I'm all excited about the ginger we are starting to harvest this week! Ginger is a tropical perennial that is typically grown in warmer climates, but lots of farmers have been trialing it with success in areas like ours. It was a long process to get to this harvest. We received our 'seed' ginger root from an organic supplier in Hawaii back in late February, put them into flats and then waited a long 6 weeks before we saw any sprouts from the rhizomes we had planted. The period before the sprouts showed up was the first time I thought that this might be a failed experiment. We then let those sprouts grow for awhile in the flats before we had space in the hoophouse to transplant them out in late May. Again the plants didn't look great and I wasn't totally sure how to separate them when we planted. The transplants took a long time to get established and never really looked great, so again I wasn't too hopefully about our harvest. So we were quite pleasantly surprised when we pulled up some beautiful roots yesterday! I think you will be really pleased with the quality of this fresh ginger. It is so much juicier and, well, fresh than what you can get at the store. We are leaving the stalks on the pieces that you'll get in shares this week so you can see how the rhizomes grow. Also, you can use ginger stalks to add flavor to soups or make teas. Just google 'cooking with ginger stalks' if you want to try that out.
Another new crop this week are the watermelon radishes. These are a hearty radish with a light green outer skin and a bright pink interior. Like the turnips and round red radishes, they are great roasted (see Maria's sheet pan meal below). You can also pickle them to preserve their beautiful coloring. They will keep for several months in your crisper, so no need to use them right away if you have more perishable items you need to get to. We decided to remove the greens from them since they were getting attacked by cabbage aphids (and because I figure most of you don't use those greens anyway). Let us know what you think of the watermelon radishes!
Mizuna greens are back again! I love cooking with these mildly nutty asian greens. Last time we gave these was in May and Maria has a nice recipe for them from an early share newsletter. We decided to bunch the mizuna as it's pretty much full size (see pic below). The benefit of this is that you get to use all of those delicious crunchy stems. Mizuna is also good raw in salads if you prefer to eat it that way. Add some toasted nuts, feta cheese, and a good vinaigrette and voila, a beautiful salad! Hope you enjoy your veggies this week :)
Recipes from Maria:
See the Mizuna Greens Egg Frittata Recipe, Newsletter Week 2
Creamy butternut Squash and Ginger Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons peeled & chopped fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
4 cups chicken broth
4 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
a good pinch of salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus extra for garnish
buttered toast, to serve, optional
Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until softened.
Add the garlic & fresh ginger; cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
Add the ground ginger, broth, squash, rosemary and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes or until the squash is very tender.
Add cream. Remove from heat. Use an immersion blender to blend until very smooth (be patient, this soup is meant to be so smooth & velvety. An immersion blender works so well for this). Or put the squash mixture in a blender in batches and blend until very smooth. Return to the same pot; stir over medium heat until hot. Makes 2 quarts/2 liters
Roasted Butternut Squash and Sausage Sheet Pan Meal
6 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
3 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp sea salt
1 lb. sausage, sliced
1 red onion, chunked
2 bell peppers, chunked
One bunch watermelon radishes
Preheat oven to 375.
Melt ghee in a large bowl and stir in cayenne and sea salt.
Add to squash in a large bowl, toss until coated.
On a large baking sheet layer squash, red onion, bell peppers, radishes and sausage.
Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, until squash is tender and sausage is cooked.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Mizuna Salad
1-2 butternut squash,diced
2 Tablespoons Oil
½ teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoons Pepper
1 T peeled and chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons Parsley
4 cups Mizuna
¼ cups Red Onion, Sliced Thin
FOR THE DRESSING:
¼ cups Oil
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
1-½ Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 T peeled and chopped fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons Honey
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a medium bowl, combine diced butternut squash, oil, and salt, pepper, ginger, and parsley. Toss to cover the sweet potatoes. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and roast for 20–25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fork tender.
Meanwhile, wash the mizuna and place on platter. Top with red onions and set aside. Next, whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.
Remove the sweet potatoes and allow to cool for 5 minutes before placing on top of salad greens. Drizzle with dressing and top with cheese of choice or sesame seeds, if desired. Serve immediately.
*The napa cabbage from this week’s share could be chopped and added to this tasty salad.