Salad Mix, Escarole, Carrots, Broccoli, Broccoli Raab or Spigariello, Jonathon Cushaw Squash, German Red Garlic
This past week we harvested all the remaining Winter squash and pumpkin out in the field and moved them into our greenhouse for a few days to cure the stems a bit and check out if there were any rotten ones before transporting them all to our basement to store for the next month or so. For the first time we have actually had a decent squash harvest and a few of the varieties thrived in our planting. As with our cucumber, melon, and zucchini crops this year, part of this increase in yield is due to better understanding and management of the crop. Another aspect is that we planted the Winter squash in our home plot; which seems to be our best soil on the farm. Whatever the cause, we are excited to have more to sell and to give to the CSA members. We do not grow the typical varieties that are seen at market here, like acorn, spaghetti, and delicata. Rather we focus on heirloom varietals that grow well in this region and have superior taste and texture qualities for making excellent pies, soup, curry, or for eating on their own.
This week in the share you will get Cushaw squash; which makes the best squash pie I have ever made or eaten (recipe included below) and is fabulous stewed and used for soup. Currently Dutch and Company in Richmond is using cushaw for a fabulous chicken soup. The variety we grow is white and known as a Jonathon Cushaw. Just like the more popular green cushaw, these squash have a buttery flavor and a somewhat textured, stringy meat. They can be stored for up to 4 months. The neck of the squash is all meat, whereas the bowl is mostly seeds with a thin layer of meat. The cushaw can grow really large, over 30” long with a bowl over 12” in diameter. Many share members will receive a half cushaw; which we recommend you process within a week. This can mean stewing or steaming big pieces and then freezing for later use in pies or soup. Do not feel overwhelmed to use it all right away. Other highlights this week include returning escarole, the last big handful of garlic, and more sweet broccoli and carrots. Check out some recipes and enjoy the share….Brian and Autumn
Basic Pastry Dough for a 9” pie shell, 1 cup pureed cooked winter squash, 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup sugar, 3 eggs, slightly beaten, 3 Tbls brandy, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp powdered ginger, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp mace
Preheat the oven to 425. Line a 9” pie pan with pastry dough. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and beat until smooth and well blended. Pour into the lined pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300 and bake for 45-60 minutes more or until the filling is firm.
Escarole and Rice Soup – The Classic Italian Cookbook by Marcella Hazan
1 head escarole (3/4-1 lb), 2 TBL finely chopped yellow onion, ¼ cup butter, Salt, 3 ½ homemade meat broth or 1 cup canned chicken soup mixed with 2 ½ cups water, ½ cup rice preferably Arborio, 3 TBL fresh grated parmesan.
Detach escarole leaves discard any that are bruised and wash the rest in multiple waters until clean. Cut into ½ inch wide stripes In stockpot sauté onion in butter over medium heat until nicely browned. Add escarole and a light sprinkling of salt. Briefly sauté the escarole, stirring once to twice. Add ½ cup of broth and cook over very low heat until escarole is tender (25-45 depending on freshness and tenderness). When escarole is tender add rest of broth, raise heat and bring to a boil. Add rice and cover. Cook rice 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until just al dente, firm to the bite. Off the heat, mix in the Parmesan cheese. Taste and correct for salt, spoon onto plates and enjoy.
Hot Anchovy-Flavored Dip for Vegetables – The Classic Italian Cookbook by Marcella Hazan
Heat the oil and butter until the butter is thoroughly liquefied and barely begins to foam. Add the garlic and sauté very briefly. It must not take on any color. Add the anchovies and cook over very low heat, stirring frequently, until the anchovies dissolve into a paste. Add the salt, stir, and bring to the table along with raw vegetables. Broccoli: cut off florets and put aside for another use. Serve just the stalks, after peeling the tough outer skin. Carrots: scrape or peel clean and cut lengthwise into sections ½” thick. Sweet Peppers: wash in cold water and cut into quarter sections, remove any seeds and the pulpy inner core.