Winter Share Contents 11/7

It’s been a bit chilly at Riverland and Picadilly farms this week. The temperature at Picadilly is predicted to fall into the low 20’s tonight. Brrr! In spite of the cold, harvest crews have brought in and packed a really nice share.

Here’s a list of what is in your share from Picadilly Farm this month:

Kohlrabi, a piece. This is truly a “bonus” item in your share – we didn’t have it in the plan, but Jenny just couldn’t resist growing a fall root crop called “Gigante”. If you’ve haven’t tried it yet, prepare for a mild flavor, much like the stem of broccoli with a little turnip tossed in. Peel off the outer layer, use it all at once or just a bit at a time – it will keep well partial or whole in your fridge for a long time. Here are a few recipe from Jenny:

Kohlrabi Sautee, Farmacopeia by Pete Napolitano
Sautee kohlrabi Chinese-style in a little peanut oil with shiitake mushrooms, sweet red pepper, shallots, minced gingerroot and cashew or pine nuts. Season with rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil and a pinch of sugar. You can also thicken this with a little cornstarch mixed with water.

Braised Kohlrabi, The New Foods by Camille Cusumano
Braise diced or slice kohlrabi in just enough chicken or beef stock to cover it. Add a little butter and some caraway seeds to the stock and simmer until tender, about 12 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.

Leeks, a bunch. Ever tried braising leeks? Makes for a lovely side dish. Here’s a simple recipe for Braised Leeks with Lemon.

Potatoes, 5 pounds of white “Salems”, unwashed for better storage. Store them in a cool and dark place, out of the plastic bag, and they should store for months.

Radicchio, a small head. This Italian chicory looks like a small red cabbage and has a bitter, peppery taste. It is most commonly used as an ingredient in salad mix, though it loses some of the bitterness when cooked.

Rutabagas, 2 pounds unwashed. Compared to the turnip, rutabagas have a yellower hue in their flesh, and a taste that’s more earthy and warm, without the radishy zing. Store them as other roots, very cold but not freezing.

Spinach, 1 pound. This spinach is from Appleton Farm in Ipswich. When Picadilly’s spinach crop failed, a veggie swap was arranged with Appleton farmer, Jamie Barrett: Picadilly winter squash for Appleton spinach. Enjoy!

Salad turnips, a bunch. These “Hakurai” turnips are like a sweet radish, and are delicious raw in salads, grated or chopped. I also like them sauteed with greens. Unlike the more traditional fall turnip, these Hakurai are too watery for roasts or stews.

Parsnips, 2 pounds, unwashed for better storage. The classic winter root, and we have tender crop this year. Try cooking them a different way – roasting with other roots, cut into “fries”, or cooked and mashed into patties. Store in the fridge, or in very cold (but not freezing) place in your house.

Carrots, 4 pounds. These fall “boleros” are as big as they are sweet. This variety is meant to be big for long storage, but it’s still so sweet! Store in the fridge, or in a very cold (but not freezing) place in your house.

Winter squash, 7 pounds of butternuts, 2-4 pieces. They are best stored at about 50-55 degrees, not much colder – a cool place in your kitchen can work well. Watch for small bruises or rot spots – the squash will deteriorate quickly once they appear. Any winter squash seeds are great for roasting: rinse them well, and let them dry. Oil the pan slightly, and roast in a thin layer. Roast at a low temperature, 300-325, as the seeds can go from brown to burnt quickly. Stir occasionally. Try seasoning halfway through roasting with sugar and cinnamon – yum!

Cilantro, a bunch. One of the more cold-hardy fresh herbs, this crop has stayed tender under some wire hoops and row cover in our field – a mini greenhouse! Store it with the stems in a glass of water, in or out of the fridge; or wash and dry the leaves and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Cilantro can also be frozen: blend or chop it in a little oil, and freeze in ice cube-sized portions.

Sweet potatoes, 4 pounds.

Sweet peppers, 6 or 7. These thin-walled, Italia-type “Carmen” peppers were picked on Monday. Jenny says it’s the first time she’s ever harvested sweet peppers from the field in November! Back in late September, when there were a few really cold nights, the farm crew threw some heavy row covers over the loaded pepper rows, not sure what would happen. The tips of the plants, as well as the plants on the edges, got nipped by frost; but the fruits hanging under the canopy of the plants continued to ripen to red. These peppers can be frozen for later cooking – just chop and freeze. Those that are not quite red will ripen more, either on a counter top or in the fridge.

Red radishes, one bunch. Nice with salad, great as a snack.

Riverland Farm’s contribution to the share this week includes:
Lettuce, two heads. This is a sweet, crisp Batavian variety of lettuce that stands up well in cold temperatures.

Escarole, one head. Some folks eat this slightly bitter green raw, in salads. If that’s too much for your taste buds, try it sauteed in olive oil and garlic, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar. Or try this recipe for a nice winter soup: White Bean and Escarole Soup with Garlic.

Brussels’ sprouts, two stalks.

Onions, two pounds.

Baby Bok Choy, about a pound. Lovely with cranberries in Bok Choy Salad, tasty in a colorful stir fry – throw in some radish, carrot, onion, hakurei turnip and a red pepper!

Napa Cabbage, one head. There are so many ways to use napa: in a salad with radishes and buttermilk dressing, stir fried, made into cole slaw, or if your up for an adventure you might try a small batch of saurekraut.

garlic, half a pound.

From Baer’s Best Beans, one pound of dried beans, Jacob’s Cattle, Otebo or Calypso.
Ten pounds of apples from Cider Hill Farm are also included this month. Apples varieties include Empire, Mutsu, Melrouge, Carosel, Braeburn, Gala and Jonagold.

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