This week your basket contains: carrots, COLLARDS, beans, cucumber, summer squash, tomatoes, garlic, sweet corn, red onions, sweet peppers, and cherry tomatoes.
It is time to plan for our PUMPKIN PICK-UP WEEKEND. October 19th and 20th are set aside for you to come out to the farm to choose your carving pumpkin (included as part of your subscription), tour the gardens, press apples for cider, have a potluck lunch and socialize with other subscribers. We will be making pizza including our signature PUMPKIN PIE PIZZA (a perennial favorite). We look forward to seeing you then.
Collards are my favorite winter green. I prefer their flavor when compared to kale (does kale actually have flavor?), or Swiss chard (my second favorite). I also like the traditional pairings for collards like bacon and ham (which can be mimicked with smoke paprika if those meats aren’t in your diet). This is a great soup for a wet day:
HAM AND BLACK-EYED PEA SOUP WITH COLLARD GREENS
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove
a 4-ounce piece cooked ham
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound collard greens
1 cup chicken broth (8 fluid ounces)
3 cups water
a 16-ounce can black-eyed peas (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Chop onion and garlic and cut ham into 1/4-inch dice. In a 3-quart saucepan cook onion, garlic, and ham in oil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is pale golden. While onion mixture is cooking, discard stems and center ribs from collards and finely chop leaves. Add collards, broth, and water to onion mixture and simmer until collards are tender, about 20 minutes. Rinse and drain black-eyed peas. In a bowl mash half of peas with a fork. Stir mashed and whole peas into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper and stir in vinegar. From Gourmet December 1998
As you most likely know, the recent record rains have not been kind to the tomatoes. Some of them in your basket may have mild cracking (some of which have appeared post-harvest). It is best to use these ones first. This recipe, which makes use of the collards in your basket, calls for canned tomatoes, but it would be a perfect way to enjoy some of the last tomatoes we will have this year.
SMOKY GREENS SAUTÉ
1 ¾ lb. greens
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 garlic cloves
½ cup drained canned diced tomatoes
½ tsp. smoked Spanish paprika (Pimenton de la Vera)
Pinch of fennel seeds
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Chop greens, dicing stems and chopping leaves coarsely. In a large, deep skillet, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add leaves and stems of greens an cook over high heat until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain in a colander, pressing to extract extra liquid. Wipe out skillet. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until just beginning to color. Add the tomatoes and paprika and cook until slightly thickened, a few minutes. Add cooked greens, fennel seeds and a couple of tablespoons of water, if needed. Cook 2 to 3 minutes longer. Stir in white wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately. From Food and Wine February 2005. NOTE: I didn’t have smoked paprika, so I started the sauté by cooking ¼ lb. of bacon, cut into small pieces. I added the garlic after that and continued with the recipe, using regular paprika in place of smoked.
I guess my mind is on soup today. This one will make good use of some of the carrots in your basket.
CURRIED CREAM OF CARROT SOUP
2 Tbs. butter
2 med. onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp. dry thyme
1 lb. carrots, pared and diced
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp. curry powder
1 cup milk or cream
Melt butter in a saucepan. Add onion, garlic and thyme. Sauté until onion is soft. Add carrots and cook 10 minutes. Add chicken broth and curry powder. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Puree in a blender; return to pan and add milk or cream until the soup reaches desired consistency. Heat for 5 minutes and serve garnished with yogurt or sour cream and chives.