Week #28 (12/6 & 9)

This week your basket contains: carrots, leeks, beets, Carnival winter squash, cipollini onions, and Florence fennel.

Cipollini onions are mellow and sweet and perfect for sauces.  They are perfect for this recipe.  While our fennel is not as large as we would have hoped, it will work well in this recipe or in any recipe where it could be substituted for celery or dill.

CIPOLLINI ONION AND FENNEL POT ROAST

1 Tbs. rosemary
1 Tbs. thyme

¼ cup plus1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1tsp. salt
1tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1  boneless beef chuck roast
2 cups cipollini onions

3 medium carrots, chopped
2 medium fennel bulbs,diced

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup dry sherry
4 cups low-sodium beef broth, plus extra, as needed
2 dried bay leaves
For the rub: In a small bowl, mix together the rosemary, thyme, 1 Tbs. olive oil, salt, and pepper until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pat the beef dry with paper towels and rub on all sides with the herb rub. In a heavy 6-quart pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the beef and set aside. Add the remaining oil, onions, carrots, and fennel to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until aromatic. Add the sherry and deglaze the pan. Stir in the broth and bay leaves. Return the beef and any juices to the pot and bring the liquids to a boil. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook until the beef is fork-tender, about 4 hours, turning the beef over halfway through and adding extra broth, as needed, to keep the beef halfway covered in liquid. Transfer the beef to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let stand for 15 minutes. Spoon any excess fat off the top of the pan juices. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Using an immersion blender, blend the vegetables and cooking juices together until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep warm over low heat. Cut the beef into 1-inch pieces and place on a platter. Spoon some of the sauce over the meat and serve the remaining sauce on the side.

This week’s winter squash is a variety called Carnival. It has a relatively thick skin over an intensely flavorful and sweet flesh.  While this recipe calls for butternut squash, Carnival would work very well.

BUTTERNUT 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 (butternut, acorn or Delicata) 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.

With the first frost so late this year (by 6 weeks!) the winter beets still have very tasty and greens.  We have been cooking them just like spinach or Swiss chard.  This simple recipe is a great way to utilize them.  If you want to store the greens (or the root) it works best if you cut the greens off the root.  Store the greens in a produce bag, and the roots loose in the crisper.

ADOBO GREENS

2 lbs. fresh greens

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3-c. oil

1 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

1/2 tsp. salt

pepper

Chop greens roughly. Cut small stems into bite-sized pieces; discard large ones. Heat oil in large skillet, add garlic, and sauté until it turns golden. Add greens, sauté briefly, then add lemon juice, soy sauce, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add pepper, and serve immediately.  From the Winter Harvest Cookbook by Lane Morgan

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