Week #17 (9/22 & 25)

This week your basket contains: summer squash, cucumbers, sweet corn (full shares), lettuce (half shares), sweet peppers, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, leeks, SPAGHETTI SQUASH, and beans.

THE PUMPKIN PICK UP PARTY IS COMING UP SOON!  Mark your calendars for October 17th & 18th as the day(s) to come out and pick your jack-o-lantern, eat pizza (including pumpkin pie pizza!), press cider and have fun with other subscribers.

Another opportunity for family fun is the OMSI  Harvest Festival from 10:00 to 5:00 on THIS SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 27TH. Polly will be there all day with her dried flower wreaths and sunflower head birdfeeders (if you are not familiar with these, check out the “Wreaths and Birdfeeders” page on our web site).  There will be a wide variety of activities, food and drink available at the OMSI event so fun will be had by the whole family.  Come check it out and stop by our booth and say hello.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH TIPS

The SPAGHETTI SQUASH, or vegetable spaghetti, is one of our favorite squashes.  It is a low-calorie, crisp-textured vehicle for sauces or seasonings. It is excellent with any sauce you would use on regular pasta, especially primavera types.  There are two ways to cook it; boiling and baking.  In both cases the squash should be left whole.  For boiling drop into boiling water and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.  When a fork goes easily into the flesh, the squash is done.  To bake, prick squash and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes to 1 1/2 hrs. or until tender.  When the squash is cool enough to handle, cut in half length-wise, remove seeds, then with a fork “comb” the squash flesh.  The spaghetti will pull off in long strands.

There is a short window in the fall when we have both summer crops like tomatoes and winter crops like winter squash and leeks.  We love the combination and always make this sauce for use on our spaghetti squash.

LEEK & TOMATO SAUCE

2 leeks

2 Tbs butter

2 Tbs olive oil

1 zucchini

1 sweet pepper

4 medium tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Chop all vegetables (approx. ¼ inch).  Peel tomatoes, if desired.  Saute leeks in butter and olive oil until translucent.  Add zucchini, sweet pepper and garlic and saute five minutes longer.  Add tomatoes, cover and cook twenty minutes.  Taste and add salt and pepper.  Serve over any pasta or firm white fish.  This recipe can be expanded with carrots, celery, beans or just about any other vegetable you like.

SMOKY TURKISH EGGPLANT CREAM

1 ½ Lbs eggplant

juice of 1 lemon

2 Tbs. butter

3 Tbs. flour

1 cup hot milk

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

salt

Puncture the skin of the eggplants with a fork two or three times then char the skins on all sides either over coals or under the broiler (the flesh will become quite soft in the process).  Remove the charred skin and any hard seeds then drop the eggplant into cold water to which you’ve added the lemon juice (to preserve the color), and let stand 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and remove from heat.  Stir in the flour then cook stirring until the flour is golden.  Whisk in the milk and continue to cook stirring until smooth.  Set over low heat and let cook for 5-10 minutes more stirring occasionally.  Drain the eggplant squeezing to remove excess water.  Mash the eggplant with a potato masher then add to the saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring, over low heat.  Stir in the cheese and salt to taste.  Serve hot.

CHARD BRAISE

2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms

2 ½ cup boiling water

1 lb. chard

1 Tbsp. olive oil

6 medium white mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp. kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place porcini in a medium bowl.  Pour boiling water over them and let soak until softened, about 30 minutes.  Separate chard leaves from stems.  Cut leaves crosswise into 1-inch strips and stems into 1-inch lengths.  Drain the porcini in a fine sieve lined with paper towel over a 2-cup measure.  Add water to the soaking liquid if necessary to measure 1 ½ cups total.  Rinse the porcini under cool running water.  Squeeze out any excess water and coarsely chop.  Chop white mushrooms into ¼-inch slices.  Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add white mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic, the chard stems and leaves, reserved liquid and chopped porcini; stir to combine.  Cover and cook until chard stems are tender, 8-10 minutes.  Uncover, increase heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid in reduced by half, 3-5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serves 4. From Eating Well Feb./Mar. 2006.

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