Summer CSA Share – #24

Welcome to the 24th share of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Leeks
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Celeriac (aka Celery Root)
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Radishes
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Mixed Tomatoes
  • Black Futsu Winter Squash – A rare Japanese squash variety related to butternut, black futsu stores well and is versatile in use, even being delicious when cut thin and eaten raw or pickled.
  • Eastern Rise Winter Squash – An orange kabocha variety with a sweet, nutty flavor.

Happy Halloween!  It’s officially the season of foggy mornings, amazingly colorful trees, and (my favorite) pumpkins!  I’ve long been a sucker for a good carving jack and through our farming years I’ve come to love their kin, the winter squash, just as much.  You may have noticed our fondness for winter squash as so many different varieties have been showing up in your shares these past few weeks.  With no winter CSA on the horizon, we’ve been loading you up with a sampling of all the 15+ winter squash varieties we grew this season.  Hopefully you’re enjoying the breadth of squash options, though if you’re not quite keeping up you’re in luck as most varieties will also store into the new year.

This year we changed up several of our variety selections to include more dependable and high yielding hybrids based on research out of OSU on winter squash yield and storage variables.  We decreased the number of beds of squash we grew this year, but had solid harvest numbers.  With so many winter squash varieties available on the market, it’s been nice to have some research to guide our decision making process.  This year we grew multiple varieties of spaghetti, butternut, acorn, kabocha, and pie pumpkins.  It’s always been a challenge to narrow down the specific varieties come planning and seed ordering time, and having some data to back up those decisions this year was helpful.

We’ve got a few more winter squash varieties headed your way in the next three weeks before the season ends culminating with pie pumpkins for your Thanksgiving pies!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett


Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Potato, Green Cabbage, and Leek Soup with Lemon Creme Fraiche

  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups diced green cabbage (1/2-inch dice; from about 1/2 medium head)
  • 3 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only; 3 to 4 large)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 3 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 2 x 2-inch piece Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
  • 1 Turkish bay leaf
  • 6 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (for garnish)

Whisk crème fraîche, lemon juice, and lemon peel in small bowl to blend. Cover and chill. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Keep chilled.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add cabbage; sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sauté until cabbage is almost tender but not brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer 1 cup cabbage to small bowl and reserve for garnish.

Add 1 tablespoon butter to pot with cabbage; add leeks and garlic. Sauté over medium heat until leeks soften slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in potatoes, Parmesan rind, if desired, and bay leaf. Add 6 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Discard Parmesan rind, if using, and bay leaf. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return puree to pot. Simmer until heated through, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to thin soup to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Top each serving with some of reserved sautéed cabbage. Drizzle crème fraîche mixture over soup; sprinkle with chives and serve.

From Epicurous via by Maria Helm Sinskey,


Potato & Celery Root Gratin with Leeks

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 sprig thyme plus 3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, very thinly sliced crosswise (1/8″ thick)
  • 1 pound celery root, peeled, very thinly sliced crosswise (1/8″ thick)
  • 2 cups grated Gruyère
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat cream, garlic, and thyme sprig in a medium saucepan just until bubbles begin to form around edge of pan. Remove from heat; set aside to steep.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; season with salt and cook, stirring often, until tender (do not brown), 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Butter a 3-quart gratin dish with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Layer 1/3 of potato slices and 1/3 of celery root slices evenly over bottom of baking dish. Cover with 1/3 of leeks, then 1/3 of Gruyère. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon thyme leaves. Repeat layers twice more. Strain cream mixture into a medium pitcher and pour over vegetables.

Set gratin dish on a large rimmed baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Carefully remove foil; continue baking until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling, 25-30 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Tent with foil and rewarm in a 300° oven until hot, about 20 minutes.

From Epicurous via by Susan Spungen,


Roasted Oysters with Pickled Radishes, Carrots, and Celery Root

For the Oysters:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced leek (white part)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 20 oysters on the half shell (detached from the bottom shells)

For the pickled radishes etc:

  • 1/2 cup minced radishes
  • 1/2 cup minced carrot
  • 1/2 cup minced celery root
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

For the dish:

  • 5 cups rock salt
  • 1/4 cup pickled radishes, carrots, and celery root
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives

For the Pickled radishes etc:

Put the radishes, carrots and celery root in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, the sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour the pickling liquid over the radishes, carrots and celery, and cover with a plate to keep them submerged. Let cool to room temperature.

Cover the bowl with plaster wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. Transfer the pickles and liquid to a container, cover and refrigerate.

For the Oysters:

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-low-heat. Add the leek, shallot and garlic and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, make the brown butter. In a small skillet, cook the butter over medium heat, swirling the pan, until the better melts and the milk solids turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 450°F, or prepare an outdoor grill and let the coals burn until they turn white.

To keep the oysters from tipping, spread the rock salt in a large baking pan and nestle the oyster in the salt, being careful not to spill the juices. With a spoon, gently lift each oyster from the shell, slip about 1/4 teaspoon of the cooked leek mixture into the shell, and set the oyster on top. Drizzle with a little brown butter.

Bake in the over or cook on the grill until the oysters are just heated through, about 5 minutes. Top each oyster with a few pieces of pickled radishes, carrots, celery root and chives.

From Epicurous via The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Michael Anthony,