Week #21 (10/20 & 23)

This week your basket contains: Kabocha winter squash, cucumbers, sweet peppers, kale, leeks, spinach, lettuce, GREEN TOMATOES, eggplants, broccoli, and rainbow carrots.

Thank you to all of you who came out to our pumpkin pick-up weekend.  We had a great time seeing you, sharing food with you and watching the kids (and adults) having fun choosing the perfect pumpkin for carving.  Congratulations to our three “guess the weight, win the pumpkin” winners: Kym on Saturday (63.8 Lbs.), Justin on Sunday (40.8 Lbs.) and Neil who won the largest pumpkin (124.8 Lbs.). All three winners’ guesses were within a pound of the actual weight.

We love Kabocha squash.  It has a wonderfully flaky and tasty flesh that is very similar to sweet potato. You can substitute it for sweet potato in most recipes or simply bake it as outlined below.

BAKED KABOCHA SQUASH

After removing the seeds, cut the halves into thin wedges either with the skin on or off.   Sprinkle them with olive oil, salt, and black pepper.  Bake in a hot oven (4000) until browned on one side.  Turn the wedges over to brown evenly.  You can eat them hot, let them cool as a snack or use them as the basis for a pureed squash soup such as the one below.

SQUASH LEEK SOUP

Here is a wonderfully simple recipe that marries the flavors of leeks and squash. It makes a rich but low-calorie soup that warms you up on wet fall days.  Bake a winter squash, when the flesh is tender scoop it out and set aside.  Sauté one large or two small leeks in a little olive oil until translucent and tender.  At the same time bring four cups of stock (vegetable or chicken) or water to a boil.  Add the leeks and the flesh of the squash to the stock; season with herbs (salt, pepper, bay, thyme, dill or any combination) and bring to a boil again.  Take the soup off the heat and allow it to cool a bit.  Puree the soup in a blender and serve with sour cream or yogurt garnish.

The turn in the weather has been the final blow to our tomatoes.  The vines have succumbed to late blight and will not be ripening any more fruit.  For those of us who love green tomatoes, this is not a sad situation, it is an opportunity to make some of our favorite dishes like theses:

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

Fried green tomatoes are extremely easy to make.

On a plate or in a shallow bowl, beat 1-2 eggs.  Cut green tomatoes approx. ¼ to ½ inch thick, dip in egg, coat with bread crumbs and fry in a small amount of butter.  Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the fried slices and serve

CREAM OF GREEN TOMATO SOUP

Base:

3 onions

10 green tomatoes

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

4 Tbs butter

For each 2 cups of base, add:

1 ½ cups half-and-half

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

Cut onions and cook slowly in butter in a large heavy pot.  When they are soft, add cut, cored but not peeled tomatoes.  Cook slowly for 30 minutes, cover pot and cook an additional 30 minutes.  Add broth and pass the soup through a strainer or food mill to remove the seeds and skin.  This is the base of the soup, which can be frozen for later use.

When ready to use, stir in half-and-half, sugar and salt.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Serve hot or chilled topped with a Tbsp. of sour cream.  From Classic American Food Without Fuss by McCullough and Witt.

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