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CSA Week 8 – Fractal Veggie!

tumblr_nflz5gTesu1qlledio1_500Dear members — I hope you all had a terrific Thanksgiving and enjoyed your Farm to Family veggies and other items you got from us. I hope those turkeys were awesome! Thank you for sharing the food with your friends and loved ones, and I love to hear stories of our food traveling! We had butter travel to Los Angeles this week!

Many of you were very excited about the idea of bulk buying vegetables last week – we CAN get you bushels of sweet potatoes, kale and other items. This is perfect for big families, or if you are juicing, or making green smoothies. Let me know when you want some – please let me know by Saturday evening via email for delivery the following week.

Don’t forget that if you will be traveling for the Christmas holidays to put your share on hold. Once your share is on hold, you have to email me to tell me how you want to redeem it, you can’t do this on the website. Again, we are so grateful if you donate your share during the holidays – We were able to feed a whole bunch of families for Thanksgiving with your donated shares. So your choices: donate, pick up on an alternate week, double up, share it with a friend and have them eat it the week you are away, or move into credit so you can spend it on more delicious food. Also keep those referrals coming in!! We had 3 referred memberships this week. When you refer a friend and they join, YOU get $25 in Referral Reward credits!!

Gift Certificates — These are a great gift for anyone who loves fresh local food. Gift certificates can be redeemed towards CSA items, used for a la carte shopping at Eastern Market, Patriots Plaza or at our RVA Farm to Family BusFarm Market. Email me if you want a gift certificate!

Here is what is expected in the Produce Share:

  • Romanesco – We love everything about this vegetable, from its gorgeous green color, to its fractal fibonacci swirl landscape, to its flavor. Its a member of the brassica family – broccoli and cauliflower’s exotic cousin. We have a customer who gets these every season to make pickles for his co-workers. Try this recipe for quick refrigerator pickled fractals from Food in Jars, one of my favorite sites for anything jarred, pickled canned. Here’s a geeky post about the fractal vegetable. And here’s a recipe for Garlic Lemon Roasted (you can use it for broccoli and cauliflower too.) I am obsessed with taking pictures of this vegetable, and you will be too. Post it on social media with #farmtofamilyCSA.
  • Rutabagas – Darianne, our 15 year old volunteer, and her mom tried rutabaga for the first time last week. They were doubtful at first, but they were hungry. They are now addicted to rutabaga mash. How to make it: You will want to make plenty, this works so well in many ways and is one of those leftovers that just get better. Scrub your rutabagas, cut off any weird bits, cut into small chunks and put into a pan with some water. Boil until fork tender. Drain, and let sit for a few moments with the cover on, which helps any leftover moisture evaporate. You can reserve the water to make veggie stock, or soup with later. Mash with plenty of butter, season with salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne.  I like to use chicken stock as my mashing liquid, which helps to get more collagen and nutrition into our food on a daily basis. If you are veg, you can use veggie stock, coconut milk or other liquid.  You can make your mash a little more puree like and add more liquid. This makes a  nice base to soak up whatever you want to put on top: fried eggs, vegetable or meat stews, roasted tofu, grilled meats. Make the Lamb Chops Sizzled with Garlic, below, and nestle them on top! I like to add a lot of stock to my leftover rutabagas in the morning, and turn it into a breakfast porridge. If you mash is thicker, you can fry it – little rutabaga cakes. yum. You can take this recipe and substitute any type of root veggie — turnips and parsnips are pretty amazing too!
  • Red  Russian Kale — this is an amazing type of kale – truly beautiful in color. It makes a great kale salad, kale chips, sauteed kale. Here’s a recipe for kale and chorizo soup.
  • Cauliflower – again a super versatile vegetable. For Thanksgiving we made a cauliflower mash, which was a big hit at Mark’s relatives. We made it the same as the rutabaga mash above, but added in some cream cheese, and a few pinches of turmeric which gave it a little bit of a curried flavor. Instead of stock, I added in some of the Old Church Creamery kefir at the end, which added to the creamy texture, and gave it a probiotic boost, a must on an over indulgent day! If you have gluten issues, or have gone paleo, cauliflower is a terrific way to sub for a rice or grain. Here’s a paleo, GF cauliflower rice recipe from Paleo Grubs, kind of a cool site.
  • Serranno Peppers – I love them roasted, and like to keep a little on hand to add interest to recipes. Here’s a tutorial on how to roast and freeze them. Remember to wear gloves when handling hot peppers, and don’t rub your eyes! Many of you have said you really don’t know how to use peppers, here’s a handy guide to peppers. I grew up eating many hot peppers – my dad grew several varieties in his garden every summer, and my brother carries on his tradition now. He won’t share his recipe yet, but I am working on him. One of the easiest things to make with serranos is salsa, and use your cilantro below!
  • Brussels sprouts – one of two vegetable I hated as a kid (along with lima beans) which I love now.  Here’s a truly southern style recipe for Bourbon Glazed Brussel Sprouts with Bacon from Garden and Guns magazine which sounds great for the holidays. There’s also a recipe for bourbon radishes there too!!
  • baby spinach – perfect for a salad, or flash sautee it with coconut oil, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a splash of vinegar.
  • Orange kobucha squash – MMMmmm this Asian pumpkin is one of my favorites and I have one roasting in the oven now. I am going to keep it simple, and just put butter, salt and pepper on it. I like to use a grapefruit spoon on pumpkins and squashes to scoop out the seeds without any fuss. Don’t forget to save the seeds to roast – they make a good snack, or garnish if you make soup from your squash. Here’s a guide to Kobucha squash. I want to make the kobucha panna cotta!!! and how about the Korean pumpkin porridge?  And here’s a Thai Red Curry Squash,
  • broccoli – I love good Chinese food, and Eileen Yin-Fei Lo’s recipes are easy and delicious. I like her book Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking, and this recipe,Stir Fried “Beef” with Broccoli is perfect with the Twin Oaks tofu we have. Here’s a Chinese Market Tour video with Eileen in NYC’s Chinatown (one of my favorite places! – nothing like having an expert help you!
  • cilantro – did you know that cilantro is one of the healthiest herbs you can eat? One of the things it does is help to pull heavy metals out of your system. Here’s another cauliflower rice recipe, this one with cilantro and lime  that begs for Mexican food all over it! More recipes for cilantro from HuffPo – I want to try the corncakes!! and the congee!  and here’s another guide on how to use up those last little bits leftover from guac or salsa.
  • honey crisp apples – are not just for eating!!! try this Honey Crisp Sangria with red wine, brandy, cinnamon, apple cider, and citrus. Doesn’t it sound delicious? I wish I had some as I write this!

Meat

  • Green Fence Farm lamb chops – here’s a brilliant recipe for Lamb Chops Sizzled with Garlic from Food + Wine. It takes a lot of garlic, so make sure you get plenty! My first official job in NYC out of college was working at Travel + Leisure Magazine. Our sister publication, Food + Wine was downstairs, and I always tried to sneak down to see what they were trying out in the test kitchen.
  • Polyface ground beef – I love meat loaf. And I bet Meat Loaf would be good sitting on top of cauliflower or rutabaga mash too! Try Mark Bittman’s version from his cool book, How to Cook Everything Fast! It also calls for ground pork (that will be coming your way soon too!), but I would double up my ground beef, or cut the recipe in half and only use 1 lb ground beef.
  • And something else!! Surprise! Maybe it will be the ground pork!! I’ll put a bug in Mark’s ear.

Many thanks again for being a member of our CSA Farm Shares. If you have questions, comments or concerns, please email or call me. I am here to help you get the most out of your shares.

Warmly,

 Suzi Lilly

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