With the start of the official fall season, New Roots Cooperative Farm is seeing an abundance of crops on the farm – from summer tomatillos, jalapenos, and cilantro to late-season watermelon, eggplant, and salad mix to fall parsnips, brussel sprouts, and winter squash, we’ve got it all! This is a great time to be a CSA customer, because you’ve got a mix of everything in your bag. We will try to get you your summer veggies until the cold takes over, so enjoy them while they last.
As the cold threatens the summer crops on the farm (we are covering some with a thin layer of cotton to protect them at night), a lot of fall crops get sweeter as the lower temperature penetrates the soil. Kale, brussel sprouts, leeks, turnips, carrots, beets, and parsnips turn their starches into sugars when threatened with frost to prevent the water in their plant cells from freezing, which makes them even more delicious.
This Storage Resource Guide, created by Katy Harkleroad, from Cultivating Community is a fantastic starting point. And here are some good quick tips to remember:
As always, don’t hesitate to ask if you’re ever questioning the best way to keep a certain veggie fresh longer.
Here’s a look at some of the new veggies you might be seeing in your CSA bag:
Husk cherries, also known as “ground cherries,” “ground tomatoes,” or”winter cherries,” are a small fruit in the Solanaceae family (also known as the nightshade family). They are closely related to tomatillos and have a similar papery husk around them. The flavor is usually described as something between a pineapple and a tomato. I love to eat husk cherries straight from the carton or bag, and I’ve heard from some children that they are good drizzled with chocolate sauce as a dessert, but I have yet to try that. Check out this article for some other ideas on what to do with your husk cherries.
Parsnips look a little bit like a white carrot. They are in the same family as carrots and parsley. While I like big fat parsnips that I can chop big and roast in the oven along with a chicken, I’ve read a lot of people raving about the little parsnips and how they are easier to work with because you don’t have to peel them. Parsnips are sweeter after the winter frosts, so we usually wait until fall to harvest them. Check out this article for some ideas on how to cook parsnips, or try this easy recipe below:
2 pounds parsnips, peeled
1 pound carrots, unpeeled
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dried parsley or dill
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
If the parsnips and carrots are very thick cut them in half lengthwise. Slice each diagonally in 1-inch-thick slices. The vegetables will shrink while cooking, so don’t make the pieces too small. Place the cut vegetables on a sheet pan. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss well. Roast for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the vegetables, tossing occasionally, until the parsnips and carrots are just tender.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.
You got a good reminder about squash last week, so I’ll just leave you with this awesome recipe from https://cookieandkate.com/spaghetti-squash-burrito-bowl-recipe/
Roasted spaghetti squash
2 medium spaghetti squash (about 2 pounds each), halved and seeds removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cabbage and black bean slaw
2 cups purple cabbage, thinly sliced and roughly chopped into 2-inch long pieces
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, chopped
⅓ cup chopped green onions, both green and white parts
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Avocado salsa verde
¾ cup mild salsa verde, either homemade or store-bought
1 ripe avocado, diced
⅓ cup fresh cilantro (a few stems are ok)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 medium garlic clove, roughly chopped
Optional garnishes: chopped fresh cilantro, crumbled feta and/or seasoned toasted pepitas (not shown)
To roast the spaghetti squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up. On the baking sheet, drizzle the halved spaghetti squash with olive oil. Rub the olive oil all over each of the halves, adding more if necessary.
Sprinkle the insides of the squash with freshly ground black pepper and salt. Turn them over so the insides are facing down. Roast for 40 to 60 minutes, until the flesh is easily pierced through with a fork.
Meanwhile, to assemble the slaw: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cabbage, black beans, bell pepper, green onion, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and salt. Toss to combine and set aside to marinate.
To make the salsa verde: In the bowl of a blender or food processor, combine the avocado, salsa verde, cilantro, lime juice and garlic. Blend until smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary.
To assemble, first use a fork to separate and fluff up the flesh of the spaghetti squash. Then divide the slaw into each of the spaghetti squash “bowls,” and add a big dollop of avocado salsa verde.
Finish the bowls with another sprinkle of pepper, cilantro and optional crumbled feta or pepitas.