winter csa share – week 4 {january 15}

winter csa share week 4

Welcome to the 4th week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Cooking Greens Mix – including a mix of kales, chard, arugula, and spicy mustards
  • Carrots
  • Sunchokes
  • Yellow Onions
  • January King Semi-Savoy Cabbage
  • Butternut Winter Squash
  • Scarlet Ohno Revival Turnips – some of the greens, and some of the roots, are wintry rugged.  We know you’re hardy enough to sort them out!
  • Dried Apples – We grew ‘em and then we dried ‘em!

Each winter we look forward to tasty winter veggies, fun with seed company catalogs, and seeing farmer friends who are too busy during the summer for much catching up.  We’ve been having a good winter: eating well, the seed orders are in, and we’ve gotten to see a lot of great friends over the last few weeks.

In February the fun continues when we’ll make the annual trek to Breitenbush for a veggie farmer retreat.  I mention this because this retreat happens to fall on a “CSA pick-up Tuesday”.  We’re proposing to deliver veggies on the previous Sunday, to your house!  We’ll send further details thru email and we’ll have info at today’s pick-up.  But you heard it here first: One-time only home delivery of your veggies on Feb. 10th in lieu of the pick-up on the 12th.

The past few days have been testing our winter farming skills.  When we announced the winter CSA we knew from the outset that the one thing we could count on was not knowing what to expect.  We hoped we had enough storage crops stowed away, we hoped we had enough winter-hardy crops out in the fields, we hoped the weather was kind to us.  Western Oregon winters are said to be mild, but even mild winters can be tough when you’re growing food outside.  That “high pressure ridge” the weather folks like to mention is keeping the rain at bay, but allowing for clear, cold nights to bring the temps to freezing and keep them there much of the day.  That freezing weather makes for pretty pictures of a wintry landscape and frosty veggies, but it also means frozen soil, frozen irrigation lines, and what feels like frozen fingers.

We started the CSA harvest early this week, as we wanted to make sure we had enough afternoon thaw to get it all done: you can’t harvest carrots when the ground is frozen solid.  Turns out it was a good idea because yesterday’s thaw resulted in a cracked irrigation valve at the back of the farm and a geyser we could see from the front of the farm.  We had expected this to happen, but hoped we might make it until spring.  No such luck.  Jeff got to spend yesterday afternoon post-harvest and this morning digging and patching irrigation lines.  Now, the 72 hour countdown to dry glue and running water in the barn has begun!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you in two weeks!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

We ate this soup for dinner last night.  Good hearty squash soup for cold winter nights like we’re having.  We added some cream at the end, and grated cheese over it for kicks.  Also, I’d suggest a little more bacon if you’re so inclined.

Farmhouse Butternut Squash Soup

  • 4 bacon slices
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 pounds carrots, chopped
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
  • 3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Cook bacon in a 4-to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.

Add garlic and caraway seeds to fat in pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute. Add squash, carrots, apple, thyme, bay leaves, broth, water, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and boil, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard thyme and bay leaves.

Purée about 4 cups soup in a blender, in batches if necessary, until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return to pot and season with salt, pepper, and vinegar. Serve topped with crumbled bacon.

.

Root Vegetable Tagine with Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Turnips, and Spice-Roasted Chickpeas

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled carrots
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound turnips (about 2 medium), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
  • 3/4 cup brine-cured green olives, pitted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (about 1 ounce; not oil-packed), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 10-ounce box plain couscous (cooked according to package directions)
  • Spice-Roasted Chickpeas

Toast coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds in small skillet over medium heat until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Cool. Transfer to spice mill; process until finely ground. Transfer to small bowl. Add red pepper, turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Mix lemon slices, lemon juice, and 4 teaspoons coarse salt in small skillet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lemon slices are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Cool preserved lemon. Drain and chop. DO AHEAD: Spice blend and preserved lemon can be made 1 week ahead. Store spice blend airtight at room temperature. Transfer preserved lemon to small bowl; cover and chill.

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add toasted spice blend, garlic, and tomato paste; stir 1 minute. Add carrots and celery; stir 2 minutes. Add chopped preserved lemon, 4 cups water, sweet potatoes, turnips, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. Simmer with lid ajar until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Stir in parsley, cilantro, and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Spoon couscous into large bowl, spreading out to edges and leaving well in center. Spoon vegetable tagine into well in center. Sprinkle Spice-Roasted Chickpeas over and serve.

.

Sunchoke Latkes

Ingredients

1 lb. sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes
1 tsp. kosher salt or sea salt
1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp. breadcrumbs or matzo meal
~ Salt and pepper to taste
~ Oil for frying (canola, soybean, or peanut oil works well)

Steps

  1. Wash the sunchokes well. (It isn’t necessary to peel them, but remove all the dirt and grit, and cut away any bruised areas.)
  2. Grate the roots into coarse shreds and sprinkle them with one teaspoon of salt. Toss them in a bowl and set aside for 15 minutes.
  3. Squeeze moisture out of grated chokes and transfer to a clean bowl. Mix in the onion, eggs, and crumbs.
  4. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan and fry a test cake; adjust seasoning level if needed. Fry over medium heat until crisp and golden-brown, about two minutes per side.
  5. Blot on paper towels. Serve immediately or hold in a slow oven at 250 degrees until ready to serve.

From Culinate, via Ashely Griffin Gatland, http://www.culinate.com/search/q,ctype=recipe,q=sunchokes,stype=/36904

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