Thursday, October 13, 2011

week 21

Levon managed to delete my original newsletter, so this is round two - not quite as inspired and a little more hurried! Nonetheless - this weeks' harvest:

Lettuce Pac Choy Green Peppers

Zucchini Sweet and White Potatoes Garlic

Green Beans choice of NZ Spinach or Yokatta Na

herb bag: Basil Cutting Celery Arugula Nasturtium

Fall weather – cool and damp – rainy this morning (we're glad it doesn't rain too often on Thursday mornings!) - so nice for cooking, baking, roasting, making big pots of soup, kicking leaves, planting garlic. Beautiful Fall.

We're watching the long range forecast carefully these days. It's time to start selling basil plants. If you haven't put up pesto in your freezer, here's your chance. We have regular green Genovese plants, and Purple Ruffles, too. The Ruffles make an INCREDIBLE pesto, tho the plants are not as large an robust. They are $3/plant. Let us know of your interest.

In other news – the chocolate will be with us next week. You can place an order in advance or just take your chances at the market. One pound of chocolate comes in pint jars – they are $15 each. Nearly a .4 lb comes in a little plastic deli tub for $6.

Just a reminder – if there's too much food for you – freeze some for later. Greens beans get blanched for 4 minutes, then cooled and bagged. Greens need only short blanch – 1 to 2 minutes, before freezing.

The nasturtiums are the round leaves in your herb bag. They don't look like anything else – very different. They're pungent and complement a complex salad.

We've been roasting our potatoes and sweet potatoes lately. It's so good and easy. Here's how – cut up your potatoes and sweet potatoes into fairly regular sized cubes – whatever size suits you. Toss them in a large bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper, and whatever herbs and spices you like. Use just enough olive oil to coat the potatoes, but not so much that it drips off them soggy. Pour them into a baking pan, not too thick, and roast in a fairly hot oven – 450-475 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, until they're golden brown and soft to poke with a fork. Turn them a couple times while baking so one side doesn't over-brown.

Soup weather is here! Love it...

Yokatta Na works great in a soup, so simple. Slice the leaves into thin threads and put them in the bottom of the soup bowl. Pour piping hot soup over the greens and just let them cook in the bowl. It works nice with miso or other light broths, and makes a nice surprise for the soup-eater in a heartier stew.

The New Zealand Spinach will melt well with a sweet potato soup. I found this one on-line and adapted it to our purposes:

Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced 1 celery stalk, diced

2 small sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes 1 1/2 cups brown lentils

1 quart vegetable broth 2 cups water

2 cans (15 ounce) diced tomatoes 2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Salt and pepper, to taste 2 cups chopped fresh spinach (NZ works)

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic. Saute until onion is tender and garlic is light brown in color. Add celery, and sweet potatoes. Cook until vegetables soften, about 5-7 minutes.

2. Stir in the lentils, vegetable broth, and water. Add the diced tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Cook on medium-low heat for about 35-40 minutes or until lentils are cooked.

3. Add the fresh spinach and stir. If necessary, season with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaves and serve warm.

And another:

Creamy Choy Soup

1 Tbsp light frying oil ½ cup chopped scallions, divided

3 cloves minced garlic 2 tsp chopped fresh ginger

1 lb choy (any kind) 1 large potato, diced

3 cups vegetable stock or water ¾ tsp salt

¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper hot pepper flakes

1 tsp toasted sesame oil 2 Tbsp sour cream

1) Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium high heat. Set aside a couple tablespoons of scallions fo a garnish. Add the remaining scallions, garlic, and ginger to the pot. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2) Add the choy and potato. Pour in the stock or water and add the salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes to taste. Increase the heat and bring to boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the potato is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the pot from heat. Stir in the toasted sesame oil.

3) Transfer the soup to a food processor or blender and puree. Ladle soup int individual bowls.

4) Garnish each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped scallion.

Enjoy right away.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful seasonal harvest with us. We hope you enjoy your meals.

Best regards from our home to yours!

Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.”

Wendell Berry

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