This week your basket contains: leeks, Florence fennel OR cauliflower, potatoes, beets, HAMBURG PARSLEY, KABOCHA SQUASH, and sweet peppers.
Hamburg Parsley, sometimes called Parsley Root, was widely use in medieval times but is now a mostly “forgotten food”. It’s often cooked with other roots (try it in mashed potatoes!) and is crucial for flavoring some traditional chicken soup recipes and authentic borscht. You can add it anywhere you’re cooking up carrots, celery and onions for a vegetable soup or braise. The leaves are just parsley leaves and should be saved and used as such. We are new to Hamburg parsley both as growers and cooks and are thus far pleased to find a new crop for this time of year that isn’t related to cabbage! We also like it in the kitchen.
LEMONY RICE AND PARSLEY SALAD
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 cup Italian parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 small sweet Italian pepper, diced
1/3 cup black olives, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and simmer over moderate heat until just tender, about 14 minutes. Drain thoroughly. In a large bowl, toss the rice with the olive oil and lemon juice. Stir in the parsley, pepper, olives, capers and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon wedges. Adapted from foodandwine.com.
The beets this week are an heirloom variety called Lutz Winterkeeper. In addition to the terrific chard-like leaves, they can obtain enormous size while remaining tender and sweet. They will keep in the fridge (greens removed) for a couple of weeks even after being cut into pieces. We’ve been enjoying beets in the Beet and Orange Salsa recipe on our web site (see password in the footer of this note). The leeks this year show signs of rust. The orangish spots on the leaves are a relatively new problem for us. Many local farmers think this is an import from California that has taken hold in recent years due to changing climate. It shouldn’t affect eating quality, but wanted to let you know what it was. It looks like the winter-hardy varieties we will be harvesting in the coming months are less susceptible than the early variety we have been giving you so far.
Kabocha squash is our favorite squash. Its dry sweet flesh is very similar to sweet potato. This is our favorite way to cook it. 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 or this cornbread.
¾ cup yellow cornmeal
¾ cup flour
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. salt
½ cup soft butter
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
1 ½ tsp. lemon juice
1 cup pureed cooked winter squash
¼ cup milk
Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Cream the butter, add sugar and beat until light. Add eggs, lemon juice, squash and milk. Beat together, then gradually add dry ingredients until well combined. Pour batter into a buttered, medium-sized loaf pan. Bake in a pre-heated 3500 oven for 50 minutes or until a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for ten minutes, remove and cool on rack. From The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash.
HOLIDAY SCHEDULE: Even if nothing else is normal this year, our holiday delivery schedule will be as it always is. We will give you a double basket before Thanksgiving, skip a week, and resume normal deliveries in December. This year those dates are: Double delivery on Nov. 24th; skip December 1st, and back to normal on Dec. 8th. We will do a similar thing for the winter holidays, complicated this year by both Christmas and New Year’s Day being Fridays. We will deliver two double deliveries (12/15 & 22); skip delivery (12/29 & 1/5); back to normal on January 12th. We will also post this information on our web site for future reference. As always, we will plan the contents of the double baskets to take best advantage of the fact that many of the winter veggies store very well in your refrigerator. Let us know if you have questions or concerns.