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Tues 10/4/11 CSA Farmshare Newsletter

What’s in This Week’s Box

Vegetables:

Lettuce

Broccoli

Corn

Braising Greens – Kale, Swiss Chard, Collard Greens

Winter Squash – Blue Hubbard

Sugar Pumpkin

Fruit:

Peaches – Yellow & White

Apples – Macintosh, Cortland, Gala & Macoun

Apple Cider

 

Broccoli

Storage & Handling Tips: Broccoli spoils rather quickly so it is best to use it as soon as possible – best if it is used the day of buying it. Broccoli should be treated delicately like lettuce – store it tightly wrapped and kept in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Cooking: Broccoli should be cooked quickly so that it will retain it’s bright green color, it’s agressively green flavor and crisp texture. If broccoli is not used right away and looks a bit tired, soak it in a bowl of ice cold water for 30 minutes to refresh it’s vibrant crispiness. The stalks can also be used, but cook them separately from the head because it is tougher and the cooking times vary. Peel the woody parts of the stalks and cut into slices. Broccoli can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days and can be frozen if soaked in salted water for 15 minutes, then blanched for 3-4 minutes, drained, cooled and wrapped in a plastic bag. Cut off any leaves and wash before cooking. Nutrtionally-wise, it is best blanched or steamed. It pairs very well with good quality extra-virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Sautee it with minced garlic, red pepper, capers, and anchovy. If the oil is absorbed too quickly, instead of water, try adding a splash of white wine.

 

Winter Squash

Winter squash is usually cooked and eaten as a vegetable, but it is really a vining fruit. They are picked when fully mature as their skins have hardened. This hard skin means that they have a long shelf life and discourages spoilage. Blue Hubbard and buttercup may be less commonly found, but many varieties can be used interchangeabley.
Acorn – Skin is dark green with bursts of orange. Flesh is pale-med orange while the texture is semi-smooth with a sweet flavor.

Butternut – A pinkish-tan skin with a dark orange flesh. The flavor is sweet and nutty. Look for ones that have a fat neck and small bulb because it will have the smallest seed cavity.

Carnival – Looks almost like an acorn squash, with batches of dark green and orange. Dark orange flesh with a rich, sweet and earthy flavor.

Kabocha – Round and slightly flattened on the ends. The skin is dark green with streaks of blue. The flesh is pale and dense while the flavor is sweet.

Storage & Handling Tips: Because of the dense shell on butternut, hubbard, pumpkin, and kabocha, squash can store for up to several weeks in the proper conditions during which the starch will convert to sugar and improve much of the flavor. In acorn, carnival, spaghetti, and delicata squashes, the skins are thinner and will improve over time with their texture, but not become any sweeter. Store in a cool, dark place. Do not refrigerate.

Cooking: Depending on the dish will determine the right cooking method. Steaming and cooking with moisture will create a subtle taste and delicate texture. The flesh will normally start to dissolve when immersed in liquid so this is not advised unless making soup. When it is roasted in dry heat, the sugars start to caramelize and sweeten the flesh and creating a buttery texture. Sauteeing squash is faster than roasting it – 15 instead of 45-60, and also creates a nice caramelized exterier and tender interior.

Use a sharp knife to carefully remove the tough outter skin. The flesh can be removed away from the skin before or after roasting, but do not sautee the squash with the skin still on. Remove the seeds in the inside cavity as well as any fibrous stringy parts. Cut the squash into equal sized pieces.

Recipes:

Broccoli sauteed in wine and garlic

*From Mario Batalli

6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, sliced

3 lbs broccoli, cut into spears; stalks peeled and cut into strips

1 cup dry white wine

1 tbsp hot red pepper flakes (optional)

zest of lemon and orange

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add the garlic. When it sizzles, add the broccoli stems for 2 minutes then the broccoli heads, tossing frequently and gradually add the wine to keep the garlic from browning and the stalks are tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and zest, tossing well and serve immediately.

Sweet-and-Sour Pumpkin

*From Mario Batalli

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb sugar pumpkin (or acorn squash) – peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes

4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

1 tsp hot red pepper flakes (optional)

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

3 tbsp honey

3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh mint

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin and garlic and cook until the pumpkin is light gotlden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, vinegar, and honey and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer until the liquid is syrupy and the pumpkin is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with the heat, and serve.

Squash and Apple Soup

*From Orangette.com

1/4 cup olive oil

1 squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces

2 apples – Gala – peeled, cored and cut into 2-inch piece

1 large onion, peeled, coarsely chopped

1 hot pepper (optional); chopped

3/4 tsp curry powder

3/4 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground cardamon

1 cup apple cider

1 quart vegetable stock

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 fresh ground pepper

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low eheat and add the squash, apples and onion. Stir to coat. Add the cider and bring to a boil over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add the stock then lower to simmer, partially ocvered for about 35 minutes, until the squash is tender. Working in batches, or with an immersion blender, blend the minxture until smooth. Reduce the soup, unovered over medium-low heat to about 1/4 fourth, sstirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

Crusted Pumpkin Wedges with Sour Cream

*From Yotam Ottolenghi

1 1/2 lbs pumpkin (skin on)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

3 tbsp dried white breadcrumbs

6 tbsp chopped parsley

2 1/2 tsp chopped tyme

zest of 2 lemons

2 garlic cloves, crushed

salt and white pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tbsp chopped dill

Preheat the oven to 375F. Cut the pumkin into 3/8 inch thick slices and lay them flat, ona ┬ábaking sheet lined with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix the Parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, half the lemon zest, garlic, a bit of salt and some pepper. Brush the pumpkin slices with olive oil adn sprinkle with the crust mix in a thick coating. Cently pat down. Place the pan in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, until tender – stick a knife to make sure it is soft. If the topping starts to darken too quickly before the pumpkin is soft, cover loosely with foil. Mix the dill and sour cream together and some salt and pepper. Serve the wedges warm, sprinkled with lemon zest and the sour cream on the side.

Cajun Corn and Kale Salad

*From Farmer John

2 quarts water

4 ears corn

1 bunch kale (stems removed)

2 tsp salt, plus more to taste

1 each large red & green bell pepper, diced

1 large tomato, diced

1 sweet onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp cajun spice seasoning

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and add the corn. Turn off the heat and let coark soak for 5 minutes. Set aside the corn and reserve the water. When cool, slice the kernels off the ears of corn with a sharp knife. Bring the water back to a boil and add the kale and 2 tsp salt. Cook until tender and still bright green, about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and cool. When cool, squeeze out excess liquid and finely chop. Toss the kale with the remaining ingredients into a large bowl and toss to comine. Season with salt and pepper.

Corn Silk Tea

Cut off the dark corn silk bits at the top of the corn (this is just a sign that the corn is ready to be picked). Carefully remove the husks. Pull of the corn silks – there is one silk for every kernel and each silk is the way that the kernel receives its nutrients from the sun. Put in a small pot and cover with enough water to cover the silks – about a cup and a half to two cups of water for the silks from 2 ears of corn. Bring to a boil and them simmer for about 10 minutes – depending on the flavor you desire. Strain the mixture into a cup to discard the silks. It may look like pale water but it will taste like summer in a cup! It is apparently very good for urinary discomfort and infections, cleaning out the bladder, kidney stones in the gallblader and detoxing the liver.

 

Sources and inspiration from Russ Parsons, Farmer John, Mario Batalli, Yotam Ottolenghi, Molly Wizenberg.

S.E.R

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Applecrest Farm | 133 Exeter Road (Rt.88) | Hampton Falls, NH 03844 | Phone 603.926.3721 | info@applecrest.com