This week your basket contains: cucumbers OR CAULIFLOWER, cherry tomatoes OR tomatoes, collards, sweet peppers, potatoes, CELERIAC, Florence fennel, eggplant, and leeks.
PUMPKIN PICK-UP WEEKEND WAS AMAZING! Even the rain held off for us so we could all enjoy the farm without getting soaked. I think this was perhaps the most well attended weekend ever and we appreciated getting to see so many of you. Everyone here likes having a face to put to the name on your basket. CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS OF EACH DAY’S LARGE PUMPKIN. On both days, multiple people guessed within 1/10 of a pound of the actual weight and we had to settle the issue with a coin flip! Saturday’s pumpkin weighed 45.9 pounds and Sunday’s was 34.9.
A COUPLE MORE THINGS ABOUT THE WEEKEND: On Sunday we forgot to refresh our supply of GOURDS. If any of you who came on Sunday were disappointed with the availability of the gourds (especially kids) we can ADD GOURDS TO YOU NEXT BASKET. Just email to let us know. We also had TWO PERSONAL ITEMS WERE LEFT here on the farm, a mug and a sweater. Email to identify and we will get them back to you.
Celeriac, or celery root as it is also known, is a wonderful combination of celery flavor and potato texture. The leaves, which are very similar to the herb lovage, can be used in soup stock or stews to add a celery flavor. To use the root, it must be peeled first. Perhaps the easiest way to use celeriac is to grate it after peeling, dressing with mustard vinaigrette and serving cold. I also love to add them to mashed potato as they impart a creamy texture as well as good flavor. Since we have leeks and potatoes in this week’s basket, I would also add celeriac to the recipe below which is my favorite version of this classic soup.
LEONIE’S POTATO-LEEK SOUP
4 medium potatoes
4 Tbsp. butter
1 chopped leek
3/4 tsp. salt
6 cups stock or water
ground black pepper
snippets of fresh herbs: thyme, marjoram, basil
Chop leeks, including the greens, into ½ inch rounds, place into a bowl of cold water with 1 tsp of salt. Leave soaking for ½ hour. Clean and peel potatoes and dice into 1″ chunks. Drain leeks and sauté in a saucepan with butter until translucent. Add potatoes, stock, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. When done, puree the contents of the pan, making sure the puree is absolutely smooth. Return to the saucepan. Thin with milk if soup is too thick. Heat gently, covered, until just hot. Do not boil. Taste and adjust seasonings. For a wonderful touch, swirl a Tbs of heavy cream into each bowl before serving. Serves 4-6.
Over the weekend someone asked me about using the fennel fronds. The recipe below makes good use of them as garnish. I would finely chop celeriac instead using celery stalks.
CELERY & FENNEL SOUP
1 large potato, cubed
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 head celery, chopped (include the leaves)
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, and very thinly sliced (reserve feathery top)
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
salt, as needed, to taste
In large covered saucepan simmer potatoes in chicken broth and wine until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium heat, sauté celery, fennel slices, and onion in olive oil until tender, about 15 minutes. Mash potatoes right in the broth mixture in the saucepan with a masher. Stir in celery-fennel mixture. Heat through. Season with pepper and salt. Chop reserved fennel tops and use to garnish each serving. Adapted from Food.com As you can see from the list of veggies in the baskets this is a bit of a transition week. Cucumbers and tomatoes are all but finished, and cauliflower are just coming on. We will be having more cauliflower as the weeks go by