It was so nice to wake up to the sun this morning rather than dreary rainfall. The downside to clear skies is that temperatures plummet quickly overnight. So as we head into the last two weeks of the fall CSA, it is the ultra-hardy vegetables that will sustain us; today, that includes carrots, leeks, and kale. And of course sweet potatoes, our main storage crop this time of year (although we have to protect them from the cold by putting a space heater in one of the walk-in coolers!). The carrots will keep in the crisper drawer of your fridge for several weeks, the leeks and kale for at least a week in the fridge (put the leeks in a plastic bag if you won't use them right away).
The recipes this week include a sweet potato soup (that also uses carrots), two easy ideas for kale, and a carrot salad. And if you are running out of ideas for all the carrots, they make a wonderfully moist carrot cake!
Next Wednesday is the last delivery (Dec 18). Please return any CSA boxes you may have lying around (we will use paper grocery bags next week so you won't have anything to return). Look forward to red cabbage, Brussels sprouts (full shares only), as well as more sweet taters, kale and carrots.
Beth, Elise, & Trish
Roasted Sweet Potato & Tomato Soup with Herbs
from “Fresh Every Day” by Sara Foster
3 lb sweet potatoes
15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes (e.g. Muir Glen)
4 garlic cloves
1 Tbl balsamic vinegar
4 Tbl unsalted butter
1 red onion, chopped (or substitute leeks, white & light green parts)
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
1 tsp fresh ground pepper, plus more to taste
Leaves from 8-10 fresh thyme sprigs (about 3 Tbl) or 2 tsp dried
2 Tbl chopped fresh chives
1 Tbl chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp dried
Juice of 2 oranges
**You can also make this without the herbs**
Preheat oven to 450. Rub sweet potatoes and garlic cloves with a small amount of olive oil and 1 Tbl balsamic vinegar, place them on a baking sheet and roast 40-45 minutes, or until soft and tender when pierced with knife (remove the garlic after 20 minutes or so; don't let it burn). Remove and set aside to cool. Remove and discard the skins. Meanwhile melt the butter and 2 Tbl of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft, about 10 more minutes. Add the broth, 2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper, reduce the heat to low, and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes. Add the sweet potato flesh, garlic (squeeze it out of the skin), and dried herbs if using, to the soup and simmer about 20 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, stir in the fresh herbs, and allow the soup to cool slightly. Working in batches, pour the soup into a food processor or blender and puree (or use an immersion blender). Return the soup to the pot, add the tomatoes and orange juice and stir to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
from Bon Appetit
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Blanch 4 garlic cloves for 2-3 minutes, remove from water with a slotted spoon. In same water, blanch 1 bunch of stemmed kale for 30 seconds, drain. Puree kale and garlic in a food processor, gradually adding about ¾ cup olive oil, 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, and 1 Tbl fresh lemon juice. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Use pesto to dress cooked pasta or as a sauce for vegetables or fish.
Sauteed Kale with Toast and Eggs
from Bon Appetit
Slice 3-5 stemmed kale leaves into ribbons. Heat 1 Tbl olive oil in a large skillet and cook kale with minced garlic until just tender, about 2 minutes. Spoon over toasted bread and top with a fried or poached egg.
**This is one of my favorite go-to recipes, especially when I don't have time (or energy) to cook; you can substitute almost any green for the kale**
Shaved Carrot and Pear Salad with Curry Vinaigrette
from www.foodnetwork.com /Giada de Laurentiis
1½ pound large carrots, trimmed and peeled (about 8 carrots)
2 firm pears (recommended: D'Anjou)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Using a vegetable peeler cut the carrots lengthwise into thin ribbons or slices. Quarter, core, and stem the pears. Using a knife, slice into very thin strips. Place the carrot and pear slices in a large bowl with the chopped parsley.
In a blender combine the white wine, curry powder, honey, salt, and pepper and blend to combine. With the machine running add the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the carrots and pears. Toss to combine and serve immediately.
Sweet Potatoes (2 lb)
Sweet Potatoes (3 lb)