Week #29 (12/10 & 13)

This week your basket contains: carrots, celeriac, potatoes, winter squash, leeks, onions, PARSNIPS, cabbage, cauliflower OR broccoli.

We hope your Thanksgiving was as fun and tasty as was ours!  Usually at this time of year we try to alternate certain crops week to week so that your baskets don’t look exactly the same week to week.  We often alternate squash and potatoes or leeks and onions, and celeriac and parsnips, but we gave all of them this week.  All of these will store well if not used immediately.  Looking ahead, our HOLIDAY HARVEST SCHEDULE will be an extra-large basket next Tuesday, (12/17).  We will skip deliveries on 12/24 & 12/31 and be back to normal on 1/07.  Overall, we are quite happy with the way our crops fared in the cold weather the past couple of weeks.  At one point the low temperatures were projected to be in the upper teens, which is a very dangerous point for us.  We spent the last couple of days before Thanksgiving covering some things and harvesting others and putting them in the walk-in.  We have never stored broccoli and cauliflower before (we’ve never had them maturing this late in the year either!).  While I would say they came through well, they are not as fresh as normal and may show some signs of storage damage.  They would be better cooked than served raw.

This past Sunday Polly & I helped out at the OSU extension service information booth at a “fill your pantry” event in Portland (kind of like a pop-up farmers market) focused on winter veggies.  The event included cooking demonstrations and we found a great new celeriac recipe. We made it for lunch yesterday as written with the amount of veggies you will find in your full share today and it was delicious!

ALL IN THE (APIACEAE) FAMILY CELERIAC SOUP

3 Tbs. butter

2 leeks

2 fennel bulbs thinly sliced

2 celeriac chopped

1 cup dry white wine

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh thyme

6 cups water

½ cup heavy cream

For the smoky Ghee:

4 Tbs. ghee

1 tsp. carraway seed

1 tsp. smoked paprika

For the Gremolata:

¼ cup finely chopped parsley

2 cloves minced garlic

2 Tbs. finely diced celery

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Melt butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.  Add leeks and cook until beginning to soften (2-3 min.).  Add fennel and cook until softened (8-10 minutes). Add celeriac along with salt, bay leaves and thyme, stirring to combine.  Add wine and simmer until mostly evaporated.  Add water and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until all vegetables are soft enough to puree (10-12-min.).  Puree until smooth either in a blender or with an immersion blender.  Re-heat over medium heat and add cream.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  For Ghee:  Melt ghee in saucepan over low heat.  Add caraway seeds and paprika and cook stirring occasionally being careful not to scorch spices (about 4 minutes).  Remove from heat, allow to cool and strain to remove solids.

For Gremolata:  Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix.  Serve soup swirled with ghee and sprinkled with gremolata. From Mona & Jaret at tournantpdx.com

ROOT VEGETABLE, WHITE BEAN AND BREAD CRUMB GRATIN

2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

½ cup finely chopped onion

2 medium cloves garlic, divided

2 sage leaves

2 tsp. tomato paste

2 cups cooked white beans, cooking liquid reserved, or 1 can (15 ounces) white beans, rinsed and drained

Salt and pepper

1 large parsnip, woody core removed, or 2 small ones

1 large carrot or 2 small ones

⅓ cup toasted breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, sauté the onion in 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil over moderate heat until golden. Mince the garlic and add half of it to the onions, reserving the rest. Cook and stir for one minute, then add the sage and tomato paste. Mix the tomato paste into the onion mixture and sauté for two more minutes, scraping up any brown bits that accumulate on the bottom of the pan. Add the beans and ½ to ¾ cup of their reserved cooking liquid. (If using canned beans, substitute water for the cooking liquid.) The mixture should be somewhat soupy. Season with salt and pepper. Partly cover the pot and let the beans simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, peel the parsnip and carrot and cut each into ½-inch pieces. Steam the parsnip until tender, about 5 minutes, then steam the carrot until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the vegetables to the bean mixture and simmer 2 minutes longer. Add more bean broth or water if necessary. Mix the breadcrumbs with the remaining garlic and the parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Lightly oil an 8-by-10-inch baking dish or gratin dish. Turn out the bean and vegetable mixture into the pan. Sprinkle the seasoned breadcrumbs over the beans and vegetables and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the gratin begins to bubble. Serve warm. By Kelly Myers on culminate.com