We had the first hint of a frost this past weekend, at our the farm- a few basil plants were nipped just a little, and tomato production is definitely slowing down. It’s crazy to think that we’re almost done with summer crops, but we’re starting to see winter squashes come out of the fields, and you’ll soon start to see them in your CSA bags.
Some winter squash varieties, like acorn and delicata squash, are ready to eat as soon as you harvest them. Others, like butternut squash, require a “curing” process for several weeks post-harvest, before they taste their best. Curing involves keeping the squash somewhere warm and dry for anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months. This dries out the squash somewhat, which does two things: 1) hardens the skin so it stores better for longer and 2) evaporates out some of the water so that the sugars become more concentrated, making the flavor of the squash sweeter.
For more information about specific squash varieties, check out this chart from Johnny’s Selected Seeds! Here are a few recipes for you to try out this week, or in the coming weeks, as well. The first recipe comes from my own family- I’ve included a little history that my mom wrote up when asked by a friend for a family recipe a few years ago. We eat this at every family holiday, all year long. Hope you enjoy!
Bubby Anna herself!
“My grandmother, Anna (known to all as ‘Bubby’), lived with my family when I was a child. Every Sunday the extended family, including her sons and their families, would gather at my house. And each Sunday meal included Bubby’s Cole Slaw. It’s a family tradition that is now into its fourth generation in this country.”
1 medium cabbage, thinly sliced
1 medium green pepper, chopped in small pieces
2 medium carrots, grated
½ small onion, chopped finely (optional)
¾ cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
Juice of a lemon – start with ½ and add to taste
1tsp. Kosher salt (use half to salt the cabbage for draining, then add the rest to taste)
¼ tsp white pepper
½ tsp. celery seed (optional)
Slice cabbage thinly; salt the cabbage and massage briefly; place several paper towels in a bowl and put the salted cabbage in the bowl to drain, while preparing other ingredients.
1 pound fingerling or regular potatoes, cleaned and halved (or cubed, depending on their size)
4-5 medium-sized carrots, cleaned and chopped into roughly the same size pieces as your potatoes (so that they roast evenly)
2 large leeks, cleaned and cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces (leave the tough green parts behind)
5 cloves of garlic, left in the peel
⅓ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more, if you like it spicier, like me)
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
a small pinch of cinnamon
a small pinch of granulated sugar
8-9 cups vegetable stock
grated carrots, for garnish
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Place all of your chopped vegetables on a baking sheet, along with your garlic cloves, still in their peels, and drizzle with your olive oil, then sprinkle with your spices. Roast the vegetables for 30 minutes or so, until fork-tender.
Place all of the vegetables and peeled garlic in your food processor (working in batches, if you need to, or use an immersion blender), and pulse with a bit of your stock until smooth. Add a cup of stock at a time, pulsing, until you’ve reached your processor’s maximum capacity (which is why I love my immersion blender – no maximum capacity), then push the pureed vegetables through a mesh sieve (or not, but I prefer a smoother texture). Place in a large pot, add the rest of your stock, and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. This will keep well in the fridge for a week, or frozen for 3 months.
Recipe from http://www.thecrepesofwrath.com/2013/02/08/carrot-potato-leek-soup/