Winter CSA Share #5

Welcome to the 5th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022/2023 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Mixed Radicchio Heads – Great for robust winter salads with punchy dressings and nuts and strong cheese and citrus. Like radicchio’s bitter friends chocolate and coffee, think about pairing it with sweet and/or fat to balance your taste for the bitter. Holds up to a little warming too. We’ll eat it with oven baked salmon, rice, and creamy dressing for a quick dinner at least once a week. Seriously, we at it last night. Soaking cut leaves in ice water for 30 minutes or more can help reduce the bitterness if needed.
  • Arugula Rapini – Lots of leaves but some flowering shoots too, the rapini may be best cooked a little. And don’t forget you can pesto it up too.
  • Cooking Greens Mix – A vibrant mix of kales, collards, and chard. Colorful and tasty!
  • Brussels Sprouts – Pop the sprouts off the stalk and enjoy them in your favorite recipes. We usually just cut the sprouts in half, toss with a little oil/salt/pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for ~20 minutes.
  • Purple & White Daikon Radishes – Tasty raw, pickled, or roasted and we’ll have saute bits and throw it in our ramen lunch.
  • Carrots
  • Rutabaga
  • LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
  • Bunching Onions
  • Yellow Onions
  • Garlic – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. We’re getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long garlic wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato Acorn Squash
  • Dried Apples – After a less than stellar apple growing year we decided to buy in some apples from another local farm. These are Airlie Red apples, a red-fleshed variety discovered locally in Kings Valley, that we purchased from RainShine Family Farm located west of Corvallis. We did the drying and bagging.

The Summer CSA is full! Thanks to everyone’s enthusiasm for local, organic vegetables the Summer CSA filled up in record time. If you missed out on snagging a spot you can add yourself to the waitlist over on the Summer CSA page. – (Many thanks to those who have signed-on for the upcoming season. We appreciate your support!)

Spring spinach just after germinating (left) and quail (can you see them?) on their morning pass through our front yard (right).

We’ve made it to February and the 5th winter CSA share! This share marks the halfway point in our winter vegetable journey. It’s hard to believe we’re already so deep into this winter season. The days are getting longer and we’ve just passed the return of 10 hours of daylight. Soon we won’t even need lights at the CSA pick-ups. Plants in the field are putting on new growth, the garlic has jumped up, and we’re seeing good germination on the greens we sowed in a greenhouse a few of weeks back. Though our fall spinach was a bust, the spring spinach is thriving! Things are looking up.

Harvesting and washing cooing greens.

Although we welcome the slower pace of the Winter season, the winter weather has a knack for making us nervous. The wind, the rain, and the freezing temperatures all bring challenges for both field and storage crops. We’re a little haunted by the winter of 2013 when we found ourselves experiencing single digit temperatures in December, just as the Winter CSA was beginning.

We’ve had some cold weather over the past month or so and two weeks ago we had a low temp of 16 here on the farm. It’s been a few years since we’ve been below 20, which is the magic number we’re always on the lookout for. We try to choose the hardiest winter vegetable varieties but some plants can’t survive the colder temperatures. Anything below 20 degrees is a roll of the dice as to whether plants will make it through. Thankfully we ramped up to the recent cold temperatures and the plants had acclimated to the winter weather. Things in the fields looked a little sad just after that 16 degree night but we didn’t seem to lose any plants this time around. Hopefully that was our lowest temp for a while.

We took a day off and drove to the woods. Whoa.

Our winter schedule has been mostly filled with work projects here on the farm over the past couple of months. Cleaning up after the last season, organizing and creating better work spaces, harvesting winter root crops for storage. The past couple of weeks we did take some time for personal goals amidst the work of the farm. Jeff has been upping his basket making game and learning new techniques with willow processing. I’m always amazed at what he can do with willow he’s harvested from our hedgerow. I was inspired by CSA member Greta B.and I broke out my sewing machine for a couple of small quilting/blanket projects. It had been a while since I’ve used this tool, but it turns out sewing is a little like riding a bike and it comes back to you pretty quickly. And, as evidenced by the photos above, we took a trip to the forest. Though we didn’t quite make it to the snow, we did enjoy exploring a beautiful area that is not the farm.

The coming weeks will hopefully see a mix of on and off farm adventures again. It’s nearly time to start sowing seeds for the first summer crops and we’ll be getting more early greenhouse crops in the ground soon. The 2023 growing season is headed our way quickly!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Pasta with Gorgonzola, Radicchio, Walnuts, and Orange

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pounds pasta, such as penne or gemelli, see notes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 to 2 heads radicchio, preferably Treviso (if you can find it), cut into 1-inch-wide ribbons, see notes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces crumbled gorgonzola or other mild blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • zest of 1 orange, plus the juice (optional)
  • grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving, optional

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and toast them over medium-low heat for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently so they do not burn. Remove and set aside. Wipe out skillet.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt and return to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to the package directions.

While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce: Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the radicchio and season with salt and pepper. Cook the radicchio until it begins to wilt and brown, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the gorgonzola and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water directly from the pot and simmer for 3 minutes more. The water should emulsify the cheese and create a velvety texture.

Scoop the cooked pasta directly into the skillet (alternatively, drain, reserving plenty of the pasta cooking liquid) and toss to combine the pasta with the sauce. Add the walnuts and parsley and toss again until glossy, adding 1/4 cup of pasta water or more (up to 1 cup), as needed to loosen up the sauce. Add the zest and toss to combine. Taste. Adjust as needed with more salt and pepper. I’ve been juicing the orange directly into the pot—I like the acidity/flavor/sweetness—but this is optional.

Plate in bowls and pass the grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiana Reggiano.

From Food52.com by Alexandra Stafford, https://food52.com/recipes/74469-pasta-with-gorgonzola-radicchio-walnuts-and-orange

Triple Radish Yum

  • Roasted Radishes
  • 3 large watermelon radishes (about 2 1/2- to 3-inch diameter)
  • 1 daikon radish (about 1 & 1/4 lbs)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Chèvre Horseradish Dressing
  • fresh horseradish
  • zest from 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chèvre
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400º F, with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with a light coat of cooking spray. Set aside.

Remove ends and peel radishes. Cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Cut each half-moon slice into halves or thirds as needed to maintain fairly evenly sized pieces. The narrower end of the daikon may be left in half moons.

Toss radish pieces with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl to coat evenly. Distribute the radish pieces in an even layer on the baking sheet. (Set bowl aside.) Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. Radishes should have some browning, and retain some firmness when they are done.

While radishes are roasting, grate about 2 to 3 packed tablespoons worth of fresh horseradish using a microplane. Thoroughly combine 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of the grated horseradish with the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, chèvre, and 1/8th teaspoon salt in the reserved bowl. Taste, and if the horseradish flavor is not strong enough add more.

Once radishes have finished roasting, transfer them to the bowl with the dressing. Toss to coat. Taste and add salt if needed. Transfer to serving bowl and grind some fresh black pepper over the top. Serve hot or at room temperature.

From Food52.com by HardLikeArmour, https://food52.com/recipes/10774-triple-radish-yum

Squash Panzanella with Bagna Cauda

  • Squash Panzanella
  • 3 pounds root vegetables (such as carrots, beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and rutabaga)
  • 2 pounds squash (such as delicata, acorn, butternut, kuri, and kabocha)
  • 1 loaf crusty bread or 2 baguettes, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Olive oil and salt, for roasting
  • Bagna Cauda
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile flakes
  • 5 anchovy fillets
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 ounces arugula (or 1 handful per person)

Heat the oven to 400°F.

Cut all of the root vegetables and squash into 1-inch chunks. Transfer to a bowl and coat with a hefty glug of olive oil and a couple big pinches of salt.

Transfer to a parchment- or foil-lined sheet pan and roast until tender on the inside and caramelized on the outside, about 40 minutes.

When the veg are just about done, toss the bread with another glug of olive oil and pinch of salt, and add to the vegetable roasting tray. Return to the oven to crisp and lightly brown the croutons while you make the bagna cauda.

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over low to medium heat. Add the rosemary sprig and chili flakes to fry lightly, about 30 seconds. Add the anchovies and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the garlic is soft, lowering the heat as needed so it doesn’t brown. Remove and discard the rosemary sprig, then add the lemon zest and butter, and stir to combine.

When the vegetables and bread are finished roasting (after about 10 minutes), remove from the oven and transfer to a large, heat-proof mixing bowl. Pour the bagna cauda on top, then add the vinegar and arugula. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Eat warm or at room temperature.

From Food52.com by Abraberens, https://food52.com/recipes/84407-squash-panzanella-with-bagna-cauda-recipe

Winter CSA Share #4

Welcome to the 4th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022/2023 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Chioggia Radicchio – Great for robust winter salads with punchy dressings and nuts and strong cheese and citrus. Like radicchio’s bitter friends chocolate and coffee, think about pairing it with sweet and/or fat to balance your taste for the bitter. Holds up to a little warming too. We’ll eat it with oven baked salmon, rice, and creamy dressing for a quick dinner. Soaking cut leaves in ice water for 30 minutes or more can help reduce the bitterness if needed.
  • Arugula Rapini – Lots of leaves but some flowering shoots too, the rapini may be best cooked a little.
  • Tatsoi or Baby Bok Choy
  • January King Cabbage
  • Mustards – A spicy green that can add some pep to any dish. Wilt it in hot soup or saute and eat as a side dish. Also, check out the frittata recipe down below.
  • Brussels Sprouts – Pop the sprouts off the stalk and enjoy them in your favorite recipes. We usually just cut the sprouts in half, toss with a little oil/salt/pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for ~20 minutes.
  • Purple Top Turnips – Mild with a hint of mustard, these are great roasted with other roots.
  • Celeriac – A root that tastes like celery? Yes please. Great in soups, stews, mashes, roasted root medleys etc.
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Parsnips – Great roasted or mashed with other roots but our favorite winter parsnip treat has got to be parsnip cake.
  • Mixed Beets
  • Yellow Onions
  • Garlic – We ask a lot of our storage crops. We harvest them in early fall and then let them sit and wait and wait until they make an appearance in the share. We’re getting better at selecting long storing varieties but there’s just only so long garlic wants to store sometimes. That’s to say, eat your onions before they sprout because spring is just around the corner.
  • Long Pie or Kabocha Winter Squash
  • Dried Apples – After a less than stellar apple growing year we decided to buy in some apples from another local farm. These are Airlie Red apples, a red-fleshed variety discovered locally in Kings Valley, that we purchased from RainShine Family Farm located west of Corvallis. We did the drying and bagging.

Summer CSA sign-up time has arrived! We’ve opened up memberships to the 2023 Summer CSA and we hope you’ll join us for a summer and fall of local, seasonal, and organic vegetables. Find all the details and a sign-up form over on the Summer CSA page. (Many thanks to those who have already signed-on for the upcoming season. We appreciate your enthusiasm and support!)

First of the 2023 seeds to arrive (left) and January King cabbage leaf (right).

Welcome to share #4 of this Winter CSA! We’ve got lots of roots and lots of greens headed your way. Seasonal eating is looking pretty good this week. Somehow we’re breezing through January, trying to use these winter days wisely before we jump back into the full swing of the growing season. Seeds have been arriving in our mailbox, summer CSA sign-ups are happening, and we’ve been marking things off the To Do list. Slowly but surely we’ll be ready to tackle the months of growing ahead of us.

First seeding of 2023: arugula, tatsoi, spinach, radishes, and salad turnips! Plus Jeff re-installing an end wall after prepping beds (top right).

Last week Jeff flipped a few beds in one of our greenhouses and we sowed the first seeds of 2023. If all goes to plan we’ll be sharing greens and spring roots in a couple of months. It’s always such a hopeful act to put seeds in the ground and expect food to grow from them. Especially during the dark days of winter. Thankfully the enclosed greenhouses warm the soil and and protect the young plants from harsh weather and foraging deer. It’s pretty crazy what plants can do if given a little help.

Successful 12 volt conversion on the 1947 Farmall Cub. Check out those strong headlights!

The past couple of weeks have been typical January on the farm including paperwork, sowing those first seeds, harvesting winter vegetables, and misc. projects. Since we last met we launched the Summer CSA, which means I delve into budgeting, an accounting review, website updates, and invoicing. I also completed the USDA agriculture census, which happens every five years and asks all sorts of crop and income questions about the farm. The number of crops we grow makes for a rather lengthy survey. These things feel very small farm business-y.

Jeff finished up his conversion of our cultivating tractor from 6 volt to 12 volt, and it worked! The Cub is now starting stronger than ever and the lights and gauges work again. Hurrah for cultivating! He also finished up a couple of irrigation upgrades, flipped those greenhouse beds so we could get them seeded, and did plenty of straightening up and willow hedgerow maintenance/harvest. I’m sure there was more, but this is what is coming to mind at the moment.

In the next couple of weeks we’ll be getting ready for the start of propagation season. It’s time to clear out the propagation house, inventory seed starting supplies, and make sure we’re ready to start sowing seeds for growing transplants. We’ve also got some bulk root harvesting, winter implement maintenance, field clean-up, and a little greenhouse weeding to get to.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Arugula Pesto

  • 5 small cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • Pecorino cheese
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil

Roast the garlic cloves. (I rub the cloves in a little bit of olive oil, wrap them in aluminum foil, and toss them into a 350F oven for about 20 minutes. However, if you are cooking something else in the oven the day of or night before, use the heat of that oven to roast the cloves.) Peel the cloves, and let them cool.

Toast the hazelnuts. (You can do this as you roast the garlic, if you like. I keep the hazelnuts in a 350F oven for 10-12 minutes, shaking them around in the pan once or twice during cooking. Remove them from the oven when they are light brown in spots and smell fragrant.) Wait for them to cool.

I use a microplane grater to shred the Pecorino. Grate enough to fill 1/2 cup, not at all packed. If you use a larger-holed cheese grater, stop somewhere between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup.

Move the cooled hazelnuts to a food processor. Pulse for about 1 minute, or until the hazelnuts are reduced to the texture of sand.

Add the arugula, the garlic, the Pecorino, the lemon juice, the salt, and a healthy crack of black pepper to the food processor. Blend for about a minute, slowly adding the olive oil as it whirs. Stop when you achieve a creamy texture.

Use the pesto as you like. It lasts a good few days, covered, in the refrigerator.

From Food52.com by Cristina Sciarra, https://food52.com/recipes/19003-arugula-pesto

Frittata with Braised Mustard Greens

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 very large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 pound mustard greens, washed, stemmed and cut/torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 large eggs

Heat the oil in a large (about 12-inch) skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is shimmering, stir in the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, and the chopped greens (as best you can. It’s hard to stir such a large pile of greens, but it will shrink as it cooks). Add a Tbs. of water if there isn’t much clinging to the greens. Cover the pan tightly and turn the heat to medium-low. Keep covered and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are soft and yielding, 20-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Turn on a broiler to high. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Uncover the greens, and pour the eggs gently over them. (If you followed my advice and made double the amount of greens and are using leftovers, just gently warm the greens over medium heat before adding the eggs.) Cook, uncovered until the edges of the frittata are set, about 5 minutes. Then, transfer the pan to the oven and broil until the top is lightly browned and set, another 3 or so minutes.

Take out of the oven (remember the handle is hot!). You can serve the frittata from the pan or turn it out onto a plate first. Serve warm, at room temp, or cold. Add a salad or bread if you wish.

From Food52.com by FiveAndSpice, https://food52.com/recipes/25688-frittata-with-braised-mustard-greens

Clever Parsnip Oven Soup

  • 1 small head of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil or ghee
  • 2 pounds (1kg) parsnips
  • 3 medium yellow onions
  • 6 cups (1.5L) vegetable broth or water
  • 1 1/2 cups (250g) (about one 15.5-oz. can) white beans, such as cannellini, great northern, or navy, drained and rinsed
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fine sea salt (use 1 teaspoon if using broth; 2 teaspoons if using water)
  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for serving
  • Parsley leaves, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C). Slice off the stem of the garlic bulb and the portion just below the stem, revealing the open cloves. Spread the coconut oil on top, wrap the bulb tightly in aluminum foil, and set it on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.

While the garlic is roasting, peel and roughly cut the parsnips into similarly sized chunks to ensure even roasting. Chop the onions. After the garlic has roasted for 15 minutes, add the parsnips and onions to the baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 30 minutes.

Add the roasted parsnips and onions to a blender. Remove the foil from the garlic and squeeze the bulb from the bottom to extract the cloves into the blender. Add the broth, beans, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice, and blend on the highest setting until the soup is smooth and creamy. Transfer the soup to a stockpot and heat until steaming, if necessary.

Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper and parsley, if using.

From Food52.com, https://food52.com/recipes/76146-clever-parsnip-oven-soup

Joshua McFadden’s Bitter Greens Salad with Melted Cheese

  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large head radicchio (3/4 pound), cored and coarsely shredded
  • 5 ounces arugula
  • 1/4 pound Crucolo, provolone, Taleggio, or Fontina cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped lightly toasted hazelnuts
  • Saba or balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

Heat the broiler to high.

Whisk the red wine vinegar with 1/4 cup olive oil in a large bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the radicchio and arugula and toss to coat them nicely. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Pile the salad on ovenproof plates or an ovenproof platter and top with the cheese. Broil the salad just until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the toasted hazelnuts on top and finish with a drizzle of saba. Serve right away.

From Food52.com by Genius Recipes, https://food52.com/recipes/70899-joshua-mcfadden-s-bitter-greens-salad-with-melted-cheese

Winter CSA Share #3

Welcome to the 3rd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022/2023 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Chioggia Radicchio – Great for robust winter salads with punchy dressings and nuts and strong cheese and citrus. Like radicchio’s bitter friends chocolate and coffee, think about pairing it with sweet and/or fat to balance your taste for the bitter. Holds up to a little warming too. We’ll eat it with oven baked salmon, rice, and creamy dressing for a quick dinner. Soaking cut leaves in ice water for 30 minutes or more can help reduce the bitterness if needed.
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Bok Choy
  • Brussels Sprouts – Pop the sprouts off the stalk and enjoy them in your favorite recipes. We usually just cut the sprouts in half, toss with a little oil/salt/pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for ~20 minutes.
  • Winter Kohlrabi Don’t be afraid of the giant winter kohlrabi.  It’s delicious and wants to be eaten up raw, or fermented, or roasted, or in a savory pudding (recipe below). 
  • French Fingerling Potatoes – Red skins and red streaked yellow flesh, great boiled or roasted.
  • Sweet Potatoes – The very last of the sweet potatoes, small but tasty!
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Leeks
  • Yellow & Red Onions
  • Garlic
  • Butternut Winter Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Dried Apples – After a less than stellar apple growing year we decided to buy in some apples from another local farm. These are Airlie Red apples, a red-fleshed variety discovered locally in Kings Valley, that we purchased from RainShine Family Farm located west of Corvallis. We did the drying and bagging.
Rainbow on the farm this past week, framing some of our greenhouses and our red osier dogwood patch.

Happy new year farm friends! What better way to kick off the new year than with a fridge full of seasonal vegetables? With more time to spend in the kitchen this time of year we’ve been enjoying some of those meals that take a little longer to prep like butternut squash and kale strata and roasted Brussels sprouts with winter squash mac n’ cheese. Of course our oven baked salmon/rice/radicchio/creamy dressing combo continues to be a quick go-to as well. Winter vegetables are some of our favorites, and they’re made even better by the less hectic schedule we run during the winter season.

The windblown greenhouse (left) and the empty spot , from a distance, where it was once but is no longer (right).

The past couple of weeks have found us cleaning up from the big wind storm that blew through a couple of weeks back. Jeff spent many of his daylight hours last week cleaning up the greenhouse we lost in the wind. That meant lots of cutting metal and wood into manageable pieces, wrangling windblown plastic sheeting, pulling out concrete footings, and clearing the cheap ground cloth we’d installed ten years ago. After salvaging what he could and then a trip to the landfill/metal recycling bins, the space where the greenhouse had stood is looking rather empty. Which, considering it was prone to flooding in late winter, probably isn’t the worst scenario. Evidently there’s an insurance check headed our way, so a replacement in a new location may be in the works later this season.

During the rainier days and evenings Jeff found time to do some 1947 Farmall Cub cultivating tractor maintenance. He’s finally undertaking his dream of upgrading the battery from 6 volt to 12 volt, which requires re-wiring the whole tractor and adding an alternator, I think. Between the re-wiring and hunting down an oil leak he seems to be making progress and we both look forward to a solid season of cultivating crops in the coming months.

While Jeff ping ponged between greenhouse cleanup and tractor repair (plus a number of willow basketry projects at night), I hunkered down with the seed catalogs and crop planning spreadsheets. We’d done a crop planning overview together previously where we’d discussed planting dates, crop quantities, and general varieties. I then had to do the deep dive of figuring out variety specifics, seed sources, amount of seed needed, and keep the spreadsheets updated with those details along the way. Then came the seed orders, including orders from 8 separate seed companies totaling just over $3600, which is in addition to the $2500 we’d pre-paid last month toward seed and seed potatoes. Whoa! The 2023 growing season just got real!

Lacinato kale harvest!

Now that we’ve made it through this week’s harvest we’ll be focusing again on the list of winter projects that’s been looming for the past month. First, Jeff received the final tractor part in the mail yesterday and is ready to see if his cultivating tractor fixes/conversion has worked. I’ve got farm budgeting and 2023 Summer CSA details to finalize. And it’s time to get some greenhouse space prepped for the first direct sowing of the year. The list goes on with plenty of weed whacking, orchard pruning, year-end paperwork, greenhouse weeding, apple drying, root harvesting, and general spring cleaning to get to as well. Also, Jeff bought us snowshoes for my birthday and we’re looking forward to an off-farm winter adventure soon.

Watch your email for Summer CSA sign-ups to begin in the next week or two.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Squash Mac n’ Cheese

  • 3 cups dried noodle (elbows, shells, spirals, or similar)
  • 2.5 cups roasted and pureed squash (like ‘Sweet Mama,’ ‘Winter Sweet,’ or ‘N. Georgia Candy Roaster’)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 cup milk or milk alternative
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • Optional: a pinch of nutmeg, a sprinkle of garlic powder, ground mustard, or celery seed

Cook noodles according to the package instructions.

Cut squash in half, remove the seeds, and roast in the oven until soft. Scoop the squash from the skin into a blender or food processor and puree. Alternatively, mash with potato masher, fork, or other kitchen tool. In a medium sauce pan on medium-low heat, melt the butter and add the flour, stirring until just starting to brown. Add milk and stir until the roux starts to thicken. Add salt, pepper and any other spices. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese and squash puree. Pour over the noodles and stir until well combined.

My favorite additions: peas, corn and veggie sausage.

From EatWinterVegetables.com by Laura Brown, https://www.eatwintervegetables.com/squash-mac-n-cheese

Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo Beer Hash

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts (outside leaves removed)
  • 3 Chorizo links, outer casing removed and crumbled (can also use dried)
  • 1 cup beer (I used Great Lakes Dortmunder)
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 4 Medium blue or red potatoes, halved
  • 1 Shallot, diced
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Bring 2 medium pots of salted water to a boil. Toss your whole Brussels sprouts into one for 5 minutes. Toss your potatoes into the other for 10. Drain both.

In a large sauté pan with high sides, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add chorizo and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots and cook for 3 minutes. Add a bit of salt and pepper.

Trim the bottom of the Brussels sprouts and cut in half. Add your Brussels sprouts to the pan with the chorizo and cook for about 7 minutes, until they have started to brown. Note that the bottom of your pan will start to build a bit of a crust. Worry not: you will de-glaze it with the beer shortly.

Peel the skin off the potatoes, and cut into 1 inch cubes. Toss into the pan after the brussels sprouts have browned. Add a little more salt and pepper to the dish. De-glaze the bottom of the pan with the beer. Let the potatoes cook for about 5 minutes, until they start to brown a little bit. Add more beer if necessary to make sure you get all the flavors off the bottom of the pan.

Cook your eggs in butter with a dash of salt in a separate pan, for about 2-3 minutes, just until the egg white is no longer runny, but the yolk still is.

Serve the egg over the hash while both are still piping hot! Enjoy.

From Food52.com by Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast, https://food52.com/recipes/15140-brussels-sprout-and-chorizo-beer-hash

This recipe was shared with us years ago (2014 maybe?) by a winter CSA member. Was that you Kim M.? It’s a delicious, if dairy indulgent, way to transform a lot of kohlrabi into a tasty savory pudding.

Kohlrabi Pudding

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 to 3 small kohlrabi, stem, root and ends trimmed, peeled and quartered
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 ounces neufchâtel reduced-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup low-fat milk, buttermilk, yogurt, light sour cream, oat or rice milk, or, if feeling devil-may-care and you have it on hand, half and half or heavy cream
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon Pickapeppa sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 or 4 gratings of nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) finely grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Spray a 9-inch square baking dish or six individual 6-ounce ramekins with cooking spray. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the kohlrabi and cook until slightly softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Place in a food processor and puree. Measure out 3 cups of the puree, saving leftovers for another use (such as a chilled soup). Set the puree aside.

Place the eggs with the neufchâtel, milk, cornstarch, Pickapeppa, salt, nutmeg, and pepper in the food processor. Buzz until very smooth. Add the 3 cups puree and half of the Parmesan and buzz to incorporate. Taste and, if necessary season with more pepper.

Pour the pudding mixture into the prepared baking dish or into the individual ramekins. Place the dish or ramekins in a larger pan with hot water to come ½ inch up the sides of the dish or ramekins. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top. Return to the oven and continue baking until the cheese is melted and golden and the pudding is firm, browned, and does not stick to your finger when you touch its surface, another 20 to 30 minutes. Serve, hot or warm, cut into squares or inverted out of the ramekins.

From Cookstr.com by Dairy Hollow House, https://www.cookstr.com/recipes/dairy-hollow-house-kohlrabi-pudding

Northern Spy’s Kale Salad

  • 1/2 cup cubed kabocha, butternut, or other winter squash
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bunch kale (preferably lacinato or dinosaur kale), ribs removed and finely sliced, about 2 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup almonds, cut roughly in half
  • 1/4 cup crumbled or finely chopped Cabot clothbound cheddar (or any good, aged cheddar — if you can’t find aged cheddar, use Parmesan)
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Pecorino or other hard cheese, for shaving (optional)

Heat oven to 425° F. Toss squash cubes in just enough olive oil to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet (lined with parchment for easier cleanup), leaving space between the cubes. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, about 40 minutes, tossing with a spatula every 10-15 minutes. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet in the same oven until they start to smell nutty, tossing once, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the kale with the almonds, cheddar and squash. Season to taste with lemon juice and olive oil (approximately 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide salad between two plates or shallow bowls. Garnish with shaved pecorino cheese, if desired, and serve.

From Food52.com by Genius Recipes, https://food52.com/recipes/15584-northern-spy-s-kale-salad

Winter CSA Share #2

Welcome to the 2nd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022/2023 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Castelfranco Radicchio – Great for robust winter salads with punchy dressings and nuts and strong cheese and citrus. Holds up to a little warming too. We’ll eat it with oven baked salmon, rice, and creamy dressing for a quick dinner. Soaking in ice water can help reduce the bitterness if needed. Click here for some tips if you think radicchio and chicories bring too much bitter to the table.
  • Romaine Lettuce Bites – Mini romaine heads, peeled down to the best leaves.
  • Violetta Bok Choy
  • Brussels Sprouts – Pop the sprouts off the stalk and enjoy them in your favorite recipes. We usually just cut the sprouts in half, toss with a little oil/salt/pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for ~20 minutes.
  • Celery
  • Watermelon Radishes – Mild winter radishes, bright pink on the indie! Great on salads or roasted with other root vegetables.
  • LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes – In an effort to prolong their storage life we’re giving these out unwashed. You may want to give them a soak pre-scrubbing. Enjoy!
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Rutabaga – Use in place of, or in addition to, potatoes in mashes or soups. We’ll likely roast ours with other roots.
  • Yellow & Red Onions – a deluge of small-medium sized onions this week.
  • Garlic
  • Black Futsu Winter Squash – A Japanese heirloom squash related to butternut, it’s bright orange on the inside and some say it has a hint of hazelnut taste. Use it in an recipe calling for winter squash or butternut and check out the salad recipe included down below.
  • Sweet Mama Kabocha Squash – Drier than pumpkins, kabocha squashes are tasty in everything from pies to curries.
  • Wolverine’s Orca Dry Beans – Our favorite dry bean, and the only one we grow these days, these orca beans are more substantial than some dry beans and hold up well in stews or chili. Named for a Secwepemc elder Wolverine William Ignace, who you can read more about over on Adaptive Seeds website.
  • Dried Apples – After a less than stellar apple growing year we decided to buy in some apples from another local farm. These are Airlie Red apples, a red-fleshed variety discovered locally in Kings Valley, that we purchased from RainShine Family Farm located west of Corvallis. We did the drying and bagging.

Notes About This Week’s Pick-Up:

  • Today’s Salem CSA pick-up is being delayed until Thursday Dec. 29th from 4-6pm at the Willamette Heritage Center.
  • Tomorrow’s on-farm pick-up is going ahead as scheduled.
  • Salem members, please let us know if a Thursday pick-up doesn’t work for you and we’ll make other arrangements. You should have received an email, and possibly a phone message, from us today. Feel free to reply either way with questions.
The passing of the winter solstice last week means the slow return of the sunlight. Hopefully we’ve seen the last of the ice for this season too.

Welcome to week two of the Winter CSA! After so many years of this we should be ready for winter weather, but every storm brings new and unique challenge to the table. For the first time in ten seasons we’re choosing to delay a pick-up due to weather. Driving our kite of a box truck and setting up canopies in this wind just doesn’t seem safe. We’re moving today’s Salem pick-up to Thursday. Same time, same place, just Thursday. Please let us know if Thursday doesn’t work for you and we’ll try to work out alternative options.

Thankfully the forecast for tomorrow’s pick-up here on the farm is looking less windy and there shouldn’t be any issues going forward.

So far we’ve only had minimal wind damage. We did lose a greenhouse, our old propagation house, but luckily we were only using it for storage and as a workspace and we didn’t lose any crops. Fingers crossed that’s the worst of it. Hopefully you’re all staying safe and we’ll see you soon!

Harvesting rutabaga on a rare sunny day (left) and washing carrots (right).

We hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! With the passing of the Winter Solstice the days are once again slowly growing longer. We’re welcoming the return of the light but still appreciating the restful schedule that winter’s short days provide.

We’ve managed to stay busy with various farm projects over the past couple of weeks but not too busy. We cleaned out the tomato house to ready it for spring crops and Jeff started installing the overhead irrigation, which didn’t happen last winter when we built that greenhouse because we use drip irrigation for tomatoes and it wasn’t yet necessary. We also spent some time harvesting winter roots for storage. Thankfully that meant we weren’t fighting the recent ice storm for vegetables and we had a head start on this week’s CSA harvest.

2023 planning is underway! Seeds on hand have been inventoried and spreadsheets are being updated.

We took advantage of recent winter weather to hunker down and get the 2023 crop planning process underway. We spent a long day evaluating crop types and planting dates and quantities based on the past year’s experiences. I then completed an inventory of our current seed on hand, noting the quantity of any remaining seed in a spreadsheet. Next up is choosing crop varieties that fit with our plan, doing some math to decide how much seed we’ll need of each variety, and updating spreadsheets with new variety details. Eventually I’ll put in the seed orders and we’ll be off and running toward another growing season.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Black Futsu Salad with Radicchio

For Salad

  • 1 small Black Futsu squash, ripe (this squash is ripe when tan/orange)
  • 2-3 small heads of Treviso (or radicchio), washed
  • 1 “grateable” chunk of Pecorino to yield about 2/3 cup grated
  • High-quality sea salt such as Jacobsen Salt or Maldon
  • Fresh black pepper

 For the Citronette

  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3-1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, very gently and finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 anchovy fillets, packed in olive oil (for a vegetarian version of this dressing, sub ½ head roasted garlic for anchovy)
  • Salt

Prepare the citronette – Combine the minced shallot and lemon juice in a bowl, season very lightly with salt and set aside. Finely chop the anchovy and garlic until a paste forms, combine with lemon/shallot mixture. Gently whisk in olive oil until just combined. This can be prepared up to a week ahead.

Prepare the squash – Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds. Tightly wrap and refrigerate one half for another use or tomorrow’s salad.  Cut the remaining half into two or three wedges and peel/cut away all skin from their exterior. Very carefully, slice the wedges very thinly (think the thickness of 4-5 sheets of notebook paper stacked). Season with salt very lightly in a bowl and set aside.

Compose the salad – Cut the Treviso/radicchio into thin strips and toss gently in a large bowl to separate. Gently “squeeze” the sliced squash to remove any excess moisture then add to the Treviso/radicchio bowl, mix gently and season lightly with salt and pepper. Liberally dress with the anchovy citronette and transfer to a serving dish. Grate Pecorino over the top (don’t be shy!) and finish with more cracked pepper.

From EatWinterVegetables.com by Tim Wastell, https://www.eatwintervegetables.com/black-futsu-salad-with-radicchio

Winter Squash Coconut Curry

  • 4 cup squash such as Winter Sweet, Sweet Mama or other “saucy” type, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 cup loosely packed and sliced bok choy
  • 32 oz. coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh turmeric, finely grated
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. Massaman curry paste
  • ¾ cup leeks, washed and thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup shallots, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup scallions, white parts thinly sliced
  • 2 lime leaves, Makrut or Kaffir
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, (1 Tbsp very thinly sliced, the rest left whole and hit a few times with the back of a kitchen knife to bruise)
  • 2 Tbsp. neutral oil
  • Sweet herbs such as Thai basil, mint, cilantro, borage and curry leaf for garnish
  • Lime wedges
  • Sea salt

In a medium-sized, heavy bottomed sauce pot, heat 2 Tbsp. neutral oil over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the leeks, lemongrass, shallots, garlic and scallions and cook until softened but not darkly colored, stirring constantly. Add the ginger and turmeric and a pinch of sea salt and continue cooking until the mixture barely begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, then add the curry paste. Add the winter squash to the pan and stir until evenly coated with the aromatics. Add the coconut milk, water, lime leaves and lemon grass stalk, bring to almost boiling, then reduce to a bare simmer and cook until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add the bok choy, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, serve with lime wedges and the sweet herbs to garnish.

From EatWinterVegetables.com by Tim Wastell, https://www.eatwintervegetables.com/winter-squash-coconut-curry

Smokin’ Hot Vegan Vaquero Chili

  • 8 ounces dried Vaquero beans, soaked overnight (may substitute dried pinto beans)
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1-2 chipotles in adobo, sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 5 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate

After beans have been soaked, drain from soaking liquid and set aside. Reserve liquid for later use.

Prepare all vegetables and fry in a heavy pot with a tablespoon of canola oil. Stir and fry for about 5 minutes until vegetables have softened.

Add cumin and cayenne and fry for another minute.

Add beans, tomatoes, water and oregano, and bring to a boil. Then lower heat and simmer for 1 hour, or until beans are to your desired level of softness. Depending on your beans, you may need to add additional water. I like to add a little of the soaking liquid for more flavor and color.

Salt to taste.

Just before serving, stir chocolate into chili until melted, then mix well.

From Food52.com by Beautiful, Memorable Food, https://food52.com/recipes/15891-smokin-hot-vegan-vaquero-chili

Winter CSA Share #1

Welcome to the 1st share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022/2023 Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Rosalba Radicchio – Great for robust winter salads with punchy dressings and nuts and strong cheese and citrus. Holds up to a little warming too. We’ll eat it with oven baked salmon, rice, and creamy dressing for a quick dinner. Soaking in ice water can help reduce the bitterness if needed. Click here for some tips if you think radicchio and chicories bring too much bitter to the table.
  • Romaine Lettuce Bites – Mini romaine heads, peeled down to the best leaves.
  • Red Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprouts – Pop the sprouts off the stalk and enjoy them in your favorite recipes. We usually just cut the sprouts in half, toss with a little oil/salt/pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for ~20 minutes. Don’t forget to check out the recipe index here on our website if you’re looking for suggestions.
  • Celery
  • Alpine Daikon Radishes – A short Korean daikon variety traditionally used in kimchi but tasty on salads or roasted.
  • Pinto Fingerling Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes – In an effort to prolong their storage life we’re giving these out unwashed. You may want to give them a soak pre-scrubbing. Enjoy!
  • Carrots
  • Yellow & Red Onions
  • Garlic
  • Candystick Dessert Delicata Squash – We tend to roast most of our winter squashes by cutting them in half and baking cut side down at 400 degrees until tender.
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Dried Apples – After a less than stellar apple growing year we decided to buy in some apples from another local farm. These are Airlie Red apples, a red-fleshed variety discovered locally in Kings Valley, that we purchased from RainShine Family Farm located west of Corvallis. We did the drying and bagging.
Pink chicories and pink apples! (up top) plus the chicory field (bottom left) and a winter rainbow (bottom right).

Welcome to the first week of the Winter CSA! We’re excited to kick off our tenth winter CSA season and hope you are too! Whether you’re a returning member who is already well versed in seasonal eating or a new member joining us for the first time, we hope you know we’ll be trying our darndest to bring you the best organic vegetables we can grow to each CSA pick-up over the next five months.

As you know already, winter weather can be unpredictable and growing conditions are the most challenging through the winter months. Ice and snow can be game changers. Short cold days mean not much plant growth is happening at the moment so we’re relying on the planning and planting that happened last summer and fall. That’s all to say that while winter may like to keep us on our toes, there will be vegetables to eat and hopefully they’ll include a wide diversity. So far, so good!

A snowy jaunt in the woods (top) and flame weeding garlic, first walking and then with the tractor (bottom).

We often get questions about how we spent the two week break between the end of the Summer CSA season and the beginning of the Winter CSA season. After a long, rough growing season we chose to hunker down at home for a short but restful break from farm projects. Jeff focused on his willow basket hobby (if you’re in the market for a willow coffin, hit him up) and I relaxed into wrangling our house back into some semblance of order, cooking slightly more ambitious meals than we find time for during the growing season, and evaluating 2023 health insurance plans. Fun!

Of course it wasn’t all fun hobby time. We had an assortment of random projects that needed some attention. When we last left you our 90s era F150 truck needed repair. Luckily Jeff swapped out the computer and was back in action in no time, plus the repair required a quick trip to the hills to get the computer acclimated to highway speeds. Bonus! We also managed to upgrade our washer/dryer after a washer failure a few days into the break. That involved too much time spent researching the mysterious inner workings of new washing machines, eventually discovering we couldn’t diagnose the problem properly to repair ourselves, realizing no one will repair the brand, and laying down some money for new repairable machines that are equally (if not more) mysterious. And Jeff sold his duck flock on Craigslist to a small farm in Oregon City looking to up their duck game. Herding and catching 22 very wary ducks in muddy conditions is definitely a project.

We did ease back into farm tasks too. Jeff worked on flame weeding the garlic first with a handheld propane torch and then with a wider propane torch with multiple burners that he attached to the tractor. Hopefully he can keep the grass at bay long enough for a dry spell when we can truly cultivate to clean up the beds. We also moved the dry corn out of the prop house where it had been drying down since harvest. Not wanting it to languish in the barn I went ahead and shelled it, resulting in 300ish pounds of dry corn for future flour/polenta milling. Plus there was some apple drying, root harvesting and washing, composting, barn cleaning, bin washing etc. We’ve still got a long list of winter projects to get through but it was nice to get a slow start on some of them.

That’s all to say it was a successful working staycation and we’re looking forward to getting into the swing of the Winter CSA!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Grilled Chicken Caesar Lettuce Wraps

  • For the Caesar dressing:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (2-ounce) can anchovy fillets, drained, and minced
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled, and minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • For the chicken lettuce wraps:
  • 4 chicken breasts, halved horizontally
  • 6 slices bread, ideally crusty and rustic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 small head radicchio, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 3 hearts of romaine, broken into leafs for lettuce cups

For the Caesar dressing:

Make the Caesar dressing. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust accordingly.

For the chicken lettuce wraps:

Marinate the chicken. Add the chicken breasts to a big plastic bag and add 1/2 cup Caesar dressing. Mush around to completely coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour in the fridge or up to 1 day.

Get your grill going. For charcoal: Set up for one-zone, high-temperature cooking. For gas: Heat to high until the temperature reaches about 600° F. Make sure the grill grates are clean, then lightly oil them.

Grill the chicken over direct heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until charred on the outside and cooked (about 165° F) on the inside. Transfer to a plate to rest.

Now grill the bread. First drizzle with olive oil, then grill over direct heat until charred, a couple minutes per side. Transfer to a plate to cool and crisp.

Chop the chicken into chicken chunks. Add to a bowl along with the radicchio, parmesan, and capers. Dress with the remaining Caesar dressing—use however much feels right to you. Taste and adjust salt accordingly.

Tear the grilled bread slices into crumbs.

Serve as such: lettuce cups on one plate, chicken salad in a bowl, crumbs on another plate. To assemble: Fill a lettuce cup with chicken salad and top with breadcrumbs.

From Food52.com by Emma Laperruque, https://food52.com/recipes/77670-grilled-chicken-caesar-lettuce-wraps

Coconut & Chile Braised Winter Squash

  • 2 to 3 pounds winter squash (such as 1 large butternut, or 2 medium delicata)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt plus freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 13.5 ounces can unsweetened coconut milk (full fat)
  • 3 tablespoons chile sauce, such as harissa, or to taste (see author note)
  • Couscous or rice, for serving

To prep the squash: Peel the squash if using butternut; no need to peel delicata. Halve lengthwise and remove seeds and stringy flesh. Cut into 3/4-inch chunks.

On a sheet pan, toss the squash with about 1 tablespoon olive oil, or just enough to coat. Season generously with kosher salt and pepper.

Heat the broiler with an oven rack about 4 to 5 inches from the heating element. Broil the squash until nicely charred on the first side, about 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and broil about 1 to 2 minutes longer. (The total time will depend on the intensity of your broiler, so keep a close eye on the squash!)

In a deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onion until tender, about 5 minutes (a little browning around the edges is fine) then add the garlic, coriander, and rosemary and sauté a minute longer. Add the charred squash, stirring to coat it evenly in the oil.

Add the coconut milk, harissa, and another pinch or two of salt, and bring to a simmer. Half cover the pan with the lid, and braise for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Add a little water (using the empty can to get every last bit of coconut milk!), as needed, if the sauce starts to get a little dry.

Adjust salt to taste, and add more chile sauce if desired. Serve warm with couscous or rice as a complete meal, or as a side to virtually any protein.

From Food52.com by EmilyC, https://food52.com/recipes/84649-coconut-braised-winter-squash-recipe

Sweet Potato Nachos

  • Nachos
  • 2 pounds (about 6 medium) sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Smashed Black Beans (see recipe below)
  • 16 ounces (about 4 cups) shredded cheese (I like a mix of Monterey Jack, pepperjack, and yellow cheddar)
  • 1/3 cup salsa or pico de gallo
  • 1 or 2 ripe avocados, sliced (or, for a bit more excitement, 1 or 2 batches of the Chunkiest, Herbiest, Greenest Guacamole)
  • For serving: thinly sliced (daikon) radishes, shredded cabbage, thinly sliced raw or pickled jalapeños, thinly sliced raw or pickled onions, thinly sliced scallions, sour cream (for dolloping), gently crushed tortilla chips, roughly chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Smashed Black Beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black (or pinto) beans, liquid reserved
  • 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Nachos

Heat the oven to 450ºF.

Slice the (unpeeled) sweet potatoes into rounds about 1/4 inch thick. Err on the thin side for more charred, crispy potatoes; thicker for creamier—both are excellent!

In a large bowl (or directly on two rimmed sheet pans) toss the potatoes with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer. Bake, with one pan on a rack in the top of the oven and the other on the bottom, for 12 to 14 minutes, until well charred. Flip the potatoes, swap the positions of the sheet pans, and continue cooking until cooked through and charred on the other side, another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the trays from the oven and toss the potatoes to ensure none are stuck to the pan.

Reduce the heat to 350ºF. Spread about half the beans and sprinkle half the cheese over one tray of potatoes. Return the tray to the oven and cook until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Remove the sheet pan from the oven. Building on the one tray, layer the remaining sweet potatoes over the melted cheese. Cover the second layer of potatoes with spoonfuls of the beans (use the rest of the batch or however much you’d like). Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and return to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Dot the surface of the nachos with large spoonfuls of salsa or pico de gallo. Scatter avocado over the nachos (or dot with large spoonfuls of guacamole). Finish with the remaining desired toppings and serve immediately, with lime wedges for squeezing.

Smashed Black Beans

While the potatoes are cooking, make the beans. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion and season with salt and pepper.

Cook, stirring regularly, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Make a well in the center and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Stir in the paprika and cumin and let sizzle for 30 seconds, until the spices are fragrant.

Dump the entire can of beans (yes, liquid, too!) into the pot. Fill the can halfway with water, pour into the pot as well, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes.

Taste and season with salt and pepper. Use the side of a spoon or spatula to gently smash the beans up a bit. Let cool slightly, then mix in the vinegar before serving.

From Food52.com by Rebecca Firkser, https://food52.com/recipes/84941-best-sweet-potato-nachos-recipe

Summer CSA Share #26

Welcome to the 26th, and final, share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Rosalba Radicchio – Great for robust salads with punchy dressings and nuts and strong cheese. Holds up to a little warming too. We’ll eat it with oven baked salmon, rice, and creamy dressing for a quick dinner. Soaking in ice water can help reduce the bitterness if needed. Click here for some tips if you think radicchio and chicories bring too much bitter to the table.
  • Curly Kale
  • Red Brussels Sprouts – Pop the sprouts off the stalk and enjoy them in your favorite recipes. We usually just cut the sprouts in half, toss with a little oil/salt/pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for ~20 minutes. Don’t forget to check out the recipe index here on our website if you’re looking for suggestions.
  • Sage
  • Celeriac – A tasty root that lands somewhere on the vegetable continuum between potato and celery. It’s great in any dish you’d use potatoes and pairs well with them too. They’re difficult to peel, so we usually just square off the edges with a sharp knife for cubing.
  • Huckleberry Gold Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes – In an effort to prolong their storage life we’re giving these out unwashed. You may want to give them a soak pre-scrubbing. Enjoy!
  • Carrots
  • Red Bunching Onions
  • Yellow & Red Onions
  • Garlic
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Long Pie Pumpkin – Like an elongated pie pumpkin with smooth flesh and sweet/savory flavor; more pumpkin for your pie needs!
  • Corn Flour – We grow a flint corn called Cascade Ruby Gold that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. This week we’re sharing flour and last week we shared the polenta. You can use this flour in any recipe calling for corn flour or cornmeal. We like to use it for perfect cornbread.

Welcome to the final share of the 2022 Summer CSA season! We’ll see many of you in a few weeks for the start of the Winter CSA. We’re excited to see what the winter season has in store for us and hope you are too! For everyone else, we hope you have a fantastic winter! Keep an eye out for an email from us in early January as we gear up for the 2023 Summer CSA! Hopefully you’ll consider joining us for another round of local, seasonal, organic vegetables.

We’ve made it to the end of another CSA season. That makes 13 Summer CSA seasons in the books. Whew! Each year we look forward to wrapping up just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, which makes an excellent time to reflect on how thankful we are for your continued support. Thanks for joining us for six months of seasonal vegetables. Thanks for showing up week after week. Thanks for choosing to eat local, organic vegetables this season. We’re consistently amazed that members are willing to sign-up and commit to our CSA and we’re thankful that you continue to do so. As I’ve said before, we couldn’t do this without you. Cheers to a thankful and tasty Thanksgiving!

Drone views of the farm this past week. From the front look east (top) and from the back looking west (bottom).

Here are some quick season stats: This year each weekly share consisted of an average of 16.17lbs per week for 26 weeks. That’s 421 pounds of organic vegetables for each weekly share over the season. All combined that means Jeff and I grew and distributed approximately 48,362lbs of produce this season. Through our partnership with the Linn Benton Food Share, 10,514lbs of those organic vegetables went directly to the Lebanon Soup Kitchen and Lebanon food pantries.

Though the season got off to a rough start we were still able to distribute an average of just shy of one ton of vegetables each week during this past season. No wonder we’re ready for a rest.

Signs of late fall: frosty apples leaves, willow leaves dropping on the wash station, golden birch leaves, and perfect cornbread.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this past season. We know the CSA can seem overwhelming at times but hopefully you’ve found a rhythm to the season and had some fun in the kitchen along the way. Though we’re focused on growing and harvesting the best vegetables we can, we know the magic really happens in each of your kitchens as you prep and cook and eat them. Thanks for taking our vegetables on your kitchen adventures!

Have a happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the vegetables! We’ll see Winter CSA members on December 13th (Salem) & 14th (on-farm) for the beginning of the Winter season.

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Carrot & Celeriac Salad

  • 4-5 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 medium celeriac, peeled (good luck with that! I always make a mess of mine.)
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper

Grate the carrot and the celeriac with a grater or in a food processor (which makes it so much easier!). Whisk together the lemon juice, honey and sea salt, then whisk in the olive oil to emulsify. Toss together the carrot, celeriac, parsley, and dressing. Adjust any of the seasonings to taste.

Serve, topping each serving with a nice grind of black pepper. C’est magnifique!

From Food52.com by FiveAndSpice, https://food52.com/recipes/9744-carrot-and-celeriac-salad

Chickpea, Pumpkin, & Sage Stew

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small bunch sage leaves (6 to 8)
  • one 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • one 15-ounce can pure pumpkin purée (or make your own using your long pie pumpkin)
  • 1 quart chicken broth, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 1/2 cups ditalini, tubetti, or other small pasta like orzo

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add carrot, onion, and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrot and onion are crisp and tender and sage is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

Stir in chickpeas, pumpkin purée, and broth; bring to a boil. Add pasta and quickly simmer until pasta is al dente and soup has thickened, about 8 minutes. Divide soup among serving bowls and drizzle with oil before serving.

From Food52.com by Caroline Wright, https://food52.com/recipes/31064-chickpea-pumpkin-and-sage-stew

Spiced Peanut Sweet Potato Salad, From Deliciously Ella

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 handful of parsley, chopped
  • 45 grams dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (heaped) black sesame seeds (white sesame seeds also work—you’ll just need to toast them)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful of peanuts, chopped and toasted, for serving (optional)
  • 1 handful chopped radicchio/chicory for serving (optional)
  • For the Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons date syrup or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced (you’ll use the juice)

Preheat the oven to 240°C (464°F, fan 220°C) .

Place the sweet potatoes in a large baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil, add the spices and some salt and pepper and mix well, ensuring everything gets coated. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes, until they’re really soft.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, make the dressing, whisking everything with some salt until smooth.

Next, place the parsley and dates in a large bowl with the sesame seeds. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, add them to the bowl with the dressing and mix everything together. Sprinkle with toasted peanuts, if using, serve and enjoy.

From Food52.com by Ella Quittner, https://food52.com/recipes/80942-spiced-peanut-sweet-potato-salad-from-deliciously-ella

Summer CSA Share #25

Welcome to the 25th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Salad Mix – A mix of lettuces.
  • Bok Choy
  • Collards – Collards can be used like kale or cabbage. They can be cooked down southern style, but they’re delicious in other recipes too. Check out the Collard Quiche recipe below and this vegan citrusy collard recipe we’ve posted in the past.
  • Brussels Sprouts – Pop the sprouts off the stalk and enjoy them in your favorite recipes. Don’t forget to check out the recipe index here on our website if you’re looking for suggestions.
  • Thyme
  • Celery – Yep, more celery. It’s soup season after all.
  • Mixed Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Yellow Onion
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Aji Marchant Peppers – These peppers have an intriguing history that you can read about here. Though spicy when yellow and under-ripe they get hotter as they mature to red.
  • Candystick Dessert Delicata Squash
  • Polenta (aka grits) – We grow a flint corn called Cascade Ruby Gold that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. This week we’re sharing polenta and next week we’ll share the flour. You can use this polenta in recipes calling for uncooked polenta or corn grits. We like to cook it in our rice cooker at a 1 cup polenta to 3 cups water ratio. It’s even better if you stir in some butter and cheese once cooked. We’ve heard from members that the rice setting on an instant pot works too.
Full moon this past week. The chicories are coloring up thanks to the cold nights but thankfully the celery was safe and sound under row cover.

Frosty mornings have been greeting us this past week. Thankfully the greenhouses and row cover have been keeping the frost at bay for the tender crops still in the field. Back on November 4th we passed into the Persephone period, when we experience fewer than 10 hours of daylight each day. Plants slow their growth almost to a standstill this time of year. Like the plants slowing down, we’re also looking forward to slowing down a little in the coming weeks.

This week we’re saying good bye to half of those members who chose the biweekly share option. It’s the penultimate week for everyone else as next week we’ll wrap up the Summer CSA season for good. Where have the past six months gone? Despite the wet spring and extended hot fall we’ve still managed to eat through a seasonal bounty of vegetables. From snap peas and radishes last June to tomatoes and corn this summer and now to winter squash and potatoes this fall the vegetables have kept coming. We hope you’ve enjoyed the season despite its challenges. As we approach Thanksgiving and officially finish the season next week we’re especially thankful for your continued support. We couldn’t do this without you!

Collard harvest on a beautiful afternoon.

This past week we had just enough dry weather to complete the potato harvest! We now have a cooler full of potatoes that will help see us through the winter months. We also milled dry corn for flour and polenta, which we’re sharing with you this week and next. And we managed to get into a fix with our 90s era Ford F150 requiring a tow and a mysterious issue we have yet to fully diagnose. Now we’ve added an automotive challenge to our end of season To Do list. Fun with 1990s computer technology! Perhaps it’s time to think about updating the fleet.

This week we’ll be preparing for the final week of the CSA season. Here’s our tentative harvest list for next week as you begin your Thanksgiving shopping. This list may change as we get closer to harvest day, but it should look very similar.

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Long Pie Pumpkin
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Mustard Greens
  • Celeriac
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Chicory
  • Kale
  • Corn Flour

We’ll see the majority of you next week for the final share of the Summer CSA!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Collard Greens Quiche

  • Filling
  • 3/4 pound Bacon, Diced
  • 2 cups Collard Greens, De-Stemmed, Cooked and Chopped
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 4 ounces Gruyere, Shredded
  • 2 ounces Sharp Cheddar, Shredded
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • Crust
  • 1 Cup plus 3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 6 tablespoons Cold Unsalted Butter, Cubed
  • 1 Large Egg, Beaten
  • Pinch of Salt

In a food processor, combine the flour, butter and salt until the mixture is crumbly.-this should only take a few pulses. Add the egg, and pulse a few more times until the dough resembles little peas.

Remove dough from processor and shape into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one-hour. When chilled, remove dough and roll out onto a lightly floured work-surface. Roll out the dough to be 2″ larger than the size in inches of your quiche pan.

Fit dough into the quiche pan, remove excess and prick with a fork all over and then refrigerate for 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet, over medium-low heat cook diced bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and drain. Pour out the bacon grease and add the diced onion to the same pan. Cook onions until soft and transparent. Add the bacon and collards to the onion pan. Toss to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and add in whipping cream, nutmeg and salt & pepper. Add the bacon mixture. Stir to combine.

Remove crust from refrigerator. Sprinkle shredded Gruyere and cheddar as the bottom (first) layer in the crust. Pour in the cream mixture and spread evenly.

Bake quiche for 40 – 55 minutes until set. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes. Slice and serve!

From Food52.com by Table9, https://food52.com/recipes/10180-beloved-greens-quiche

Squash with Parmesan and Walnuts

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 pounds Delicata squash, cut in half lengthwise, cored, then cut into 1/2 inch moons
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

    Preheat over to 400°F.

    In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and maple syrup. Place squash moons in a medium-sized bowl and pour olive oil mixture on top. Add salt and toss to coat. Transfer squash to a baking sheet and spread out so it’s in a single layer and there are no overlapping moons. Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway, until squash is soft and nicely browned.

    In the meantime, toast walnuts in a small saucepan over low heat until they are about a shade darker and smell nuttier, about 5-10 minutes.

    Arrange squash on a platter and sprinkle with toasted walnuts, Parmesan, and parsley. Serve immediately.

    From Food52.com by Vicky | Things I Made Today, https://food52.com/recipes/63171-squash-with-parmesan-walnuts

    10 Minute Garlic Bok Choy

    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 5 cloves garlic – minced
    • 2 large shallots – minced
    • 2 pounds baby bok choy – halved or quartered
    • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper – optional

    Add the oil to a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl to coat the entire surface of the pan.  Add the garlic and shallots, stirring continuously for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.

    Add the bok choy, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Toss to coat and cover. Cook for 1-2 minutes, uncover and toss, and then cover and continue to cook until bok choy is cooked to desired doneness (approximately 3-5 minutes more).

    Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and serve immediately. Enjoy!

    From The Forked Spoon by Jessica Randhawa, https://theforkedspoon.com/bok-choy-recipe/

    Northwest Smoked Salmon Chowder

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1 small onion, diced
    2 large leeks, sliced, soaked in water to remove the grit
    2 stalks celery, diced fine
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    3 cups potatoes, chopped, preferably Idaho or Russet (450g)
    1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
    2 bay leaves
    2 tablespoons tomato paste
    1 15-oz can chopped tomatoes, drained
    3 cups fish stock (chicken or veg stock works, too)
    3 tablespoons capers, plus 1 tablespoon of brine
    4 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
    1/2 cup half and half
    1 tablespoon hot sauce (I used Texas Pete’s)
    1 cup hot smoked salmon, shredded
    1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, diced for garnish
    lemon wedges, for garnish
    Sourdough bread bowls for serving, or slices of sourdough bread for dipping

    Heat the butter and olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch Oven over medium heat. Add the onions, leeks, celery, salt and pepper and sauté, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the onions turn translucent.

    Add the garlic and potatoes and stir. Add bay leaves and fennel seeds, stir. Add tomato paste and let toast for a minute. Stir in chopped tomatoes, stock, and capers. Let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are cooked all the way through.

    Remove the bay leaves and add the cream cheese, let it melt into the soup. Add the half & half and stir it until fully incorporated. When the soup just begins to simmer stir in the smoked salmon and stir until heated through. Add the hot sauce and combine.

    Serve chowder in sourdough bowls or with sourdough bread on the side for dipping. Garnish with chopped parsley, lemon wedges, and hot sauce on the side.

    Pro tip: Chowder tastes better the next day.

    From Food52.com by Catherine Lamb, https://food52.com/recipes/75626-northwest-smoked-salmon-chowder

    Summer CSA Share #24

    Welcome to the 24th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

    • Salad Mix – A mix of lettuces and spinach.
    • Green Cabbage – Big heads coming your way this week. Have you roasted cabbage? Or made sauerkraut? Or made cabbage and noodles? Or checked out the jalapeno coleslaw recipe down below?
    • Small Broccoli Heads
    • Celery
    • Alpine Daikon Radishes – A short Korean daikon variety traditionally used in kimchi but tasty on salads or roasted.
    • Magic Molly Purple Fingerling Potatoes – Purple on the outside and inside too, these are great roasted with other root vegetables.
    • Mixed Red & Yellow Beets
    • Yellow Onion
    • Bunching Onions
    • Sweet Peppers
    • Jalapeno Peppers
    • Green Tomatoes We’re wrapping up the tomato season with a harvest of all the remaining unripe fruit. You can try to ripen any fruit with some coloring by leaving it out in your kitchen. Unripe fruit can be used in fried green tomato recipes or check out the green tomato cake recipe down below.
    • Festival Acorn Squash
    A muddy daikon radish harvest yesterday.

    After a very hot and dry October it appears the weather has a different pattern in store for November. The farm weather station reports 4.68″ of rain since last Tuesday and we’re about to see low temps in the 20s and low 30s for the next week. It’s been an abrupt switch from summer to winter weather.

    We spent the past week readying the farm for the upcoming cold snap. We focused on continuing the root harvests by digging more potatoes and Jeff harvested the last two beds of beets during last Friday’s big wind/rain storm. He’s a real go getter. I managed to avoid that storm by focusing on canning/roasting the last of the tomatoes and getting our 2023 seed potato order wrapped up. Saturday was the calmest day this past week and we were both back at it, managing to get the remaining celery, turnips/radishes, and celeriac covered with frost protection row cover. Fingers crossed we’ll have celery for future shares. Then we split up; I took on the beet washing project and Jeff put up end walls on one of the greenhouses that has vulnerable greens planted inside. Sunday we focused on getting the storage onions and garlic into the barn now that the sweet potatoes have taken over the germ chamber storage area. It was a wet day for such a task but it worked out. While I processed garlic Jeff washed potatoes for this week’s share. Now we’re back to the harvest scramble and hoping we did enough ahead of the cold temps.

    Irrigation lines have been drained, crops are covered, greenhouses are enclosed, coolers are filling up with storage crops. I guess it really is November. Wasn’t it just 90 degrees?

    Cabbage packing (left) and a glimpse of the farm looking east. There’s already snow in the hills! (right).

    In the week ahead we’ll be continuing the potato harvest, harvesting other roots for storage, and working towards wrapping up this season. Not counting this week’s share we have two more weeks remaining in the Summer CSA season. There are still lots of tasty fall vegetables we’ve got planned for you. Hurrah for seasonal eating!

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

    Your farmers,
    Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

    .

    Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

    Green Tomato Crumb Cake

    • Batter
    • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (248 grams) all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for preparing the pan
    • 1/2 cup (106 grams) dark brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1 large egg, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup (225 grams) buttermilk, at room temperature
    • 2/3 cup (151 grams, about 11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    • 2 1/2 cups (about one 10-ounce) medium diced green tomato
    • Topping
    • 1/2 cup (106 grams) dark brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3 tablespoons (40 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

    Heat oven to 350°F. Spray or butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.

    For the batter: In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together 2 cups (240 grams) or the flour, both sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, buttermilk, and cooled butter.

    Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients. Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat until smooth. Toss the tomatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon (8 grams) flour. Fold in the tomatoes. Pour into the prepared pan.

    For the topping: In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Use your fingertips to work in the butter until large, shaggy crumbs form.

    Sprinkle the topping over the batter, pressing the crumbs lightly into the top.

    Bake for about 55 to 60 minutes, until a thin knife or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

    Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen the cake from the pan and slide it onto the rack to cool completely. Slice into wedges and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

    From Food52.com by Rachel Rappaport, https://food52.com/recipes/88159-green-tomato-crumb-cake-recipe

    Sweet & Smoky Beet Burgers

    • 1 yellow onion
    • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil, plus extra for searing
    • 1 cup peeled and grated raw beets (approximately 1 small beet)
    • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 cup walnuts
    • 1/2 cup golden raisins
    • 2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
    • 1/2 cup cooked green lentils, rinsed and drained
    • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice or white sushi rice, at room temperature
    • 1 egg

    Slice the onion to a thickness of 1/4 inch. In a medium skillet, sauté the onion in the oil over medium-high heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until it starts to darken and caramelize. Turn down the heat slightly and add the beets along with the garlic, walnuts, raisins, and paprika, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.

    Transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor and pulse several times until chunky. In a large bowl, combine the onion mixture with the lentils, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Replace the food processor without washing and add the rice and egg, and pulse to form a coarse puree. Add the rice mixture to the onion-lentil mixture and mix well with your hands.

    Lightly oil your hands and divide the dough into 8 portions. Shape each portion into a patty just under 1 inch thick.

    Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and add oil to coat the bottom. Place the burgers in the skillet and cook undisturbed for 5 minutes. Gently flip the burgers and turn down the heat to low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, until the burgers have a firm, brown crust. Serve hot with your favorite condiments.

    From Food52.com by Louisa Shafia, https://food52.com/recipes/22553-sweet-and-smoky-beet-burgers

    Chicken Udon Soup

    • Broth
    • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds bone-in chicken thighs and/or legs, skin removed
    • 1 (4-ounce) piece Korean mu or daikon radish, about 3-inch diameter x 1-inch height, peeled
    • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved at the root
    • 1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled (12 to 14 cloves)
    • 2 whole scallions
    • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
    • 1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, unpeeled and sliced into thick planks
    • 1 (4×6-inch) piece dashima konbu kelp, or several smaller pieces adding up
    • Soup Assembly
    • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    • 2 blocks frozen udon noodles (about 8 to 9 ounces each), or about 1 pound fresh Korean udon/jjajang noodles
    • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to season chicken and to taste
    • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
    • 2 thinly sliced scallions (both green and white parts), for garnish

    Make the broth: In a large pot, add chicken pieces, mu/daikon radish, onion, garlic cloves, the 2 whole scallions, peppercorns, ginger slices, and kombu kelp. Slowly pour in 8 cups (2 quarts) of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Start skimming any white foam or scum that comes to the top. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover with lid slightly ajar, and cook for around 25 minutes until the chicken and daikon are done; skim off any scum every so often.

    15 minutes into the broth cooking time, bring a separate, medium-size pot filled with water to boil for the udon.

    Meanwhile, when the chicken broth is done, remove the chicken pieces and mu/daikon radish and let cool on a cutting board. Strain the rest of the broth into another similarly (or slightly smaller) sized pot. Discard aromatics. Season the chicken broth with soy sauce and salt, adjusting to taste. Keep strained chicken broth hot over a low heat.

    Prepare the chicken and mu/daikon radish: Once cool enough to handle, use two forks or your hands to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Discard the bones. Put the chicken in a bowl or storage container, season with toasted sesame oil, salt, and pepper. Set aside. Cut the radish into bite-sized pieces; set aside.

    Cook udon noodles according to package instructions (usually 45 to 60 seconds for frozen udon blocks). They are already cooked, so you are just warming them through and gently releasing them from their caked state with tongs or chopsticks. It’s important not to overcook them. Drain in a colander.

    Divide drained udon noodles among soup bowls. Ladle hot broth over the udon. Top each bowl with cut mu/daikon radish pieces and a small handful of shredded seasoned chicken. Garnish with the thinly sliced scallions and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.

    From Food52.com by Hana Asbrink, https://food52.com/recipes/87476-chicken-noodle-soup-recipe-with-udon-garlic-ginger

    Pan-Seared Rib Eye with Jalapeno Coleslaw

    • For the steak:
    • 1 cup cilantro stems, leaves reserved for garnish
    • 2 large jalapeños
    • 2 large garlic cloves
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
    • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for cooking steak
    • 1 (1 1/2–pound) bone-in rib-eye steak, about 1 1/2 inches thick
    • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
    • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • For the coleslaw:
    • 1/4 pound green cabbage, finely shredded (about 1 cup)
    • 1 large jalapeño, deseeded and cut into thin strips
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 1 pinch celery seed

    First, marinate the steak: In a blender or food processor, blitz the cilantro stems, jalapeños, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil until smooth. Transfer 1/4 cup of the marinade to a small resealable container and refrigerate (you’ll turn it into a sauce later). Add the steak to a large zip-top bag and pour in the rest of the marinade. Seal and smoosh everything around so the meat is fully covered in the green sauce. Set the bag on a plate in the fridge to marinate for as little as 4 hours, and as much as 8 to 12 hours or overnight. (If you’re in a hurry, you could also leave the steak to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, then proceed straight to cooking.)

    Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat until very hot. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil, followed by the steak, and sear on that first side for 6 to 8 minutes. Flip, then cook for another 4 to 6 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the steak reaches 130°F for medium-rare (make sure your instant-read thermometer isn’t hitting the bone or any fat pockets, which will obscure this reading). Transfer the steak to a wooden cutting board and let rest for at least 10 minutes.

    Meanwhile, make the coleslaw: In a medium bowl, toss together the cabbage, jalapeño, olive oil, rice vinegar, sugar, and celery seed and set aside.

    When the steak has fully rested, carve it as thinly or as thickly as you like. But when doing this, just be sure to cut against the grain, which is to say: perpendicular to the parallel muscle fibers of the meat (the shorter these strands are, the tenderer the steak will feel as you eat). On a rib eye, these fibers usually run top to bottom across the surface, which is why I like to carve it on the diagonal. (Save the bone for nibbling on later.)

    Remember that 1/4 cup of reserved marinade? Stir in the rice vinegar and sugar, and transfer the sauce to a large plate, flattening it with the back of a spoon. Lay the carved steak slices over the sauce and garnish liberally with the whole cilantro leaves. Grind more fresh black pepper over top if you’d like, and enjoy with the jalapeño coleslaw.

    From Food52.com by Eric Kim, https://food52.com/recipes/83926-pan-seared-rib-eye-steak-recipe

    Summer CSA Share #23

    Welcome to the 23rd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

    • Salad Mix
    • Arugula
    • Rainbow Chard
    • Broccoli Bits
    • Hakurei Salad Turnips – These are mild enough to eat raw on salads but we also enjoy roasting them with other root vegetables. Don’t forget to eat the greens!
    • German Butterball Potatoes
    • Red Onions
    • Garlic
    • Sweet Peppers
    • Shishito Peppers – The shishitos are the roulette peppers we’ve shared in the past where 1 in 10 can be hot. They’re delicious blistered in hot oil and salted as a snack or chopped up and thrown into other dishes. We’ve enjoyed them in breakfast burritos.
    • Tomato – It’s true, we found one more ripe tomato out there to share. Green tomatoes coming at you next week.
    • Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash – A tasty little acorn squash that’s just the right size for a single serving.
    Check out that chard!

    The season is quickly winding down as Thanksgiving, and the final share of the Summer CSA season, is just three weeks away now. The rain has settled in, the temps have dropped, the days are getting shorter and shorter. Whew! What a roller coaster this growing season has been. We’re looking forward to the break but we’re also already thinking about improvements for next year.

    Big harvests: Aji Marchant Hot peppers (top left), sweet peppers (top right), German Butterball potatoes (bottom left), and sweet potatoes (bottom right).

    Although the weather forecast had suggested several rainy days last week, we had a bit of a reprieve and were able to make some progress in the digging of potatoes, both sweets and non-sweets alike. We finished getting the sweet potatoes out of the ground and they’re now finishing curing at a balmy 85 degrees in the temperature regulated germination chamber. We also spent time digging more regular potatoes for storage. We have about a third left to dig in the coming weeks. Slowly but surely we’ll get through that project.

    We’ve got our first frost warning of the season coming up Wednesday night, though it’s looking less likely as we get closer to Wednesday now. Most sensitive crops are either in greenhouses at this point or done for the season already, so there isn’t much prep to do ahead of a frost. I did spend time Sunday harvesting the last of the peppers though. We had a strange pepper year but it’s nice to have what’s left out of the field and ready to be shared in the next few CSA shares.

    Fava bean planting!

    In addition to harvesting and more harvesting we managed to plant a bed of lettuce and a bed of bunching onions into a greenhouse for winter eating. We also planted a couple of beds of fava beans for next spring. Favas are one of the last things to go in the ground, and we’re generally ready to be done with planting by the time they roll around. But they sure are nice to have in June! Jeff also managed to sow some cover crop seed in some open areas and do quite a bit of mowing of past crops. It’s crazy how quickly the landscape view can change with a single pass of the flail mower.

    In the week ahead we’ll be tackling more potatoes in between rain storms. It looks like a rainy week ahead so we’ll be taking on some indoor projects too. There’s some weeds we’d like to get to in a couple of greenhouse beds. It’s also time to think about our potato order for next year to make sure we’re at the top of the list for seed potato supplies. It’s a never ending potato cycle: harvest, plant, harvest, plant. I guess that’s the nature of farming though.

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

    Your farmers,
    Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

    .

    Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

    Potato Salad with Arugula & Dijon Vinaigrette

    • 1/2 small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
    • 2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized pieces
    • Salt
    • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
    • 3 cups arugula, stems removed, washed and dried and very roughly chopped
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 5 tablespoons good olive oil

    Put the onion in a small bowl and cover with cold water (this will remove some of the bite). Put the potatoes in a large pot of generously salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat.

    Lower the heat so the water is barely simmering and cook for about 10 minutes, until you can pierce the potatoes with the tip of a sharp knife and it slips out easily. Drain the potatoes well and pour them into a large bowl.

    Gently toss the warm potatoes with the rice vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the chives, arugula and red onion and stir through.

    Whisk together the red wine vinegar, mustard and olive oil in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the potato mixture and toss to combine. Serve warm or keep covered at room temperature for up to an hour.

    From Food52.com by Merrill Stubbs, https://food52.com/recipes/12198-potato-salad-with-arugula-dijon-vinaigrette

    Chard Salad with Breadcrumbs and Parmesan

    • 1 bunch Swiss chard
    • 1 lemon
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • Salt
    • 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan

    Wash and dry the chard and remove the stems from the leaves. Set aside. Zest and juice the lemon.

    Combine the lemon juice (you should have about 2 1/2 tablespoons), 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest and a few generous pinches of salt in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Set aside.

    Warm the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until they are crisp and golden brown (about 5 minutes). Be careful not to burn them! Stir in the garlic and let them toast for another minute, then remove from the heat.

    Separate the chard leaves from their stems. Finely chop the stems. Stack a few of the leaves on top of each other, roll them like a cigar and cut the cigar into thin (1/8-inch) ribbons. Repeat until all the leaves are shredded. Put the chard stems and leaves into a large bowl and toss gently with the Parmesan and about 2/3 of the lemon dressing. Taste and add more dressing if you like. Toss in the toasted breadcrumbs and serve immediately.

    From Food52.com by Merrill Stubbs, https://food52.com/recipes/24925-chard-salad-with-garlic-breadcrumbs-and-parmesan

    Weeknight Lasagna with Any-Greens Pesto and White Beans

    • For assembling lasagna:
    • 12 lasagna noodles (about 8 ounces), either regular or no-boil
    • 3 cups (roughly) marinara sauce, either homemade or store-bought (from a 24-ounce jar, such as Rao’s)
    • 2 cups (or 16 ounces) full-fat ricotta cheese
    • 1 large egg
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 3/4 cups cooked white beans (from one 15.5-ounce can), drained and rinsed
    • 2 cups (or 8 ounces) shredded mozzarella
    • For any-greens pesto:
    • 8 ounces greens (one or more of: kale, spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, basil, and parsley)
    • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • Finely grated lemon zest + 2 teaspoons juice, from 1 lemon
    • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
    • 1 pinch kosher salt, plus more to taste
    • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

    Preheat the oven to 425°F.

    If using regular lasagna noodles: In a large pan or bowl, cover the noodles in very hot tap water (or cold water warmed in a kettle until about 120°F) seasoned with salt; let the noodles soak for about 10 to 15 minutes while preparing the rest of your ingredients. (Note: a longer soak time may cause the noodles to stick together, so drain and separate them after about 15 minutes). If using no-boil noodles, you can skip this step.

    Lightly oil an 8 by 12-inch baking pan for a thicker lasagna (my preference!), or a 9- by 13-inch pan for a thinner version.

    To make the pesto: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the greens until finely chopped (adding the greens in batches for them to all fit), then add the pine nuts and garlic. Pulse again until integrated. Stream in the olive oil. Add Parmesan, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Taste, and season to taste with kosher salt. Alternately, make the pesto by hand chopping the greens with a knife. Note: This is a less oily pesto than traditional versions given the volume of greens.

    Transfer pesto to a medium bowl. Stir in ricotta. Taste again and add more salt, if needed, and several grinds of black pepper. (Take the time to get the seasoning right!). Add the egg, and stir until smooth.

    Spread 1 cup pasta sauce in the prepared dish. Arrange 4 slightly overlapping noodles atop the sauce. (Gently tap noodles against the bowl to shake off any water.) Top with roughly one-third of the white beans, then spread roughly one-third of the ricotta-pesto mixture over in an even layer.

    Layer the second row of 4 lasagna noodles, 1 cup sauce, half the remaining white beans, and half the remaining ricotta-pesto mixture.

    Repeat with one more layer of 4 lasagna noodles, 1 cup sauce, and the remaining white beans and ricotta-pesto mixture. Evenly sprinkle the mozzarella over the top.

    Cover lasagna with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. (If using an 8 by 12-inch dish, bake over a sheet pan in case any of the sauce bubbles over.) Uncover, then continue baking until the mozzarella is melted and browned, about 15 to 18 minutes longer. Let stand at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

    From Food52.com by EmilyC, https://food52.com/recipes/84985-quick-lasagna-recipe-with-pesto-white-beans

    Summer CSA Share #22

    Welcome to the 22nd share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

    • Salad Mix
    • Lacinato Kale
    • Cauliflower or Napa Cabbage
    • Cilantro
    • Diana Radishes
    • LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
    • Leeks
    • Garlic
    • Delectable” Sweet Corn – This is the last of this season’s sweet corn harvest. It was a good run!
    • Zucchini – Including green zucchini and “Mexicana” zucchini. We’re rapidly approaching the end of summer squash/zucchini season. Enjoy them while you can!
    • Sweet Pepper
    • Thai or Carrot HOT Peppers – Many of our pepper plants didn’t get off to a good start but we wanted to share what we have. Choose from red Thai or orange Bulgarian Carrot peppers. Both are hot.
    • Numex Suave Orange Habanero Pepper – A low heat version of the fruity, usually hot pepper type. Wish we had more to share!
    • Pie Pumpkin
    Farmscapes: Sunrise (top), foggy morning (bottom left), and flying geese (can you see them?) (bottom right).

    Hey, we finally got some measurable rain! The seasonal shift hit this week and it was just blustery and wet enough to feel like fall but there were still some sunny moments too, so we don’t quite have seasonal whiplash. We’re easing into mud season. Hurrah for the rain!

    As a reminder, the Summer CSA season has four weeks left and then we’ll be taking a two week break before the start of the Winter CSA season for those of you intrepid eaters that were able and willing to jump on board. That’s to say, the end will be here before we know it. As the days continue to get shorter and the weather actually feels like fall, it’s become obvious it’s time to think about eating in the winter months ahead.

    For anyone looking to purchase extra winter staples we suggest checking out one of the Fill Your Pantry events happening around the state in the coming month. These are single day markets, some with pre-ordering still available, where you can purchase varying quantities of locally grown produce and other staples like meats, honey, grains, and beans. Although it will require heading to Corvallis, Eugene, or Bend, you’ll be able to fill your winter pantry in a single trip. Check out the event pages below depending on which location suits your needs best.

    Harvest Day Scenes: In the kale (top), in the radishes (bottom left), and in the leeks (bottom right).

    We’re continuing to fill our own pantry here on the farm. Or rather fill all the storage spaces we can come up with. This past week we began the sweet potato digging and the temperature controlled room we use as a seed germinating chamber has shifted to use as sweet potato curing chamber. We also managed to thresh and winnow the dry beans and they’re ready for future CSA shares. We also got our 2023 garlic crop in the ground as well as our overwintering onions. Slow and steady progress.

    In the week ahead we’ll continue the potato and sweet potato harvests, do a little weeding in a couple of greenhouse spaces, get some cover crop seed in the ground, and generally try to stay ahead of any cold snaps that may be headed our way any time now. Four more weeks until the end of the Summer CSA season!

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

    Your farmers,
    Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

    .

    Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

    Triple Surprise Kale Salad

    • 1 small Sugar Pie pumpkin (about 3 to 3 1/2 pounds)
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling the pumpkin
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 4 long slices (about 5 ounces) of thick bacon, cut into big bite-size squares
    • About 1 1/2 teaspoons of brown sugar, divided
    • A pinch of cinnamon (about 1/4 teaspoon)
    • A pinch of cayenne pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon)
    • 1/2 cup (about 3 ounces) blanched almonds, cut into quarters
    • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
    • 12 ounces kale
    • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

    Preheat the oven to 400° F. Chop the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Cut the pumpkin into slices, remove the skin, and then cut the flesh into 3/4-inch cubes. Drizzle the cubes with a little olive oil, season with black pepper, and toss to combine. Place the cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 30 minutes, until nicely caramelized and soft (but not soft enough that the pumpkin is falling apart). Remove the pumpkin from the oven and let it cool. (You will not have to use all of the pumpkin cubes for this dish — probably only about half — but they are a good leftover to have.)

    Decrease the oven temperature to 325° F. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the bacon slices on the sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the bacon with about 1/2 teaspoon of the brown sugar, the cinnamon, and the cayenne. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the bacon is caramelized and very crispy, and all of the fat has rendered out. Let the bacon cool completely and then cut it into 3/4-inch pieces. (The bacon will crisp more as it cools.)

    Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the almonds, and toast them for about 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly golden. Stir frequently to make sure that the almonds do not burn. Remove the almonds from the skillet and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of brown sugar to the skillet. When the sugar melts, return the almonds to the skillet, mix them with caramelized sugar, and sprinkle with one teaspoon of coarse sea salt. Remove the skillet from the heat, pour the almonds onto a plate, and let them cool completely. Brush any remaining salt in the skillet onto the almonds.

    Wash the kale and dry it thoroughly. Remove the hard steams and chop the kale into 3/4-inch strips. Heat a cast iron skillet or casserole dish over medium heat. Place the kale into the skillet and “dry-sauté” over medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Resist the temptation to add any water to the skillet. Remove from the heat when the kale begins to soften. Let the kale cool completely.

    Prepare the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil and cider vinegar and season with freshly ground black pepper. Whisk until well blended and creamy.

    In a large bowl toss the kale with the vinaigrette. Arrange the kale on a large platter and top with the pumpkin cubes and bacon. Sprinkle with the sea salt-almond crust and serve.

    From Food52.com by QueenSashy, https://food52.com/recipes/31255-triple-surprise-kale-salad

    3-Ingredient Potato Leek Soup

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
    • 4 leeks
    • 1 1/4 pounds potatoes (I prefer Yukon gold)
    • 6 cups water
    • salt, to taste

    Clean the leeks carefully, then slice them into thin half-moons. Scrub and dice the potatoes into small cubes.

    In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced leeks and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks soften.

    Add the potatoes and the water. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 15-30 minutes: The soup is ready when the potatoes can be easily poked with a fork. The timing will vary depending on the type of potatoes you use.

    Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. (If you don’t have one, transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Be very careful with the hot liquid!) Taste the soup and season with more salt if needed.

    From Food52.com by Posie (Harwood) Brien, https://food52.com/recipes/74363-3-ingredient-potato-leek-soup

    Harissa Chicken with Leeks, Potatoes, and Yogurt

    • 1 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks
    • 1 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 by 1/2-inch chunks
    • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons harissa
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
    • 2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise, rinsed, and thinly sliced into half-moons
    • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    • 1/3 cup plain yogurt, preferably whole-milk (if using Greek, thin it down with a little milk to make it drizzle-able
    • 1 small garlic clover
    • 1 cup mixed soft fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, mint, and/or cilantro leaves
    • 1 splash fresh lemon juice, as needed

    Combine the chicken and potatoes in a large bowl. Season them with 2½ teaspoons of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the harissa, cumin, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pour this mixture over the chicken and potatoes, and toss to combine. Let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the leeks, lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and the remaining 1½ tablespoons olive oil.

    Heat the oven to 425°F.

    Arrange the chicken and potatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes. Then toss the potatoes lightly, and scatter the leeks over the baking sheet. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and everything is golden and slightly crisped, 20 to 25 minutes longer.

    While the chicken cooks, place the yogurt in a small bowl. Grate the garlic clove over the yogurt, and season with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

    Spoon the yogurt over the chicken and vegetables in the baking sheet (or you can transfer everything to a platter if you want to be fancy about it). Scatter the herbs over the yogurt, drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice over the top, and serve.

    From Food52.com by Melissa Clark, https://food52.com/recipes/68405-harissa-chicken-with-leeks-potatoes-and-yogurt