Fall is officially here and the weather has sure taken notice! We are soaking in these wonderfully cool mornings and picture perfect days. I was a little concerned we might get an early frost this week with temperatures as low as 41 predicted, but those got revised up a little and we should be in the clear for awhile longer yet. Nearly all of our fall crops can handle a light frost without any covering, but some of them like a little added protection in the form of row cover. Around here our first frost typically happens during the second half of October, but it's been as late as the first week of November. You can see the crops responding to the cooler weather after the heat wave of last week. The purples in the lettuces and spicy salad mix are deepening, baby spinach leaves are growing bigger, kale is starting to rebound, and the summer crops are tired and browning and look ready to be done. We pulled out the first tomatoes plants on Monday, which is why the green tomatoes are appearing in the share this week. Lots of folks enjoy the classic breaded and fried green tomatoes, but there are plenty of other things to do with green tomatoes. One of our family's favorites is green tomato relish. It's basically the whole fall garden chopped and blended up with vinegar, sugar and spices. This relish is quite delicious with crackers and cheese, or on a burger or brat. While the standard recipe calls for regular cabbage, you could definitely sub in your napa cabbage if you want to give this a try. You might have to alter quantities a bit depending on how many cups of tomato you have from the 2 lbs in your share. The exact proportion of veggies isn't so critical here anyway :) This isn't our family recipe, but it's pretty darn close since I don't have it at hand right now:
Butternut squash is here this week! This hearty winter squash is really versatile and we have so many ways we like to use it. I made one of our classic recipes, Inner warmth peanut stew, last week, but one of my very favorite butternut recipes also uses the sage that you have in this week's share. Brown butter sage sauce over ravioli stuffed with butternut is absolutely divine. It takes a bit of preparation, but definitely worth it!
I'll share some recipes for bok choy and napa cabbage next week, but with these cooler temperatures, I think that a stir-fry or curry featuring one or both of these would be awesome! Hope you all have a great week.