We’ve had a busy week here at the farm! My brother got married on Saturday and we had two very cute flower girls to detox after they had free reign over the donut bar. It was a great time catching up with out of town family and it always feels good to step away from the farm for a moment.
Now we are full speed ahead! We have gotten half of the sweet potatoes harvested which means they will be cured (which makes them sweet) for your boxes next week! They take about 1-2 weeks in a hot house before they turn into the sweet potato that you would expect. I love sweet potato season and can’t stop tasting them before they are ready. Not so good unless you add lots of maple syrup.
We have gotten a few inquiries about parsnips. For those of you who were in the CSA last year you might remember a similar crunch on the parsnip harvest. They really need a good frost to get tasting good. Right now they are very starchy and pasty, but once the tops get a frost they shoot all of their sugars into their roots. This is the reason that parsnips (and many other root crops) can resprout in the spring. The water in the roots are replaced by sugars which act like anti-freeze. The sugars also help them keep in storage for longer. So, as much as we love our peppers and cherry tomatoes, a good frost right now would be welcome.
~ Please return bins!! We had to put some small shares into paper bags this week!
~ If you would like to join our Extended Season don’t hesitate too much! 8 weeks for $200. Same drop sites.
In your box this week…
Coffee- (optional) Colombia
Fresh Beets- These are young, tender beets with lush greens. Separate the beets from the greens and stalks for best storage. Greens are wonderful steamed or sautéed, then add to egg or potato dishes, or treat as a side dish with a splash of good vinegar. Also great for soups, especially creamy soups. The beets themselves are really great for roasting. Simply scrub the outside and pare off any root hairs. Then chop into bite-size pieces and coat with oil. Roast them in a hot oven along with similarly sized pieces of carrot, potato, celeriac, etc. Add some onions and/or garlic along the way and season with salt and pepper when tender. They are the featured item in the recipe of the week!
Onions- Cured, these can be kept in a drawer or on the counter for a couple weeks. Try in a sauce or salsa with fresh tomatoes or roasted tomatillos. Starting to develop a stronger flavor, so feel free to sautee these down or roast them up to balance out the sweet flavor. If they are beginning to pile up on you, try your hand at French onion soup, it’s pretty simple really and a nice fall treat. Also a key component of the recipe of the week.
Salad Mix- Stores well in a bag in the fridge. So fresh and crisp. Salad mix is ready to use just rinse and serve with dressing or plain. Pile it onto sandwiches, wraps or burritos. Also great on toast with a runny fried egg.
Pumpkin- These will store pretty well in a pantry or anywhere cool and out of direct light. These are great pie pumpkins, but won’t store like a decorative one. Real pumpkin can be used in any canned pumpkin recipe. Just remove the stem, wash, and cut in half. Then scoop the seeds and their pulp, before roasting cut side down on a baking pan with a small lip. Roast at 350-400 until the skin is easily pierced with a fork. Allow to cool enough to handle, then scoop the meat with a large spoon and puree until the desired consistency is reached. Perfect for pie, bread, muffins, or just stir with butter and salt and dress with cinnamon for a pureed pumpkin side dish.
Radishes- These will keep best removed from greens in a bag in the fridge. Radishes are bright and peppery when eaten fresh, but sweet and mild when cooked. Try them in the recipe of the week.
Kale- This beautiful kale is sweet and tender. Perfect for fresh salads (mix with the lettuce mix to add a hearty, bulky texture.) Also great for a massaged kale salad. Stores well in a bag in the fridge.
Brusselini (AKA, Brussel Tops)- These are the tops of the Brussels Sprouts. They can be treated just like
any other hearty green. Steamed, sautéed, or fried until tender. Try them in place of cabbage in the recipe of the week. Stores well in the crisper drawer.
Cherry Tomatoes- So easy, just pop the top and eat them. Also great sliced in half to top salads or set off a slaw dish. Keeps best out of the fridge.
Sweet Peppers- (some are long and pointy, all are sweet) These thick-walled, sweet peppers are great for slicing and snacking, or for roasting. Be careful not to overcook or you will lose the bright crunch that makes them so great. Good for salsa and dips, also great in pasta sauce or the recipe of the week! All peppers store well in the crisper drawer or in a bag/container if more than a few days. Great addition to salsas, eggs, or tomato sauces. Also good in kimchi
Coffee Mexican Coffee- Colombian coffee’s are commonly known to be big rich chocolatey coffees with exceptional fragrance and often great acidity. Colombia has many diverse growing regions so the coffee vary mildly from region to region. Tropical fruit, vanilla, caramel and chocolate are common.
. (Taken from Condor’s website.)
Borscht: Hearty, bright pink, beet soup
3-4 medium beets, scrubbed
2 quarts chicken, beef, or vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
2 cups chopped hearty vegetables (potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, turnip, etc)
2 cups chopped onions or leeks
2 cups chopped Cabbage, Napa Cabbage, Brusselini, chard/beet greens, etc.)
1 cup sour cream (for serving)
Salt n Pepper
¼ cup fresh dill or parsley (we like dill best, it’s the traditional Russian herb, Parsley is more Ukrainian)
Oil for sauteeing/roasting
Boil beets until tender. Place in cold water until cool enough to handle. Slip the skins and puree with half the broth and plenty of salt, then set aside
Meanwhile, toss the chopped hearty vegetables and onions in oil. Then roast (for best flavor) or sautee them in a large soup pot (quickest) until just starting to brown.
Add cooked veggies and remaining stock together in large pot. And bring just to the boil. Add chopped Cabbage (or other green) and simmer for several minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and allow to rest briefly (10-15 mins) before serving.
**Very important** Serve with a large dollop of sour cream and the fresh herb of your choice.
*The sour cream, when stirred in turns this deep red soup into a bright pink stew. And transforms the flavor by balancing the sweetness of the beets and roasted onions and the bitterness of the cabbage. A bit of lemon juice could be used in a pinch, but won’t have the same visual effect. This is a classic fall dish that eats like a meal.