What an absolutely gorgeous streak of fall days we’ve been having. I love this time of year when the leaves are turning and the nights are chilly. Fall is in full swing as October dawns, the leaves are dropping one by one–although sometimes seeming like buckets-full as I try to keep them out of your boxes and salad mix at our out door packing station. As Heather says, though, it just serves to remind people that their food comes from someplace.
A few items of note: (1) After this week, there are only two more boxes left in the season. The last delivery will be Thursday Oct. 18th, so (2) please bring any veggie boxes you’ve been stashing all season to your drop site next week! Also, (3) my birthday is this month– actually on the last Monday delivery–any and all gifts can be left at drop sites or mailed to the farm address, how gracious of you.
Aside from the leaves, in the box this week:Spinach or Salad Mix (two-third share) Spinach and Salad Mix (full share) Winter squash–acron (dark green), carnival (multi-colored), or delicatta (cylindrical multi colored) Thyme Cabbage Rutabaga Beets Onions Cilantro (full share) Kale Hot Peppers (no longer marked or bagged, watch out!)
New comer to the box this week is our good friend the Rutabaga. Look familiar? The variety of turnip we grow, purple top, looks a lot like the Rutabaga. Although they can be prepared in many similar ways (roasted, sauteed, boiled and mashed), Rutabaga is not as enjoyable raw as turnips are, and tend to be heartier and cook up more like beets. In fact, beets and Rutabaga are a fantastic duo, in my humble opinion, both having a nice sweetness, texture and demeanor that complement each other very well. I like to think of them as siblings that you wouldn’t guess came from the same mother until you spend time with them together (they actually don’t come from the same family, though). Roasting them together with some olive oil and thyme (and carrots if they’re still around!) is one of my favorite ways of enjoying them. From there they can be a roasted root vegetable side to any hearty fall meal or added on top of spinach or lettuce salad with some feta or chevre and vinaigrette
Another personal favorite with this roasted combination is to make a root vegetable pizza with it. Simply add the roasted veggies to the top of a homemade or pre-made crust (you can use a light coating of olive oil as your base instead of sauce), put a healthy amount of kale on top (will reduce a lot and get real crispy and light under the high heat) dab dollops of chevre or sprinkle feta or parmesan and cook at high heat (anywhere from 400 to 500 degrees). A sprinkling of bacon or prosciutto is never a bad idea either…
Speaking of pizza, one of my other favorite fall pizza creations is squash puree with caramelized onions and, of course, kale. Roast up your squash, scoop out the insides and puree with a little water or milk or cream or butter (you can also just mash if you don’t have a food processor). Spread generously on plain dough as the base, add caramelized onions and kale on top and finish off in the oven at high temps. Apple slices really lend themselves well to this sweet fall combination as well.
Pizza dough is relatively easy to make, especially if you’ve made bread before. At its simplest it is water, flour and salt. I recommend perusing through some cookbooks or online for a recipe that fits your style. I would like to say a prefer a nice overnight fermented dough, as in this recipe, but I’m usually too spontaneous with my cooking to think that far ahead. Typically I like doughs that cook at high heat for short periods of time, Nepalese style, if you will, and will always pre-cook my dough, put on the toppings and then finish cooking it. From there, calzones or stromboli versions are only a flip or roll of the dough away.