Wow, the boxes are packed full this week! It was tricky to fit everything in them, but we succeeded. One of the reasons is the turnips and their giant greens you will find nestled at the bottom of your box. The variety is "Gold Ball" and produces unbelievably tall tops. I encourage you to use them; last week's recipe for Simple Garlicky Greens would be especially good (really, they WILL cook down!) or you can cook them with a ham hock for traditional Southern flavor. As for the turnips themselves, these are a cooking variety similar to the more common purple top turnips (see below for a recipe). You will also find a head of green cabbage, wonderful raw as slaw with a buttermilk dressing or lightly cooked (see recipe below). I'm so excited to include leeks in this week's box too! I absolutely love them, especially in soups and stews. You can combine them with the turnips in the recipe below. Make sure you wash the leeks thoroughly before using (I like to chop them and put in a bowl of water to allow any sediment to sink to the bottom of the bowl). We also have the first broccoli (regular shares) and cauliflower (full shares) of the fall season. Some of the cauliflower heads may show a slight purplish tinge, something this particular variety can be prone to; rest assured it does not affect the flavor. Full shares receive broccoli raab as well (aka rapini); regular shares will probably get this spicy green next week. Raab is related to regular broccoli but the entire plant is used: sprouts, leaves and tender stems (see recipe below).
Storage tips: Everything in your box will store best in plastic bags in the fridge. If you want to keep the turnip roots more than a day or two, remove the tops first. Turnip roots and cabbage will keep for a couple weeks or more in the fridge, leeks nearly as long. Broccoli, cauliflower and chard can keep up to a week before losing quality.
We gleaned a whole lot of poblano peppers in anticipation of the first frost/freeze and those who requested them during the main season CSA will find some in their boxes today. If you didn't receive poblanos and would like some, just drop us an email and we'll get you some next week.
What’s going on at the Farm?
Ahh, it's really feeling like fall.....football, the World Series, and the first frost (maybe freeze!) this week. I'll spare you my yearly diatribe on the Chicago Bears and focus on the good things. Often when we think of fall frosts, it's in terms of seasons coming to an end. But for winter farmers, the first frost marks the beginning of an whole new season of FLAVOR. Sure, we may bid farewell to the last of the summer peppers but the colder temperatures will sweeten the hardy crops. Greens like kale and spinach are so much tastier after frost. Some crops such as rutabaga and Brussels sprouts are not even supposed to be harvested until AFTER they've been kissed by a hard frost.
Next week look forward to carrots, rutabaga, and spinach!
Beth, Elise, & Trish
Warm Cabbage, Onion & Apple Slaw from "Chez Panisse Vegetables" by Alice Waters
1 medium yellow or red onion
1 medium red or green cabbage
2 large crisp, sweet apples
Salt & pepper
Peel and thinly slice the onion. Trim the cabbage, core it, cut in half, and slice into fine chiffonade, as for coleslaw. Peel, core, and slice the apples very thin. In a large saute pan, heat a little oil and begin to saute the onions. When they are translucent and just beginning to brown, add the apples. Saute about 1 minute so everything is sizzling and add the cabbage, the seasoning, a dash of vinegar and a little water. Stir over medium-high heat just long enough to barely cook the cabbage. It should retain a little crunch and the sweetness of fresh cabbage.
Turnip Puree with Leeks from "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" by Deborah Madison
1 small russet potato, peeled
2 lb turnips (or rutabaga), peeled
2 medium leeks, white parts only, chopped
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
Salt & fresh ground pepper
2 Tbl or more cream, buttermilk or milk
2 Tbl butter
2 tsp chopped thyme
Chop the potato and turnips the same size (if using rutabaga, chop them half the size of the potato pieces). Put them in a pot along with the leeks and garlic with cold water just to cover, add 1/2 tsp salt and simmer, partially covered, until tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid. Mash the vegetables with a fork for a rough-textured puree or pass them through a food mill. Add 2 Tbl or more cream or reserved broth to thin the puree. Stir in the butter and thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Variations: Stir 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese into the puree. Add a Tbl roasted garlic and 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary to the puree.
Broccoli Raab Pasta from "Chez Panisse Vegetables"
1 large onion
6-8 garlic cloves
2 bunches broccoli raab (about 1.5 lb)
Extra virgin olive oil
Red pepper flakes
1/2 to 3/4 lb penne pasta
Red wine vinegar
Pecorino romano cheese
Peel and thinly slice the onion. Smash, peel and thinly slice the garlic. Wash the broccoli raab, removing the heavy stems and chop the leaves and sprouts coarsely. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Liberally cover the bottom of a saute pan with the olive oil and saute the onion over high heat. When the onion has begun to wilt and and brown a little, add the garlic and pepper flakes to taste and salt. Toss briefly, then add the broccoli raab and a splash of water. Lower the heat and cook until tender, stirring or tossing frequently. Meanwhile, cook the pasta. Taste the broccoli raab for seasoning and add a generous amount of olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar. Toss with the drained pasta and garnish with grated cheese.
List of Pick Up Sites
Elysian Fields Farm, 5925 Oakley Rd., Cedar Grove; times 1:30-7:00
Durham, 1715 W. Cornwallis; times 2:00-7:00
Durham, 915 Hale St.; times 2:30-7:00
Chapel Hill, 1616 Old Oxford Rd.; times 3:00-7:00
Carrboro, 100 Melba Circle (entrance is off Lorraine St.); times 3:30-7:00
Turnips (1 bunch)
Turnips (1 bunch)