- Green onions
- Tomatoes – green and red
- Sweet peppers – green and red
- Hot peppers!!
- Broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage – there will be a choice as they are developing sporadically and not all at once!
- Brussels sprouts tops (hopefully! Last weekend it was just too much work with the harvest festival and minimal farm help and they had to be soaked and washed – will try today)
- Winter squash
We had the first really hard frost this past Tuesday and Wednesday and all the tender summer crops were killed. The beans, zukes, cukes, tomatoes, eggplants that were outside were frozen in one night and that was it. Sadly we are left with less fragile crops that are also suffering from the cool weather and relative dryness. Our brassicas and especially our prized kale are plagued by whiteflies that have proven very hard to combat. Sadly, oh so sadly no kale is harvestable.
The harvest festival on the other hand was a huge success. We had more people and more pizza making than ever before. We had the largest farm tour ever and so much cider was made. The dancers were few, but the leader Juan was amazing with the machete dance that held all of our attention. The farm band made up of our local musicians: Mark, Jed, Christina, Ana and Nick was rocking with help from Jane a long time friend of La Finquita who called a few contra dances for kids. The weather was perfect! It was an exhausting but fantastic event and we are so happy we could share our farm and the bounty in that way. Many thank yous are owed but especially to Mary Kay who came at noon, made the pizza dough and ran the pizza making station for hours! Thanks to Mark who cooked pizza , others chipped in and made the craziness of a massive party feel more doable. I made a few notes and hopefully it will be even better next year.
We have three harvests left, including today! There are still opportunities to lend a hand and help us bring in the harvest. We have garlic to plant, greenhouses to clear and fill with fall and winter crops and drip water lines to pull up. All the onions have to be taken down and stored in our storage room before the weather gets too wet and cold. If you are yearning for a hands in the dirt kind of moment come on over to La Finquita! I have two more weeks at the farmers market and then the Thanksgiving market.I am winding down my dried material and will be moving on to fresh wreaths and my favorite ceramics! Please place orders now if you want a fall wreath especially done for you, or enjoy what I have up in my studio over the next few weeks.
We have beef! ½ and ¼ side of beef available in the next few weeks, it is all grass fed and delicious. It is about 250# hanging weight or #200 of beef per ½ side. It can fit in one self in a freezer and will last for the winter. Contact Juvencio to reserve and get details (boy is that tenderloin delicious!!) 503-830-0342. Juvencio is also bringing home 4 or more piglets to raise up, so if you want a ½ or whole hog that will be available in April or May let him know now and reserve your pork! We have room for a few more Thanksgiving shares so let us know if you are interested, $40 pre-pay please. Well as usual not enough time to share all that I want to, off to harvest. Here are a few recipes to grace your tables this week:
DELICATA SQUASH WITH ROSEMARY, SAGE, AND CIDER GLAZE
This is my favorite way to cook winter squash. You peel, and slice it, then cook it in a skillet with cider and
winter herbs. When most of the liquid boils away, the cider forms a tart-sweet glaze around the now-tender squash.
Delicata is a wonderfully firm-textured squash that’s not too sweet and almost like a potato. Other varieties like
acorn, turban, or kabocha will make good substitutes, but they may not hold their shape quite as well through the
2 medium delicata squash (about 2 pounds) or other firm
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup very coarsely chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cups fresh unfiltered apple cider or juice
1 cup water
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Squash. If using delicata squash, peel it with a vegetable peeler, cut it lengthwise in half, and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each piece lengthwise in half again, then crosswise into 1/2-inch -thick slices. Other types of squash should be peeled with a chef’s knife, seeded, cut into 1-inch wedges, then sliced 1/2-inch thick.
2. Herb Butter. Melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over low heat. Add the sage and rosemary and cook,
stirring, until the butter just begins to turn golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not brown the herbs. Cooking the herbs in butter mellows their flavor and improves their texture.
3. Cooking the squash. Add the squash to the skillet, then the apple cider, water, vinegar, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat at an even boil until the cider has boiled down to a glaze and the squash is tender,
20 to 30 minutes. Taste and season with pepper, and additional salt if needed.
Makes 6 servings.
Chinese Scallion Pancakes
recipe by Elsa Chen
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for flouring the rolling surface
1 cup water
2 teaspoons oil
A bunch of green onions, green and white parts, chopped medium-fine
A few tablespoons of oil to brush on pancakes (a mix of canola or corn oil and sesame oil is good) some salt A few tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
Mix together the first three ingredients by hand or in a food processor. Flour a surface and knead the dough. Let it rest for 20-30 minutes before continuing.
With a rolling pin, roll the dough out on a well-floured surface into a big, flat square or rectangle 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.
Brush the pancake with a bit of oil, and sprinkle with spring onion pieces and a little salt. Starting at one short end, roll up the dough tightly, jelly-roll style, so you have a “snake.”
Cut the “snake” crosswise into 8 – 10 pieces. Then flatten each piece again gently with your palm and rolling pin to make a little rectangle. Don’t flatten it too firmly, because you want a little air to remain trapped between the layers of the pancakes so they’ll puff up a bit between the layers and be lighter.
Press one or both sides in sesame seeds (optional).
Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a large skillet. Shallow fry the pancakes until both sides are golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
Serve plain or with dipping sauce. An easy sauce can be made by mixing soy sauce with a little minced garlic, scallion, and rice vinegar.
Green Onion Pancake by Stella Fong
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup cold water
vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup minced green onions
Mix together flour and boiling water. Add 1/3 cup cold water and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more water if necessary. Cover and let dough rest for about 15 minutes. In a small bowl, combine sesame oil, salt and green onions. Set aside. Divide dough into 10 pieces. Flatten each piece in the palm of your hand. Then roll out into a 6-inch circle. Spread each piece with the green onion mixture.
Roll up dough into a jellyroll. Then wind up into a snail shape. Flatten slightly; roll on lightly floured surface to 5-inch circle. Spray pan with vegetable oil spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Fry pancake until golden brown, about 2 minutes, turn and cook other side. Serve hot. Makes 10 pancakes
Celery-Root and Potato Latkes
1 large celery root (celeriac; 1 1/2 lb), peeled with a knife
1 1/2 lb large russet (baking) potatoes (about 3 large)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 lb onions, quartered
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground celery seeds
About 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
Special equipment: a kitchen towel (not terry cloth)
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 250°F.
Coarsely grate celery root into a bowl using the 1/3-inch-wide holes of a box grater.
Peel potatoes and coarsely grate into a large bowl. Add lemon juice and toss. Coarsely grate onions into same bowl.
Transfer to towel, then gather up corners to form a sack and twist tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible.
Return potatoes and onions to cleaned bowl and stir in celery root, flour, eggs, salt, pepper, and celery seeds until combined well.
Heat 1/3 inch oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Fill a 1/4-cup measure (not tightly packed) with latke mixture and carefully spoon it into skillet, then flatten to 3 inches in diameter with a slotted spatula. Form 3 more latkes in skillet, then fry until undersides are deep golden, 1 1/2 to 3 minutes. Turn over using 2 spatulas and fry until deep golden all over, 1 1/2 to 3 minutes more. (If latkes brown too quickly, lower heat to moderate.) Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly. Keep warm in 1 layer on a metal rack set in a shallow baking pan in oven. Make more latkes in same manner. Use a second rack and baking pan to keep last batches warm.
Latkes can be fried 1 hour ahead.
Polenta Stuffed Squash from Chef Jonathan Miller
You can turn this into a complete meal by serving this over a legume salad. Yum!
1 acorn squash, halved
2 c milk
1/2 c polenta
1/2 lb mushrooms, quartered
3 T tarragon leaves, chopped
3 T mascarpone
sprouts for garnish
Put the squash cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast at 400 until the squash is soft all the way through, about an hour. Scoop out the seeds and strings. In a small saucepan heat the milk with some salt. Add the polenta slowly, whisking constantly, and cook until it thickens up, about 15 minutes. In a small skillet melt a tablespoon or two of butter and sauté the mushrooms with some salt until softened. Add the tarragon, juice from half a lemon, and the mascarpone. Stir well and then incorporate everything into the polenta. Stir and taste again to make sure you like it. Scoop the polenta into the squash and serve everything warm, topped with some sprouts tossed in oil and a little lemon.
Squash Stew with Cauliflower and Tomatoes from Chef Jonathan Miller
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp. cumin, ground
2 TBL dry oregano, toasted
2 TBL chili powder
2 lb hard squash, peeled and diced
8 oz mushrooms, cut into bite sized pieces
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 TBL sesame seeds, toasted
small handful of almonds, toasted
2 lb tomatoes, crushed or pureed
1 cup frozen peas
small handful cilantro, chopped
Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot. Add the onions and sauté until they have softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, and the chili powder and cook another couple minutes. Add the squash, mushrooms, some salt, and 3 cups of water or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer slowly until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir regularly so the mixture doesn’t char on the bottom of the pot. Run almonds and sesame seeds in a food processor for a few seconds to finely chop them, then add to the stew with the cauliflower and tomatoes. Cook until the cauliflower is done to your liking, at least another 7 minutes. Add peas and cilantro, taste for seasoning, adding more salt or chili powder if you like, and serve warm.
Winter Squash Gratin
adapted from The Greens Cookbook by D. Madison and E. Brown
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
sugar, if necessary|
1 butternut winter squash, weighing 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
4 ounces Fontina or Gruyere cheese, sliced
Freshly chopped parsley
Heat the olive oil and add the onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and a little salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft; then add the wine and let it reduce by half. Add the cayenne or paprika and the tomatoes. Cook slowly for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick. Taste, add a pinch of sugar if the tomatoes are tart, and season with the salt and freshly ground black pepper.
While the tomatoes are cooking, prepare the squash. Cut it open, scoop our the seeds and strings, and then, with the flat cut surface resting on the counter, shave off the skin. (The butternut can easily be peeled with a vegetable peeler before it is cut in half. Another method is to cut the squash into pieces and then remove the skin from each piece. This takes more time, but you may find it easier.
Slice the peeled squash into large pieces about 3 inches long and 1/4 inch thick. Heat enough oil to generously coat the bottom of a large skillet, and fry the squash on both sides, so that it is browned and just tender. Remove it to some toweling to drain; then season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To form the gratin, put a few spoonfuls of the tomato sauce on the bottom of individual gratin dishes, or use it all to cover the bottom of one large dish. Lay the squash on top in overlapping layers with slices of the cheese interspersed between th layers. Bake until the cheese is melted and the gratin is hot, about 15 minutes, and serve with the fresh parsley scattered over the surface.
Curried Mushroom & Squash Soup
(p. 12 in the original Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen)
At least one and one-half hours to prepare & simmer 4-5 servings
2 medium butternut or acorn squash
2-1/2 cups water or stock
1 c. orange juice
2 Tbl. butter
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 medium clove crushed garlic
6 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
a few dashes cayenne
optional: fresh lemon juice
garnishes: chopped, toasted, almonds yogurt
Split the squash lengthwise and bake face-down in a 375s oven on an oiled tray, 30 minutes or until quite soft. Cook and scoop out the insides. You’ll need about 3 cups worth. Put it in the blender with the water or stock and puree until smooth. Combine in a kettle or saucepan with the orange juice.
Heat the butter in a skillet and add the garlic, onion, salt and spices. Saute until the onion is very soft. (You may need to add a little water if it sticks). Add mushrooms, cover and cook 10 minutes.
Add the saute to the squash, scraping the skillet well to salvage all the good stuff. Heat everything together very gently. Taste to correct seasoning. Since this is a fairly sweet soup, you may want to spruce it up with some fresh lemon juice.
Serve topped with yogurt and chopped, toasted almonds. (Note: this soup need not be served immediately. Simmer a while, and the flavors can mature.)
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
4 medium sized green tomatoes
3/4 cup fine cornmeal
3-4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
salt & pepper
Green Chile Mayonnaise
Slice the tomatoes crosswise 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. Press each piece into a plate of cornmeal and coat on both sides. Heat oil in a wide skillet over high heat until hot enough to sizzle a drop of water. Add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium and fry on both sides until golden. Remove to plate, season with salt and pepper. Green Chile Mayonnaise Add several minced and seeded jalapeños or 1-2 unseeded poblano or serrano chiles to 1 cup homemade or purchased mayonnaise