In the share this week:
1 bag carrots
1 bunch hakurei turnips
1 bag baby salad kale
1 bag baby mustard greens
1 lb mixed onions
1 lb small sweet potatoes
1 bunch swiss chard
Thoughts from Farmer Anna:
We had our first legitimate fall frost this past Saturday morning. It's seems like that is just about right on time for our area. Some years we don't get a major frost until November, but it's more likely to happen in mid to late October. We had covered a few beds that could have taken a bit of damage and everything came through just fine. There were even some salad mix lettuces that were completely uncovered (we had already cut from them once or twice) and were totally fine. I'm always amazed at how well lettuces can tolerate the cold. They certainly aren't as cold tolerant as kale or spinach, but many varieties can handle frosts and even some amount of hard freezing. I'm banking on the cold tolerance of our salad mix lettuces this winter, as we've planted a good amount of these our hoophouses. Last year we planted some in late February and had a 15 F night soon after. We covered the planting with two layers of row cover + plus the protection of the hoophouse plastic and they came through beautifully. If our winter isn't too cold, we should be able to have salad mix available through most of it!
Well, we are down to the last four weeks of shares. I do feel the count down toward the end at this time of year. Even though we will continue to harvest a bit after the end of the CSA season, it does feel like the last week of shares marks the conclusion of a long season and the beginning of some well deserved rest. Our fall crops are looking better this year than they have in several seasons. I think it's partly due to the drier than usual weather, which has staved off fungal disease which tends to be a problem in the fall. The aphids have been less of a problem than usual too. All in all, I feel like we have an abundance of fall greens and roots to share with you over these last four weeks. We will also be harvesting our ginger crop later this week and I'm hoping we'll have lots of beautiful fresh ginger for you in the next couple of shares.
This week's share is a nice mix of solid root veggies and greens along with some onions to round out your meals. Our spring swiss chard crop didn't fare well this year, so I'm happy that our fall planting is looking good and that we have enough of these greens to share with you this week. If you've never cooked with chard before, you can use both the stems and the greens. I typically chop the stems and saute them along with onion or garlic before adding the chopped greens. Chard is great as a side dish (see Maria's greek style greens below), added to soups, or cooked into a quiche or frittata. If you want to cook up a mess of greens, you could combine the chard, kale and mustard greens this week. Most greens freeze well if they are blanched first. Blanched and frozen greens are good for adding to soups or any recipes that calls for something like frozen spinach. Chard is my favorite cooking green and I hope you like it! I love the idea of using your root veggies in a nice warming soup (see recipe below). Those roots will all keep nicely if you want to hold onto them until you get some fresh ginger from us next week. You could definitely add sweet potato to the carrot, turnip mix too. The baby kale is from a new planting and it's really perfect for salads. We like to mix greens for hearty salads and the mustard greens + kale would be quite good with some toasted nuts, some strong cheese , dried fruit and a vinegary dressing. You could fry an egg and top your salad with that as well. I also like to add some cooked grain like brown rice or quinoa for a filling meal. Adding a grain also dilutes out some of the stronger flavors of the greens if you aren't a big fan of the those flavors. There are so many options with greens!
Recipes from Maria:
Carrot, Hakurei Turnip and Ginger Bisque
3 Cups Carrots, Peeled and Diced
2 Cups Hakurei Turnips, Peeled and Diced
1/8 to 1/4 Cup Fresh Ginger, Peeled and Diced
2 and 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock (*or stock of choice)
1 Cup Heavy Cream (*and little extra for topping) (*just a reminder you don’t need to add the cream if you’re looking for an earthier flavor)
Combine your diced carrots, turnips, ginger and stock in a large soup pot/pan.
Cook on medium/medium high heat for 15 to 20 minutes until vegetables are tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.
Turn off the heat and carefully transfer your vegetable/stock mixture to your blender (you can use a ladle to do this or gently pour everything in).
If desired, pour a cup of heavy cream on top of everything once it’s in the blender.
Use the blender to puree the mixture, and pour everything back in your pan.
Turn the heat on medium if needed to reheat the soup slightly.
Drizzle the top with heavy cream, sprinkle with black pepper and add microgreens if desired.
Greek Style Sauteed Greens (served with grilled salmon or poached eggs)
1 bunch kale
1 bunch chard (or you can use any combination of most greens such as collards, mustard greens, broccoli rabe to equal one pound)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, coarsely chopped
3 medium garlic, finely chopped
½ teaspoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes ( or aleppo)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Optional Garnish: Dukkah, Zaatar Spice, toasted pine nuts or almonds
Trim the stalks and ribs from the greens, if they are more than ¼ inch thick. Chop the stalks and ribs into ¼ inch slices.
Put the chopped stalks in a large sauté pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté about 5 minutes on medium heat stirring every now and then while you prep the remaining ingredients. When tender remove from pan and set aside.
Cut the destemmed greens into ¼ to ½ inch ribbons.
Add remaining olive oil to the pan over medium high, add chopped shallots. Sauté 3 minutes, add garlic and red pepper flakes stirring for a minute or so. Then add the greens and turn the heat to medium low. Give it a stir every few minutes for about 8-10 minutes.
When the greens are wilted and tender add the sautéed stems stirring a minute to rewarm, turn heat off and add lemon zest, salt and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust flavor if desired. Serve with Dukkah for added crunch.
Pecans (hazelnuts are most common in traditional Dukkah)
Coriander (ground or whole seeds)
Cumin (ground or whole seeds)
Fennel (ground or whole seeds)
Use any nut or combination of nuts you have on hand. Add other spices such as sumac, Aleppo, smoked salt, dried thyme, smoked paprika…. there is no right or wrong here. Just play around, create and have fun!
Pulse nuts in a food processor
Place them in a dry skillet and toast, 4-5 mins.
Add spices, continue toasting until fragrant and golden.
Let cool completely and store in a sealed jar.
If you have a nut allergy it is perfectly fine to stick with seeds (pumpkin, sunflower) and feel free to use only one type of nut or use as many as you want. Up to you -as long as you use 1 cup total!