Week 19

***Our last distribution days are October 24th and 25th!***

***Community potluck and work day is Saturday, October 22nd!***

Hello folks! I have some great descriptions/recipe ideas/flavor pairings for veggies this week, so please keep reading for those valuable tidbits!

Expect the following produce this week:

Lettuce (either head lettuce or baby lettuce)

1 bunch broccoli raab

1 bunch Chinese broccoli

1 bunch carrots

2 butternut squash

1 celeriac root

onions

garlic

The following items will be available free choice (please read the signs for specific directions):

hot peppers

green tomatoes

tomatillos

herbs

About the Veggies

Butternut squash, pumpkins and other winter squashes:

So, I kind of gave you all Long Island Cheese Pumpkins with no warning last week, didn’t I? Sorry about that. If you are wondering what to do with it, keep reading! You will be getting 2 butternut squashes this week as well. These squashes were the ones on long vines that grew in the grass surrounding the squash field. Because they have been in the damp grass, they are a bit discolored and will not keep as long as their more perfect neighbors. Therefore, I do suggest cooking and freezing the flesh soon, before they spoil.

  • All the winter squashes and pumpkins we grow are good for eating. They can all be used in similar ways, with a few exceptions.
  • All winter squashes and pumpkins can be roasted whole or halved, on a sheet pan in the oven at 350 degrees for around 45 minutes to 1 hour. They are done roasting when the skin has browned and the flesh is soft. After roasting, the skin and seeds are removed and the flesh can be added to soup (then pureed) or pureed and used in breads and pies.
  • Winter squash and pumpkins can also be cut into slices and roasted, although this can be difficult with some of the larger pumpkins.
  • Roasted pumpkin and squash can be placed in freezer safe containers and frozen until needed. Freeze roasted squash and pumpkin flesh in 2 cup amounts so it is easier to use in recipes. (2 cups seems to be the most common amount needed for pie, breads, soups, and cake.)
  • If the flesh seems to be watery, place cooked squash or pumpkin flesh in a few layers of cheese cloth for half an hour to thicken.
  • Butternut squash is the easiest winter squash to peel, so if a recipe calls for peeling a raw winter squash prior to cooking, stick with butternut.

Winter Squash Gratin

A simple and satisfying side dish. Requires a long cooking time, so plan accordingly.

1 large or 2 smaller butternut squash

5-8 cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 cup chopped herb: parsley, cilantro, thyme or rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup flour

olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 350 and oil a baing dish, a 9″ square works well.

Peel butternut squash. Slice in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Cube squash into 1-1/2 inch cubes. Toss in a large bowl with garlic, herbs and salt and pepper. Toss with flour to coat. Place piled up in oiled baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in oven until brown and tender, about 2 hours.

Chinese broccoli

We gave out this delectable Asian green earlier in the season, however, this week we are also giving out Broccoli Raab–how confusing! Chinese broccoli is much closer to regular broccoli in appearance and flavor. As opposed to regular broccoli, the upper stems and leaves as well as the florets of Chinese broccoli are eaten. It is quite good in stir fries, as a braised greens dish or even in Mediterranean style pasta and grain dishes.

To prepare, rinses each stalk and chop the lower 2-4 inches of the stalk off and compost, if they seem too tough to eat. Remove the larger greens and coarsely chop. Coarsely chop the stems and florets as well and proceed with recipe. Chinese broccoli can also be braised whole, so you would only need to trim the stalks for this preparation.

Broccoli raab

While quite similar in appearance to the previous green, broccoli raab has a much different flavor. In contrast to Chinese broccoli, broccoli raab has a bitter, mustardy, pungent flavor that you have all grown to love. I usually steam it and then saute it and add garlic olive oil and chile flakes to season it. Be sure to only use the upper portion of the stems, the lower portion is very “woody.” I found this recipe which I am dying to make. It has a long cooking time, but I am sure it is worth it.

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