Thursday, November 29, 2012

the end of november

Fun Jen Chinese Cabbage      Kale     Yokatta Na
White Potatoes           Seminole Pumpkins       Garlic
Herb bag:      Sorrel     Chickweed     Parsley              Dill         

It’s been cold, and the garden is flattening out.  The plants get closer to the ground.  Deep green leaves turn a little purple.  Growth is slow in the short days, but the flavors are more intense.

We’re scaling back now.  There’s more food than we anticipated having in the garden, but it’s best not to pick things when they’re frozen, and some of the basic crops are taking longer to regenerate now.  If you want veggies, watch for an email on Mondays.  We’ll aim for every other week or so, pending the weather, and as supplies last!

The little greens with little tiny leaves in your herb bag are Chickweed.  It grows wild around the garden.  This time of year, it is a succulent bright green.  It is fresh on the palate, nice on sandwiches and in wraps, excellent on salads, even do-able as a pesto or tabbouli green.  By Spring, it will be thick with stems, covered in white flowers and tiny seeds that propel themselves out and around the garden as we walk through, insuring another flush crop next Fall.  Wild greens are really good for you, and few are as palatable as Chickweed.

The shiny oval leaves are Yokatta Na – steam, stir fry, or slice thin in salad.
Fun Jen is light green and lettucey – same as Yokatta Na – try a variation on slaw.
Kale is matte, not shiny, and dark green with round thin ribs – steam, or fry with garlic. Yum.

Some fun with pumpkins or squash:
Crusted Pumpkin Wedges with Sour Cream (from Plenty)
1 1/2 pounds pumpkin (skin on)                              1/2 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons dried white breadcrumbs                   6 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme                    Grated zest of 2 large lemons
2 cloves garlic                                                             Salt and white pepper
1/4 cup olive oil                                                         1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped dill

1) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the pumpkin into 3/8-inch-thick slices and lay them flat, cut-side down, on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
2) Mix together in a small bowl the Parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, half the lemon zest, the garlic, a tiny amount of salt (remember, the Parmesan is salty) and some pepper.
3) Brush the pumpkin generously with olive oil and sprinkle with the crust mix, making sure the slices are covered with a nice, thick coating. Gently pat the mix down a little.
4) Place the pan in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender: stick a little knife in one wedge to make sure it has softened and is cooked through. If the topping starts to darken too much during cooking, cover loosely with foil.
5) Mix the sour cream with the dill and some salt and pepper. Serve the wedges warm, sprinkled with the remaining lemon zest, with the sour cream on the side.

Be warm, keep well, and enjoy your veggies.                              Best regards from the Entwistles

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