Monthly Archives: October 2013

Carrot, Delicata and Rutabaga Soup

Ingredients:Image

  • 3-4 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 medium rutabaga, finely chopped
  • 1 delicata squash, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion (or leek)
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour mixed well with 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chicken or vegetable broth (optional)

 Directions:

  • Place the chopped carrots, squash and rutabaga in a medium but deep saucepan.
  • Fill it up with water or broth until vegetables are covered. Bring contents to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer until everything is soft.
  • Use a masher and slowly mash the vegetables into puree form. Stir constantly until it is all mixed well and smooth.
  • Add in the corn flour and water mixture. Keep simmering until the soup is thickened and pasty.
  • Add in salt to taste. Sprinkle ground black pepper and parsley over soup and serve.

Acorn Squash Curry

Ingredients: acorn curry

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into ½” chunks
  • 2 butterball potatoes, cut into 1/2” chunks
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.  Halve an acorn squash, scoop out the seeds, and set skin side up on a jelly roll pan coated with vegetable oil.  Bake for 30 minutes and let cool.  Peel, and cut into cubes.
  • In a large pot, place acorn squash, carrots, potatoes, onion, coconut milk, water, curry powder, soy sauce, chili pepper flakes, turmeric, sea salt (to taste), and sugar over medium heat.  Stir to combine. After about 20 minutes, turn heat to low.
  • Cook until potatoes are fork-tender.  Serve with brown or white rice.

Tidbits about Turnips

In honor of this tasty winter vegetable, here are some fun things you probably didn’t know about turnips!

Turnips were first cultivated in India almost three thousand years ago for the oil in their seeds. They were a common crop in Greek and Roman culture where they cultivated as a staple food for the working class. Because of their pungent flavor and associations with the lower and working classes, most upper crust Romans refused to eat turnips. Those who did were known to flavor them with cumin and honey.

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There is evidence to suggest that a large portion of turnip cultivation took place in western Asia and Europe where many of the turnips cousins, such as mustard and radishes, can be found. In the 18th Century farmers in England discovered that they could keep their livestock alive year round by growing winter crops of turnips for them to eat.

Turnips are one of a number of vegetables that can be left in the ground all winter long and then harvested the following Spring or Summer. They are good to eat the whole year round but they are usually sweetest between November and January. Turnips are a very hearty plant that can be grown in lots of kinds of soils that other vegetables wouldn’t and can thrive in weather that would kill more particular plants. They are perfectly suited to be grown in Washington!

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In addition to being tasty turnips are really good for you. The roots are high in vitamin C, the greens are high in vitamins A, C and K, and the whole plant is fat and cholesterol free making it heart healthy. Though turnips are a starchy vegetable they have only a third amount of the calories as potatoes, which means that even if you’re on a diet you should be eating turnips.

Here are two of my favorite ways to cook turnips:

Turnip greens

Cut two strips of thick pepper bacon into ½ inch pieces.

Cut the turnip greens into 1 ½ inch pieces.

Fry the bacon in a pan on medium heat until it is mostly cooked and the bacon grease covers most of the bottom of the pan.

Put the turnip greens in with the bacon and cook for 5 mins or until the greens are tender.

Sprinkle with a little ground black pepper and enjoy!

– for a special holiday meal try putting a tablespoon of real maple syrup in with the bacon.

Turnip roots

Put 3 cups of peeled and chopped turnips in a pan with ¼ cup of chicken stock.

Simmer until the stock has almost entirely evaporated and the turnips are tender, which should be about 15 minutes.

Gently stir in 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.

Gently stir for another 6 to 10 minutes until the sugar has melted and has formed a sticky coating over the turnips.

Serve and enjoy!

Roast Gold Beet and Apple Salad

Ingredients:Image

  • 2 medium gold beets, unpeeled and scrubbed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp horseradish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8-10 leaves green leaf lettuce (optional)
  • 1 small unpeeled apple, cored and diced
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds

Directions:

  • Individually wrap each beet in double layer of foil. Roast on baking sheet in 425°F oven until tender, about 1 hour.  Let cool enough to handle; peel and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges. 
  • Rinse leaves of lettuce and cut into strips if desired.
  • Whisk together oil, vinegar, maple syrup, horseradish, salt and pepper.
  • Place lettuce in large bowl; toss with beets and apple. Toss with dressing.
  • Serve sprinkled with sunflower seeds and crumbled goat cheese.

Get to know your squash

This week our boxes have butternut squash in them and that gave us the idea to spend a few minutes talking about squash and butternut in particular.

 

There are lots of different kinds of squash, many of which have been around for thousands of years. Squash was probably first cultivated in Central and South America over 8000 years ago. There is debate about whether cultivation of squash and other forms of agriculture spread from Central America up into eastern North America or if agriculture and squash cultivation arose independently in eastern North America. Either way, by the time European explorers landed in the Americas Natives were growing maize, beans and squash.

 

Often referred to as the Three Sisters, the trio of vegetables highly benefits from being grown and eaten together. When grown in the same space the maize provides a structure for the beans to climb and natural shade for the squash. The squash in turn shades the ground, keeps out weeds and acts as natural pest control. When eaten together they compose a complete carbohydrate and a good source of protein. In addition, the beans return nitrogen to the soil which is necessary because maize and squash draw significant amounts of nitrogen out of the soil when they grow. Thus, the Three Sisters are naturally sustainable, both for the earth and as a food source.

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Butternut squash

Butternut squash is a fall and winter squash that was originally developed in Massachusetts. It has a rich orange color which darkens as it matures. In some places in the world it is actually referred to as a type of pumpkin. It can be eaten young when the skin is still soft or after it matures when the skin is much thicker and though still edible is far less pleasant to eat.

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The insides of the Butternut squash are composed of a rich flesh and a seedy pulp. The seeds are edible raw or roasted and can be quite tasty. Butternut squash flesh when cooked is creamy and dense with a natural sweetness and pumpkiny flavor. It is often roasted or baked by simply removing the seeds and pulp, lightly coating the inside in cooking oil and baking.

How should I cook my squash this week?

Here is my favorite way to cook butternut squash:

Cut your squash in half lengthwise and clean out the insides. With the pulp now removed from both halves score the flesh inside the squash lengthwise with 3 or 4 half inch deep cuts. put a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of brown sugar in each half. Cover the open side of the squash with aluminum foil and place rind side down, foil side up, on a cooking sheet. Place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

To test if your squash is done remove the foil and stick the flesh with a fork. The squash should be tender and soft, much like a cooked sweet potato.

Let your squash cool for 5+ minutes. Remove the foil. You can now eat the squash in any number of ways but my favorite is to mash up the insides with a fork or a spoon, mixing in the cooked butter and sugar and then to simply eat the squash using the rind as a bowl. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Risotto

 

Ingredients:Image

 

  • 2 ounces bacon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup short grain rice, such as arborio or carnaroli
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium butternut squash, halved, seeded, peeled and cut into ½” chunks
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • ¼ cup cream

Directions:

  • Cook bacon in large saucepan over medium-high heat until fat renders and is browned and almost crisp. Using slotted spoon or tongs, transfer to medium bowl.
  • Add oil to same saucepan, then onion and garlic; cook until onion is translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add rice; stir 1 minute.
  • Add hot broth; increase heat and bring to boil. Add squash and sage; reduce heat to medium and simmer until rice is tender but still firm to bite and mixture is creamy, stirring often, about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in cream and bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.