What’s in the box?
Brussel Sprouts on the Stalk
Red and Green Peppers
Brussel Sprouts on the Stalk
Notes on the box…
The Brussel Sprouts are still on the stalk. They store better this way and it’s a nice activity to pull the sprouts off of the stalk before you cook them. If you don’t have room in the fridge for the stalks, you can go ahead and pop the sprouts off and keep them in a plastic bag in the fridge. They normally would have had more cold weather before we harvest them. The hot weather in September hasn’t helped the flavor become the sweet sprouts that taste much better than the sprouts found in the store, but they are still pretty good, just not as tasty as they are with a full month of cool temps. There will be another stalk of sprouts in the box next week. Please see the recipe below for our favorite way to cook Brussel Sprouts.
Winter Squash for this week is Butternut Squash. It’s a favorite for many people with a nice sweet flavor. It’s easy to peel (you can use a vegetable peeler). It’s great to cut into cubes and put in a curry or stir fry, or you can boil it and make it into a squash soup or sauce (see recipe below) or you can steam it. You can also roast it. It will keep for a few months at room temperature.
Leeks have a flavor that is similar to onions. The part of the leek that is most commonly eaten is the stalk from the white base up to just below where the dark green leaves start. The leaves and upper stalk can be added to other commonly discarded vegetables trimmings to make vegetable stock.
We are really missing the carrots, beets, and salad mix that we were planning on having in the boxes at this point in the season. To make it up to you, we went to pick Apples from White Pine Orchard in River Falls Wisconsin. It’s a lovely little organically managed orchard with lots of different varieties of apples including some older varieties including the ones we put in the box, Liberty. Liberty apples are crisp and tart and recommended for baking or for sauce, but we really love them for fresh eating. They store well and Keith (the orchardist) says he finds that the flavor improves with storage. Keith told us that this season was not the best for apples. He lost a lot of blossoms because of the early, warm spring and then the strong frost in April caused the trees to drop those blossoms which means less apples. He also said that the crops are about three weeks ahead of normal and harvest is almost over. He said he had an okay amount of rain, but that he did get some hail damage, pest damage, and sunscald on the apples. We thought that you all would enjoy these apples from his orchard. We have about 30 pear trees planted here on the farm, but we have not had any fruit on them yet. We hope that in a few seasons we will be able to put our own pears in the CSA boxes.
At the harvest party we served pizzas with winter squash sauce. We topped the pizzas with onions, sausage, peppers, and cheese. We also make the same pizza topped with kale and cranberries and that was delicious, too. We had several requests for our pizza crust recipe and the squash sauce, so here ya go…
Pizza Crust (for two medium pizzas)
Mix together 3 cups of flour (either all-purpose, or 1 cup of wheat and 2 cups of bread flour), 2 tsp. salt, 1 Tbsp. or 1 envelope of yeast, 1 tsp. sugar. After the dry ingredients are mixes, add 1 1/4 cups of hot water (from the tap). Mix the water into the dry ingredients. If it seems too dry and won’t come together, add a little more water. Put a little flour on the counter and knead the dough until it comes together. Knead it a little more (maybe 30 times) then put it in a bowl covered with a wet dish towel and leave it in a warm place to rise for at least 2 hours. When you are ready to make your pizza, take the dough out of the bowl, knead it a few times on a lightly floured surface, and split it in half. Roll out the dough with a rolling-pin an enough flour that nothing sticks to the counter or the rolling-pin. You can also try tossing the dough if you are feeling brave. When you have a pretty thin mostly circular shape, put it on your pizza pan and “decorate” your pizza with sauce and toppings of your choice. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until the toppings and the edges of the crust are lightly browned. We really like to make a winter squash sauce.
Winter Squash Pizza Sauce
Roast a pumpkin, acorn squash, or butternut squash (you could steam the butternut squash if you prefer). When flesh of squash is very tender, allow it to cool a little, the scoop it out and into your food processor. Add a couple of glugs of olive oil, a few peeled and roughly chopped cloves of garlic, and a pinch of salt. Run the food processor until everything is smooth. You can add a little bit of water if it seems too thick, but you want the consistency to be such that a spoonful will drop into a solid dolip, not be soupy. Spread the sauce on your unbaked crust. Top with sliced onions, sliced red peppers, cooked sausage (optional), chopped and steamed kale (optional), and shredded cheese (we like greuyere and romano or parmesan) and bake at 425 for 20-30 min or till crust and cheese are lightly browned.
Those of you at the Harvest Party will also remember Rob and Susan’s yummy dish…
French Lentils with Sausage & Kale Makes: 6+ servings
1 Tb Olive Oil
1 pound pork sausage, cut into 2” pieces
4 oz bacon or side pork, diced
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, with leaves, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 pound dry lentils, preferably French green lentils
Handful of chopped thyme, oregano & basil leaves
1 bunch kale or chard, stemmed, washed & blanched
Pour boiling water over the lentils to cover & let sit, they will double in volume.
Fry the diced bacon or side pork until nearly crisp, then add sausage. Cook until sausage
is browned.Transfer to a plate & drain off excess fat (leave 2-3 Tb in the pan).
Sauté all the vegetables until tender, then add the chopped herbs & cook another 2
minutes or so. Drain lentils and rinse.
Add 2 quarts of water and lentils to the pot & bring to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes.
Add kale and simmer another 10 mins until the kale is tender & lentils are cooked.
We had a nice lunch today of Onions, Apples, and Sausage over Brown Rice (wild rice would have been great), roasted Brussel Sprouts, and Spinach Salad with Toasted Pecans and Honey Mustard Dressing. Here’s how we cooked it up…
Onions, Apples, and Sausage
Slice a couple of onions (red or yellow). Core and slice a few apples (leave the skin on). Place a skillet over medium-high heat with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a half inch of water. Prick the sausages (for however many people you are feeding) and place them into the pan. Cover and bring the liquids to a bubble then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the sausages in the water until cooked through, 8-9 minutes. Remove the lid, let the water cook away and crisp and caramelize the skins of the sausages, 4-5 minutes more. Take the sausages out of the pan and put the sliced onions and apples in the pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook them till tender (about 5 min) then add a Tbsp. of brown sugar (optional), a cup of liquid (beer, apple cider, broth, or water), and some mustard. Stir and bring to a simmer. Add the sausage back in and cook till the liquids have thickened up. Serve with rice or bread.
Spinach and Toasted Pecan Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
Roughly cut up the spinach. Toast pecan pieces (or other nuts or sunflower seeds). Toss the spinach with the dressing and sprinkle the nuts on just before serving.
- 1/3 cup dijon or stone ground mustard
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1-2 tsp lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- fresh ground pepper
Put it all in a mason jar, stir lightly with a fork, and then put the lid on and shake until smooth.
Rob and Susan said that they didn’t really know what to do with the pie pumpkins until they discovered this recipe. They said they use it with other squash (like acorn) as well.
for your greens…Winter Pasta from 101 cookbooks
yum yum yum yum yum Braised Leeks!
Warm Butternut and Chickpea Salad from Smitten Kitchen
On the Farm…
Folks, this is the second to last box of the season! If you’d like to keep the veggies coming for another 6 weeks, we still have some Winter Shares left. Update your account to add a Winter Share. The program won’t let you add the Winter Share on Thursday, so you can come back tomorrow to sign up. Or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can update it for you.
We would also like to invite our members to sign up for the 2013 season! Already? YES! You can choose to pay in 5 installments and make your first payment now. Your next payment won’t be due until February 1, 2013. Signing up now will help us with getting some money together for the seed order, which we make in December. It’s a big expense for us and having folks put in their order now ensures that we will be able to pay for the varieties that we want and not have to wait to complete our order until people sign up in April or May. If you sign up before January 1, 2013 you will pay the 2012 price. You can also make sure that you will get the egg share option! We will be going over the books from the season to see how the numbers shook out, but we anticipate that we will need to increase the cost of a share in 2013 to keep up with rising seed, labor, and other costs. You can sign up for the 2013 season today!
Next week we will post our member survey so that we can gather your input to help us plan the 2013 season.