It's Jumbo share time.
This week's share will include: Two Honey Bear Acorn Squash, One Pie Pumpkin, Four Pounds of Potatoes, Five Pounds of Carrots, Two Pounds of Beets, Two Stalks of Brussels Sprouts, One Bunch of Hakurei or Baby Pac Choi, and Rutabaga or Celeriac.
It might be a little heavy.
Don't worry, you don't have to eat the whole share in just one week. The carrots and beets will store nicely in their bags in the fridge (especially the beets). The squash will keep for at least a month on the counter. I suggest hanging on to the pumpkin until Halloween is through, then roasting, mashing, and freezing it for Thanksgiving (see the recipe below). It might not keep all the way until Thanksgiving on the counter, but mashed pumpkin freezes beautifully. Brussels sprouts will keep for a couple weeks in the fridge, just remove any discolored leaves (but leave the sprouts on the stalks) and make sure they are in the crisper or otherwise ensure they will have adequate humidity. The potatoes should keep as well as any potatoes at room temp, so long as they are dry (sometimes there is water or wet soil in the distribution bags, make sure you don't try to store them with that moisture) and away from light. The celeriac and hakurei will both keep for a few weeks in the fridge as well (the celeriac will keep much longer) as long as you remove the greens before storage. Eat those greens! Hakurei greens are great cooked or raw and celeriac greens are basically celery. You should probably eat your pac choi on the soon side :)
So now that you know how to store you items, how should you eat them? Below are two recipe ideas. The first is quick and easy, sauteed beets and carrots. The second is pumpkin custard. Mmmm...
Beets and Carrots
- One pound combined beets and carrots. I like about 12 ounces beets and 4 ounces carrots, but you can do your own thing.
- Approximately one teaspoon olive oil
- One Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- One Tablespoon Honey
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- Salt to taste (about a half teaspoon)
Cut off the tops and tails of the beets and chop them into bite sized pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over low/medium heat. Add the beets to the pan and allow them to cook, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes.
While the beets are doing their initial cooking, chop the carrots into one inch chunks (or smaller if you would prefer them to be very tender in the finished dish).
Add the carrots, salt, and cinnamon to the pan and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the carrots and beets are as tender as you like them, stir in the honey and vinegar. Continue stirring until the beets and carrots are evenly coated.
Pumpkin Custard with Ricotta and Cream Cheese Swirls
The flour in this recipe is simply to soak up any excess moisture that might weep out of the custard as it bakes. If you are gluten free, feel free to omit it. Just know your custard might be a little weepy.
For the pumpkin custard:
- One medium Pie Pumpkin
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 12 ounces Heavy Cream (minus one tablespoon for the swirls)
- 2 eggs
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- a pinch of salt
For the ricotta cream cheese swirls:
- 1/2 cup (about a half a block) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Heavy Cream
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 Egg
To prepare the pumpkin custard, halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Roast the pumpkin at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour, or until it is very tender (turn the heat down to 350 if the surface starts to overbrown before the flesh is completely tender--you want to see some caramelization, but no burning). When the pumpkin is tender, scrape out the flesh and measure out one and a half cups, freeze the remainder for a future recipe.
Puree the pumpkin flesh with the maple syrup in a blender or food processor. Make sure it is very smooth.
Transfer the maple pumpkin puree to a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Beat until ingredients are well combined.
To prepare the swirl mixture, cream together the two cheeses, sugar and heavy cream. When these ingredients are well combined beat in the vanilla and egg.
Pour the pumpkin custard into cake pans or a medium casserole dish (for me this recipe filled one nine inch round and one six inch heart cake pan), filling your chosen baking dish or dishes only about 2/3 of the way. Then add dollops of the swirl mixture and stir it into the custard gently, to form swirls like these:
Bake at 425 for 35 - 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the custard comes out clean.
Scoop the custard onto plates with a spoon to serve.
|A dollop of whipped cream on top would be lovely, |
but this custard is already pleasantly rich and creamy all on its own.