Archive for January, 2013
Onions and beets are back this week, and we’re giving out the very last of our carrots! I’m sad to see them go, but it will also be nice not to have to clean and sort them anymore. . .
Pete’s Greens didn’t have any kale or chard or lettuce available this week, but they did have lots of baby napa cabbage, so we’re offering that. Napa cabbage is milder and more tender than regular cabbage, and is great stir-fried. The baby heads are sweet and crunchy and really tasty. If you don’t use it for the wonderful stir-fry recipe below, it’s also great chopped and tossed with shredded carrots and a simple vinaigrette and maybe a little fresh dill or mint.
This Week’s Produce
Approx. 2 baby napa cabbages (Pete’s Greens) ($5)
Our own frozen blueberries ($4)
2+ lbs. parsnip and carrot mix (parsnips from Jericho Settler’s Farm) ($5)
5 lbs. russet potatoes ($3.5)
3 lbs. sweet potatoes ($3.5)
2 lbs. beets ($5)
2.5 lbs. Canadian onions ($3)
Total retail value: $29
Tuesday, February 12 is the last pick-up day for the winter CSA. We have home-made blueberry jam to give out, and we’re planning on giving everyone a 5 lb. bag of Sunrise Orchard Macintosh apples. Everyone also will get 8 lbs. of potatoes and some onions. We’ll try to get something green from Pete’s, as well as some carrots and either celeriac or parsnips from Jericho Settler’s Farm. If you want to send me a quick e-mail letting me know which of these veggies you prefer, that would be great. Just put “celeriac” or “parsnips” in the subject line and I’ll go with whatever more people want. You can also share your feelings about one more week of beets; if enough people need a break I will probably make them optional for week 8.
Like frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries are excellent in smoothies. They make a great sauce, and you can toss them into muffin or cake batter. My favorite way to use them, though, is to add them to pancake batter. There is really nothing better than hot blueberry pancakes with Vermont maple syrup on a cold January morning. Frozen berries are prefect for pancakes; you can just mix them (still frozen) into the batter or sprinkle them on top of the uncooked pancakes in the pan. Because the berries were frozen individually, you should be able to break them up pretty easily once you open the bag and break the vacuum seal.
Here’s a link to a summer CSA newsletter with a blueberry pancake recipe: https://paulmazzascsa.com/?s=blueberry+pancakes
This could be the last week for the sweet potatoes; it depends how they did in the cold, and how many we have to compost. If you’re like me, you’ve probably been eating a lot of roasted sweet potatoes, sweet potato fries, and sweet potato soup. Here are some recipes for new ideas like fritters, pilaf, and sweet potato casserole:
The baby napa is from Pete’s Greens in Craftsbury. It was harvested right after Thanksgiving and kept in cold storage. Here’s a recipe for a napa stir-fry with pork from epicurious.com:
(This would also be great with thinly sliced or even grated carrots)
Stir-Fried Pork with Napa Cabbage
- 1 (1-lb) pork tenderloin
- 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 lb. Napa cabbage, quartered lengthwise, cored, and cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces (10 cups)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
Trim off and discard any silver skin from pork (do not trim fat). Cut pork across grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices, then toss with 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl.
Stir together vinegar, salt, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, and remaining 1/2 tablespoon sugar in a small bowl.
Stir together water and remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch in a cup.
Rinse cabbage in a large colander. Tap colander lightly, then transfer cabbage to a large bowl with water still clinging to leaves.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking, then add pork in 1 layer as quickly as possible. Cook, undisturbed, until pork begins to brown, about 3 minutes, then turn over and cook, undisturbed, until browned but still pink in center, about 1 minute more. Transfer pork and any juices to a plate. Do not clean skillet.
Heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then stir-fry garlic and ginger 30 seconds. Add half of cabbage and stir-fry over high heat until cabbage is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in remaining cabbage (skillet will be very full), along with any water in bowl, and soy sauce mixture, then cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until all of cabbage is tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add pork, along with any juices accumulated on plate, and bring to a boil. Stir cornstarch mixture, then pour into skillet and boil, stirring, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Season with salt, then serve sprinkled with cilantro.
We’re giving out a few new items this week, and skipping a few that we’ve given out a lot (like beets and onions). I’m especially excited about the celeriac from Jericho Settler’s Farm; celeriac is ugly, but it tastes like sweet celery hearts and parsley. We’re also giving out sweet Carmen peppers that we froze this fall.
Everyone who wants one can also get a jumbo hubbard squash again this week. Hubbard squash it wonderful roasted, mashed, and in soups (you can use it just as you would butternut). If you want to pass, though, due to the size of the squash, just let me know when you pick up and I’ll have something there to give you instead.
This Week’s Produce:
3 lb. bag Sunrise Orchard empire apples ($4.50)
1+ lb. celeriac from Jericho Settler’s Farm ($3)
1 large blue hubbard squash ($7)
1 12 oz. bag of frozen, chopped sweet carmen peppers ($3)
5 lbs. red potatoes ($3.50)
3 lbs. sweet potatoes ($4)
2 lbs. carrots ($3)
Total retail value: $27.50
I’m really sorry that we were not able to get greens for the share this week! Pete’s Greens hasn’t been able to sell us any for the past few weeks. I’m thinking that next year we should look into growing our own!
Celeriac (also called celery root) is a root vegetable that’s related to celery and parsley. It’s sweet and flavorful and very good peeled and mashed (like a mashed potato – you and even cook it and mash it with potatoes). It can also be eaten raw, although it’s a little bit tough and chewy. For this reason most Celeriac salad recipes call for you to cut the root into thin matchstick-sized pieces, or to use a vegetable peeler to get nice thin strips. This can be a bit time consuming, but it’s worth it; celeriac salad is sweet and crunchy and full of summer-y flavor.
Here’s a recipe for a celeriac and apple salad from the blog “The Well Seasoned Cook”:
Celeriac and Apple Salad with Walnut Shallot Vinaigrette
1 celeriac, the size of a large fist, about 5 ounces
1 large or 2 medium apples
Bowl of water with 1/4 cup white vinegar added
Slice off gnarled and leafy ends of celeriac and discard. Peel celeriac, then cut into matchsticks. Add to water to prevent browning. Peel and core apple, then cut into dice, adding it to the water with the celeriac. Set aside.
Walnut Shallot Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons walnut oil
2-3 tablespoons apple cider, red wine or white vinegar (start with 2 tablespoons)
¼ cup apple juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 large shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon celery salt (start with 1/2 teaspoon)
A few cranks of black pepper
In a medium bowl whisk all ingredients together. Adjust vinegar, celery salt and/or pepper if necessary to your preferences.
Drain and blot dry the apple and celeriac. Divide into two bowls. Whisk vinaigrette one more time, then drizzle over each salad. Serve immediately. Serves 2.
If you’re a butternut squash soup fan, you’re in luck; hubbard makes a great creamy squash soup. The color is not as bright orange, but other than that, the taste is similar. You can even peel and cube your squash raw, as you would with butternut, if you want. I’ve found that it’s easier to roast your squash pieces (or halves, if you’re brave enough to try to use a knife on your squash!) in the oven, and then to scoop out the cooked flesh and add it to your soup. You can then just freeze the rest of the cooked squash in zip-lock bags and use it later. Remember: the squash can take 2 hours or more to cook. It also works well to cover it with foil for most of the cooking, if you can manage it! You probably want to take the foil off for the last half an hour or so.
I wanted to give out red potatoes this week since these are the best potatoes for stews and potato salad. A nice creamy potato salad in mid-winter can be a fun change of pace. Here’s a link to a potato salad recipe from the summer CSA:
As I mentioned in the Sunday e-mail, if you’ve lost any sweet potatoes over the past few weeks, please feel free to take extra to make up for it!
A CSA member sent me a link to this delicious Sweet Potato soup from marthastewart.com. I linked to it on facebook, but figured I would share it here too. After 6 weeks of sweet potatoes, I figure folks might enjoy a tasty new way to use them!
Sweet Potato and Chipotle Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 medium sweet potatoes (2 pounds total), peeled and cut
- 1/2 to 1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped
- 7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Sour cream, for serving
- Toasted flour tortilla wedges, for serving (optional)
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until beginning to brown around edges, about 7 minutes. Add cumin and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in sweet potatoes, chile, and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce to a rapid simmer, partially cover, and cook until sweet potatoes can be mashed easily with a spoon, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Let soup cool slightly. Working in
batches, transfer soup to a blender
and puree until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return pureed soup to pot over low heat and season with salt and pepper. Top soup with sour cream and serve with tortilla wedges, if desired.
I hope everyone had a good holiday! We’re giving out frozen strawberries this week, along with some sweet parsnips from Jericho Settler’s farm. We ordered parsnip seeds this winter for next spring, so hopefully next winter we will be able to give out our own!
I was unable to get any greens for the share this week, but I should be able to get some for the next pick-up. For this week we still have our own cabbage (I’ve been blown away by how well it’s kept!) and turnips if you want to pass on the cabbage.
This Week’s Produce
1 quart bag our own frozen strawberries ($5)
1.75 – 2 lbs. parsnips (from Jericho Settler’s Farm) ($4.50)
5 lbs. russet (baking) potatoes ($3.50)
3 lbs. sweet potatoes ($4)
3 lbs. onions (from Canada) ($3.5)
2 lbs. beets ($4)
2 lbs. carrots ($3)
2 lbs. turnips or 1 head cabbage ($2)
Total retail value: $29.50
The strawberries were picked and frozen this past June. They were frozen individually and then bagged and vacuum sealed, so they can be broken up pretty easily. You can toss 5 or 6 frozen berries in a blender with a ripe banana and some plain yogurt for a healthy smoothie, or with some vanilla ice cream and milk for an awesome strawberry milkshake!
You can also let your berries thaw and then cut them up and use them for baking or pancakes, or even turn them into jam or preserves. They’ll be mushy when they thaw, so they’re not great to eat plain, but they’re just as good as fresh for baking, jam, smoothies, etc.
My favorite way to use strawberries is to make a simple strawberry sauce with sugar, frozen or thawed berries, and a little water to keep things from burning in the beginning. You can also add some fresh or bottled lemon juice. You just cook everything over medium heat until you get a sauce. I mash up the berries with the back of a wooden spoon as they’re cooking. If you happen to have frozen rhubarb in the freezer you want to add that, too!
This sauce will last at least a week in the fridge, and is great on yogurt, ice cream, oatmeal, pancakes. . . you can even spoon it warm over pound cake or biscuits for a winter-time version of strawberry shortcake.
I’m really excited that we have parsnips this week from our neighbors at Jericho Settler’s Farm. Like most other root veggies, parsnips are fantastic roasted, since roasting really brings out their sweetness. I would recommend tossing equal-sized chunks of parsnip, carrot, and turnip, and onion on a couple of baking trays with some olive oil (toss everything together to coat the veggies) and salt and pepper. You then want to roast at 425 degrees or so until the veggies are soft and starting to brown.
Want some more parsnip recipes and ideas? Check out this slideshow with recipes from the Eating Well website: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/easy_recipes_for_parsnips#leaderboardad
Beets are one of the healthiest foods out there (they’re loaded with antioxidants), and they’re also delicious! Despite this, there are a lot of beet-haters around (I happen to be married to one). I found this recipe on the New York Times’ health and wellness blog Well. It’s a recipe that even professed beet-haters will enjoy. Although it takes a bit of effort to peel and grate the beets, this salad is worth it; it’s sweet and full of flavor, especially after a day or two. You can also add a few peeled and grated carrots to the mix. To see the some other recipes that they recommend for converting the beet-wary, go to: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/09/beet-recipes-even-a-beet-hater-can-love/
Grated Raw Beet Salad
1/2 pound beets
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon minced chives, mint or parsley (or a combination)
Salt to taste
Leaves of 1 romaine heart
1. Peel the beets with a vegetable peeler, and grate in a food processor fitted with the shredding blade.
2. Combine the orange juice, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss with the beets and herbs. Season to taste with salt. Line a salad bowl or platter with romaine lettuce leaves, top with the grated beets and serve.
Yield: Serves four.
Advance preparation: The grated beets can be dressed and kept in the refrigerator, covered well, for a couple of days. They become more tender but don’t lose their texture, and the mixture becomes even sweeter as the beet juices mingle with the citrus. Toss again before serving.
Russets are great for baking, and for mashed potatoes. They also make fantastic twice-baked potatoes. You can see my twice-baked potato recipe from a previous newsletter here: https://paulmazzascsa.com/?s=twice+baked+potatoes.
Although it’s not in the recipe, I would recommend putting your potatoes through a food mill or ricer for the best results; the electric mixer is fast, but makes for gummier potatoes. A hand masher also works well, but the results might be a bit lumpy.
I’m going to try to bring both medium and large potatoes, so folks can choose the sizes they’d like. The large potatoes are great, and make wonderful baked or twice-baked potatoes, but about half of them will have a little bit of discoloration in the center. You can simply cut this harmless “heart rot” out before or after you cook the potato. It’s not actually rot, and won’t do you any harm if you eat it; it just looks a little odd!
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