Week #25 11/13 only

This week your basket contains: rainbow carrots, celeriac, broccoli, onions, beets, kale, and spaghetti squash.

NEXT WEEK IS THANKSGIVING.  As we always do, we will deliver a DOUBLE BASKET on 11/20 and skip delivery on 11/27, after which we will be back to our normal schedule. We will post a full listing of what we will be harvesting for that basket on our web site.  One item we will not be putting in your Thanksgiving basket is celeriac which you have for the second week in a row.  We try not to double up like this, but wanted to save some space next week.  Celeriac was a good choice to give early since it keeps so well in the refrigerator (simply remove the greens and put it in the crisper drawer).  Another item that won’t be showing up for your holiday (at least from us) is Brussels sprouts.  We are a bit confused as to why, but our sprouts just have not developed enough to harvest despite overall good sized plants.  We assume they will be ready next month and into the new year.  One factor that may have affected the Brussels sprouts is that this has been a particularly bad year for aphids.  We’ve sprayed with organic sprays multiple times on the sprouts and the kale, but we still see a good number on both.  We’ve done our best to remove any remaining “hitchhikers”, but you should check things over.  One good way to remove the little guys is to soak your kale in cold salted water for 5 minutes or so the spay both surfaces of the leaves with a firm spray of water.  Now that we have had a couple of frosts, you may see a bit of frost damage on the broccoli heads.  These show up as dark areas that may or may not be soft.  If soft, simply snip out that floret as the rest of the head is fine.  Another (positive) effect of frost is that many crops like parsnips, kale and cabbage will be more flavorful than before the frost.  Here is a new recipe for celeriac that sounds amazing.  We’ll be having it very soon!

 CREAMY CELERIAC SOUP WITH PANCETTA & TOASTED WALNUTS

2 tsp olive oil & addition for serving

4 oz. sliced pancetta or bacon

1 Tbsp. butter

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1 celeriac cut into chunks

4 cups chicken stock

salt and pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup chopped parsley 

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottom pan over medium high heat and add the chopped pancetta. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side until crisp. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Melt the ghee in the same pot and add the chopped onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf and celeriac chunks. Cook for about 2 minutes longer. Pour in the stock and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender. About 25 minutes. Fish out the bay leaf, stir in the heavy cream, and then transfer the soup to a high speed blender and whirl away on high until completely smooth and creamy. Depending on the size of your blender you may need to do this in batches. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender but the soup won’t be as smooth and creamy. Return the soup to the pot and keep on low. Give it a taste test and season it with addition salt and pepper if needed. If the soup seems too thick add a touch more stock or water.  Meanwhile heat a small dry skillet over medium high heat. Add the walnuts and cook until lightly toasted on all sides. About 5 minutes. Shake the pan often to ensure the nuts cook evenly. Remove from the pan and when cool enough to handle, roughly chop the nuts.  Ladle the soup into bowls and top each portion with the cooked pancetta, walnuts and parsley. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

RED LENTIL SALAD WITH FETA AND BEETS

2-3 beets

¼ cup grapeseed oil (or olive oil)

1 Tbsp. minced shallots (or 1 small onion)

1 garlic clove, minced

½ tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. ground fennel seeds

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Pinch cayenne pepper

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup red lentils

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

1 bunch arugula, torn into bite-size pieces

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wrap the beets in foil and roast them for 45 minutes, or until tender; let cool.  Peel the beets (rubbing under cold water) and cut them into wedges.  In a medium skillet, heat the oil until shimmering.  Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add cumin and fennel seeds and cook just until fragrant.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the vinegar, lemon juice and cayenne.  Season with salt and pepper and whisk until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add lentils and cook just until tender.  Drain and transfer to a bowl.  Toss the lentils with half the vinaigrette and let cool.  Stir in parsley.  Toss the arugula and beets with the remaining vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.  Mound the salad on dinner plates and spoon the lentils on top.  Garnish with the feta and serve.  Serves 4.  From Food and Wine Jan. 2001.