This week your basket contains: winter squash, beets, Brussels sprouts, onions, potatoes, and carrots.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Well, it turns out we planned to skip deliveries on the two weeks we wouldn’t have been able to harvest and deliver anyway. We also feel lucky that we didn’t travel this year and were able to take steps to protect the veggies prior to the cold and snow. We spent much of the 24th & 25th harvesting things we thought might not survive the predicted low temperatures (mid to low teens) such as cabbage, celeriac, and carrots. We also covered other slightly hardier crops (or ones that can’t be stored) like the overwintering broccoli and cauliflower, winter cabbages, Swiss chard and the ends of things like celeriac that we couldn’t harvest & store in the cooler. In the end, we had up to 5” of snow on the ground and, unlike other years, it stuck around for the coldest nights (that never did get below 19o.) With that nice insulating blanket of snow keeping things close to 32o, especially on the row covers we laid out, it looks like things have come through very well!
CRISP-BAKED ACORN SQUASH RINGS
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons honey
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups fine fresh bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 small acorn squash, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and seeded
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, milk and honey. In another shallow dish, stir together the cornmeal, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Dip the squash rings into the egg mixture and then into the crumb mixture, coating them well and patting the crumbs on well. Generously butter 2 rimmed baking sheets. Arrange the squash rings in one layer on the sheets and drizzle with the melted butter. Bake for 30 minutes, turning once halfway through, or until they are tender. Sprinkle the squash with salt to taste and arrange on a heated platter. Makes 6 servings. From Gourmet magazine, November 1985
This week’s beets are not the biggest roots we’ve grown, but we are happy to have them for the greens as well as the roots. Our main crop of winter beets were seeded just before the 2nd heat wave this past summer. As they started to sprout, we were concerned that that seeding would fail, so in something of a Hail Mary we planted some extra beets even though it was a bit late to ensure full growth. These beets are from that seeding. Having any greens this time of year seems like a bonus.
BEET RISOTTO WITH GREENS AND FETA
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 ¼ c. chopped onion
1 ½ c. arborio rice
1 ½ Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. crumbled dried rosemary
½ c. red wine
3 ½ cups finely chopped peeled beets
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
3 c. water
3 ½ c. chopped greens
4 oz. feta cheese
½ c. chopped toasted walnuts
To toast nuts, heat in a dry skillet over medium heat until they barely start to brown. Stir often to avoid scorching. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add onion and cook until translucent. Add ginger, rosemary and rice, stir to coat and cook a minute or two. Add wine and cook until wine is absorbed, stirring constantly. Add beets, bouillon cubes and water. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes or until beets are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in greens and cook an additional 5-10 minutes. Add cheese and stir until blended. Sprinkle each serving with toasted walnuts. Makes 8 servings.
The Brussels sprouts are one of the crops we couldn’t harvest & store or cover (they are too tall). Fortunately they are quite hardy, though you might see some cold damage in the form of darkened outer leaves on the sprouts that will need to be trimmed off.
FETTUCCINI WITH BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND PINE NUTS
1 stalk Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1/2 pound dried egg fettuccine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
Slice Brussels sprouts in a food processor fitted with slicing disk. Cook fettuccine in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente. Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook pine nuts, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then sauté over medium-high heat until tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta and add to skillet, tossing with enough reserved water to moisten.