csa share – week 27 {november 20}

Welcome to the 27th week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Collards
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Celeriac
  • Shallots – milder and drier than common onions, use as an onion substitute
  • Leeks
  • Parsley – we love parsley based dressing for fresh winter salads but you might just want to add this tasty herb to your Thanksgiving stuffing
  • Pie Pumpkin or Butternut Winter Squash
  • Holiday Plum Sauce – Italian drying plums with a touch of cloves and ginger sings holiday to us!  Pair with Thanksgiving turkey leftovers or anything else really.

It’s Thanksgiving week!  This holiday has long been about food for me, as it may be for many of you.  It gets me thinking about traditional foods, memory-inducing foods, local foods.  The past few years that has shifted somewhat and I’ve been focusing more on the ‘Thanks’ part of Thanksgiving.

As farmers, of course, vegetables and fruits top our list of things we’re thankful for, but we tend to be thankful for those each week we pull off another CSA share!  Mostly I find that we’re thankful for people.  We’re thankful for you CSA and market customers who vote with your dollars, choosing to support a couple of local folks trying to make it as farmers.  We’re thankful for farmer friends who share knowledge and for non-farmer friends who understand when we’re too busy or too sleepy.  We’re thankful for Steel Bridge coffee and our friend and Salem neighbor behind it who keeps us well-caffeinated.  (I guess that last one is only part person, and part thing, but coffee gets a lot of love in these parts!)

We’re also thankful for this work.  This week was momentous in that we finished the season’s potato harvest!  All the tubers are now snug in the cooler for the winter.  We finished none too soon given this current torrent of rain we’re experiencing.  We’re certainly glad to no longer be crawling through the beds digging through the mud, though our spirits were generally high until the end.  Life could be a lot worse than harvesting potatoes in the mud and rain.  There could be no potatoes to dig!

As I helped Jeff with the final few beds of potatoes on Saturday afternoon I couldn’t help but reflect on the past year and smile.  I thought of other farmers digging their potatoes (perhaps sooner than us!) and of the CSA members who helped dig a few beds in the August warmth at the mid-season farm event.  I couldn’t think of anywhere I’d rather be.

Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Roasted Potatoes and Shallots

  • 6 large shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in lowest position.

Toss shallots with 1 1/2 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 13-by 9-inch baking pan, spreading evenly.

Roast, stirring occasionally, until shallots are golden, about 30 minutes.

Toss potatoes with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then add to shallots.

Roast, turning occasionally, until vegetables are tender and potatoes are crusty, 40 to 50 minutes.

Cooks’ note: Shallots (but not potatoes) can be roasted (for 30 minutes only) 1 day ahead and chilled.

From Epicurious via Gourmet by Ruth Cousineau, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roasted-Potatoes-and-Shallots-350605

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Pumpkin Stuffed With Vegetable Stew

  • 1 fennel bulb with fronds
  • 2 medium parsnips (1/2 pound total), peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound celery root (sometimes called celeriac; 1/2 of 1 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 14 small shallots (about 1 pound), peeled and left whole, plus 1/2 cup chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 (8- to 9-lb) pumpkin (preferably cheese, pie, or Sweet Meat variety)
  • Roasted-vegetable and wine sauce , heated
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound fresh cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved
  • 1/4 pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms, trimmed
  • 1 pound seitan (seasoned wheat gluten), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Roast root vegetables:
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle. Chop enough fennel fronds to measure 1 tablespoon and reserve, then discard stalks and remaining fronds. Halve bulb lengthwise, then core and cut lengthwise into 1-inch wedges.

Toss fennel wedges, parsnips, celery root, carrots, and whole shallots with 2 tablespoons oil, teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 17- by 12-inch shallow baking pan until coated, then roast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and almost tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove vegetables from oven. Leave oven on.

Prepare peppers and pumpkin while vegetables roast:
Roast peppers on racks of gas burners over high heat, turning with tongs, until skins are blistered, 5 to 8 minutes.

Transfer peppers to a bowl and let stand, covered, until cool enough to handle. Peel peppers and discard stems and seeds. Cut peppers lengthwise into 1-inch strips.

Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (6 inches in diameter) around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out and discard seeds and any loose fibers from inside pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin; do not discard top), then sprinkle flesh with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Put pumpkin in a large roasting pan.

Stuff and roast pumpkin:
Pour 1 1/2 cups sauce into pumpkin and cover with top, then brush all over with remaining tablespoon oil. Roast 1 hour.

While pumpkin roasts, heat butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté chopped shallots until softened. Add mushrooms and sauté until they are browned and begin to give off liquid, about 8 minutes. Add wheat gluten and 1/2 teaspoon thyme, then stir in 1 1/2 cups more sauce and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and fold in roasted root vegetables and peppers, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

After pumpkin has roasted 1 hour, spoon vegetable filling into it, then cover with top. Roast until pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork, vegetables are tender, and filling is hot, about 30 minutes more. Transfer pumpkin to a platter using 2 sturdy metal spatulas.

Stir together fennel fronds, parsley, zest, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme and sprinkle half of it over filling. Stir remainder into remaining sauce and serve sauce on the side.
From Epicurious via Gourmet by Ruth Cousineau, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pumpkin-Stuffed-with-Vegetable-Stew-240601

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Root Vegetable and Mushroom Pie with Rosemary Biscuit Topping

Filling:

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian bouillon base
  • 2 very large carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large celery root (celeriac), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large rutabaga, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 turnip, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms,* broken into 1/2-inch pieces, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons imported dry Sherry
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Biscuits:

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 1/3 cups (or more) chilled buttermilk

For filling:
Bring 6 cups water and bouillon base to boil in large pot over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve bouillon. Add carrots and next 5 ingredients. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Drain; reserve vegetables and broth.

Melt butter in same pot over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Mix in garlic and rosemary; stir 2 minutes. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in reserved broth, then cream and Sherry. Cook until sauce is thick and reduced to 4 cups, whisking often, about 8 minutes. Mix in reserved vegetables and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer filling to buttered 13x9x2-inch baking dish. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover with foil; chill.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake filling, covered, until bubbling, about 50 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare biscuits.

For biscuits:
Stir first 4 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add 1 1/3 cups buttermilk, tossing with fork until dough is evenly moistened and adding more buttermilk by tablespoonfuls if dry.

Drop biscuit dough atop hot filling by heaping tablespoonfuls; sprinkle with pepper. Bake uncovered until tester inserted into center of biscuits comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool 15 minutes.

* Available in the produce section of many supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Italian markets.
From Epicurious via Bon Appetit by Jeanne Thiel Kelley, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Root-Vegetable-and-Mushroom-Pie-with-Rosemary-Biscuit-Topping-351510

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