winter csa share – week 8

winter csa share week 8

Welcome to the 8th week of the Pitchfork & Crow 2015/2016 Winter CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Italian Parsley – Jeff’s favorite cooking green, it’s sweetened up by the winter weather and gives a kick to any dish.
  • Celeriac (aka Celery Root) – Need recipe suggestions?  Check out the Celeriac recipes on the Recipe page of our website.
  • Lacinato Kale Rapini – The sweetest, tenderest kale around!  Enjoy rapini season while it lasts.
  • Purple Cape – A variety of purple cauliflower that actually seems little more broccoli-like.  Planted out last summer, the heads are just coming on now.  Also, this is a variety we grew seed for and we’re especially excited to see the mature heads that grew from our saved seed.
  • Red Potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli – A winter treat!  Sowed in July, transplanted in August, this sprouting broccoli waits through the darkest months to make an appearance now!
  • Garlic – We’ve noticed some of the garlic is beginning to sprout after a winter of dormancy.  We’ve culled the sprouters when we saw them, but feel free to use them as you would non-sprouters, they’ll be just as tasty!
  • Brussels Sprouts Rapini
  • Red Cabbage
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Dried Apples

barn

Since we last met spring has been slowly making itself known.  The early fruiting plum trees are flowering and the apples and pears look like they are about to burst out in leaves and blooms too.  The cover crops are growing up and many of the overwintered plants in the field are reaching for the sky on their way to producing seed.  You may have guessed from the list of this week’s vegetables that it’s officially rapini season!  We had to make some tough choices about which types of rapini to include in this week’s share.  We hope you’re enjoying these sweet broccoli-esque treats.

We’ve been working hard to finish up the winter projects before the winter season gets away from us.  As evidenced above, phase 1 of the barn project is complete!  We’ve added a gravel floor since this photo, but you get the idea.  The tractor has a home!  Eventually we’ll build out a shop space in that far bay but that will have to wait for now.

potatoes

We experimented with overwintering our potatoes in the ground this year.  This decision was less scientific and more practical than it might sound.  We just didn’t have a lot of space to store them and never got around to building a third cooler space last fall.  This past week we endeavored to clear them out of the field to ready it for upcoming spring planting.  We borrowed our neighbor’s potato plough to help bring them to the surface.  What a great tool.  We followed after crawling through the ploughed ground and sorting the spuds from the rocks (can you tell which is which in that photo above?).  It’s an imperfect system.  We did lose some potatoes to freeze damage, but overall it worked to leave them out there this winter.  The mild weather was certainly a plus this year.

planting

The barn is built, the tomato house is cleaned up from last season, the potatoes are dug, and the propagation house is filling up with germinating transplants including peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, peas, onions, beets, spinach, chard, lettuce, bok choy, kale, broccoli, and cabbage!  We’ve also seeded peas, carrots, spinach, arugula, radishes, and turnips in the field houses and it won’t be long before we have fresh spring greens and things headed your way. Things seem to be happening on schedule so far.  Hopefully an extended break in the rain will come our way before too long and we’ll be able to make some progress in the field too.

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

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Red Cabbage Salad with Warm Pancetta-Balsamic Dressing

  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (from about 1/2 medium head)
  • 1 3-ounce package thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Place currants in small bowl. Heat vinegar in saucepan over medium heat until hot (do not boil). Pour vinegar over currants; let soak until currants soften, 15 to 20 minutes.

Place cabbage in large bowl; set aside. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium- high heat. Add pancetta; sauté until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add shallot to pancetta and drippings in skillet; sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in currant- vinegar mixture and olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pour pancetta mixture over cabbage and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Add almonds and parsley; toss to blend.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/red-cabbage-salad-with-warm-pancetta-balsamic-dressing-364089

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Spaghetti Squash Fritters with Siracha Mayonnaise

1 (2-pound) spaghetti squash
1 (8-ounce) package baby spinach
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
5 teaspoons canola mayonnaise
2 teaspoons 2% reduced-fat milk
1 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds; discard. Place squash halves, cut sides up, in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave at HIGH 20 minutes or until tender. Let stand 10 minutes. Scrape inside of squash with a fork to remove spaghettilike strands to measure 4 cups.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach to pan; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Place squash and spinach on a clean dish towel; squeeze until barely moist. Coarsely chop squash mixture, and place in a large bowl. Add panko and next 4 ingredients (through baking powder), and toss well to combine. Place egg whites in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into squash mixture.

3. Fill a 1/4-cup dry measuring cup with squash mixture. Invert onto work surface; gently pat into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture, forming 10 patties total. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add 5 patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove patties from pan; keep warm. Repeat the procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and squash patties.

4. Combine mayonnaise and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with fritters.

From MyRecipes.com via Cooking Light by Adam Hickman, http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/squash-fritters-sriracha-mayonnaise

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Gnocci with Broccoli Rabe, Caramelized Garlic, and Parmesan

3/4 pound broccoli rabe (rapini), trimmed
1 (16-ounce) box vacuum-packed gnocchi (such as Vigo) (or make squash gnocci!)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Cook broccoli rabe in boiling water 4 minutes. Remove broccoli rabe with a slotted spoon, and place in a colander; drain. Add gnocchi to pan; cook 3 minutes or until done. Drain gnocchi in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add broccoli rabe, gnocchi, and reserved cooking liquid to pan; cook 2 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper. Place 1 1/4 cups gnocchi mixture in each of 4 shallow bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.

From MyRecipes.com via Cooking Light by Jackie Mills, MS, RD, http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/gnocchi-with-broccoli-rabe-caramelized-garlic-parmesan

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