Summer CSA Share – #22

  • Cauliflower
  • Red Onions
  • Radishes or Salad Turnips
  • Salad Mix
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Parsley
  • Tomatoes
  • Calico Popcorn – You can knock the kernels off the cob and into a paper bag and pop this in the microwave.  We’ve had fun watching them pop on the cob too!  Most often we’ll use these directions and pop it on the stove top.
  • Black Futsu Winter Squash – Related to butternut, this Japanese specialty squash ripens from a dark green to light brown with a white bloom.  The nutty taste is excellent cooked or raw and the skin is thin enough to be eaten, so no peeling required.

planting fava beans last week (upper left), fall feels in the apple orchard (upper right), overwintering onions planted (lower left), October cherry tomatoes (lower right)

This past week was a race against the rain forecasted for Thursday night.  But then Thursday night turned into Friday morning, which eventually turned into Saturday.  By the time the steady rain actually showed up Saturday night I felt like I had had a small taste of how farmers in drought-stricken places feel.  Watching the sky for rain, seeing signs of rain clouds but the rain never falls.  I’d planted our overwintering onions Thursday, then when it wasn’t quite raining yet Friday morning I got our winter favas in the ground.  Of course, once I set-up the irrigation on sunny and warm Saturday afternoon the rain showed up for reals Saturday night.  That’s the guessing game of farming.

On Saturday we had our well tested as the final step in perfecting our water rights application.  The test is for gathering data on the water capacity of this location and consists of letting the well rest for 16 hours, then taking water depth measurements for an hour to establish a baseline, then turning the water on at full strength for four hours while taking depth measurements at specified intervals, and then turning the water off and measuring how long it takes for the water depth to recover to the initial resting level.  Makes sense?

It’s a pretty straight forward test once you get all the timing intervals figured out, though it does leave a lot of time hanging around waiting for the next reading.  A friend (and CSA member) with both the knowledge of this sort of testing and the tool to do the testing came to help us out.  We filled in the downtime with pie eating, apple cider pressing, a little archery, inspecting the house site prep, and looking over Jeff’s motorized bicycle collection.  Our friend went home with eight  gallons of apple cider and we got the data we needed to submit to the state.  Definitely a win-win situation I think.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprout Gratin with Pine Nut-Breadcrumb Topping

  • 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed, quartered lengthwise through core
  • 1 1 1/2-to 1 3/4-pound head of cauliflower, trimmed, cut into small florets
  • 2 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 11/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Fill large bowl with ice and cold water. Cook brussels sprouts in large pot of generously salted boiling water 2 minutes. Add cauliflower to same pot; cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes longer. Drain. Transfer vegetables to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well.

Combine cream, shallots, and sage in large saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until mixture is reduced to 21/2 cups, about 10 minutes. Season with salt. Remove from heat. Cool slightly.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs; stir until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cool. Stir in pine nuts and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish; arrange half of vegetables in dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then 1 1/2 cups Parmesan. Arrange remaining vegetables evenly over, then sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups Parmesan. Pour cream mixture evenly over. DO AHEAD: Breadcrumb topping and gratin can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover gratin with foil. Bake covered 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle breadcrumb topping over and bake uncovered 15 minutes longer.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Lora Zarubin, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cauliflower-and-brussels-sprout-gratin-with-pine-nut-breadcrumb-topping-350452

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Spicy Onions

Spicy onions:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey

Assembly:

  • 1 cup blanched hazelnuts
  • 2 large butternut squash (about 4 pounds), peeled, seeded, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

For spicy onions:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion, stirring often, until lightly charred and softened but not falling apart, 5–7 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and toss to combine. Remove pan from heat and mix in lime juice and honey. Let cool, then mix in lime zest.

DO AHEAD: Spicy onions can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

For assembly:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast hazelnuts on a small rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.

Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Toss squash and 1/4 cup oil in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Divide between 2 rimmed baking sheets; reserve bowl. Roast, undisturbed, until tender, 15–20 minutes.

Return squash to bowl; add hazelnuts, parsley, mint, marjoram, and spicy onions, and toss to combine.

Transfer squash mixture to a large serving platter, crumble goat cheese over, and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-butternut-squash-with-spicy-onions-51215020

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Chicken & Squash Cacciatore, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Olives, Bread

  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 slices of smoked pancetta
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1/2 a butternut squash or sweet potatoes (1 1/4 lbs)
  • 3 1/2 ounces chestnut or cremini mushrooms
  • 2 (12-oz cans) of plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup Chianti or other good red wine
  • 4 chicken thighs, bone in
  • 8 black olives (with pits)
  • 7 ounce whole-grain bread with seeds

Preheat oven to 375°F. Peel the onion and cut into eights, trim, wash, and slice the leek, peel and slice the garlic. Place a large ovenproof casserole pan over medium heat. Finely slice the pancetta, pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves, then place both in the pan with 1 tablespoon of oil and the bay leaves. Stir regularly for 2 minutes, then add the garlic, followed by the onion and leek. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

Meanwhile, chop the squash or sweet potato (wash first) into bite-sized chunks, leaving the skin on and discarding any squash seeds. I like to cut the stalk and face off the mushrooms because it looks nice—just add the trimmings straight to the pan, along with the whole mushrooms and chopped squash or sweet potato. Remove and discard the chicken skin and add the chicken to the pan. Pour in the wine and let it reduce slightly, then add the tomatoes and break them up with a wooden spoon. Half-fill each can with water, swirl about, pour into the pan, and mix it all together. Pit the olives, then poke them into the stew. Bring to a gentle simmer, then transfer to the oven to cook for 1 hour, or until thick, delicious, the chicken falls off the bone, and the squash or sweet potato is lovely and tender. Season to perfection, then serve with bread to mop up that tasty sauce.

From Epicurious.com via Everyday Super Food by Jamie Oliver, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicken-and-squash-cacciatore-mushrooms-tomatoes-olives-bread

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