This week your basket contains: Potatoes, BUNCHING LEEKS, BUNCHING BEETS, CELERY, January King-type cabbage, and onions
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January King cabbages (this variety is Deadon) are perhaps the prettiest we grow. The deep purple color develops in reaction to cold temperatures (which we have had our share this year!). We try to keep as many of the outer wrapper leaves on the heads as we can so you get to enjoy them; we call them mid-winter garden roses. Those outer leaves are edible if a bit firmer than the inner blanched leaves.
Trim the leeks, but keep whole. If you have a particularly long leek, cut into 6-8 inch sections, treating each section as a whole leek. Split down one side to within 1 inch of the base. Rinse under lukewarm water to clean. In a heavy bottomed pan, melt 2-3 Tbs of butter (or use equivalent in olive oil). Roll the leeks around in the butter or oil until they are well coated and cook until slightly browned. Add stock or water to half cover the leeks and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer until the base can be easily pierced with a knife. Drain off any remaining liquid and serve with a cream sauce or tomato sauce (either of which can be made with the left over braising liquid). From The Victory Garden Cookbook.
We continue to experiment with the timing of our celery with varying success. These came out of a hoop house and were transplanted back in late summer/early fall. If you have celeriac in your fridge, you can add it to this recipe to bulk it up.
CREAM OF CELERY SOUP
3 tablespoons butter
1 1⁄2 lbs celery ribs, sliced
2 large onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
6 cups chicken broth (reduced sodium)
1 bay leaf
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 -4 dashes hot sauce
celery leaves (for garnish)
In a large sauce pan, melt butter, add celery, onions, and garlic. Cook over medium low heat until soft. Add flour and cook 1-2 minutes over low heat. Add chicken broth and bay leaf, bring to a boil reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf, puree (in small batches) in a blender or processor. Add cream, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Reheat and simmer 5 minutes. Garnish with celery leaves. Adapted from Geniuskitchen.com
Back in late June when the heat bubble hit, we were trying to germinate our winter crop of beets. Things looked so bad when they finally started to germinate that we planted two extra beds to hedge our bets even though we thought it was too late to get a good crop. They did better than expected and while not many got to full size (those were harvested earlier) these little beets are useful for their greens as well as the roots. In the recipe below I would use the greens and the roots. The cauliflower/raab can be substituted for with Brussels sprouts, winter squash cubes, rutabaga, or just about anything that strikes your fancy.
SAUTÉED BEET GREENS WITH WASABI AND GINGER
1 bunch beet thinnings
1 small onion, chopped
1 green garlic, chopped
1 small cauliflower or broccoli raab
½ tsp. wasabi paste
1 Tbs. pickled ginger, chopped
2 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
Salt to taste
Heat the sesame oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion, garlic, and wasabi paste and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the chopped beet thinnings, cauliflower or raab, and pickled ginger. Continue cooking until the beets and cauliflower/raab is tender. Add salt to taste. Divide onto plates and top with soft poached eggs and serve with a slice of toast to absorb the yolk and juices.