Week #24 (11/10 & 13)

This week your basket contains: sweet peppers, Florence fennel, cabbage, onions, CELERIAC, potatoes, Swiss chard, and carrots.

THANKSGIVING SCHEDULE:  As we always do, we will be delivering a DOUBLE BASKET to you the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (Nov. 24th).  We will Skip delivery on December 1st and resume normal delivery on December 8th.  Please let us know if you have questions or concerns.  We will be posting a projected harvest list for the double basket to our web site to help you plan your feast.  At the same time we will post our late December-early January schedule.

Celeriac, or celery root as it is also known, is a wonderful combination of celery flavor and potato texture.  The leaves, which are very similar to the herb lovage, can be used in soup stock or stews to add a celery flavor. To use the root, it must be peeled first.  Perhaps the easiest way to use celeriac is to grate it after peeling, dressing with mustard vinaigrette and serving cold.  This is the vinaigrette that we use:

VINAIGRETTE

1 clove garlic

1 tsp salt

3 Tbs red wine vinegar

1 tsp wet mustard

5 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

black pepper

Press garlic into the bottom of  your salad bowl.  With a fork, mix well with salt until it forms a paste.  Mix in vinegar and mustard until salt is dissolved.  Whisk in olive oil to make an emulsion.  Add black pepper to taste.  These proportions are in no way set in stone.  You should experiment to find the proportions you prefer.  Also, other spices, herbs and vinegars can be used to vary the dressing.

Celeriac pairs naturally with potatoes.  We like to add celeriac to mashed potatoes (just boil chunks along with potatoes) to get a silkier texture and enhanced flavor.  This is another great way to pair the two root veggies.

LOW-FAT POTATO AND CELERIAC FRIES

Another great idea that came to us is a method for making very low-fat French fries.  We have used this with potatoes, celeriac and parsnips with great results.  Simply chop your roots into fries.  In a large Tupperware container with a lid mix 2 Tbs olive oil with a teaspoon or so of mustard (vary the amount to you r taste).  Add the fries, close the lid and shake so that the fries are evenly coated with the mixture.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes turning the fries over occasionally until the fries are evenly golden brown.

This is a nice way to utilize several of the vegetables in your basket this week.

CELERY & FENNEL SOUP

1 large potato, cubed
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 head celery, chopped (include the leaves)
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, and very thinly sliced (reserve feathery top)
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
salt, as needed, to taste
In large covered saucepan simmer potatoes in chicken broth and wine until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium heat, sauté celery, fennel slices, and onion in olive oil until tender, about 15 minutes. Mash potatoes right in the broth mixture in the saucepan with a masher. Stir in celery-fennel mixture. Heat through. Season with pepper and salt.  Chop reserved fennel tops and use to garnish each serving. Adapted from Food.com

This week we started harvesting the final seeding of carrots for this winter.  We chose to keep the greens on for a couple of reasons.  It is a bit easier for us to keep them on, but several people have told us that they like to cook the greens.  Some people use them in stock, we have heard that they can be used in a greens mix for Indian Saag and we heard from a subscriber recently that she made a wonderful pesto using carrot greens and macadamia nuts in place of pine nuts.  Just remember that if you will be storing the carrots for more than a couple of days you should remove the tops (leave about ¼ inch of stem on the root) to keep the carrots from drying out too quickly.  The tops can be stored separately in a plastic bag for later use.

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