In your box:
- Bok Choy or Tat Soi
- Brussels sprouts
- Winter Squash, “Acorn”
I know the weather doesn’t seem very autumnal this week, but we are unfortunately still closing in on the end of our CSA season next week. We had two killing frosts here over the weekend, which killed off a lot of fruiting plants that were pretty well spent for the season anyway.
I have always planted garlic at the end of the CSA season, generally within the first week or two of the off-season. I’ve been seeing some research that suggests it’s actually better to plant slightly earlier in the season, so I will be bumping up my planting by two weeks and getting it all in this coming weekend. The fact that it’s supposed to be 80 degrees on Friday helps with motivation there, too!
Garlic is the only crop we plant to over-winter, and it’s always a commitment toward hope in the next season. Facing a winter with a global pandemic, a chaotic election, and all of the problems we’ve been ignoring or skirting throughout the past, having a little hope for next spring feels really good.
This week’s box
All of our winter squash this week are acorns, with most of them being the traditional squash that actually look like acorns (we didn’t quite have enough for everyone, so some of you will receive another of the “Fordhook” variety we had last week). Acorns are great tasting, versatile squash. For a side dish, just split the squash down the middle (the long way) and remove the seeds. Place the squash face-side down in a pan with about an inch of water and cook at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Sprinkle with brown sugar, maple syrup, nutmeg, or whatever you like and scoop it right out of the shell. There are also some great recipes online for stuffing the squash and making it more of a main course.
We also have a bag of Brussels sprouts this week, which is one of my favorite veggies and a great taste in fall. To cook them, wash them and trim off any extra stump that might be on the bottom. If they are large, you might want to slice them lengthwise to help them cook evenly. Add them to boiling water and cook for just 3-5 minutes.
Baked Brussels sprouts are also a great way to go. Prepare them as with cooked sprouts, and then mix them with vegetable oil, salt, and garlic (if desired) until they are coated thoroughly. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, shaking the pan every 5 minutes so they cook evenly.
Creamed Turnips and Greens
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 pound turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges, greens reserved
- ½ cup water, plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, reserved
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 4 cups chopped turnip greens or mature spinach
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
- Heat oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add turnips, water, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until barely tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add greens and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the turnips are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add more water, 1/4 cup at a time, if the greens begin to stick before the turnips are tender.
- Sprinkle the vegetables with flour, increase heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add milk, nutmeg, white pepper and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve topped with the reserved lemon zest.
Recommended wine pairing from The Vine Shop in Hopkins (vineshop.co): Apolloni Pinot Noir Rosé.
Next week should bring head lettuce, radishes, cabbage, butternut squash, leeks, kale, tat soi, and Brussels sprouts.