CSA Newsletter: Week 20 (October 1st, 2012)

Hello CSA members!

This week we hope to bring you spaghetti squash, cabbage OR sunchokes, cauliflower OR baby chard, roasted chilies OR roasted sweet peppers, and Red Russian kale OR broccoli raab. Large share members will get cauliflower AND baby chard as well as spinach. Fruit share members will be getting pears and apples.

In this week’s newsletter:

Spaghetti Squash
Posted by Mo

Week 20, is that right? Whoosh, there went Summer.

This week you are getting spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash will store for a long, long time. They are very bland so you need to add some good flavors and textures to any dish using spaghetti squash.

I hear some people say that they are intimidated by cutting winter squash in half in order to bake them. I have read that you can microwave winter squash for 5 to 10 minutes, making them easier to cut, then proceed with baking. I had never tried that, so I did.
I poked some holes in the spaghetti squash so it wouldn’t blow up in the microwave.

I microwaved it for a total of 10 minutes. After 5 minutes I turned it over and cooked it another 5 minutes. This is what it looked like after 10 minutes of microwaving. You can see how it is partially cooked, but very raw in the middle. While I was microwaving it I preheated the oven to 400°F. After doing this I am positive it will work with any winter squash.

I scooped out the seeds and added some onions, herbs, salt and pepper. I rubbed all that with olive oil and put it in the 400°F oven for about 35 minutes.

Spaghetti squash are the ultimate in stringy squash. To optimize the stringy ‘spaghettiness’ of the squash you want to dry it out a bit so bake it uncovered, cut side up the whole cooking time.

See the meat of the squash pulling away from the squash shell? That is how you know it’s done.

Discard the herbs if you used them and use a fork to fluff up the squash to make it look like spaghetti. Don’t stir it or smash it. Try to keep it fluffed up.

My very favorite thing to do with spaghetti squash is to cut up one of my last very ripe tomatoes and add a little olive oil, parsley and Parmesan cheese. This dish tells me that summer is well and truly over. What a great goodbye.

Jerusalem Artichokes
We have been offering Jerusalem artichokes in our CSA for years now, so many of you love them and look forward to getting them. This is some information for those of you who may be less familiar with them.

Jerusalem artichokes (also called sunchokes) are tubers belonging to the daisy family. The plant looks like an enormous sunflower plant. We dig up the roots to eat, much like potatoes. I don’t want to get into a health discussion here, but if you are interested you should look up the health factors of this tuber, especially if you eat it raw. It has some very unique health benefits.

You can use Jerusalem artichokes in pretty much the same way you would use a potato. Specifically, use it like you would a new potato because you don’t need to peel these. They are washed and ready to use.

They look a little like ginger root don’t they?

You can roast these, bake them, incorporate them in a root vegetable mash-up, or make a soup or a salad. Anything that you would make with a potato, you can make with these. I think they are fun to cook with because your brain thinks it is going to taste like a potato but you get a unique flavor and texture.

I pan roasted some with onions, mushrooms and a little garlic.

They have a very interesting nutty taste and a pleasant crunch that potatoes lose when cooked. Because they are so flavorful with such a nice texture, they work well to compliment a less flavorful, unique textured counterpart…like spaghetti squash.

Have a great week and I hope you try something new.

– Mo

Guest Recipes

Posted by Maddie

We have a very food-filled newsletter for you this week! Thanks Mo for your great ideas, as always. Today I thought I would also share some recipes with you that I’ve collected from CSA members in the last week or so. Unfortunately the timing on two of these is a little off, since they contain mostly summer veggies like tomatoes and zucchini. However, if you happen to still have any of these ingredients hanging around, either from your CSA share or from your garden, I highly recommend trying out one or all of these recipes.

I’m off tomorrow on a short trip back to Vermont so I won’t be seeing all of you at pick-up this week, but I hope everyone has a wonderful first week of October! Enjoy those veggies.

– Maddie

Summer Vegetable Caponata

Submitted by Jessica Hersh

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 lbs summer vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, peppers, yellow squash, green beans)
  • 1 medium or 2 small onions
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large can small diced tomatoes in juice or 2 lbs fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 Tbs capers
  • black pepper
  • salt

Prepare the eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash as follows: wash, trim, and cut into small bite-sized pieces. Peel the onion and dice it. Peel the garlic and cut into thin slices. Put the oil, sugar, and balsamic vinegar into a heavy-bottomed pot and heat over medium high until bubbly. Add the eggplant and onion and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning. Add the rest of the vegetables (including tomatoes and garlic.) Add capers. Stir well, turn heat down to low and cover the pot.

If the mix seems very dry add half a cup of water – you want to allow this dish to stew for hours without drying out. Cook over low heat for at least 2 hours, checking water content and stirring every 10 minutes or so. When the dish is fully cooked, all the vegetables should be very soft and falling apart and it should be thick, not soupy. At this point, remove it from the heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or allow to cool and serve cold. You can eat this as a salad, a side dish, an omelet filling, tossed with pasta, topping a frittata, as a dip for chips or bread, as a crostini topping, a sandwich filling, or just a dip-the-spoon in snack.

Curried Apple and Potato Kugel

Submitted by Jessica Hersh

  • 3 lbs potatoes (either red or yellow)
  • 2 lbs apples (something with nice flavor and crisp texture (like honeycrisp or granny smith)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 Tbs curry powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil (safflower or sunflower)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Wash the potatoes and apples well and peel the onions. Grate them all, starting with onions and rotating (this will keep the potatoes from oxidizing and turning brown.) Mix the shredded vegetables and fruit together with the flour, eggs, curry powder, and salt. Put the oil in a baking dish (Pyrex works great for this) and put in the hot oven for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and put the kugel mix in the hot oil in the pan. Spread evenly then bake for 45 minutes to an hour until the edges and top are nicely browned. Cut into pieces and serve hot. This is great plain or topped with plain yogurt.

Tomato Soup

Submitted by Kate Martin

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp. each dried thyme and dried basil
  • 3 Tbs tomato paste
  • 3 lbs. fresh ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups chicken broth

Saute onion and garlic in butter and olive oil. Add spices, tomato paste, salt, pepper and tomatoes. Cook for 10 minutes. Add broth. Cover slightly and simmer 30 minutes more. Puree in a blender, food processor, or using an immersion blender. This recipe freezes great and is a perfect dish to pull out on a cool fall evening.

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1 Response to CSA Newsletter: Week 20 (October 1st, 2012)

  1. moiscooking says:

    GAWK! I forgot to mention that the spaghetti squash is of course gluten free, and naturally low carbs, and low in calories option for people who care about such things.

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