Wednesday, October 5, 2011

CSA Week 17

October 4 & 5

today’s harvest

1 bunch chard

1 bunch carrots

1 savoy cabbage

1/2 pound baby lettuce mix

1/3 pound arugula

2 stalks Brussels sprouts (!!!!!)

2 garlic

sweet pepper

Not a drop of rain in July and barely a sprinkle during Hurricane Irene. We seem to be making up for lost time here on the Kettle bluffs and these dreary days and super water logged fields are reminiscent of the sloppy spring we had. I really have to dig deep to remember those early days. I associate this ever cranking growing season with nothing but sunshine, sparkle, blue skies and goodness.

As for our always abundant field, the wetness and warmth have been a treat for all of the greens, young and old. From rock solid chard to crispy arugula, we got it goin’ on. The soil fertility building swath of oats and clover is the lushest of the lush right now, a huge blanket both allowing the ground to rest and pumping it up for seasons to come. The biggest news of the week, is that Woolever Farm, an Icelandic Sheep farm in Alfred, run by super close friend, old neighbor and yoga buddy Heidi Woolever Daly is bringing her ram flock over to graze the greenness and goodness of the Kettle pastures. The spunky, young fellows will fertilize next year’s fields and munch clover, allowing me to skip another pass with the mower, decreasing soil compaction and keeping us from taking another sip of fossil fuels. Not to mention, it feels great to cooperate with another local farmer and mutually diversify and improve our operations. If you haven’t done it yet, “friend” BKF on Facebook, I guarantee that there will be plenty of sheep shots in the weeks to come.

There has been plenty of horn hooting and tooting, along the lines of “we’re awesome, you’re awesome, the veggies are a rockin!!! Yay, Yay, Yay!’” in this season’s newsletters. Howsoever because we are always evolving and ever humbled by life experience and the craziness of attempting to squeeze food out of the earth, it comes with a heavy heart to declare that the winter squash crop, a New England staple for sure, is all sorts of said and done. There are many reasons why it just didn’t line up this year and the few delicata that you got in your shares where the only ones that left the farm. I repeat, no one got them but YOU. There has been no mountain of butternut and sweet dumplings on display at farmer’s market and none of my faithful restaurants will chop even one this season. Fear not, this is a perfect opportunity to visit your local farmer’s market. Everyone else has more then they can handle, so test drive a few and let me know which varieties you like. Missing the mark this year, just fuels the fire to make the winter squash haul better then ever in 2012. Have faith, we’ll pull through this together! In fact, we’ll pull through this with BRUSSELLS SPROUTS. I pretty much binge on vegetables and eat nothing else,(ok fine, peanut butter) but the ol’ b.sprout is really just something special to me. They take a long, long time to grow, they look way cool and are like health inducing, delectable candy. YUM! The fall fabulousness continues. Squash or not, we will no doubt Hoot and/or Toot and high kick into the last weeks of the season, it’s just how we do!

Linguine with Pecan Arugula Pesto

Gourmet | November 2002

3/4 cup pecans (3 oz), toasted

1 large garlic clove

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 oz arugula, coarse stems discarded

1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 1/2 oz)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 lb dried linguine

Finely chop 1/4 cup pecans.

Mash garlic to a paste with salt using a mortar and pestle (or mince and mash with a large heavy knife). Blend remaining 1/2cup pecans, arugula, cheese, oil, pepper, and garlic paste in a food processor until smooth, about 1 minute.

Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Ladle out and reserve 1 1/2 cups cooking water. Drain pasta in a colander, then return to pot and toss with pesto, 1/2 cup cooking water, and chopped pecans, adding more cooking water as necessary if pasta seems dry.

Freeze this pesto, you’ll love it in February!

Teriyaki Portobello "Burgers" with Cabbage Slaw

Gourmet, April 2006

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons mirin* (sweet Japanese rice wine) or medium-dry Sherry

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh gingerroot

2 tablespoons sugar

4 fresh Portobello mushrooms (about 1/4 pound each), stems trimmed flush with caps and save

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon honey

2 cups finely shredded cabbage

1/2 cup finely shredded carrot

2 scallions, chopped fine

vegetable oil for brushing mushroom caps

4 sesame-seed hamburger buns, split and toasted lightly

In a small saucepan simmer marinade ingredients, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Continue simmering marinade until reduced to about 1/2 cup and cool to room temperature.

Put mushroom caps and marinade in a large sealable plastic bag, arranging caps in one layer, and seal bag, pressing out excess air. Marinate mushrooms at room temperature, turning bag over several times, 1 hour.

In a bowl whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, oil, and honey and add cabbage, carrot, and scallions. Toss vegetables well to coat and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat broiler.

Drain mushrooms and arrange, stemmed sides up, on lightly oiled rack of a broiler pan. Broil mushrooms 2 inches from heat and turn over. Brush mushrooms lightly with oil and broil 3 minutes, or until tender. Transfer mushrooms with a slotted spatula to hamburger bun bottoms. Top mushrooms with slaw and bun tops.

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