Last week: 3 items may require explanation:
1. Braising Mix or Napa cabbage: some shares got sweet little napas; others got braising mix. We spoke with most of you in person about it, but if not, just FYI, that was a spicy mix! Intended for a quick steam or saute rather than as salad. Of course if you like it spicy, braising mix makes a fine salad, too ;) Napa makes a fine salad, slaw, or stir-fry-- the best of both worlds of lettuce and cabbage.
2. Celeriac-- the knobby, hairy root that smells and tastes like celery (the leaves look just like celery too)- the best winter stew, soup, or stock veggie! Besides soup, celeriac is wonderful roasted or boiled and mashed with potatoes, and/or shredded and fried with potatoes. It also keeps for several weeks (or more) in the fridge or in your root cellar. You'll see more celeriac this fall, so no need to hoard them.
3. Sunchokes/Jerusalem Artichokes-- not an artichoke at all, resembles ginger, and may stump you if you've never had them. They are a tasty root veggie, native to North America, in the sunflower family, and you can use them any way you'd use a potato: bake, boil, fry, roast, OR (unlike a potato) eat raw- grated or thinly sliced into salad=yum. Here's a wonderful blog entry from a Brooklyn blogger about sunchokes- enjoy!
In this week's share:
Potatoes- Possibly the most versatile food ever...? You'll continue to see a mix of various redskins, golds, German butterballs, fingerlings, etc.
Beets-either small with tops (fresh harvested!) or giant w/out tops (from storage). See below for a simple borscht recipe.
Cabbage-purple, green, or Deadon, which is a savoyed (crinkled) leaf cabbage that fades from robust purple outer leaves to pale green, tender inner leaves- one of our favorites.
Kale or Collard Greens- frozen and oh so sweet! sometimes I wonder why we bother eating greens before they've been frosted-- cold temps turn starches to sugars, bringing out the best flavor possible. The leaves were a little zorched (read: soft) from freezing, but they are delicious as ever.
Leeks- Did you know you can use leeks exactly the same as onions? They are slightly milder than most onions, hold up as well or better, and (I think) are more elegant. and YES you can use the green parts! I don't know why people say you can't- they're perfectly good. IF they're slightly more fibrous than the white sections, just slice them finely across the grain and saute a minute or so longer. Or if you don't want green color in a dish you're preparing with leeks, be sure to save the green part for making soup or stock.
Onions- you'll continue to see a mix of red, yellow, and/or cipollini--tiny, flattened Italian heirloom onions-- note: they aren't always this small; the drought this summer was hard on them. In fact, there's a song about this year's cipollini (you'll get the tune): One-two, one-two, tell the people what we grew: We grew some itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, microscopic Cippollini. But they're still delicious and perfect for roasting whole or halved ;)
Brassica Surprise: Either broccoli OR cauliflower OR romanesco (the green, fractalicious cousin of cauliflower- prepare the same way). As most things, harvested frozen solid from the snow- enjoy!
Hot peppers- yes, you've gotten a good amount already, and you may get more! It turned out to be a good hot chile year. If you can't use all those chiles in a week, try drying or freezing. To dry: cut in half (large or juicy hot chiles), use a dehydrator or oven set at the lowest temp available with the door slightly ajar, dehydrate til dry. Or thread onto a string (small, thin-skinned chiles), hanging in a well-ventilated, dry spot until dry. Store in an airtight jar once thoroughly dry. To freeze: cut in half (or not), freeze in a single layer on a cookie sheet or plate in the freezer, then seal in bag when frozen andreturn to freezer (IQF, or Individual Quick Freezing, to avoid a frozen pepper brick-- easier to remove individual peppers later, as you need them!)
Farmer John's Holmski Borscht
Recipe Ingredients for Farmer John's Holmski Borscht
|2||tablespoons apple cider vinegar|
|3||tablespoons (canola or olive) oil|
|1||medium onion (chopped)|
|2||large carrots (sliced)|
|4||cups cabbage (shredded about 4 cups)|
|2||tsp salt (and 20 whole pepper corns)|
|1||potato (1 or 2)|
|1/3||cup dill (plus 4 bay leaves and parsley)|
|2||cloves garlic (minced)|