csa share – week 22 {october 18}

Welcome to the 22nd week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Tomatoes – probably the last of the red/orange tomatoes for the season
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes – Banana fingerling this week
  • Beets
  • Cooking Greens
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Peppers –  Poblanos & a handful of jalepenos
  • Acorn Squash
  • Onions – from Minto Island Growers!

This past Sunday we had fun having CSA members out to the farm for our 2nd annual CSA Pumpkin Patch event.  There were pumpkins…there were tractor rides…there was cider pressing!  Best of all we got to spend an afternoon with some fun families and I’m pretty sure the kids had a good time pressing apples for cider.  Thanks to everyone who made it out.  We hope you had as much fun as we did.

As we begin to wrap up the CSA season we’re in list making mode.  The tasks that need to be taken care of in the field before the weather turns wintry seem to become more urgent each day.  Here’s a sampling of what we’ve got on our plate for the next couple of weeks:

  • Drain irrigation pipe and consolidate on higher ground
  • Purchase soil amendments and spread on open fields
  • Sow cover crop seed
  • Plant garlic and saved fava beans
  • Map out contents for 5 remaining CSA shares
  • Harvest remaining pumpkins for market
  • Finish off tomatoes and clear out field houses
  • Take down pole bean trellising
  • Thresh dry beans
  • Dig remaining potatoes for storage
  • Clean and store saved seed
  • Etc.

I’m sure there’s more, but these are the things that come to mind at the moment.  It seems there’s always some project to keep us busy.  At this point we’re enjoying the beautiful fall days and being able to work in the fields in good weather.  We know the rain is just around the corner and it feels like we’re racing against the inevitable.  Soon we’ll be spending more time indoors, focusing on our planning efforts for the upcoming season and putting to good use all of the lessons we’ve taken away from this year.  For now, we’re happy to be soaking up the fall sunshine, reveling in the harvest moon, and enjoying the bounty of the season’s harvest.

Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Beet Soup in Roasted Acorn Squash

For roasted squash

  • 8 (1- to 1 1/4-pound) acorn squash
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

For soup

  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 medium beets (2 pounds without greens), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red apple such as Gala or Braeburn, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 to 5 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

Roast squash:
Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cut off “tops” of squash (about 1 inch from stem end) and reserve. Scoop out seeds and discard. Cut a very thin slice off bottoms of squash to create a stable base. Brush “bowls” and tops all over with oil and sprinkle salt inside. Arrange squash bowls, with tops alongside, stem ends up, in 2 large shallow baking pans.

Roast squash in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of pans halfway through baking, until flesh of squash is just tender, about 1 1/4hours total.

Make soup while squash roast:
Cook onion in oil in a 5-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add beets and apple and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.

Add broth and 4 cups water, then simmer, uncovered, until beets are tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in vinegar and brown sugar.

Purée soup in 3 batches in a blender until very smooth, at least 1 minute per batch (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a large bowl. Return soup to pan, then season with salt and pepper and reheat. If soup is too thick, add enough water to thin to desired consistency.

Serve soup in squash bowls.

Cooks’ notes: Squash flesh shrinks during baking; if a small hole forms, serve soup in squash but set in a soup bowl.

Soup can be made 3 days ahead and chilled, covered.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Beet-Soup-in-Roasted-Acorn-Squash-104248

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Roasted Acorn Squash with Chile Vinaigrette

  • 2 (1 1/2 – to 1 3/4-lb) acorn squash
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh hot red chile pepper, including seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 450F. Halve squash lengthwise, then cut off and discard stem ends. Scoop out seeds and cut squash lengthwise into 3/4-inch-wide wedges. Toss squash with black pepper, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl, then arrange, cut sides down, in 2 large shallow baking pans. Roast squash, switching position of pans halfway through roasting, until squash is tender and undersides of wedges are golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.

While squash roasts, mince garlic and mash to a paste with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer paste to a small bowl and whisk in lime juice, chile (to taste), cilantro, and remaining 1/4 cup oil until combined. Transfer squash, browned sides up, to a platter and drizzle with vinaigrette.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roasted-Acorn-Squash-with-Chile-Vinaigrette-236007

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Poblano Potato Gratin

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh poblano chiles (about 5)
  • 1 pound onions, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds large Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • Equipment: an adjustable-blade slicer

Roast chiles and make rajas:
Roast chiles on their sides on racks of gas burners on high, turning with tongs, until skins are blackened all over, about 10 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl and let stand, covered tightly, 10 minutes.

When chiles are cool enough to handle, peel or rub off skin. Slit chiles lengthwise, then stem, seed, and devein. Cut lengthwise into thin strips.

Cook onions with 1 teaspoon salt in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Stir in chiles and remove rajas from heat. Reserve 1/2 cup rajas for topping.

Make gratin:
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Generously butter a 3-quart shallow baking dish.

Peel potatoes, then cut crosswise into 1/16-inch-thick slices with slicer. Transfer to a small heavy pot. Add cream, milk, and 1 teaspoon salt and bring just to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally (liquid will thicken). Stir in rajas, then pour mixture evenly into baking dish. Sprinkle reserved 1/2 cup rajas on top.

Bake until potatoes are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Cooks’ notes:

Chiles can be roasted by broiling on a broiler pan 2 inches from heat, turning, 8 to 10 minutes.
Rajas can be made 3 days ahead and chilled.
Gratin can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature and reheat, covered, in a 350°F oven (about 30 minutes).

From Epicuious.com via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Poblano-Potato-Gratin-350596

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