Week #21 (10/16 & 19)

This week your basket contains: zucchini, tomatoes, carrots, sweet peppers, CHINESE CABBAGE, beets, KABOCHA WINTER SQUASH, garlic, hot pepper, and tomatillos. 

LAST WEEK SOMEONE LEFT A CASH PAYMENT IN AN ENVELOPE IN THEIR BASKET WITHOUT PUTTING THEIR NAME ON IT.  PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF IT WAS YOU SO I CAN PROPERLY CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT.

PUMPKIN PICK UP WEEKEND IS THIS WEEKEND October 20th & 21st.  This is the time we set aside for you all to come out to the farm, choose a carving pumpkin (and gourds and odd squash) and enjoy the farm.  We will have farm tours, apple cider pressing, and a pot luck lunch that includes pizza from our wood-fired oven.  I will, of course, be making pumpkin pie pizza, which is amazing (if I do say so myself).  Make plans now to come out one of those days anytime from 11:00 to 4:00.

Chinese cabbage (also called Napa cabbage) is very versatile.  While it is perhaps best known as the base for kimchi, it can also be used in just about any recipe for regular cabbage or bok choy.  This easy kimchi recipe is a great way to try out fermented foods (if you have not done so yet).  We like to add a couple of dashes of fish sauce to punch up the flavor a bit.

EASY KIMCHI

1 Napa cabbage, cut into 2-inch strips

1/4-1/2 cup kosher salt

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

2 tablespoons ginger, minced

1 teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons water

1 diced mild hot pepper

3 medium carrots cut into 1-inch matchsticks

Place cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Mix thoroughly using gloves, if preferred. Place a heavy pot or pan on top with weights and allow cabbage to sit for 1-2 hours until wilted and cabbage water has been released.  Discard cabbage water after 1-2 hours. Rinse the cabbage 2-3 times in the sink until salt is removed and allow it to drain in a colander for another 15-20 minutes.

Combine cabbage with garlic, ginger, sugar, and water and mix. Add the hot pepper and mix well.  Once combined, place mixture in a jar pressing down and packing tightly so that the mixture is submerged in its own liquid. Place top on jar and allow  it to sit at room temperature for 2-5 days. Place jar on a plate since the mixture may bubble over while fermenting. Each day of fermentation, remove the lid to release gases and press down on the mixture to keep it submerged. You can taste a sample each day to decide if the level of fermentation is to your liking.  After 2-5 days of fermentation, store kimchi in refrigerator.

This is an excellent recipe that we never have any leftovers of (I just can’t stop eating it!)

SAUTÉED CHINESE CABBAGE WITH BLUE CHEESE, WALNUTS AND APPLES

4 cups thinly sliced Chinese cabbage

1 med. onion, diced

1 clove garlic

1 tart green apple

8 oz. ripe blue cheese

1 cup chopped walnuts

2 Tbs.  walnut or olive oil.

Salt

If you choose to use walnut oil, be aware that it will scorch more readily than other oils.   In a large skillet sauté the onion in the oil until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook 2-3 minutes more. Add the chopped Chinese cabbage and salt.  Sauté  4-5 minutes or until the cabbage wilts.  Add the walnuts, cook 1-2 minutes more.  Remove to serving dish, top with chopped apple and crumbled blue cheese and serve warm.

KABOCHA SQUASH is our favorite squash.  Its dry sweet flesh is very similar to sweet potato.  There are several great recipes on our web site, but this is our favorite way to cook it:

Cut the squash in half.  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.