This week your basket contains: Chinese cabbage, red onion, CELERIAC, sweet peppers, leeks, SALAD MIX (lettuce, spinach, and radicchio), basil, and broccoli.
PUMPKIN PICK-UP WEEKEND was an amazing success! We had a great time getting to see you all over the weekend, both our long-time friends and new friends too! We appreciate the effort people made to come out to the farm in the face of predicted bad weather. Other than about half an hour on Sunday when we got about an inch of rain the weather was not so bad. THE GIANT PUMPKIN WEIGHTS WERE THE HEAVIEST WE’VE GROWN TO DATE. Saturday’s pumpkin was 139.9 pounds (the winning guess was 140). Sunday’s pumpkin tipped the scales at 151.4 pounds (winning guess 147). My goal for next year is to break 200 lbs.
One of the items for gleaning over the weekend was basil. Yesterday we cleared that bed to plant a winter crop and decided that, even though it shows some cold damage, it is still good for pesto so, we decided we would send along a last taste of summer to you. If you choose not to use it, don’t feel bas about adding it to your compost.
CELERIAC is a great winter root vegetable that many people are unfamiliar with. It is extremely versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked. Celeriac (also called celery root) has the texture of potato with a mellow celery flavor. We like to add it to mashed potatoes which makes them more silky or as a raw salad like this one.
QUICK CELERY ROOT SALAD WITH CAPERS AND LEMON
1 lemon, juiced
1 head celery root, peeled
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1/4 cup good olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/3 cup juicy capers, rinsed
Small handful Italian parsley, chopped
Peel the celery root and shred it. Stop halfway through and sprinkle with a tablespoon of the lemon juice to keep the root from turning brown. Shred the other half and toss with another tablespoon of lemon juice. Salt and pepper liberally and toss. Whisk the remaining lemon juice with the walnut oil, olive oil, sugar, and vinegar. Taste and adjust. Toss with the celery root, capers, and chopped parsley.
The soup below would be even better with fresh mushrooms like the ones we get from Cloudcap Mushrooms.
CELERIAC AND PORCINI SOUP
1/2 oz. dried porcini (or similar) mushrooms
1 chopped celeriac (3-4 oz.)
1 chopped onion
2 oz butter
1/4 pt. sour cream
1/4 pt. regular cream or half and half
1 Tbs flour
dill weed or parsley
salt and pepper
Soak the mushrooms in a ladle of very hot water for 20-30 minutes. While they are soaking, sweat the celeriac and onion in the butter in a covered pan until they begin to soften. Add the mushrooms and their liquor. Simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender. Puree in a blender and return the puree to the pan. Mix the creams and the flour to make a smooth paste and stir into the soup as it reheats. Cook slowly for about five minutes, until the taste of flour has gone. If the soup is too thick for your taste, dilute with hot water. Stir in chopped dill weed, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with croutons. From Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book.
The salad mix is NOT table ready. While we do wash and rinse the greens before we put them in the bags, we are not able to guarantee that all the soil and/or bugs are out of all the leaves. The best way to rinse your greens to ensure that no stowaway slugs remain is to dissolve 2 tsp. of salt in a little warm water in the bottom of your sink. Fill the sink about half full with the coldest water and add the greens. It is best if there is enough water to float the greens. Swish the greens gently and let them sit in the water for five minutes or so. Gently lift the greens from the water so as not to disturb any soil that has settled to the bottom of the sink and either pat them dry with a towel or spin them dry in a salad spinner.
1 clove garlic
1 tsp salt
3 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp wet mustard
5 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
Press garlic into the bottom of your salad bowl. With a fork, mix well with salt until it forms a paste. Mix in vinegar and mustard until salt is dissolved. Whisk in olive oil to make an emulsion. Add black pepper to taste. These proportions are in no way set in stone. You should experiment to find the proportions you prefer. Also, other spices, herbs and vinegars can be used to vary the dressing.