Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 21 at Denison Farm CSA

Greetings, fellow Community of Supported Agriculturists! This week in your CSA you will be receiving:

Daikon Radish
Bunch Turnips
Bag of Beets & Carrots
Winter Squash
Sweet Potatoes

Step 1: Triage

Short Life: Lettuce, Turnip Greens, Spinach
Medium Life: Daikon Radish, Turnips (depending on storage)
Long Life: Garlic, Onions, Beets & Carrots, Winter Squash, Sweet Potatoes

For best storage of Daikon, remove their tops and store in a sealed plastic bag. Stored this way, they should keep for up to 2 weeks. Their taste will be slightly milder than a red radish and they are delicious sliced thinly into salad. Alternatively, the daikons can be combined with your turnips, garlic and onions into this delicious soup:

Turnip Soup with Daikon
Adapted from Healthaliciousness.com

2 medium turnips and their greens
1 daikon
1 onion
2 T olive oil
5 garlic
1 tomato
3 chili peppers (optional)
juice of one lemon
red pepper or chili flakes (optional)

1. Soak turnip greens, ensuring they are well washed. Gather all ingredients.

2. Dice onion and garlic. Add olive oil to a medium large stock pot and set to medium high. Add onions and garlic to saute, stirring occasionally.

3. Chop turnips and daikon. Add to pot and stir.

4. Add to turnip greens, giving them a tear or two with your hands. Don't worry if they overfill the pot - they will shrink down thoroughly as they cook.

5. Chop and add the tomato, and chopped chilies if desired. Let the soup come to a boil and barely cook for 5-10 minutes. Make sure the vegetables maintain their texture - don't boil too long!

6. Garnish soup with lemon juice. Sprinkle chili/red pepper flakes on top if desired.

Step 2: Divide and Conquer

As previously stated, all greens should be separated from their roots for best storage. For the most part, they can all be sauteed with olive oil and some of that delicious garlic we're getting this week. When cooking the spinach and other greens, be aware of the thickness of the stems and remove if necessary. 

For winter squash and sweet potatoes (and beets for that matter), I find that the best flavor comes through when they are not divided from the skins, but rather roasted with minimal prep. For winter squash, halve and scoop out the seeds. Place face down on a greased pan. Allow to bake at 375 for 45 minutes until able to be pierced with a fork. The perfect tool for removing the flesh is, as pictured above, an ice cream scoop.

Step 3: Everything in it's Place

One of my all time favorite soups involves a mountain of garlic with a mountain of squash or other winter vegetables. The original recipe calls for pumpkin, but a combination of squash and sweet potato would be delicious:

Roasted Garlic and Sage Winter Squash Soup
A Noshing Confessions original

3 or 4 heads of garlic
2 T olive oil
2-3 T fresh sage, chopped
1 T brown sugar
1 large onion
2 ribs celery, diced
3-4 cups fresh pumpkin, sweet potato or squash, peeled and 1 inch cubed
Salt and Pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground corriander
2 T honey
6 cups broth or stock (chicken or vegetable)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the outer wrappings from the heads of garlic. Slice off the top of each head, so that the cloves are exposed. Place garlic on aluminum foil. Drizzle olive oil over each. Tear several sage leafs over each and press the brown sugar into and onto the exposed cloves. Wrap the garlic mixture completely in the aluminum foil and allow to roast for 30-35 minutes.

2. Meanwhile prep celery, onions and chosen squash. Heat olive oil in a medium-large stock pot over medium heat. Saute onions, celery and pumpkin with a sprinkle of salt until onions begin to caramelize and squash begins to soften.

3. Add roasted garlic to pot alone with it's cooking oil. Add coriander, cumin, honey and remaining sage. Stir until fragrant. Add 1 cup of stock to deglaze the pan, scraping up any yummy bits. 

4. Add remaining stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.

5. Puree or smash thoroughly using a stick blender or a potato masher. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with hearty bread and sauteed greens or  a squeeze of lime juice, a dab of sour cream, with tortillas and black beans and rice on the side.

Step 4: Storage

Nearly all vegetables from this week will store for the long term if kept cool, dry and out of the light. It is how we know that it is fall and the winter is coming. 

Speaking of winter, we have enjoyed our winter boxes each time we have received them from Denison Farm - especially turning the purple potatoes into purple latkes come Chanukah. I highly recommend considering the boxes for your household.

Until next time,
Leah the Nosher

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sukkahs and Week 17 2013

In the warmth of my Sukkah, we sit and read through my daughter's homework. The light filters through it's blue walls, the sun sends shafts of light through the bamboo sukkah.

In the cool of my sukkah, we laugh over an afternoon snack. We tell tales of the day and listen to the girls swing in the yard, back and forth.

In the shelter of my sukkah, I welcome this New Year. We begin it by building a home, symbolic of all the homes that have been built before. I watch the harvest moon rise and my heart overflows with music.

In our sukkah, we put down roots for the new beginning, knowing how temporary and fragile they might be, caught up in a gust of wind, a shower of rain. But we begin again. We build again. Each year, we return and our sukkah waits for our voices, for the full table, for the full moon to rise over the shelter and three stars to appear. A new day. A new year. A return to beginning again.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Warm Cabbage Slaw and Week 16 2013

Two small heads of red cabbage landed in our share last week. Last night, accompanied by Bratwurst and crisp apples from the fruit share, they were turned into slaw. It was dead easy, tender crisp and sweet, and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Turkey Chili and Week 12 2013

I needed to empty out my fridge. There were peppers and corn and onions and there are more on the way. My protein that needed using was ground turkey. And what's a good Italian-Jewish household without tomatoes in the pantry, let alone two cans of Goya black beans? Hence, dinner has been born.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Corn Salsa Salad and Week 11 2013

I'm going to tell you about a way to take 5 ingredients from your local CSA or farmer's market, the juice of one lemon, salt and olive oil, and turn it into fresh goodness. It is incredibly simple, incredibly good and is served as a side salad or piled high in a burrito. My husband reinvented Corn Salsa in to a Salad last night. In case there was any question, I am officially a very lucky woman.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Have Pickled Tomatoes: Will Travel and Week 10 2013

I've been traveling for a week. The food ranged from Sodexo college catering to bowling alley onion strips, from a plethora of veggie pizza to pina coladas from a bat mitzvah Tiki bar, a brief pause at the Olive Garden, and then it all culminated with pickled green tomatoes and grilled sausage.

In the meanwhile, I sang my album on stage for the first time, met with my editor over at URJ Press, made a duct tape tallit, presented on Intermarriage and on Israel and the need to openly talk about both, put over 500 miles on the car back and forth between Massachusetts, Home, and Western New York, had an aliyah at a beautiful bat mitzvah, visited with family, danced the hora with my girls, and spent an afternoon outside watching the sky go by while while the kiddos played and the grill heated up.