Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - November 26, 2013


Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Hanukkah!


Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN BAG

This week your bag will contain:
Spinach; Potatoes; Beets; Parsnips;
Onions; Kale; Tatsoi

And OUT of the bag:
Kabocha Squash

Localvore and Pantry Offerings Include:
Jasper Hill Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese
Vt Cranberry Company Cranberries
Jan's Farmhouse Crisps



Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:
Spinach; Potatoes; Beets; Kale

And OUT of the bag:
Kabocha Squash

Roots Cellar Share take a CLEAR BAG containing:
Potatoes; Beets; Kale

And OUT Of the bag:
Kabocha Squash

Delivery is one day early for everyone this week.

Wednesday sites will be delivered tomorrow, TUESDAY, and Thursday sites will be delivered on WEDNESDAY. 

Please do your best to pick up your shares so that there aren't  leftovers over the holiday.


Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hannukah!

Shares will be delivered tomorrow, TUESDAY, for all Wednesday sites and WEDNESDAY for all Thursday sites.  From all of us at the farm to all of you have a wonderful and safe holiday!  ~ Sara
                             


Storage and Use Tips

Kabocha squash is a very sweet winter squash, with a vibrant orange interior and a very rich, almost meaty texture.  I love turning mine into a soup or even into a mashed dish, similar to a butternut squash mash that is so often seen on holiday tables.

The potatoes this week are a nice mix.  They'll be wonderful mashed, roasted, or turned into latkes (see recipe below).

Gold beets have yellow skin and flesh.  They have a delicate flavor and their color doesn't run all over (like red beets) so they're a good choice for more decorous meals.  If roasting, you can package the beets up in different foil packages, tossed with oil and salt.  I like to cut my beets up into like-sized pieces and roast them in a 400F oven for about 50-60 minutes, until a knife easily slips in and out of a piece.  Skin them once they are cool enough to handle.  Store beets loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Contrary to appearances, parsnips are not pale versions of carrots. In fact, they have a nutty-sweet taste and a tender-hearty texture that is entirely distinct. For centuries, parsnips were a more common staple than the potato—and deservedly so. Satisfying, versatile, and highly nutritious, these delicious roots make a terrific base to any meal. Young parsnips don’t need to be peeled. Simply scrub them under running water with a vegetable brush. Peel larger parsnips, and cut out the core if it seems woody. However you slice or chop parsnips, be sure to make all the pieces relatively the same size, ensuring an evenly cooked dish. Refrigerate unwashed parsnips in a loosely wrapped or perforated plastic bag for up to two weeks. 

Green Kale - Kale is an incredibly hearty green, able to make it through harsh Vermont frosts, and even building flavor and sweetness in the cold.  Saute with a little lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, throw it into any soup, or blend it into a (very healthy) smoothie.

**Your kale will be inside your bag of spinach, or by itself for the roots cellar share members.**

Tatsoi is a big beautiful head from the tunnels.  Tatsoi has dark green spoon-shaped leaves which form a thick rosette. It has a soft creamy texture and has a subtle yet distinctive flavour.  It can be substituted for spinach in many recipes.  To store, wrap the leaves in a damp paper towel, and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

Veggie Storage and Use Tips are on our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section.  I am sure you will find it useful.


Localvore Lore

Yay!  Great cheese to share with guests over the holidays.  Jasper Hill Bayley Hazen Blue receives regular rave reviews like this one from Cynthia Zarin who described Bayley Hazen Blue for the New Yorker Magazine this way “It was tangy, sweet, creamy, velvet on the tongue, the most delicious blue cheese I’d ever tasted." Bayley Hazen Blue is named after a road running through the Northeast Kingdom. The road was built and named after two Revolutionary War generals Bayley and Hazen, who were stationed along the Canadian Front. Jasper Hill summarizes this delicious cheese as follows. "The paste of a Bayley Hazen is drier than most blues and the penicillium roqueforti takes a back seat to an array of flavors that hint at nuts and grasses and in the odd batch, licorice. Though drier and crumblier than most blues, its texture reminds one of chocolate and butter."  Enjoy, it's awesome.


Even though it's a native fruit of Vermont, it's actually not that easy to find local VT cranberries.  Bob Lesnikoski aka "Cranberry Bob" provides us with this week's Vermont grown cranberries, freshly packed at Vermont Cranberry Co.  With cranberries, size does matter so at VT Cran Co, the 30,000 pound harvest is meticulously sorted with only the biggest and best offered up locally for sale. These cranberries are meatier and pack more flavor than their southern Cape Cod counterparts. Bob's claim to fame is the "bounce". As he explains a bouncy cranberry is the best cranberry. With that said we hope you enjoy these bouncy berries over Thanksgiving. If you do not wish to use your berries for T-day you may store your berries in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks or in the freezer for longer term storage.  Cranberry sauce is super easy to make, see the recipe section for a how to.  Or follow Bob's recipe right on the box.

Check out this recent article written by Tracy Medeiros featuring Cranberry Bob.

We have another exciting item for this week - Jan's Farmhouse Crisps.  I picked these crackers up from Jan's commercial kitchen in Stowe and got to peek at how she makes these amazing crisps.  They're loaded with flax seed, pistachios, wheat, and honey and are baked together and cut wafer thin to create these savory little bites.  They are wonderful plain or paired with the Bayley Hazen blue cheese.  Below is a picture of Jan and her husband at the Martha Stewart American Made Market this past fall; this event featured design and food industry artisans from all over the country.  Jan was nominated for a prestigious award during the event and her crackers garnered much attention.   I hope you enjoy these crackers as much as we do!



Recipes


Cranberry Sauce
This is a tried and true, simple cranberry sauce recipe. I make this sauce every year or so and can lots of it so I can pull out a jar whenever needed. It will also freeze great and keeps in the fridge for a long time too. If you want to get a little more fancy add some apple pieces and raisins or spice it up with cloves, allspice and ginger.

3 cups cranberries
1.5 cups water
1 to 1.5 cups sugar

Boil sugar and water together 5 minutes; add cranberries and boil without stirring (5 minutes) until all skins pop open. Remove from heat when popping stops and allow the sauce to cool.


Cranberry Curd
If you're all set with your cranberry sauce this is an amazing way to use your cranberries.  I made this last year for my mother in law's birthday and paired it with gingerbread cake and fresh whipped cream.  It was to die for!  This would also make a lovely hostess gift.

1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until cranberries pop. Place cranberry mixture in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Strain cranberry mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl; discard solids.

Combine sugars and butter in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add egg yolks and egg, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in cranberry mixture, cornstarch, and salt. Place mixture in the top of a double boiler. Cook over simmering water until a thermometer registers 160° and mixture thickens (about 10 minutes), stirring frequently. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in liqueur. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 week.


Soy Braised Kabocha Squash

2 tbsp. canola oil
½" piece ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 scallions, minced, plus more for garnish
¼ cup chicken or vegetable stock
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. mirin
1 tbsp. sugar
½ medium kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1"x4" wedges

Heat oil in 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger, garlic and scallions, and cook until fragrant, about 1–2 minutes. Add stock, soy sauce, mirin and sugar; bring to a simmer. Add squash and cook, turning once, until softened, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until tender, turning once to evenly glaze, about 15 minutes more.



Marinated Beets
A little sugar softens the edge of the vinegar here and complements the natural sweetness of the beets. Keep these on hand for healthy snacks, or add to salads.

1 bunch beets
1/3 cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
Salt to taste
2 garlic cloves, cut in half
2 teaspoons sugar

Place the beets in a saucepan, cover with water, add 1/4 cup of the vinegar and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. Remove from the heat, add the garlic to the pot and set aside to cool.

Remove the beets from the pot (do not drain), slip off the skins and cut in wedges.

Combine the remaining vinegar and the sugar. When the sugar has dissolved in the vinegar, stir in 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid from the beets. Toss with the beets and the garlic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then remove the garlic from the marinade. Remove the beets from the marinade with a slotted spoon to serve.



Steamed Parnsips with Sweet Butter Sauce
Parsnips don't need a whole lot of fussing to be sweet and delicious.  Simply steamed and topped with just a touch of maple syrup or honey makes these parsnips amazingly good.

3 parsnips, sliced lengthwise into 1/2" thick strips
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Place the parsnips in a steamer basket set over 1 1/2 inches boiling water and cover.  Steam for 10-15 minutes depending on size.  Transfer to a serving bowl.

Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat.  Remove the pot from heat and stir in the maple syrup or honey.   Pour the butter mixture over the parnsips.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.



Mashed Kabocha squash with maple syrup
This recipe will be replacing my family's standard butternut squash mashed dish at Thanksgiving this year.

1 Kabocha squash, about 3 to 4 pounds, cubed and peeled
2 tablespoons butter
3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup, grade B if possible
salt and pepper, to taste


Cut squash in half; scoop out seeds. Cut Kabocha squash into 2-inch pieces; peel, rinse, and drain.

Steam the Kabocha squash, covered, over simmering water until tender, about 25 to 35 minutes. Drain squash and transfer to a large bowl. Add the butter and some of the maple syrup. Mash and taste. Add more maple syrup, if desired, and salt and pepper to taste.


Beet and Potato Latkes

1 large baking potato (3/4 pound)—peeled, julienned on a mandoline and patted dry
2 medium beets (1/2 pound)—peeled, julienned on a mandoline and patted dry
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
Sour cream, for serving

In a large bowl, toss the potato and beets with the flour, thyme, pepper and the 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the eggs and mix well.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil until shimmering. Spoon 1/2 cup of the beet mixture into the hot oil to make about 3 latkes; press lightly to flatten. Fry over moderate heat, turning once and adding 1 tablespoon of oil, until the latkes are golden and crisp on both sides, about 15 minutes. Repeat with the remaining beet mixture and 2 tablespoons of oil. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Serve with sour cream.
 


Speedy Apple-Beet Salad
This salad would be a great addition to any meal.

2 Honeycrisp apples, unpeeled, cored, and cut into thin wedges
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
2 medium golden beets, peeled and cut into wedges
1/4 small red onion, cut into two wedges
1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted
1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)

Thinly slice apple wedges in a food processor fitted with a slicing blade. Combine apples, lemon juice, and sugar in a large bowl; toss to coat. Slice beet and onion wedges in food processor fitted with a slicing blade; add beet mixture and parsley to apple mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir in oil and mustard; toss gently to coat. Arrange about 2/3 cup salad on each of 8 plates; top each serving with 1 tablespoon walnuts and about 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese.



Farmers Market Greens
This is a basic salad with a wonderful vinaigrette.

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 lb mixed baby greens such as kale, mizuna, tatsoi, mustard, arugula, and spinach (16 cups)

Whisk together vinegar, shallot, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Add greens and toss until coated well.

Greens can be washed and dried 1 day ahead and chilled in a sealed plastic bag lined with paper towels. Vinaigrette can be made 6 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before using.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - November 20, 2013


Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN BAG

This week your bag will contain:
Potatoes; Carrots; Garlic; Lettuce; Fennel; Radiccio; Cilantro; Sugar Beet Greens OR Red Kale

And OUT of the bag:
Butternut Squash

Localvore and Pantry Offerings Include:
Butterworks Farm Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Butternut Mountain Farms Maple Sugar
Champlain Orchards Cortland Apples



Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:
Carrots; Potatoes; Fennel; Lettuce; Sugar Beet Greens

And OUT of the bag:
Butternut Squash

Roots Cellar Share take a CLEAR BAG containing:
Potatoes; Fennel; Lettuce; Kale

And OUT Of the bag:
Butternut Squash
Thanksgiving week deliveries
Image of colorful Fall fruits and vegetables (Photo: Westmont.IL.gov)
 We're going to get your food to you early next week so that you can begin your Thanksgiving meal preparations. 

Sites that normally pick up on Wednesday will pick up on Tuesday, November 26.  Sites that normally pick up on Thursday will pick up on Wednesday, November 27. 

All sites are open normal hours on Wednesday and closed Thanksgiving Day, with the exception of the Jay Country Store (they will have limited hours though).  Please pick up your food on your delivery day so you can enjoy it over the holiday weekend.

Donate to Food Shelf for Holidays?
If you will be away over the holidays and can't pick up your share, consider donating it.  Your share can be transferred to the food shelf on any week and you will receive a thank you letter for your tax deductible gift. 
You can also skip a delivery week and retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.  If you need to make either of these adjustments to your delivery, please let me know via email.  Thanks! 


Around the Farm

This week we say goodbye to 3 of our crew members - Todd, Dan, and Katt.   Thanks for all of your hard work on the farm.  Good luck to all 3 of you!

                                    Todd                                                                                   Katt
                                                                                    Dan


Storage and Use Tips

Your butternut squash is great for mashing, soups, roasting and probably most loved because it is easy to peel and boil making it perfect for quick dinners with the kids.  It will also store well if you'd like to use it for your Thanksgiving dinner - just keep it in a cool place until you want to use it.

Nicola potatoes are golden skinned, golden fleshed potatoes that are truly all purpose. They are great for boiling, mashing or roasting and are plenty waxy enough to make excellent potato salad. Nicolas have a very special attribute among potatoes - they are low on the glycemic index compared to all other varieties. This means they don't cause the blood sugar spike that other varieties may cause, an issue that can wreak havoc with people with insulin resistance. They also have a yummy slightly nutty flavor, enjoy! Store in a cool, dark place to avoid sprouting.

The garlic for the large share members will be in your veggie bag.

Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet with the flavor of anise. It is delicious and slightly sweet served raw but is just as often served cooked on its own or in other dishes. Though most often associated with Italian cooking, it has an uncanny ability to blend with other flavors adding a light and fresh note. It is delightful in many dishes, and in soups and stews and sauces. Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged. The stalks are topped with feathery green leaves near which flowers grow and produce fennel seeds. The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. To prepare, trim off the fronds and stalks and reserve them for garnish or seasoning. Cut off the hard bottom and slice vertically or into quarters. Or cut the bulb in half lengthwise, cut out the core, and cut into strips. Add it raw to salads or try some thinly sliced fennel on your sandwich. Top thinly sliced fennel with plain yogurt and mint leaves. Or braise, roast or saute' it. It is done when tender enough to pierce easily with a skewer.

Large share members will get either sugar beet greens or red kale.  Half share members will receive sugar beet greens and root cellar share members will get red kale.  Sugar beet greens are a bunch of greens with no beets on the end.  They have a smooth, green leaf and are in the chard family, but even sweeter!  Use these greens just as you would chard.  Keep both the beet greens and kale loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer. Strip the leaves from the stems and wash them well before chopping and cooking.

A member of the Chicories family along with endive and escarole, radicchio resembles a small red lettuce. You can chop radicchio and add it to your salad for some color and added bite. It is also quite good brushed with olive oil before tossing on the grill. Try adding some to risotto. Keep unwashed radicchio in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer for up to a week.

A member of the carrot family and related to parsley, cilantro is the leaves and stems of the coriander plant (the seeds of the same plant are the spice known as coriander). Cilantro has a very pungent odor and is widely used in Mexican, Caribbean and Asian cooking. The leaves and stems can be chopped and added to salads, soups and sauces, and can garnish many meals. I toss cilantro into any Mexican dish I am making. If you can't use all your cilantro just yet and wish to save it for a future dish, you can freeze it. Wash and gently dry your cilantro with paper towels. Then either put sprigs loosely in a plastic bag and freeze them. Or lightly chop cilantro, measure by the tablespoon into ice trays, fill remaining space in ice tray with water, and then after cubes are frozen, store in a plastic bag. You can take one out and thaw anytime you need to use it.

Veggie Storage and Use Tips are on our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section.  I am sure you will find it useful.


Localvore Lore

This week's pastry flour comes from Butterworks Farm in Westfield, Vermont. You may know them well for their tasty yogurt and sinful heavy cream, but they are also producers of high quality flours, grains and dry beans. Pastry flour is a relatively low-protein flour that is often called for in making biscuits, cookies, pie crusts, and pastries. The protein content of any given type of flour determines how tender, strong, elastic, stretchy, or pliable the dough is that you make with it, and also the texture of the finished product. Because protein is about 80% gluten higher protein flours contain more gluten which is the active ingredient that when added to water makes the flour "stick" together. Cake flour is at the low end of the spectrum with 5-8% protein, it is much less elastic, and helps produce wonderfully tender cakes. Pastry flour is up only one notch, at 8-10% protein, and lets you create baked goods with a little more body and texture than cake flour, but still with the tenderness one associates with a well-made cookie, biscuit or pastry. All Purpose flour tends to have 9-12% protein while bread flour weighs in at around 12-13% protein, and helps produce wonderfully well-risen, chewy loaves of bread.  Pastry flour works great in pie crusts as well as muffins, waffles, pancakes, and any other baked good.  The germ contains oils that can go rancid, so please store this flour in a cool dry place. I often keep my whole wheat flour in my freezer if I know I won't use it up in a month or so.

Here's a little something special for Thanksgiving - maple sugar from Butternut Mountain Farm in Johnson. Maple sugar is produced simply by boiling all of the water out of the syrup and mixing it into a granulated state. Some cooking tips from Emma Marvin:

Maple sugar is highly versatile. I use it when making chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies in place of the brown sugar and some of the white. I use it on salmon sprinkling maple sugar, ground sea salt and pepper over the top just prior to cooking. It makes a great maple salad dressing! Mix approximately equal parts of olive oil, maple sugar and vinegar (cider or rice wine works well). I’m sure there are infinitely more ways to use maple sugar, but these are just a few of my favorites. We'd love to hear about any recipes you find yourselves using our maple sugar in!

Cortland apples.... another delicious variety of delicious apples from Champlain Orchards. This all purpose apple was developed by crossing a MacIntoch and the Ben Davis variety. It was bred at the NY State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY in 1898 and named after nearby Cortland County. Cortland apples are crimson red with a little bit of light green background showing. They are sweet and juicy with a hint of tartness. They are good for fresh eating, salads, sauce, pies and baking. The snow-white flesh is also a favorite for fruit plates and garnishes because it does not turn brown very quickly.



Recipes


Sesame Ginger Beet Greens
Here's a fun recipe for your beet greens or kale.

1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
4 cups loosely packed beet greens
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated gingerroot
1 pinch salt
1/2 tsp sesame oil

In small skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds until golden, about 3 minutes; set aside.

Trim stems from small young beet greens or remove centre rib from larger mature beet greens.

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add beet greens, garlic, ginger and salt.  Cover and steam until greens are wilted, about 3 minutes. Drizzle with sesame oil; sprinkle with reserved sesame seeds.



Pasta with Garlicky Red Kale
This is a quick and easy dinner, a great healthy last-minute option.  Add in some more veggies to bulk it up - carrots would be a great addition!  Feel free to use your red chard in this recipe.

1 pound pasta, whatever shape you like (but chunky ones will match up better with the kale)

1 pound red kale, stems removed, leaves cut into 1- to 2-inch sections
1/2 cup olive oil

5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno, more or less to taste

About 1 heaping teaspoon Kosher salt (or more to taste)
To serve: Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and five minutes before its cooking time is up, add the kale. It will seem like too much for the water, but with a stir or two, the rabe should wilt and cook alongside the pasta. Drain kale and pasta together and pour into serving bowl. In the same pot or a tiny one, heat the olive oil with the garlic, pepper or pepper flakes and Kosher salt over moderate heat, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the garlic becomes lightly golden. Pour mixture over pasta and toss to evenly coat. Shower with freshly grated cheese and eat at once.


Butternut Squash (or other Winter Squash!) and Radicchio Papardelle
In this healthy pasta dish sweet winter squash temper the bitter edge of the radicchio. Gourmet January 2009. Serves 4-6 as a main course.

1/2 stick unsalted butter (you can use 1/2 of this with good results)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (walnuts would be great too)
1 pound butternut or other orange winter squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 1/2 cups)
3/4 pound radicchio, cored and thinly sliced
1 (8-to 9-ounces) package pappardelle (preferably egg pasta), broken into large pieces
1/2 cup coarsely grated ricotta salata or Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 ounce)

Optional:
Substitute chicken broth for the 1 cup of cooking water below
Add 1/2 red onion sliced thin to the skillet at the same time as the radicchio.

Melt butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, then continue to cook until it is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add oil, then nuts, and cook, stirring, until nuts are golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate.

Add squash to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add radicchio and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until wilted and just tender, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pappardelle in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoon salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta. Add pasta to radicchio mixture with 1/2 cup cooking water and toss over low heat until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add more cooking water to moisten if necessary.  Serve topped with nuts and cheese.


Sauteed Radicchio with Honey and Balsamic Vinegar
Serve this simple side of sauteed radicchio with chicken, steak, or sausages.

2 heads radicchio, cored and torn into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey

Rinse radicchio (leave some water still clinging to leaves). In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add radicchio and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add vinegar and honey and stir to combine.


Cilantro and Potato soup
This is a delicious, satisfying soup. Like most soup recipes, there is lots of room for improvisation here with some options given below.

2 TB olive oil or butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped (or 2 leeks)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 quart chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
salt and pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
lime juice

Saute onion and garlic slowly until tender. Add the broth, potatoes. Cook til the potatoes are tender about half an hour. Add most of the cilantro leaving a few tablespoons for garnish. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree. Serve hot or cold, and garnish with the remaining fresh cilantro. Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice before serving.

Optional: add 1 diced, seeded jalapeno pepper along with the broth and potatoes. Add up to 1/4 cup of cream to soup just before serving. Add a couple chopped scallions to the soup after pureeing.


Carrot, Apple, and Fennel Slaw

1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 tbsp white-wine vinegar
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 tbsp freshly chopped tarragon, or 1 tsp dried
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 3-by-1/4-inch matchsticks
1 fennel bulb, cut into 3-by-1/4-inch matchsticks
1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges

Place the yogurt, white-wine vinegar, celery seeds, salt, and tarragon in a small bowl, and whisk to combine; set aside.

Place the carrot and fennel matchsticks and apple wedges in a medium bowl. Add the reserved yogurt dressing, and toss to combine. Serve.


 Warm Butternut and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing
If you have any leftovers of this it will store great in the fridge for a few days. 

For salad:
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

For tahini dressing:
1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F.  In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt. Toss the squash pieces until evenly coated. Roast them on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool.

Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini, and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and taste for seasoning. The sauce should have plenty of nutty tahini flavor, but also a little kick of lemon. You will probably need to add more water to thin it out.

To assemble the salad, combine the squash, chickpeas, onion, and cilantro or parsley in a mixing bowl. Either add the tahini dressing to taste, and toss carefully, or you could serve the salad with the dressing on the side. Serve immediately.

You could really add any grain to the salad to make it a bit heartier. We had wheat berries on hand which added a great chewy texture to the salad; quinoa or barley would also work great.



Mom’s Apple Cake
This recipe comes from the Smitten Kitchen blog.

6 apples
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups pastry flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar, sub in some maple sugar if desired
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely before running knife between cake and pan, and unmolding onto a platter.


Soft Brown Sugar and Maple Sugar Cookies
These cookies are to die for!  If you have a chance to pick up some maple and sea salt butter made by VT Creamery I would highly recommend it but they can of course be made with regular butter.

 2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter blended with Maple & Sea                     Salt, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup maple sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together both butters and sugars until light and fluffy, or several minutes.  Add vanilla and egg and mix to combine. Add flour mixture until combined.
 
Scoop dough onto the prepared sheet, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.
Bake about 12 minutes or until edges are lightly brown. Let cool on the sheet for several minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Pour maple sugar into a small bowl and dip the tops of each cookie the maple sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - November 13, 2013


Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN BAG

This week your bag will contain:
Braising Mix; Potatoes; Carrots; Shallots; Lettuce; Kohlrabi; Kale; Tatsoi; Parsley

And OUT of the bag:
Red Kabocha Squash

Localvore and Pantry Offerings Include:
Pete's Greens Pizza Dough
Pete's Greens Pizza Sauce
VT Creamery Chevre
Elmore Mountain Miller's Bread



Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:
Braising Mix; Potatoes; Kale; Lettuce; Parsley

And OUT of the bag:
Red Kabocha Squash

Roots Cellar Share take a CLEAR BAG containing:
all of the above half share items except for braising mix

Donating Your Share at Thanksgiving
If you are traveling and not able to use your share for upcoming holidays, consider donating it to those less fortunate who could use a little help.

Simply email us and we can send your share to the food shelf any week you choose.

After receiving last years' donations, Waterbury Food Shelf director sent a note of thanks:

"I would like to thank everyone who generously donated their CSAs to the Waterbury Area Food Shelf for Thanksgiving.   As you know, it is very expensive to try and feed your family healthy nutritious food and the CSA donations were so exciting for all our families at the food shelf.  Your kindness is definitely appreciated by all the individuals who visit the food shelf."

Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.



Storage and Use Tips

This week's braising mix is a mix of red frill mustard, baby tatsoi, baby pac choi, red nagoya kale, & spinach.  It looks great and is a one of a kind item that you may not ever see again.  Enjoy your braising mix lightly steamed or raw.  I find that it makes a wonderfully hearty salad base!

Red Kabocha Squash  - kabocha is a Japanese variety of winter squash.  It is one of the sweetest winter squash, with a vibrant deep orange interior, and a very rich, almost meaty texture.  The skin is edible making this squash ideal for stuffing.  This squash makes a really nice thick, creamy soup or is also wonderful in baked goods (see recipes below).

Purple viking potatoes are a strikingly beautiful potato, with deep purple skins dappled with pink splashes and stripes. Bright white and creamy-good, the flesh bakes or mashes perfectly but can be considered an all purpose potato too. It has a slightly sweet flavor and a buttery finish. I like to chop into 1/2" pieces with the skins on, drench in a little olive oil, salt and pepper throw in some leeks and dill if you like, roast in the oven at 375F or until soft and crusted on the outside and there you have it. The potatoes get their purple tint from the anthocyanins they contain, the same antioxidant found in blueberries.

Shallots are a member of the alium family being similar to both garlic and onions. They grow in cloves similar to garlic and have a sweet, mild flavor like a sweet or Spanish onion. They are well known for their ability to be caramelized or cooked down to where the sugars are reduced or concentrated. When eaten raw, they are much sweeter and milder than even sweet onions. You can slice them thin and saute them in recipes that benefit from a sweet, mild onion flavor. When minced, they are fantastic in homemade vinaigrette and pan sauces. Store them in a cool, dark place.

Panisse lettuce - refrigerate unwashed leaves in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer. Do not store lettuce with melons, apples, pears, or other ethylene gas-emitting fruits as they will cause the lettuce to turn brown.  Lettuce and many other leafy greens may wilt easily.  Often, they are just dried out which can occur even if the greens remain in constant refrigeration.  To refresh lettuce, submerge the wilted greens in cold water and keep in the refrigerator overnight.

The name Kohlrabi is derived from the German word for cabbage "kohl" and turnip "rabi".  It is the same species as cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Although each has been selected to appear and taste very different, they have all been derived from the same wild cabbage cultivar. The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to that of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter. The young stem in particular can be as crisp and juicy as an apple. Kohlrabi is eaten raw as well as cooked. The skin should always be peeled removing the tough external skin before using. 

Green kale is one of the most nutritious vegetables around.   It is very high in vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, copper, and manganese. It also contains high amounts of beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are all phytonutrients important for maintaining healthy vision. Indoles and sulforaphane are also found in kale, and are believed to have powerful anti-cancer properties.  After a thorough rinse, cut off the stems and the tough central veins from each leaf. For quick cutting, stack several leaves on top of one another, roll into a cigar shape, and cut crosswise into strips. Kale can be used raw in salads or it can be sauteed, steamed, boiled or microwaved.  Kale should be eaten as soon as possible or stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Tatsoi has dark green spoon-shaped leaves which form a thick rosette. It has a soft creamy texture and has a subtle yet distinctive flavour.  It can be substituted for spinach in many recipes.  To store, wrap the leaves in a damp paper towel, and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.  See picture below of Iris, the daughter of Melissa and Isaac who work on the farm, with this week's tatsoi.

Parsley stands up especially well in cold salads, with its bright green color and more rigid demeanor. Try adding parsley stems to your simmering stock, both to impart flavor and help clarify the broth.  You can add parsley to everything- soups, chili, eggs, smoothies.  A nice way to store, is to place the parsley bunch stems in a glass of water, like flowers in a vase, and then cover loosely with a plastic bag and keep in the fridge.  If this is too finicky, just store loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in crisper drawer.


Veggie Storage and Use Tips are on our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section.  I am sure you will find it useful.


Localvore Lore

It's a pizza week!

We make the pizza dough at the farm and then freeze it for delivery.  Our pizza dough is made with Aurora Farm's organic unbleached VT white flour, Gleason Grain Snake Mountain Sifted whole wheat flour, local Sunflower Oil, sea salt and yeast. Use within four to five hours of thawing (ready to go the night you pick up share or store in freezer for later use). Coat a smooth surface with flour and cornmeal (just flour is ok) so that the dough does not stick to the surface. Form dough into ball and flatten with heels of palms. Stretch dough with hands or use a rolling pin to form shape of baking pan (I use a cookie sheet so I form it into a square). Once dough is slightly stretched on surface you can stretch dough in the air with hands by making two fists held together with dough on top. Move each hand up, down and out turning the dough clockwise. Each dough can be stretched to a 16" round, for thicker crust make smaller. If you like light fluffy crust I put my baking sheet on the top of my oven while preheating and let rise. Otherwise set aside in neutral area till oven is ready at 425F. Cook 12-14 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese bubbles.

We also made Pizza Sauce to go along with the share using our organic tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, salt, sugar, oregano, thyme, basil, & black pepper.  It's coming to you frozen for easy delivery.  You can defrost and put on your pizza right away or freeze it for later use.  You can of course use this on pasta too.

I'm  happy to have another VT Creamery product in this week's share.  Their chevre is made with fresh goats’ milk from family farms that is naturally coagulated overnight, drained and then shaped into logs.  This cheese is distinguished by a simple, mild, fresh goats’ milk favor and is highly versatile as an ingredient or as part of a cheeseboard.  This chevre is amazing crumbled into salads, steamed veggies, or on a pizza.  You can mix it into quiche, omelets, or souffles or stuffed into chicken breast or peppers.

Here's an interesting fact about VT Creamery - they pay farmers among the highest price in the country for goats’ milk. Farmers receive a premium to produce high protein and low bacteria milk, the two most important components for cheese making, all year long.

Cute Goat

We have Elmore Mountain Bread for you this week.  Here's what Andrew, one of the owners, had to say about this week's bread:

Today we baked a Miller's Bread, which is naturally leavened and made entirely with fresh stone ground wheat.  Our process of stone milling slowly grinds the entire wheat berry without excess heat in order to retain all of the nutritional value found in the bran and germ. We sift the coarse bran our of the whole wheat flour to make a slightly lighter bread while the wheat germ remains distributed throughout the flour lending its flavor and nutrients.


Recipes


Kabocha Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
I love dessert recipes featuring vegetables!  Most people never know they're eating something that's healthier for them than a traditional recipe.  You can make the squash puree up to 2 days ahead of time and freeze any leftovers up to 6 months.

For the cupcakes:

    1 kabocha squash, about 2 lb.
    1/4 cup water
    1/2 cup canola oil
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2 eggs
    1 Tbs. vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. ground cloves
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 cup low-fat milk
    
For the frosting:

    8 oz. Neufchâtel cheese, at room temperature
    1 cup confectioners’ sugar
    2 tsp. vanilla extract
    1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

To make the cupcakes, cut the squash in half crosswise and place, cut side down, in a baking pan with the water. Bake until very soft when pressed, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool, then scoop out and discard the seeds. Scrape the flesh from the peel into a bowl. Mash with a fork or puree until smooth; measure out 1 cup.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla and the 1 cup squash puree until smooth. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the squash mixture, followed by the milk, until well blended.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each one about two-thirds full. Bake until a tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the frosting, in a bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cheese, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth. Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and serve immediately, or refrigerate the frosted cupcakes for up to 1 day. Makes 12 cupcakes.


Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup
This soup is a beautiful golden yellowy-orange color. It is thick, smooth, buttery, cream, rich, and a bit sweet and savory all at the same time.  And it's very easy to make!

1 medium to large size kabocha squash
1 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil, separated
2 small, or 1 large, yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 14-oz. can coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)
2 cups chicken stock (can use whatever kind of stock you prefer)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut kabocha in half, scoop out seeds and stringy insides, then prick flesh with a fork. Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil on flesh and set halves face down in baking sheet in approximately 1/2 inch of water. Bake for about 45 minutes until flesh is soft.

While kabocha is baking, caramelize onions in 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil.  After kabocha is finished cooking, scoop flesh out of skin.  In a food processor, add kabocha, onions, coconut milk, stock, salt, and pepper and process until smooth. Serve.

*I suggest adding half of the coconut milk and half of the stock and then tasting it. Depending on your tastes, you may want to add all of the coconut milk, or you may want to add more stock. Also, if the soup is too thick, add additional stock until it reaches the consistency you desire.


Lettuce Soup
You could include your braising mix in this soup or even your tatsoi. 

1 cup chopped onions, scallions, and/or shallots
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup diced (1/3 inch) peeled potato
8 cups coarsely chopped lettuce leaves including ribs (3/4 lb)
3 cups water

Cook onion mixture and garlic in 2 tablespoons butter in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add coriander, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in potato, lettuce, and water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until potato is very tender, about 10 minutes.

Purée soup in batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) and transfer to a 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Bring soup to a simmer, then whisk in remaining tablespoon butter and salt and pepper to taste.


Caramelized Shallots
What to do with all the shallots besides tossing them into a stir fry?  Make these caramelized shallots!  This recipe, from the Smitten Kitchen, is a great way to maximize the sweetness of the shallots.

6 tbs unsalted butter
2 pounds fresh shallots, peeled, with roots intact
3 tbs sugar
3 tbs good red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbs chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Melt the butter in a 12" oven-proof saute pan, add the shallots and sugar, and toss to coat.  Cook over medium heat for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shallots start to brown.  Add the vinegar, salt and pepper and toss well.

Place the saute pan in the oven and roast for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the shallots, until they are tender.  Season, to taste, sprinkle with parsley, and serve hot.


Butter Braised Kohlrabi
Cooking the kohlrabi brings out it's natural sweetness. 

1/2 lb kohlrabi, trimmed but unpeeled and cut into 1″ cubes
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Put kohlrabi, chicken stock, 1 Tbsp. butter, and thyme into a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper and cover with a parchment-paper circle cut to fit inside rim of skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until kohlrabi is tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover, remove pan from heat, and add the remaining butter, swirling skillet until butter melts. Serve warm.


Spicy Sauteed Kale with Lemon
Probably the easiest way to prepare your kale, this is a very nutritious, warm side dish.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Thai or jalapeno chile, thinly sliced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed and slices quartered
1 tablespoon honey
1 handful kale, tough stems and ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
Coarse salt

In a large skillet, heat oil, chile, and scallion over medium-high heat. Add lemon and honey and cook, stirring, until lemon begins to break down, about 2 minutes. Add kale and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Add leeks, season with salt, and cook 1 minute. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Caramelized Onion, Kale, and Chevre Pizza
Here's a basic pizza recipe that is easy and tastes amazing!

1 onion, sliced
several cloves of garlic
1 shallot if you have it, minced
around 10-12 leaves of kale stripped from stalk and chopped into ribbons
1/2 log Chevre (4 oz)
oregano
crushed red pepper

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Stretch your pizza dough with well floured hands and place on baking sheet, let rest.

Heat a skillet, and add olive oil to coat.  Add the onion and cover and simmer first on medium for around 5 minutes.  Add youur shallots (if using) and garlic and saute a bit more til these soften but don't brown, and then remove to a plate.

In same skillet, toss in a bit more oil, some water, and the chopped kale and saute the kale til it softens.  Steam will help achieve this and might take 5 mins.  Then turn off.

Build pizza.  Start with a smear of olive oil on the crust.  Crumble the chevre between fingers and spread over crust.  Then the kale. Next give your pizza a good sprinkling of oregano, crushed red pepper, and a bit of salt.

Bake for 10-15 mins until bottom is nicely baked and top comes together.  Remove to a rack, slice  and enjoy.


Walnut Parsley Pesto
Think pesto is just a summer staple made with basil?  Try this version which is just as green, garlicky, cheesy and nutty.  It's great on pasta, with meats, or as a sandwich spread.  It would also be awesome spread on a pizza!

1 cup shelled walnuts, about 3 1/2 ounces
2 cups chopped parsley, about 1 bunch
1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil

Put the walnuts, parsley, cheese, garlic, and salt in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pulse again. Drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running just long enough to incorporate the oil, about 20-30 seconds.

Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to store. Will last several days chilled.