You know it's November when you begin seeing sweet potatoes everywhere. You will find them in a paper bag in your box, looking a little dirty because we prefer to send them to you unwashed. We have found that once washed, their shelf life tends to diminish. Otherwise sweet potatoes have the potential to keep for months (cool dry storage is best where the temperature stays above 55°F). We grow the standard orange-fleshed varieties (Beauregard and Covington) and I think they make much better baked potatoes than regular potatoes! Or make a gratin with them and the kale (see recipe below). I hope you will find the kale getting sweeter as the colder weather sets in; if you know someone who thinks they don't like kale, encourage them to try it this time of year (see the simple kale salad recipe below). Its flavor is so much better after a couple frosts! For salad greens, regular shares have a bag of mixed lettuces and full shares have two heirloom lettuce heads, green Deer Tongue and multi-hued Devil's Ears. Please wash the lettuces thoroughly before eating; as with most salad greens, they benefit from several rinses.
What's going on at the farm?
We finally cleaned out the last summer crops by dismantling the pepper trellis and disking the plants under with the tractor. Preparation for 2014 is already underway! Animal manures have been delivered and are waiting to be spread on the fields; we like to apply them in the fall to allow sufficient time to break down in the soil. The next step is for Elise to form raised beds with the tractor and the double-disk-bedder (say that five times fast!); we really like this implement because it creates a nice raised bed and buries any remaining crop debris at the same time. Taking the time to form the beds in the fall is important; the raised beds will dry out faster come February when it's time to plant the first spring crops.
Next week look forward to leeks and more!
Beth, Elise, & Trish
Kale & Sweet Potato Gratin
5 Tbl butter
3 garlic cloves
Salt & fresh ground pepper
1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
2 ½ lb sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8” thick
2 cups half & half
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400°. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with 1 Tbl of butter. Smash the garlic with flat side of a knife, sprinkle with salt and chop into a mushy paste (or use mortar and pestle). Combine garlic, kale, potatoes, half and half, cinnamon and 4 Tbl butter in a pot. Season with salt and pepper and grated nutmeg. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, stirring often. After 8-10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer to the prepared dish. Cover with cheese and bake 20-30 minutes.
1 bunch kale, stems removed
1 sweet pepper, thinly sliced
2 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl red wine or balsamic vinegar
Dash of tamari
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 Tbl sesame seeds, toasted
Heat large pan of water to boiling. Add kale and cook 1-2 minutes, remove and put in bowl of cold water. Drain and chop kale. Mix dressing of olive oil, vinegar, tamari, salt & pepper, and toss with kale and peppers. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Curried Cauliflower Cream Soup
from “The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper” by Lynn Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium to large onion, chopped
5 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 Tbl curry powder
1 large head cauliflower, washed, cored and cut into chunks
3 medium red-skin or Yukon Gold potatoes (1 lb), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2-14 oz cans chicken or vegetable broth
2 large lemons, cut into wedges
1 ½ cups plain whole milk yogurt
Film the bottom of a 6 quart pot with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Stir in the onion, garlic and curry powder. Reduce the heat to medium-low and sauté 3-5 minutes, taking care not to let the onion color. The onion and garlic should be softened a little but the point is to let the curry’s aroma blossom without burning it. Add the cauliflower, potatoes, broth and enough water to barely cover the vegetables. Bring the soup to a boil, partially cover the pot, and cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are fork-tender. Cool for 15 minutes. Puree with a hand-held blender or in small batches in a regular blender. Taste soup for seasoning. Ladle out the soup, then finish each bowl with a squeeze of lemon and a generous dollop of yogurt.
Sweet potatoes (2 lb)
Sweet potatoes (3 lb)