Dear CSA members,
If the season began with difficult growing weather, it is sure making up for it with a lovely fall. We’re feeling really blessed by the continued overall warmth and lack of frost so far, despite the fact that the harvest yesterday and this morning (Sunday & Monday) were a bit wet and chilly!
A few of you have asked us how long we plan to continue distributing shares. Next week (the week of Oct. 13-19) will be our last official distribution of shares and we will load your boxes up with as many veggies as we can. The following week (Oct. 20-26) will be tub collection week. We will hold our normal distribution times/places that week and ask that you bring your tubs back to us so that we can use them next year. In return, we’ll have some kind of veggie treat for you to take home in a box or bag. You are also welcome to return your tubs to us at the Harvest Celebration on the 26th. If we don’t have a hard frost between now and the celebration, we may still have produce in the field that you can harvest yourselves for one final share in the season’s bounty.
Beets are back this week! Here’s a hearty borscht recipe from Laurel’s Kitchen. You can adjust the vegetable ingredients based on what you have on hand. Adjust the amount of water or stock you are using as well, based on the quantities of vegetables you put in.
Whole Beet Borscht
Ingredients: 1 small onion; 1 stalk celery; 1 clove garlic; ½ small cabbage; 2 tsp oil; 1 bay leaf; 2 tbsp flour; 1 ½ tsp salt; 5 cups stock or water; ¼ tsp pepper; 3 large or 6 small beets, plus greens; 1 tsp honey; 1 potato; 2 tbsp tomato paste or 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped; 1 carrot. Optional: Yogurt or sour cream
Chop onion and sauté with garlic clove in oil. Mash garlic clove when onion is translucent and browning. Stir in flour and cook gently for a minute. Add stock or water and bring to a boil. In the meantime, trim roots of beets, saving the good leaves and stems. Grate beets, potato, and carrot, or slice them thin. Slice celery thin. Add these and simmer 10 minutes while you shred the cabbage and chop the beet leaves and stems small. Add these and the bay leaf, salt, pepper, honey, and tomato to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until all vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf. Serve topped with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.
Amazingly, the eggplant have mustered the energy to set one final crop of fruit. This potato and eggplant recipe from manjulaskitchen.com will warm you up on a cool evening! Adjust the amount of chili you put in to suit your palate.
Aloo Baingan (Potato and Eggplant) (serves 3-4)
Ingredients: 1 medium or 2 small eggplant (baingan), un-peeled; 1 teaspoon ginger or ginger paste (adrek); 2 medium potatoes (aloo); 1 tablespoon coriander powder (dhania powder); 4 medium tomatoes (tamatar); 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (haldi); 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (hara dhania); 1/2 teaspoon paprika (dagi mirch); 1 tablespoon oil; 1 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste; 1 teaspoon cumin seed; 2 tablespoons water; 1 chopped green chili (adjust to taste); Oil for frying
Cut eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes into ½” cubes. (If you are out of fresh tomatoes, you can use canned, but be sure to drain them.) Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Frying pan should have at least 1 1/2 inch of oil. To check if the oil is ready, put one piece of potato in the oil. The potato should sizzle right away. If vegetables are fried in low heat they will be very oily. Fry the potatoes till they are cooked through, turning the potatoes few times while frying. Take out potatoes with a slotted spoon (this allows excess oil to drip back into the frying pan) and place on a paper towel. Test the oil again with a piece of eggplant. Fry the eggplant pieces same way.
In a small bowl, mix the shredded ginger, pepper, coriander powder, paprika, turmeric, and 2 tablespoons of water to make a paste. Heat the 1-tablespoon of oil in a pan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if seed cracks right away oil is ready. Add cumin seeds and after seeds crack, add the spice mixture and stir-fry for a minute until you see the oil start to separate from the spice mixture. Add chopped tomatoes and stir-fry for a minute. Then add fried potatoes and eggplant and mix gently. Let simmer for three to four minutes on medium low heat. If needed, add 3-4 teaspoons of water to moisten. Turn off the heat, add chopped cilantro and mix well.
Cut and half and with the seeds removed, winter squashes make great bowls for all kinds of stuffing. Here’s a stuffed Sweet Dumpling recipe from fruitguys.com that you might try. They adapted it from fromaliceskitchen.blogspot.com. You could adapt it to fill just about any kind of winter squash.
Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash
Ingredients: 2 Sweet Dumpling squash; 1/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts or toasted pecans, chopped; 1 tablespoon olive oil; Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste; 1/2–3/4 cup sweet peppers, diced; 1/4 cup chopped dried dates, currants, or cranberries; 1/3 cup onion or shallots; 1 cup greens, chopped (spinach, chard, arugula, etc.); 2 cloves garlic, minced; 1 cup quinoa or brown rice, cooked; 1 small stalk of celery, diced (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds (note: seeds can be roasted like pumpkin seeds). Season insides with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down in a lightly oiled baking dish, and bake until just tender (about 30 minutes or so). To test for doneness, press gently on the skin with a pot holder—when ready, it will give slightly because the inner flesh will be softened. While the squash cooks, heat up the oil in a large pan and sauté the peppers, onion, and celery (if using), until translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic, greens, and dates, currants, or cranberries. Cook just until the greens begin to wilt. Add the cooked rice and the toasted pecans. Place the mixture into the squash halves, and bake uncovered for another 20 minutes or so.
Have a beautiful week! Amy