins are sturdy but not terribly long keepers. It should keep at room temperature at least until Thanksgiving and possibly until the end of the year.
Thanks everyone for your support and your love of vegetables. I hope you’ve enjoyed being in the CSA; we’re privileged to have such enthusiastic members. You can return any remaining bags by next Tuesday to the farm or Trillium. Or, better yet, bring shopping bags with you when you pick up your final share and transfer the contents so you don’t have to return anything. 2017 early CSA registration will begin in February, keep an eye out and we hope you’ll be back!
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.
Thai pumpkin soup
Here’s a simple but flavorful recipe for pumpkin soup from the BBC’s Good Food Magazine.
1 pumpkin or squash, peeled and roughly chopped
4 tsp sunflower oil
1 onion, sliced
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 lemongrass, bashed a little
3-4 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 can coconut milk
3 c vegetable stock
juice and sugar, for seasoning
1 red chilli, sliced, to serve (optional)
Heat oven to 400. Toss the pumpkin or squash in a roasting tin with half the oil and seasoning, then roast for 30 mins until golden and tender.
Meanwhile, put the remaining oil in a pan with the onion, ginger and lemongrass. Gently cook for 8-10 mins until softened. Stir in the curry paste for 1 min, followed by the roasted pumpkin, all but 3 tbsp of the coconut milk and the stock. Bring to a simmer, cook for 5 mins, then fish out the lemongrass. Cool for a few mins, then whizz until smooth with a hand blender, or in a large blender in batches. Return to the pan to heat through, seasoning with salt, pepper, lime juice and sugar, if it needs it. Serve drizzled with the remaining coconut milk and scattered with chilli, if you like.