This week your basket contains: red onions, cabbage, kale, RUTABAGAS, kabocha squash, carrots, celeriac, leeks.
This is the first of two larger than normal baskets you will get this month. Because both Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Friday this year, we will be skipping deliveries on those two days. We will be resuming a normal schedule on January 8th, 2021 for Friday subscribers. For Tuesday subscribers, we will skip 12/29 and 1/5, resuming normal delivery on 1/12. One of the benefits of this (for us) is that we have a chance to relax and recharge. We chose this week’s lineup with an eye toward items that will hold well over several weeks either in your fridge (all the root crops & greens) or in your garage (winter squash and onions). If you cut your squash and don’t cook it all, it will need to be refrigerated.
Rutabagas can be problematic and, truth be told, I have never liked them very much. These are a couple of recipes that we’ve enjoyed and have helped make rutabagas a more welcome addition to our meals. The small carrots are perfect for roasting whole.
CARROTS AND RUTABAGAS WITH LEMON AND HONEY
1 1/4 pounds rutabagas, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
Cook rutabagas in large pot of boiling salted water 2 minutes. Add carrots and cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Drain. Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add lemon juice, honey, and peel. Bring to boil. Add vegetables; cook until glazed, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Mix in fresh chives. From Bon Appetit November 2001.
CREAMY, SMOKY WHIPPED RUTABAGA
3 1/2 to 4 pounds rutabagas (two small or one large vegetable)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup whole milk
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons smoked olive oil
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Freshly ground black pepper
Cut the rutabaga(s) in half crosswise. Place a half cut side down on a stabilized cutting board and carefully shave off the peel with a large chef’s knife. Cut the peeled rutabaga into small slices about 1 inch thick. Repeat with the rest of the rutabaga. Heat the butter in a large, heavy 4-quart pot, set over medium heat. When the butter has melted, stir in the chopped rutabaga and the garlic. Stir to coat the vegetables in butter, then sprinkle them with the salt. Pour in the milk and bring to a simmer, then turn the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the rutabaga is very tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. Turn off the heat and remove the lid. Let the vegetables cool for about 5 minutes. At this point you can either leave the rutabaga in the pot and use a hand mixer to whip it, or you can transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer and use the paddle. Drop the cream cheese into the rutabaga and use the hand mixer or stand mixer to mash it into the vegetables. The rutabaga will crumble then slowly turn into a mashed potato consistency. Add the olive oil and smoked paprika and mix thoroughly. Taste and add more salt and some black pepper, if necessary. Serve immediately. Adapted from thekitchn.com.
While we usually don’t give cabbage two weeks in a row, we made an exception for this basket knowing that it will hold in your refrigerator very well. Our experience has been that, even when cut in half, cabbage stores in a bag (plastic or mesh) for several weeks. The cut face and/or an outer leaf or two may need to be discarded if held for that long, but the remaining cabbage will still be tasty and juicy. This is a good way to use a lot of cabbage (it cooks way down).
BUTTERED SMOTHERED CABBAGE
1 small cabbage
2 Tbs. ghee or light veg. Oil
1 ½ tsp. cumin seeds
¼ tsp. asafetida (optional)
¼ tsp turmeric
1 Tbs. Finely chopped fresh ginger
1 cup chopped tomato
2 green chilies, minced or ¼ tsp. red pepper
2 tsp. kosher salt
1-2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
Cut the cabbage into quarters, remove core and shred into ¼ inch thick shreds. Heat ghee or oil over medium high heat in a large heavy bottomed pan. When the ghee is hot, add cumin. When cumin turns dark brown (10-15 seconds), add ground asafetida and immediately add cabbage. Sprinkle turmeric over cabbage and sauté, turning and tossing rapidly, until cabbage is wilted (5 minutes). Add ginger, tomato, and chilies and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Add salt and 1 cup of hot water. Reduce heat to medium low and cook the cabbage, covered until it is tender and the water is absorbed (20 minutes). Check and stir often while it is cooking to prevent burning. Fold in cilantro, check for salt and serve.
Here is an interesting way to use your celeriac that isn’t a soup or a raw salad.
CELERIAC AND CHEESE PUREE
1 large celeriac (2-3 lbs.)
2 large eggs
1/2 c. whole milk or half-and-half
salt and pepper
1 c. grated Gruyere
1 c. plain yogurt
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley
Quarter peeled celeriac, cook in boiling water until tender (about 30 minutes). Drain. Puree, using as much of the milk or half-and-half as necessary to get the mixture smooth. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine puree, egg yolks, remaining milk, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Beat until well-blended and stir in cheese. Beat egg whites into soft peaks and fold into celeriac mixture. Pour into a large buttered casserole or a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan. There must be enough room for the mixture to rise. Cover and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and unmold onto a serving plate. Serve with a sauce made of the yogurt, lemon juice and parsley. From the Winter Harvest Cookbook by Lane Morgan.
While this recipe calls for butternut squash, it will work just as well with kabocha. It may even be better!
BARLEY RISOTTO WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND KALE
½ lb. kale
5 ½ c. chicken or vegetable broth
1 c. water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 ½ c. pearl barley, rinsed
2 c. peeled butternut squash, ¾ in cubes
salt and pepper to taste
¼ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ c. dry white wine
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Remove stems and thick ribs from kale leaves. Boil leaves until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water, coarsely chop and set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat broth and water over medium heat until simmering. Keep warm. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until browned, about 7 minutes. Add barley and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until it evaporates. Add ½ cup broth and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed. After 5 minutes, add squash. Continue stirring and adding broth, ½ cup at a time, as needed, until barley is tender and creamy yet still firm, 40 to 50 minutes. Stir in reserved kale and cook, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and serve garnished with Parmesan cheese. Serves 6. From Eating Well October 1998.
Some of the recipes we’ve given this week call for chives, parsley, or scallions. You can use the greener portion of your leeks as a substitute for this kind of garnish if finely chopped.
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 large leeks, sliced into rings
2 Tbs. sour cream
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
2 Tbs. fresh chives or scallion greens (optional)
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. white pepper
In a 10 inch oven proof skillet, warm the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the leeks and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are tender. Remove pan from heat. Meanwhile whisk eggs lightly. Whisk in sour cream, Parmesan cheese, chives or scallions, salt and pepper. Pre-heat the broiler. Place the skillet back on low or medium low heat. Gently pour in the egg mixture, stirring to evenly distribute the leeks throughout the eggs. Reduce the heat to low and cook, without stirring, for about 8 minutes or until the eggs are set and only the top remains uncooked. Place the pan under the broiler for 1 to 3 minutes, until the frittata top is lightly browned and the eggs are completely set. Loosen the frittata with a large spatula and slide it onto a serving plate. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of chives or scallions. Cut a generous wedge for each diner. If the frittata is too set in the pan for easy removal, simply cut the wedges in the pan. Serves 6. From The Onion Book by Jan Roberts-Dominguez.
One of the tasks for this time of year is seed ordering. If you have particularly enjoyed a variety you received in your basket this past year or have a favorite we don’t grow, please send us an email so we can incorporate it in our orders. We will also be ordering for our online plant start business. If there is something you would like for your garden that you would like us to start for you, let us know and we will do our best to add it to our lineup.