THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• “Baby Pam” Sugar Pumpkin
• “Yukon Gold” Potatoes
• Turnip Greens
• “Tendersweet” Cabbage
• Mixed Young Chicories (Radicchio, Dandelion, Endive)
• Young Fennel
• Pepper Cress
• Yellow Onions
Click on the links above for information and recipes about these crops.
Red and Green Curly Kale
NOTE: CHRISTMAS IS AROUND THE CORNER, SO THIS IS ANOTHER DOUBLE HARVEST WEEK FOR WEEKEND PEOPLE. SATURDAY AND SUNDAY SUBSCRIBERS WILL GET TWO WEEKS WORTH OF PRODUCE ON THE 17th and 18th, AND THERE WILL BE NO PICKUP ON DECEMBER 24th and 25th.
Alas, the nights are ever-lengthening, and the mornings are colder each day. It didn’t thaw until 11:00 this morning. This is no great problem, except that most vegetables can’t be picked while frozen or they don’t wake up. They will thaw and be a wilted product that looks cooked. Freezing punctures the cell walls, and the plant structures soften. However, just about everything that is left in the field can handle freezing and thawing just fine, provided that they are thawed when harvested.
Last week we used up the remaining small lettuce plants, because the closer the thermometer gets to 20°, the less likely they are to recover. This week, the fennel is suffering. We decided to pick it, even though it is small and looks damaged because the flavor is still there and should taste good in a salad, soup, or other dish. Use it quickly though.
The chicories also are going to start seeing some damage, and they won’t mature in the spring before they bolt in the increasing daylength, so out they come. We thought that a mix of reds and greens would be nice with a touch of fennel and peppercress for a winter salad.
Turnip greens are a sturdy cousin of mustard greens. A little more substance, and a nutritious tasty vegetable. “Tendersweet” is a special cabbage, not particularly cold hardy, and ready now, so they were chosen this week. Thin, sweet leaves and a flattened head—these are tasty raw, or steamed or sautéed.