Sunday, October 25, 2015

Winter Share 1: Sunny Days

I love that I get to look at this tree everyday.

I also love the weather this fall, strange as it is. Though we have certainly brought in a lot of produce for storage already, this lingering warmth and sunshine means that much of this first winter share is actually going to be harvested fresh from the fields the day before distribution, just like a summer share.

Some lucky full share member will receive these
very Brussels sprouts on Tuesday.
This week's half share members will receive: Kale, Celery or Parsley, Leeks, Carrots, Kohlrabi, Honey Bear Acorn Squash, and a Pie Pumpkin.

The full share members will receive: All that yummy half share stuff plus Potatoes, Beets, Brussels Sprouts and a Spaghetti Squash.

So, this is a lot of food coming at you. If you're not sure how to store it, here are some tips:

Squash store well for up to a month on the counter. Try to keep them out of direct sun and away from a hot stove or other appliance that causes temperature swings. Of the squash you are receiving this week, the spaghetti squash will keep the longest and the pumpkin will keep for the least amount of time.

Beets, carrots, kohlrabi, and leeks will all keep nicely in a crisper. So will Brussels sprouts. The sprouts do best stored on the stalks. Leeks store best with any yellow leaves trimmed away before storage.

The kale and celery or parsley will not keep as long as the other items in your share. Protect them from drying out in the fridge with a plastic bag and try to eat them up within a week of getting them.

Now, what should you do with this bounty you are about to receive? Eat it, of course :)

I know some of the items in the share can be challenging to cook with, so I came up with a recipe that uses some of the hardest to use stuff. It's simple to make, but kind of time consuming. There is a lot of peeling and chopping involved. That's kind of how it goes with the winter veggies. Food that stores well tends to require a fair amount of breaking down to become tasty. This recipe makes plenty though, so the hard work is worth it.

You'll be lunching on pumpkin, kohlrabi, kale and leeks all
week long :)

Curried Pumpkin and Kohlrabi Stew

Neither pumpkin nor kohlrabi have a ton of flavor on their own, so pairing them with strong seasonings like curry works really well. If you like spice, throw in a bit of jalapeno or cayenne to add some heat. The pumpkin softens as it cooks, which is what adds body to this all vegetable stew.
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger, or a half inch piece of fresh ginger peeled and minced
  • 2 leeks, washed well and roughly chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery with leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 large kohlrabi peeled! (always peel the kohlrabi well, the peel is very woody) and cut into bite sized cubes.
  • 1 medium pie pumpkin peeled (I peeled mine whole with a vegetable peeler before cutting into it. It took strong hands and about ten minutes.), seeds removed and cut into bite sized cubes.
  • 1/2 bunch kale, with stems, roughly chopped
  • 3 large carrots (about 1/2 pound), cut into two inch pieces
  • 2 cups of water
  • Salt to taste (I used a teaspoon)
In a large cooking pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, curry powder and ginger. Stir constantly until the leeks and celery begin to wilt and the spices are very fragrant. About three minutes.

Add the remaining vegetables, the water, and the salt. The vegetables will release a lot of liquid as they cook, the water you are adding at this point is just enough to get their juices flowing. 

Let the water come to a boil, turn the heat down to low, and cover. Cook, stirring every 15 minutes or so, until the pumpkin begins to break down. About 45 minutes.

Eat for a week.