Week #28 (12/4 & 7)

This week your basket contains: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower (half shares), Florence fennel (full shares), leeks, potatoes, garlic, and spinach mix. 

Given the calendar and our travel schedule we will be doing things a bit differently in December.  We will give extra produce on the 14th and 21ST , much of which will store well in your fridge.  We will skip the 28th and January 4TH  and be back to normal on January 11th.  Let us know if you have any questions or concerns. 

Cold and rain has damaged some of the heads of broccoli.  This shows up as dark areas that may or may not be soft. We were very careful as we harvested, but you may want to use your broccoli sooner rather than later.  If soft, simply snip out that floret as the rest of the head is fine.  We’ve been eating some of the rejected heads for lunch and dinner and they are great.  This would be a good way to use your broccoli.

BROCCOLI WITH TOASTED HAZELNUTS AND PANCETTA

2 Heads broccoli

6 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic

½ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped fine

2 tsp. grated lemon zest

1/3 Lb. pancetta or bacon; cooked and crumbled

salt and black pepper

Cut broccoli into florets and steam until crisp-tender. Drain and set aside.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add the garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.  If desired, you may remove and discard the garlic cloves.  Add the broccoli and toss in the oil.  Stir in the hazelnuts, lemon zest and pancetta or bacon.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.  From Cold-Weather Cooking by Sarah Lee Chase. 

The carrots in your baskets this week have been in our cooler for a while (they were planted as a “summer” crop).  The longer carrots are in storage, the less good they are for fresh eating, so these are best cooked.  They can be roasted around a pot roast or chicken, or used in soup.  We made this soup recently and really enjoyed it.  The recipe makes about two servings, and a full share has enough carrots to make 6 servings if you use them all in this recipe.

SZECHWAN CARROT SOUP

1 med. onion or leek

1/3 cup chopped celeriac

1 garlic clove

1 tsp. vegetable oil

1 lb. carrots cut into 1 inch pieces

¾ inch piece fresh ginger; peeled and thinly sliced

1/8 tsp. hot red pepper flakes

3 cups chicken broth

1 ½ Tbs. soy sauce

1 ½ Tbs. creamy peanut butter

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. sesame oil

1 cup milk

Chop onion and celeriac and mince garlic.  Cook in vegetable oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until onion is softened.  Add carrots, ginger, pepper flakes and broth.  Simmer covered until carrots are very tender; about 45 minutes.  Stir in remaining ingredients and in a blender puree mixture in batches.  Return soup to pan and heat over low heat until hot, being careful not to let boil.  If desired, prepare garnish by mixing ¼ cup sour cream with 2 Tbs. heavy cream and drizzle decoratively into soup after serving into bowls.  Adapted from Gourmet.

AVOCADO DRESSING

1 cup +1 tsp  extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds (or pine nuts)

2 cloves garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

1 avocado, skinned and pitted

1 tsp sea salt

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 small onion, minced

Place minced onion in a bowl and cover with lemon juice and set aside to marinate.  This will mellow the raw onion flavor.  Heat a small skillet with 1 tsp of olive oil and add raw pumpkin seeds. Cook until seeds are golden brown (3-4 min). Set aside to cool.  In a food processor, chop two cloves of garlic. Add lemon juice and onion, avocado, and salt. Blend until smooth.  Slowly pour in the remaining olive oil while the food processor is on high  (You can optionally add ½ c. parmesan or pecorino cheese to the dressing)  You can make the dressing as thick or thin as you want, just add more or less olive oil.