Friday, October 4, 2013

BPF CSA Week 18: Falling for Brassicas

Foods in the Brassicaceae, or cabbage, family  are fall staples-- hearty turnips and radishes, sweet crunchy cabbage, tender and versatile broccoli, weirdly delicious kohlrabi, among others, form the centers of many meals this time of year.  Brassicas also contain sulfur compounds that have been linked to cancer prevention-- as if delicious and beautiful weren't enough! This week delivers a barrage of brassicas, among other fall goodness.  Bon appetit!
***Remember: Fall Harvest Party and Potluck Sun. Oct. 13. Harvest: 2-5 pm. Potluck: 5:30-8 pm***

In Your Share This Week:

Broccoli-- beautiful fall broccoli!  We planted three different varieties with the intention of harvesting over 3-4 weeks, but guess what- they're ALL coming on all at once, so lots of broccoli this week!  Possibly one more week of broccoli, but it depends on weather (whether they hold in the field or need to come out yesterday)
Cabbage- red or green-- a great storage item-- these cabbages are fresh and delicious, but if you need to prioritize your veggies so you make sure to use them all with minimal waste, keep in mind that cabbage is an excellent keeper. Great for kraut, cabbage rolls, coleslaw, stirfry, or soup.
Turnips with gorgeous greens-either Gold Ball, Scarlet Queen, or Hakurei- see below for a delicious turnip soup recipe. The smell of turnip greens always makes me feel like fall is here- it's inextricably linked to cool, moist air, foggy mornings, chilly fingers.  It makes me want to pop into Matt Murphy's Irish Pub in Brookline MA where I had the best turnip soup of my life, 13 years ago!  I worked at a farm outside of Boston, and we'd sell at a market near Brookline, then hit Matt Murphy's for turnip soup and a pint after market, and usually some traditional Irish music, too.
Radishes- French Breakfast or D'Avignon, the mildest and tenderest of radishes.
Brussels Tops OR Swiss Chard- so many greens! cabbage, turnip greens, AND brussels tops or chard. So Brussels tops.... are the tops of Brussels sprout plants.  And we top them for two reasons: 1. It causes the plants to direct growth at making bigger sprouts rather than growing taller, and 2. They are delicious!  I happen to prefer them after a frost (like B-sprouts themselves), because the cold temps make them sweeter, but they are still tasty now, and since we haven't had a frost and need those sprouts to size up, here you go!  Use just like Collard Greens or Kale.  Chard is interchangeable with spinach or beet greens, also delicious in a simple saute with olive oil, onions, garlic, lemon or vinegar. voila.

Carrots- yum! sweet fall carrots, several different varieties.
Celery- remember this from a few weeks ago?  cut off the tops (leaves) to maintain keeping quality if you're not using it all immediately. DO use leaves in soup, stew, stock, or salad.  You know what to do with the rest!
Potatoes- Red Gold or Nicola... which is your favorite so far?
Winter Squash- Delicata, Sweet Dumpling, and/or Acorn- yum.  Winter squash keeps well at a cool temp (55ish) for months or possibly room temp (60's not 70's) for several weeks at least.  If you see any soft or rot spots developing, cut them out and cook immediately. Freeze frozen squash if you can't use it immediately
Cherry Tomatoes
Heirloom Tomatoes

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