The seasonal change is evident in this week's share! The greenhouses will soon be turned over to the fall crops so we're bringing in all the hot weather crops like eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes. At the same time, fall has begun in earnest with crisp turnips, radishes spicy from the cold, and winter squash cured in sunny greenhouses where the space is clear of fall starts that were just moved out and planted in the tunnels. I love the transitions! ~Annie
Storage and Use Tips
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 week tomatoes for the large share members will be a mix of heirlooms and green tomatoes. This will be the last of the tomatoes for this share. The green tomatoes are of course red tomatoes that haven't changed color yet. Green tomatoes are great to make chutneys and relishes out of or fried green tomatoes (recipe below). You can also ripen them yourself if you don't like green tomatoes. Store them in a box or in plastic bags with a few holes for air circulation. If you have a cool, moderately humid room, simply place them on a shelf, just keep them out of direct sunlight. They may be stored in the dark. As tomatoes ripen, they naturally release ethylene gas, which stimulates ripening. To slow ripening, sort out ripened fruits from green tomatoes each week. To speed up ripening, place green or partially ripe fruits in a bag or box with a ripe tomato.
You could also get an heirloom tomato that's green (like a Green Zebra) so it's important to know the difference. A true green tomato is hard. A green heirloom tomato has more color variation often green yellow striped or shaded in different areas and will feel like a ripe tomato!
**All members will get either sweet salad turnips OR radishes.**
Sweet salad turnips can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw they have a texture similar to a radish, but are not so sharp. You can slice, dice, or quarter them and saute with butter or oil. Cook until just tender and still a little crisp. Just a little salt or maybe a little bit of vinegar is all they need. Or cook them with butter and drizzle of honey or maple syrup and even picky kids may gobble them up. I like to slice and eat them raw on a salad.
French breakfast radishes are delightfully crisp and their flavor ranges from mildly peppery to a bit sweet. Toss them into a salad. Sliced thin they make a delightful salad on their own with a drizzle of olive oil, some fresh squeezed lemon juice, and salt. Or try glazed radishes made by placing a 2:2:1 ratio of butter, sugar, white vinegar in a pan and gently cooking until diced or quartered radishes are tender and the liquid evaporates. Season with salt and pepper.
Pac choi has a mild flavor. The leaves taste similar to Swiss chard and the stems (called ribs) are deliciously crispy and can be substituted for celery in recipes. Pac Choi is mild enough to be chopped up for a salad, particularly if you give it a quick wilt in a hot pan. It's also great in stir-fries. Store pac choi loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
This is the last of this year's eggplant as well as the peppers. You won't get a ton of either one but we wanted to share the last of the season's harvest with you. Both of these ingredients would be wonderful made into ratatouille (recipe below).
Also known as Chinese cabbage, the flavor of napa cabbage is somewhat milder and a bit sweeter than that of regular green cabbage. It is delicious raw or cooked, and can be substituted for regular cabbage in most recipes. A head of Napa Cabbage in the fridge lends itself to a wide variety of meal options, from salads and slaws, to sandwich greens, stir fries, soup additions, and more. Nearly all of the head can be used, just not the tough center core. If your Napa sits a while in the fridge and some leaves are limp, you can refresh it with a good soak in cold water. Napa cabbage should be stored unwashed in your crisper drawer, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag.
Leeks are a relative of the onion. They look like large scallions, and have a more subtle, mild flavor than our yellow onions. They are often used in soups but they can be served as a dish on their own or sliced raw into salads. Store leeks dry and loosely wrapped in plastic in the refridgerator, but use them within a week or so. These are very large so you may only get 1 leek in your share.
Parsley - many claim that flat-leaf parsley has more flavor than curly, but I have found them to be mostly interchangeable in recipes. Both types are going out this weeek - flat and curly. Curly 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. 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.
We need enough members at each site to keep your neighborhood site viable and we can use all the help we can get. If you are able to post something to your front porch forum or other neighborhood email group, let me know and I'll send you a little blurb that you can use or edit.
Or if you have a great place to hang a poster or work in an office and would like to hand out some brochures to your colleagues, please email me!
Sign up now to secure your Fall/Winter Share!
Fall / Winter Good Eats Share
* October 16th - Feb 12th *
If you haven't signed up for your Fall/Winter share yet but plan to, please do! It's so helpful to us to be able to plan our delivery route in advance and we can only do that if we know we have enough people signed up at each site.
Lots of info available on the Fall Share page of the website.
Localvore Share - a great mix of organic vegetables and high quality locally produced staples like cheeses, eggs, flours, grains, cooking oils and more. $46/week.
Veggie Only Share - a diverse mix of vegetables all year long. Great for households of 2-4 people. $29/week.
Half Veggie Only Share - a smaller selection of weekly vegetables designed for households of 1-2 people. This share size will be limited this season so sign up soon. Just $22/week.
Half Veggie and Pantry Share - this is a smaller Localvore share with a half sized bag of weekly vegetables plus the same pantry items as a Localvore or pantry share. $39/week.
Pete's Pantry Share - NO vegetables. A weekly delivery of high quality locally produced staples like cheeses, eggs, flours, grains, cooking oils and more. $18/week.
Meat Share - a MONTHLY selection of locally and consciously raised meats. You can expect Pete's Greens pastured chicken with beef, lamb, sausages, duck and possibly trout from producers we know and love. $200 for four $50 monthly deliveries
Please shop or dine to support this worthy NOFA program!
This week we'll leave Share the Harvest flyers at your CSA sites.
Next Thursday, October 3, is the 19th annual Share the Harvest event presented by NOFA. Share the Harvest raises funds for NOFA Vermont's Farm Share Program which assists limited-income Vermonters in obtaining farm fresh fruits and vegetables from their local CSA Farms. This program allowed us to support 13 families this summer with a CSA!
On Thursday, October 3, eat out at a participating restaurant or purchase products from a participating store or restaurant and up to 15% of that day's sales will be donated to the NOFA Farm Share Program! If you can't get out next Thursday you can also mail in a donation (coupon on flyer).
Click here for the full list of participating resaurants, here's just a short list:
City Market - Burlington
Hen of the Wood - Waterbury
Juniper - Burlington
The Skinny Pancake - Burlington and Montpelier
Sweet Clover Market - Essex Junction
Buffalo Mountain Food Co-Op - Hardwick
Claire's Restaurant - Hardwick
St Johnsbury Food Co-Op - St Johnsbury
Harvest Market - Stowe
Laughing Moon Chocolates - Stowe
Natural Provisions Market - Williston
Preserving the Harvest
There's been a renewed interest in canning, jamming, smoking, pickling, and fermenting in recent years. Sur la Table conducted a consumer survey to find out how people are making food preservation a part of their daily lives. Here are some of their findings that I found interesting. By the way I made the Pickled Chard Stems from the newsletter a few weeks ago and they turned out really good!
More than 1/3 of people now regularly purchase food from a local farmer or farmer's market year round (I wonder how many people participate in a CSA?)
69% of respondents in the survey say they preserve foods so that they can enjoy home-grown food all year long
56% preserve to enjoy the flavors preserving brings out
36% preserve because it's part of a growing sustainable foods trend
Men & women have differing preferences when it comes to the food they choose to preserve as well as the techniques they use
Men are more interested in smoking, fermenting, pickling & curing while women have a stronger interest in canning and jamming.
Food preservation isn't just for your grandparents anymore
32% of people ages 18-34 are more likely to try techniques like canning, smoking, pickling, fermenting and curing versus consumers aged 65+.
66% of people ages 18-34 preserve because they want to enjoy home-grown foods all year round versus consumers aged 65+ primarily do it because they enjoy the flavors of preserved foods.
Do you preserve your harvests? What techniques do you like to do? Any favorite recipes or websites that you refer to often? Let me know - I would love to hear from you!
Here's what I would do with the localvore share this week. Slice the tempeh and pan fry until warm. Slice some cheese and melt it on top of the tempeh. Toast a few slices of bread, add the tempeh and cheese, and top with pickles, tomatoes, and mesclun. That's a great sandwich right there!
This week's bread is a Country French Bread made by Elmore Mountain. It is made with Milanaise White Flour, Milanaise Whole Wheat Flour and Rye, sea salt and sourdough. This is most likely the last time we'll send out bread this share period so I hope you enjoy it!
Rhapsody Natural Foods' Teriyaki Tempeh is made right down the road from us in Cabot. Their farm and production facility is located on a beautiful hill over the small town of Cabot. They are a small family run operation that prides themselves on making geniunely traditional Japanese foods. Besides the tempeh, they make other traditional Japanese products - miso, amazake (a fermented rice drink), rice milk, koji (a starter culture for tempeh, amazake, sake and rice vinegar), rice bran, and vegan eggrolls. They also grow Hayayuki Rice, a cold weather, short season variety from Hokkaido, Japan.
This tempeh comes to you ready to eat - if you're hungry when you pick up you can eat it on your way home! Otherwise throw it in a frying pan to heat up for a few minutes. It's wonderful cubed in salads, sliced in a sandwich, great in stir fries, or mashed in sauces or
Picture at left is soybeans packaged and ready to cook; at right Sjon prepping the finished tempeh.
Landaff Cheese is a mild, semi-firm cheese with a delicious combination of flavors made at the Landaff Creamery in Landaff, NH. Its complexity balances a bright buttermilk tang and savory brown butter notes. The buttery texture comes with a natural, cave-aged rind. It melts beautifully for cooking, and makes a wonderful addition to any cheese plate. Remove cheese from the refrigerator about an hour before you plan to eat it. This will allow the full flavors to be enjoyed. Keep your cheese surfaces protected so they won't dry out. If mold does develop, just trim it off. The natural cave-aged rind is safe to eat.
We made the Zesty Dill Freezer Pickles a few weeks ago at the farm. These pickles are super crunchy and are great eaten right out of the container or added to a sandwich.We are sending them out frozen so you may need to thaw a bit more in order to enjoy or you can put right back in the freezer for a later date (use within 6 months). Once open keep refrigerated and eat within 3 weeks.
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.
Roasted Kabocha Squash with Cumin Salt
This salt would be great on any meats or fish.
1 teaspoon cumin seeds,toasted 1 minute in a dry skillet
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton) or regular paprika
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 kabocha squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), partially peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
Heat oven to 375°F. Combine cumin seeds with bay leaf and paprika in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder and process briefly. Add sugar and salt and process to combine. Set aside. Toss squash with oil, then cumin mixture. Spread on 2 baking sheets and roast until tender, about 25 minutes.
Fried Green Tomatoes Adapted from a recipe in Southern Living. Serves 4 - 6.
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 medium-size green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch slices
Salt to taste
Combine egg and buttermilk; set aside. Combine 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl or pan. Dredge tomato slices in remaining 1/4 cup flour; dip in egg mixture, and dredge in cornmeal mixture.
Pour oil to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch in a large cast-iron skillet; heat to 375°. Drop tomatoes, in batches, into hot oil, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels or a rack. Sprinkle hot tomatoes with salt.
Stir Fried Turnips with Greens From Jack Bishop's A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen. This is a simple and tasty way to use your turnips and greens.
3/4 cup orange juice
2 TB soy sauce
3 medium scallions
4 med garlic cloves
1 TB minced ginger
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 TB plus 1 tsp peanut oil
1.5 lbs Salad Turnips cut into 3/4" wedges or chunks
5 cups packed, stemmed Pac Choi
Combine orange juice and soy in measuring cup. Place scallions, garlic ginger, red pepper flakes in small bowl. Heat 1 TB oil in large skillet over med high heat until shimmering. Add turnips and stir fry until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Push turnips to edges of pan, spread garlic mixture in center of pan. Drizzle remaining 1 tsp oil over mixture and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir to combine with turnips. Add orange juice mixture to pan, cover and cook, until turnips are creamy and tender and liquid has reduced to a few tablespoons (2-3 minutes). Add greens, cover and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. (If the contents of the pan are too soupy, simmer with the cover off to reduce the liquid to a sauce consistency.). Serve immediately.
Oven Ratatouille You have almost all of the makings for ratatouille this week. The recipe is forgiving so use the amount of ingredients that you have. This recipe looks long. But really, it's just a lot of instruction about properly roasting the various vegetables in this dish. The roasting sweetens and concentrates the flavors of them all. This is a very healthy, very tasty dish. From Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without.
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large globe eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into ¾-inch cubes (peeling unnecessary if the skin is tight and smooth)
2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (or 1 smallish heirloom or beefsteak)
6 medium-sized garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 large bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 medium zucchini (7 to 8 inches long), cut into 1-inch cubes
1½ teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano
½ teaspoon each crumbled dried thyme and rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Optional: Small amounts of fresh herbs (basil, marjoram or oregano, rosemary, thyme, and/or parsley) Pitted chopped olives
Arrange an oven rack in the topmost position, and another in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 1 small and 2 large baking trays with foil, and coat the foil generously with the olive oil.
Place the eggplant on one of the large trays, and toss to coat with oil. Then push it to one side, keeping it in a single layer. Arrange the tomatoes on the other half of the tray, rolling them around so they get coated with oil. Wrap the garlic cloves (still in their skins) and a half teaspoon of water tightly in a piece of foil, and place this on the corner of the same tray.
Place the whole bell peppers on the small tray.
Spread the onions and the zucchini pieces on opposite ends of the remaining large tray, and toss to coat with the oil.
Place the eggplant tray on the middle shelf of the oven, and put the small sheet with the peppers on the upper rack. After 10 minutes, use tongs to turn everything over. Repeat this turning process after another 10 minutes or so. Gently squeeze the garlic to see if it is soft. If it is, remove it from the oven; if not, continue roasting.
Place the onion-zucchini tray on the middle shelf next to the one with the eggplant, and continue roasting all for another 10 minutes. Turn the peppers and tomatoes one more time, and toss the eggplant, onions, and zucchini to help them brown evenly. Sprinkle the eggplant, onions, and zucchini evenly with the dried herbs. Once again, squeeze the garlic to see if it is soft. If so, remove it from the oven; if not, continue roasting. Roast a final 10 minutes, or until the vegetables become deep golden brown and very tender.
Transfer the eggplant, onion, and zucchini to a large bowl. Let the peppers, tomatoes, and garlic sit for a few minutes, or until comfortable to handle. Peel the peppers, then chop the tomatoes and peeled peppers roughly into 1-inch pieces and add to the eggplant mixture. Slip the roasted garlic cloves from their skins, mash with a fork, and add to the eggplant mixture.
Toss until well combined. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled – plain or topped with a sprinkling of freshly chopped herbs and/or olives.
Separate the pac choi leaves and cut off the chunky stalks. Slice the stalks finely. Roughly chop the leaves.
Heat the sunflower oil in a wok or saute pan. Add the garlic, peppers and ginger. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the pac choi stalks. Toss well. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pac choi leaves. Stir and then cook for 1 minute, until they are barely wilted. Add soy/tamari and sesame oil and toss.
Scalloped Potatoes with Leeks
This recipe just screams fall to me.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
1 large leek, trimmed, thinly sliced, and rinsed well (about 1 cup)
6 russet potatoes (2 1/2 pounds), peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12-cup baking dish. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
Arrange 1/3 of the potatoes in dish, slightly overlapping slices. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the salt, 1/2 of the nutmeg, and pepper, followed by 1/2 of the leeks and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat. Top with remaining potatoes in a spiral. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Combine cream and stock. Pour over cheese and potatoes. Cover with parchment and foil. (Mixture can be refrigerated overnight.)
Bake for 30 minutes. Increase temperature to 425 degrees, uncover, and cook until top is golden brown and potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. Let rest for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
Grilled Napa Cabbage with Chinese Mustard Glaze
Feel free to reduce the amount of mustard if you don't like things too spicy. If you don't have scallions feel free to leave out.
3 tablespoons hot Chinese mustard
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon finely grated garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 small heads napa cabbage (about 2 pounds total)
1 large bunch scallions, roots trimmed (if scallions are thick, cut them in half lengthwise)
Heat grill to high. Mix together mustard, agave nectar, 1 teaspoon oil, the garlic, and basil. Cut cabbage lengthwise into quarters, leaving core intact. Brush cabbage and scallions with remaining 2 teaspoons oil.
Grill cabbage, flat side down, 3 minutes. Flip, and continue to grill until charred. Remove from grill. Add scallions to grill, and cook until partially charred, flipping halfway through cooking, about 2 minutes total.
Brush cabbage and scallions on all sides with mustard glaze. Cut scallions lengthwise into thirds. Arrange cabbage on a platter, and top with scallions.