Monday, October 5, 2009

5th Week of September

Notes from your Farm
Happy October! Radishes return this week, including the spicy Shunkyo. We also have red and yellow popcorn ready for popping. We suggest removing the kernels from the cob and popping on the stove in olive oil.

The seed garlic for next year has arrived and we will be getting it planted in the next few weeks. The cooler weather has arrived right on schedule and I am looking forward to my first mug of apple cider at the potluck this Saturday. Hope to see you there.

Fall Potluck this Saturday, Oct 3, 5 pm to 9 pm
What to Bring: a hot or cold dish, chairs, and dress to be outside. We'll provide plates, utensils, hot cider and beverages. If the weather allows, we'll have a campfire too!

Pick Your Own Field Highlights
  • Stevia: this natural sweetener is 200 times sweeter than sugar, and has no glycemic impact for people with diabetes or who are limiting sugar intake Pinch off a few nodes and put in your coffee or tea.
  • Jerusalem artichokes: beautiful sunflower type flowers for cutting! They are near the neighbors sheep fence. We will dug some up after frost for their edible tubers, but as Brian Martin said last year, "starts out like a carrot, ends up like a frying pan" in flavor. :-) frost will sweeten them up somewhat,
  • Hot Peppers: signs are posted in the row this week. The farther back the row you go, the more capsaicin! the Nippon Taka variety is said to be incendiary.
  • Black-eyed Susan flowers: these are beautiful in the kitchen or elsewhere.
  • Ground Cherries: check out these tasty little paper-husked treat that have a hint of pineapple. Pick when paper turns golden brown or fruit is on the ground.
  • Cut flowers: zinnias, snapdragons, celosia
  • Basil: pinch off the tips just above where they branch--not sure, ask Bradley.
  • Tromboncino Squash Tower: Check out this rapidly growing vine and the bamboo tower that Bradley made for it.
  • Edible flowers: Nasturtiums, and Calendula and Borage are edible and are located also toward the end of the PYO field.

About Some of the Characters:

  • Shunkyo Radishes: These electric pink radishes have a hot and sweet flavor. Enjoy them boiled, pickled, added to soup or sliced raw and tossed in sesame oil and seasoned with sea salt.
  • Acorn Squash: the classic way to serve this winter squash is baked face up with melted butter, and brown sugar or maple syrup. See recipes for acorn squash bisque and acorn squash salad below.
  • Collards: a nutritional phytonutrient powerhouse and loaded with calcium. De-stem, chop and sauté with oil and garlic and serve as a side and see recipe below.
  • Arugula: a nutty, sort of spicy green--great addition to any salad and see Arugula recipes below
  • Asian and Italian type eggplants: the slender Japanese type eggplants are said to be sweeter and milder than the classic Italian types--but, when we did a taste test, they all were pretty much the same in flavor. Their color is fabulous. Coating slices with oil and soy sauce and grilling them is quick and delicious.
  • Bell Peppers: these are the most nutritious when raw, and the long Carmen variety is the new favorite here
  • Greens: discard the stems or ribs, and use the leaves sautéed with olive oil, garlic, onion, soy sauce etc.

Arugula Melon Salad from Denise Ziegler

12 oz arugula, washed and torn into small pieced
3 cups watermelon, cubed
4 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
Pine Nuts to your liking
Toss all ingredients with 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar, plus salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Sautéed Radishes with Radish Greens or Arugula, from Farmer John's Cookbook

Serves 4
1/4 cup butter
1 lb radishes, quartered
4 cups radish greens or arugula (or mix)
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
fresh ground black pepper

1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the radishes; cook, stirring constantly, until tender but still crisp, about 5 minutes depending on size. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Return the skillet to stove.
2. Put the greens or arugula in the skillet with the wash water still clinging to the leaves. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until wilting, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat. Add the lemon juice and radishes to the skillet; stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Acorn Squash Bisque from Madison Herb Society Cookbook, serves 4

1 large acorn squash
4 Tbsp butter
2 leeks, chopped
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream

Poke several holes in squash with a fork and bake at 325 degrees until it pierces easily with a fork, about 45 minutes. Cut in half, remove and discard seeds, scoop out pulp and reserve. Melt butter in saucepan, add leeks and sauté over low heat 20 minutes. Place in blender or food processor with squash pulp, stock, thyme, salt and pepper; whirl until smooth. Return to saucepan; simmer over low heat 20 minutes. Stir in cream and heath through just before serving.

Acorn Squash Salad from Farmer John's Cookbook - Serves 4 to 6

2 medium acorn squash
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
6 Tbsp orange or tangerine juice
3 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp candied ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
4-6 handfuls salad greens (one handful per serving) washed, dried, lightly dressed with olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375 F
2. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash halves cut-sides down on a baking sheet. Bake until tender, 30 to 45 minutes depending on size. Cool completely, scoop out the soft flesh, and roughly chop. Place the squash in a bowl and set aside.
3. Combine the olive oil, cilantro, orange juice, maple syrup, ginger, salt and cayenne in a blender or food processor. Blend well.
4. Pour the dressing over the squash and toss gently. Chill for at least 1 hour to allow the flavor to combine.
5. Serve on a bed of lightly dressed greens.

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