October 19th, 2021
What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Honeynut Winter Squash, Rainbow Chard, Green Onions, Apples, Parsley, Pomegranates, Turnips
Bread this week: Garlic Parmesan OR Whole Wheat, your choice of one
This is the last week to make comments if you haven’t already. Thank you so much for your support and actions.
This week on the farm
Rain! I think we can all agree that this week’s weather forecast is something to talk about. I have been checking my phones weather app about 3 times a day to make sure those pretty little percentages for later this week don’t drop too far down. As if my obsessive checking will keep them high. On Sunday night, my dad and I had a rare dinner in Woodland, and after our meal, as we walked back to the car, the ground was wet and the air had that freshness to it which only comes with rain. It was such a good feeling.
The plants and the ground are not the only things that need moisture. I think we are all feeling a little dried out, and crave the moisture on our skin. We are creatures oh the seasons, just as the plants are a product of our earth’s rotations, we find nourishment and comfort in the reliability of the weather. Hot summers, cool autumns, and cold winters. It is all necessary for us to feel that things are okay in this world. Therefore the anticipation we are all feeling, and the excitement connected with 3 or 4 nice dreary and rainy days in October, after such a severe drought is pretty off the charts.
It has also turned cold in what seems to have been a blink of an eye. Didn’t we have a 95 degree day just a few weeks ago? Nevertheless, yesterday our high was 63 degrees! I wore a sweatshirt all day long - it was glorious. And as my dad and I took our weekly walk around the farm, checking out each row of newly planted crops, and assessing how the current plants are looking, we noticed that almost all of our summer vegetable plants were done with production, and beginning to die back. The fall squash plants which were robust fuzzy green plants just a couple weeks prior, now is just a field speckled with Pumpkins, Butternut, and other fall favorites ready to be roasted. I always find fall so surprising, because it shows up so suddenly. The summers seem to last forever, and it is hard to even imagine that we will see the end of those 95 or 100 degree days, then one day I will be rolling my eyes at yet another ad for pumpkin spiced whatever, and realize that I’m adding an extra blanket at night, and donning a beanie in the morning.
The actual best part about fall and winter is really the lack of daylight. Truly, it is such a blessing to be forced out of the fields and the pull of all the jobs that need to be done. Summer has meant we work (some days, but not all) till 7 or 8 in the evening. It’s warm, and its light out, and there is LOTS to do. But come fall, it’s dark at 6:30, and doesn’t get light again till 7:30am. What a treat. We sleep in! And it honestly nourishes the soul.
The work we are focused on now is caring for a really fantastic amount of stuff we have in the ground before the rain. You will be surprised to hear that the weeds grow about 10 times faster than any known vegetable (except radishes!), so we will have to cultivate with the tractor as often as we can before the ground gets wet, hoe, and weed by hand each row of vegetables as many times as daylight will allow before we get to harvest our crop. So we are frantically picking grasses out of our carrot and green onion rows, which are the slowest growing of all. Aside for the work weeding which is never-ending, it is really exciting to have so much for you to enjoy in the coming months. My dad and I are trying to hold steady our anticipation for what could be a really full supply of winter veggies. This is something that we always struggle to pull off due to many things, but mostly the weeds.
Until those winter veggies start coming in, which will be soon, we are in a thinner time. Each season for us always has a thin area- the time when the previous plantings have finished, but the next one isn’t quite ready yet. So you will see some beautiful Rainbow Chard from our neighbors at Full Belly Farms this week, and I think our last installment of those delicious heirloom Apples from my parents Sonoma County friend. While we like to always have everything you all could
ever need, it is also so great to be surrounded by such amazing farms to give us a little bump when we in need. So enjoy your fall box this week, next week we will have another new item or two as our planting start maturing. Have a great week ~Ali
Creamy Turnip & Apple Soup with Balsamic Browned Butter
For the soup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups thinly sliced and washed leeks, white and light green parts
3 pounds urnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes, roughly 8 cups
2 large, sweet tart apples such as Fuji, peeled, cored and chopped
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth, plus more if needed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
For the balsamic browned butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
In a large soup pot, melt the butter over low heat, add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently until soft but not browned. Add the turnips, apples, broth, salt and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook for 20-30 minutes until the turnips are very tender.
In batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth, thinning with more broth or water if you think it’s too thick. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. (At this point, the soup can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for longer storage.) Return to the pot and bring to a simmer. For the balsamic brown butter, melt the butter in a small pot over low heat until browned and nutty. Remove from the heat and swirl in the balsamic vinegar. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with the balsamic butter.
Apple and Swiss Chard Pie
Source: By Martha Rose Shulman
8 ounces French-style unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon cold vodka
FOR THE FILLING:
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup rum
8 cups Swiss chard leaves, coarsely chopped
2 pounds (4 large) apples, (1/4-inch thick) slices
2 tablespoons raw brown sugar
Pinch of salt
¼ cup lightly toasted pine nuts
¼ cup powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting, sifted
2 ounces Gruyère, Comté or manchego, grated (1/2 cup)
Make the crust: Place butter, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix at the slowest speed for 30 seconds. Add flour and mix at the slowest speed until well combined. Add vodka and 3 tablespoons water and mix only until dough comes together; add more water as needed. Do not overmix. The dough should be completely homogenized and will feel slightly tacky.
Scrape mixture out onto a work surface. Weigh and divide into two uneven pieces, one 2/3 of the total weight and the other 1/3 of the total weight. Flatten to about 1/2-inch thick, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight. Lightly butter a 9- to 9 1/2-inch tart pan or pie dish. Roll out the larger piece of the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Transfer dough to pan, allowing edges of dough to hang over sides. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least one hour. make the filling: Place raisins in a bowl and cover with rum. Leave for 20 minutes or longer. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Adjust oven rack so it is in the lower third of the oven. Wash the greens. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add the still-wet chard a handful at a time. Stir until greens collapse, then add another handful. Add a generous pinch of salt and continue until all greens have wilted. Transfer to a colander and rinse with cold water. Take up handfuls of chard and squeeze out excess water. Chop coarsely and set aside. You should have 1 generous cup chopped chard. Place sliced apples in a large bowl and toss with brown sugar. Drain raisins and discard rum.In another large bowl, beat eggs. Remove 2 tablespoons for brushing the crust and set aside in a small bowl or ramekin. Add a pinch of salt to the eggs in the large bowl, and stir in chard, apples, raisins, pine nuts, powdered sugar and cheese. Remove lined pan and remaining dough from refrigerator. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, until the edges of the dough in the pan are pliable. Pierce the bottom all over with a fork, leaving about an inch between the rows. Brush lightly with beaten egg. Scrape in chard and apple filling. Roll out remaining dough and place on top of filling. Join the edges of the top and bottom pastry and pinch together to form an attractive lip. Make a few slits in top of dough and place pan on a baking sheet. Brush the top generously with reserved egg. If there are any spare pieces of dough, shape into little balls to decorate the top crust. Bake 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake another 40 to 45 minutes, until nicely browned. (If edges are browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil after 30 minutes.) Allow to cool completely, which will take a couple of hours. The pie can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired, before serving.
Pomegranate-Apple Hard Cider
1 c. apple cider
1 c. pomegranate juice
2 oz. Svedka vodka
1 oz. Cointreau
1 c. Hy-Vee ginger ale
Pomegranate seeds, optional
Combine all ingredients except pomegranate seeds in a pitcher; stir. Serve in tumblers over ice. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, if desired.
ROASTED HONEYNUT SQUASH WITH TAHINI MAPLE DRESSING
3 honeynut squashes (roughly 1.5 pounds)
1.5 tsp canola oil
0.5 tsp kosher salt
pinch of black pepper
TAHINI MAPLE DRESSING
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp pure maple syrup
1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
1 tbsp hot water
0.5 oz toasted pecans
1 tsp fresh thyme
Wash, dry, and slice honeynut squash. Scoop seeds out of the cavity using a spoon. Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly oil the inside of honeynut squash and season with salt and pepper. Place honeynut squash cut-side down and roast for 20-25 minutes. While squash is roasting, combine the dressing ingredients (tahini, maple, lemon, and hot water). For a slightly sweeter dressing, add up to a tbsp. of maple syrup (this won't affect the WW points for 1 serving). If toasting pecans, add pecans to a dry pan and toast until you start smelling the pecans--this should take about 3-5 minutes. When the skin is dark brown and the top half of the squash is tender, remove the honeynut squash. Place honeynut squash cut-side up on a platter, drizzle with tahini maple dressing, top with pecans and thyme, and serve.
Chinese Green Onion Sauce
1-2 cloves garlic minced
2 stalks green onions finely chopped
⅓ cup parsley finely chopped
¼ cup avocado oil
3 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
½ tsp white or black pepper
Place your garlic, green onions, parsley or coriander in glass container. In a small pot, pour avocado oil in and heat it until hot. Carefully pour the hot oil over your herbs. Then season with soy sauce, salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!
Sausage & Apple Stuffed Honeynut Squash
Source:Garden in the Kitchen
3 whole honeynut squash, halved
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pinch sea salt and pepper
4 Andouille sausages
1 whole apple, cubed
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp each oregano, sage, garlic herb
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Pre-heat oven to 400F degrees Wash the skin of honeynut squash and towel dry. Cut in half the lengthwise. Remove the seeds and clean the cavity well. Brush the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh rosemary. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered Meanwhile, heat oil in cast iron. Add sausage, apple, celery and sauté on medium heat for 15 minutes or until apple is soft and sausage start to turn golden brown. Add dried cranberries and season with salt, pepper, oregano, sage and garlic herb. Remove honeynut squash from oven. Fill the cavity with sausage apple mix. Top with fresh rosemary and serve.