Newsletter for September 17 – September 23 (Bacon and Butternut Casserole with Kale)

We have lots of produce again this week, but we’re a bit concerned about the prospect of a frost tonight (Monday). If it gets below 32 degrees for more than an hour or so, that could mean the end of a lot of the produce for the year (beans, corn, peppers, greens. . .). It’s forecasted to be cold, but we’re hoping that the Winooski river valley stays above freezing. We plant our late fields with mid to late October in mind, so as long as mother nature cooperates we should have plenty of tasty summer veggies for at least another month! If we do get an early frost get ready for a lot of hardy fall veggies that can survive the cold. . .

Small Share:

(As always, feel free to double up on options and to ask to swap out any item you might not want)

1 large watermelon ($6)

2 cucumbers ($1.50)

Butternut or Buttercup squash ($3)

Choose 4 options ($12)

1 lb. beans

6 ears corn

1.5 lbs. zucchini and/or summer squash

1 large bunch kale

1 lb. sweet peppers and/or poblano peppers

1 lb. carrots

Possibly: lettuce, eggplant, spinach

Total retail value: $22.50

Single Share:

1 small melon (might be watermelon or cantaloupe) ($3.5)

1 cucumber ($0.8)

Butternut or buttercup squash ($3)

Choose 3 options ($9)

1 lb. beans

6 ears corn

1.5 lbs. zucchini and/or summer squash

1 large bunch kale

1 lb. sweet peppers and/or poblano peppers

1 lb. carrots

Possibly: lettuce, eggplant, spinach

Total retail value: $16.30

Large Share:

1 large watermelon ($6)

2 cucumbers ($1.50)

Butternut or Buttercup squash ($3)

1.5 lbs. tomatoes ($4.5)

Choose 5 options ($15)

1 lb. beans

6 ears corn

1.5 lbs. zucchini and/or summer squash

1 large bunch kale

1 lb. sweet peppers and/or poblanos

1 lb. carrots

Possibly: lettuce, eggplant, spinach

Total retail value: $30

Bread and Eggs

This is an egg week. The bread this week a La Panciata’s Honey Oat bread (full loaf, sliced). This is a great sandwich bread! If you put it in the fridge it will last for at least 10 days, and it makes a great breakfast toasted and topped with strawberry jam. . .

Poblanos

We will try to have both sweet colored peppers and poblano peppers as options all this week. Poblanos are a large, mildly spicy chili pepper. They are often used to make chili rellenos, a delicious cheese-filled pepper dish. Here’s a great chili rellenos recipe from the Food Network website:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/chiles-rellenos-recipe/index.html?ic1=obinsite

PYO Berries

Blueberries are pretty much done, but we still have plenty of raspberries in Essex and in Colchester. The picking is day-by-day, meaning that some days there are many more berries than other. The weather can also change things fast; a hard frost, for instance, means the end of the berries. If you want to pick your best bet is to call before you come and ask how the picking is. Our Essex number is 879-3760. Our Colchester number is 879-0102.

Have any left over PYO vouchers and don’t want to pick raspberries? Bring them in to me when you pick up your share and you can trade them in for extra CSA items.

Winter Squash

Everyone gets winter squash this week (unless you want to skip it and substitute an extra option!) Buttercup squash has green skin and is yellow inside. It’s a sweet, dry squash that’s best just cut in half and roasted (seeds removed). Butternut is peach colored on the outside and orange inside. It’s a great all-purpose squash. You can cut it in half and roast it and then use the cooked squash, or you can peel it and cut it into chunks and use it that way. For a great lesson on preparing uncooked butternut squash check out: http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/techniques/how-to-peel-cut-butternut-squash-00400000029655/

Bacon and Butternut Casserole with Kale

The Cooking Light website has a great compilation of healthy and tasty butternut squash recipes here: (http://www.cookinglight.com/food/top-rated-recipes/healthy-butternut-squash-recipes-00400000055219/)

My favorite is this casserole, which would make a perfect one-dish fall dinner:

  • 5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 12 ounces uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta), campanile, or other short pasta
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 2 bacon slices
  • 2 cups vertically sliced onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. 2. Combine squash and oil in a large bowl; toss well. Arrange squash mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until squash is tender.
  3. 3. Cook pasta 7 minutes or until almost al dente, omitting salt and fat. Add kale to pan during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain pasta mixture.
  4. 4. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add onion to drippings in pan; cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  5. 5. Bring 1 3/4 cups broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Combine remaining 1/4 cup broth and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to broth. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in crème fraîche.
  6. 6. Combine squash, pasta mixture, bacon, onion mixture, and sauce in a large bowl; toss gently. Place pasta mixture in a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned.
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