Winter CSA shares are going fast.
Just last week Stello Foods bottled a tomatillo salsa for us! Our Winter share members can look forward to giving it a try. We are very encouraged by the response that we’ve had to our Winter Share option. Shares are limited so if you are hoping to sign up we suggest that you do it now. Sign up here now!
We have added pick up locations at the Children’s Museum in the North Side and Restaurant Echo in Cranberry! You can see a complete list of our pick up locations here. Winter share locations are indicated in bold type. If you have a suggestion for an additional (indoor) pick up location please contact Karlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eating with the fullest pleasure – pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance – is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living in a mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend.
― Wendell Berry
Each week we will ask you to review the contents of the previous week’s box.
We very much appreciate your taking this short survey as it helps us in a number of ways!
If you are on the Asparagus route please click here. Zucchini members can click here.
THIS WEEK’S HARVEST
OG- certified organic CNG- certified naturally grown
Adapted from Nigel Slater’s Tender, Volume II
Note that the chocolate sauce below is actually half the amount of Slater’s original recipe. (His uses 200 grams of chocolate, and so on.) When I tried his recipe, I used only three pears, and in the interest of not wasting ingredients or having a lot of leftovers, I decided to make a half batch of the chocolate sauce. l found that I had more than enough to go around, so I’ve typed up the recipe that way. It should be fine for four pears. But if you want to be guaranteed a real abundance of chocolate – and I wouldn’t blame you – you might want to double the quantities.
100 grams (½ cup packed) golden brown sugar
1 liter (about 4 ¼ cups) water
1 vanilla bean, split
A squeeze of lemon juice
4 plump, ripe pears
For the chocolate sauce:
100 grams dark chocolate chopped
1 Tbsp. strong black coffee
90 ml heavy cream
A small knob of butter
Combine the sugar, water, vanilla bean, and lemon juice in a medium (3-quart, let’s say) saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and leave to simmer gently. Meanwhile, peel the pears, cut them in half from stem to blossom, and remove the cores with a sharp knife and a teaspoon. Slip them into the simmering syrup, and let them cook gently until they are tender to the point of a knife. You’ll see that as they cook, they begin to look somewhat translucent, more yellow than white. That’s what you want. They should take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to cook, and if some are ready before others, just lift them out and transfer them to a plate. When all the pears are tender, take the pan off the heat, put back any pears that you’ve taken out, and leave them to cool in the syrup.
When you’re ready to eat, put the chocolate into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan with the coffee and the cream. Warm slowly over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has melted. Once the chocolate has softened, stir until it is very smooth. Then stir in the butter. Remove the pan from the heat.
Drain the pears, and put them in bowls or a serving dish. Serve with the warm sauce alongside, so that each diner can pour on as much as he or she wants.
Note: Any sauce left over can be warmed gently in a microwave – be sure to give it a stir every 10 seconds, and don’t let it get too hot – or over a double boiler.
Yield: 4 servings
1 large spaghetti squash
1 T + 1 T olive oil
2 tsp. Rosemary Garlic Rub, or any all purpose seasoning that’s good on vegetables
1 large onion, diced small
1/2 tsp. Spike seasoning
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 T minced garlic (or less)
12-16 oz. chopped chard leaves (about 5-6 cups chopped chard, you could also use other greens like spinach, collards, or kale. The cooking times might be longer for some greens.)
2 T finely chopped fresh chives or sliced green onion
1/2 cup low fat sour cream (don’t use fat free)
3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese curds (put the cottage cheese in a fine strainer and rinse with cold water to get the cheese curds)
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese plus about 1/4 cup more for topping the gratin
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Wash the outside of the spaghetti squash if needed, then cut off the stem and blossom end, stand squash upright, and using a large chef’s knife, carefully cut in half lengthwise. Use a sharp spoon to scrape out seeds and the slimy material that surrounds them, and discard. Rub cut sides of squash with about 1/2 T olive oil for each half, then sprinkle each with 1 tsp. Rosemary Garlic Rub or other seasoning of your choice. Spray the roasting pan with non-stick spray,Put squash on baking sheet and pour 1/4 cup water around bottom of squash. Roast squash about 45-50 minutes, or until it separates easy into strands when pulled with a fork. Let squash cool for a few minutes, then shred into spaghetti-like strands.
While squash cooks, wash chard leaves if needed and spin dry or dry with paper towel. In two batches, stack up chard leaves on top of each other and slice into thin ribbons, then turn the cutting the board the other way and slice again into small pieces. Chop onion.
Heat 1 T olive oil in heavy frying pan, add chopped onions, season with Spike seasoning, dried thyme, and black pepper, and saute until onion is softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook about 1 minute more, then add chopped chard all at once. Cook chard about 1-2 minutes, turning a few times. until it’s wilted to about half the size it was. (The chard shouldn’t be completely cooked, since it will cook more in the gratin.) Turn off heat.
Put 3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese in a fine strainer and rinse with cold water until only the cheese curds remain, then let drain. Spray a glass or crockery gratin dish with non-stick spray or olive oil.
Using a large fork, gently mix the chopped chives or green onion and shredded spaghetti squash into the onion/chard mixture. Combine the sour cream, drained cottage cheese curds, Parmesan cheese, and beaten egg and mix into the chard/spaghetti squash mixture. Then put the combined ingredients into the gratin dish, and press down so it’s evenly distributed in the dish. Sprinkle top with about 1/4 cup more Parmesan cheese.
Bake about 30-35 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and cheese is browned on top. Serve hot.
Here is a rich and tasty leek soup recipe. If you are looking for something a little lighter please check out My New Roots Four Corners Lentil Soup recipe.
3 tablespoons butter
3 leeks, thinly sliced*
1 medium or large onion, chopped
6 – 8 russet potatoes, thinly sliced**
3 1/2 cups chicken broth (or enough to barely cover potatoes)
1 cup heavy cream
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1) Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat then add onions and leeks. Cook, stirring, until onions are limp and just slightly brown.
2) Add sliced potatoes to saucepan then pour in enough chicken broth to just barely cover the potatoes. Continue cooking over medium heat until potatoes are tender. Using a potato masher, mash and stir potatoes until desired consistency is reached. As you mash the potatoes and the soup thickens, turn down heat and stir frequently with a large spoon to prevent scorching on the bottom.
3) Add one cup of heavy cream (or more if you desire) and salt and black pepper to taste. Cook 15 minutes more over low heat, stirring frequently, then remove from heat and serve.
Notes: *Make sure to clean leeks thoroughly and slice only the white and light green part of the leeks. **You don’t need to peel the potatoes as the peels add to the rustic texture of the soup. But make sure to scrub them thoroughly and remove any obvious blemishes before slicing. Although we always make it with chicken broth, this can easily become a vegetarian soup by simply using vegetable broth instead.