THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• “Baby Spaghetti” Winter Squash
• “French Fingerling” Potatoes
• Topless Beets
• Turnip Greens
• Curly Kale
• Napa Cabbage
Click on the links above for information and recipes about these crops.
The End of Winter
Have you noticed? It is difficult to catch it when the days are dark and cloudy already, but we are gaining 3 extra minutes of daylight each day! Spring is on the way! Soon the plants will grow again, and the chickens will lay eggs. I’m tired already of buying eggs. The new pullets are coming along and are fully-feathered—they should be ready to lay in April.
The beet greens are not pretty any more, and there’s no point in trying to save the leaves when we harvest. The size doesn’t really matter either. If they’re big I just cut them into chunks and roast them. The squashes may be little, but they are a true spaghetti. We think they’re tastier than the big ones too. Just bake at 350°, or microwave/steam, fluff out the strands of flesh and serve with pasta sauce or just good olive oil and parmesan. You can use Tatsoi just as you would Pak Choi or Baby Bok Choi. Sauté or stir-fry. It’s tasty and substantial.
We are already starting to strategize for next year. How to utilize the greenhouses more—we are actually going to get the ground worked up inside in the next week or two and start planting extra early. We want to have carrots, peas, spinach, and green onions in April when the Spring Season starts. We’d also like to have a little extra to start at farmers markets with something more than pea shoots and rapini.
I have been straining to think of what I can take a photo of today. It’s so wet and grey, there just isn’t anything that is inspiring me. Instead I scrounged through my photo library. When it’s not raining, we can spend the winter pulling up plastic mulch. Enjoy this one:
I’m reposting Danielle’s comment because she meant it for this week’s post:
Two favorite recipes as I head back to work this week: Nappa slaw and maple glazed squash.
Nappa slaw – slice the cabbage fine, grate a few carrots, slice green onions thin, grate some fresh ginger, and top with chopped cilantro. Dress the slaw with rice vinegar, a dash of fish sauce (or tamari), sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, hot sauce to taste (we’re partial to Indonesian sambal oolek), and some grapeseed or peanut oil. Toss everything to coat well and serve. Add chicken, shrimp, tofu, or some chopped peanuts to serve as a main dish. Leftovers (if you have any) make great wraps for lunch the next day.
Maple glazed squash – take a small, sweet, acorn type squash. Cut off the stem and pointed end. Slice in half and remove seeds. Slice the squash halves into “U”s. Toss squash with a tablespoon or two of butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Roast in a 400 degree oven until tender, flipping once and basting with any remaining glaze, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.
Depending on the squash, eat the skin too – it often gets tender enough. “Dryer” squashes like kabotcha are good this way too, but their skins may end up a bit crunchier or chewier.
Thanks for reposting for me. Spring is on the way, my trip to work this morning was actually brighter – the sun peeked through the clouds a bit. Yay! I was sad to realize the winter CSA is almost over, but I’m looking forward to my spring share already 🙂
My cooking goal between now and April – use up all the lovely produce we froze or pickled from the farm! I have frozen peas, sugar snaps, green beans, and “extra” greens from summer shares ready to be used in soups or pastas. Earlier this week I had a lovely chicken sandwich for lunch with my pickled torpedos – beautiful red torpedo onions preserved in red wine vinegar with thyme from the farm. So delicious and a great way to remember summer while we wait for the sun’s full return!
I love that you saved bits and pieces of summer. I do the same for our family. Peas, broccoli, spinach mostly. I saved a lot of cauliflower last year because we had so much. I’m going to have to try the pickled torpedo onions this year—sounds beautiful in a jar! It’s just so easy to throw extras in the freezer.
I CAN`T REMEMBER what the skinny white roots are?? I think I shredded them into salads last time we got them, but what are they called??
This week we gave you turnip greens, and they may have thin white roots. They would have nice, big greens, perfect for sautéeing or steaming. It’s been a while since we gave everyone Salsify—also a white root, but without a leafy top. I hope that helps!
For those of you looking for a way to use all the different kinds of cabbage we’ve gotten that may still be in your fridge, this is a delightful Tuscan cabbage and bean peasant stew. Make a big pot and freeze it in individual containers–perfect for a quick lunch or dinner when you don’t feel like cooking. Serve it over some toasted bread rubbed with a clove of garlic and you can use up your day-old bread this way too! I also reserve the cooking liquid (or pot likker) from when I make greens and freeze it—use it in this recipe. You can also save all your vegetable peelings and make a stock with it and freeze it—use it here if you’d like. Just experiement with the ingredients and adjust the combinations based on what you like or have on hand.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 1/2 cup
1 medium onion, chopped into 1/2 inch dice
2 cloves to 1 head garlic, depending on your tastes, minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch thick
3 ribs celery, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 bag cannellini or navy beans, soaked and fully cooked, cooking liquid reserved
1 8oz can tomato paste
3-5 bunches of any combination of cabbage (cavalo nero, green or purple cabbage, napa, savoy, kale, swiss chard, etc) cut into ribbons or chunks
1 -2 qt chicken, vegetable stock or the leftover pot likker from greens made with ham hocks or bacon
Garnish: slices country bread, toasted
In a large 8 quart pot, heat oil, onion, carrots, celery and cook until softening, then add garlic. Add tomato paste and beans, bean cooking liquid (or water and any combination of stock or pot likker) and and bring to a boil. You want enough liquid to submerge the vegetable with about 2-3 inches liquid on top. Lower heat, add cabbage and/or greens and simmer 1 1/2 hours until everything is soft. Add remaining beans and adjust seasoning—usually salt is all you need, but you might want to add garlic powder, pepper or fresh thyme. Allow to cool and rest overnight.
The following day, bring to a boil and serve in shallow bowls over toasted bread. Sprinkle with parmigiano tableside and finish with a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil.
By the way, this soup/stew is called Ribolitta and means “reboiled”
Sounds great, and I’m going to make it tomorrow. Just wondering how much of a bag of dried beans to use? How many cups of beans is that? I buy in bulk. Also, I like the idea of boiling peels and such to make a broth, although I don’t peel many things. Thanks, Tanya!
ciao mike sono mario il figlio di Nevina De Pascale ti mando i miei saluti e mi fa piacere che hai continuato l’attività di zia pasqualina