NEXT WEEK, November 16th, will be the last CSA Share delivery of the season!! If you have any CSA bins that have made their way into your garage or backyard, please make every effort to return them to your CSA site next week.
If you would like to purchase any of our Tomato Sauce or Strawberry Spread before the season ends, be sure to let me know and I can send it to your site for the last delivery.
WHAT’S IN YOUR SHARE THIS WEEK:
- Curly Kale
- Cabbage ~ Savoy or Dutch
- Delicata Squash
- Apples ~ Jonagold variety
Greetings! I’m sitting here writing the blog and wishing I was outside. Even though the temps are cool, the sun is shining and the light against the colorful leaves is just magnificent. I love this time of year when we have days like this and wherever you wander, you walk through crispy fallen leaves. It’s especially noticeable on the farm, with all of the oak trees. Whenever the wind blows, a shower of leaves comes raining down, adding to the ambiance. I know we need the rain, but……
This week in your share you’ll find a veggie we haven’t included before. Since lettuces are challenging to grow in the fall, with the cool, wet weather, we decided to try a green that is a bit hardier. It’s Escarole!
Escarole – pronounced ESS-ka-roll – is a leafy green vegetable and a member of the chicory family, along with frisee, endive and Belgian endive. Escarole has broad, curly green leaves and a slight bitter flavor. It can be eaten raw, grilled, sautéed, or cooked.
Escarole is less bitter than other chicories, and the level of bitterness varies throughout the head, with the inner, lighters-colored leaves being less bitter than the outer, darker green leaves. The inner leaves may be more suitable for salads, using the outer leaves for cooked dishes.
For a salad, the inner, light colored leaves are a good choice. Tear them into small pieces to use in a green salad with a vinaigrette. The flavor is much like radicchio. It airs well with fruit in salads, as well as cheese, including strongly flavored cheese such as blue cheese or goat cheese.
In soup, escarole is cut into strips and added to the soup. The outer leaves may be chewy unless cooked, so this is a good use for them. They will provide color, fiber, and nutrition for the soup. Escarole is often used in soups with garbanzo beans.
Grilled escarole is an enjoyable way to use it as a side dish. An escarole head can be cut in half, brushed with oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and grilled or broiled until it is browned and wilted. It can be served with a vinaigrette and grated cheese on top.
No matter how you prepare this versatile veggie, we hope you enjoy and share!
If you’re new to the farm this season, let us introduce you to the Romanesco. Even if the name Romanesco doesn’t ring any bells for you, you’ve likely noticed the striking vegetable before. It’s pretty hard to miss actually. That’s because romanesco looks like broccoli and cauliflower’s fluorescent green cousin that flies in from outer space to visit for a few weeks each year. This space broccoli is known as broccolo romanesco, Romanesque cauliflower, or Roman cauliflower.
In fact, it’s an edible flower from the family that includes broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. It tastes very similar to cauliflower, but with a slightly nuttier, earthier flavor. You can use it as you would cauliflower in recipes, and it holds up to many different cooking methods.
Of course, the most fascinating part of Romanesco is its appearance. Its spiraled buds form a natural approximation of a fractal, meaning each bud in the spiral is composed of a series of smaller buds. (Remember the Fibonacci sequence from school? The spirals follow the same logarithmic pattern). Cook it any way you would use broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage and enjoy!
Last, but not least, let’s enjoy some parsnips! A wonderful fall crop that has so many uses…veggie bakes, to desserts! They hold for a long time in the fridge and complement so soups and stews as well.
If you or someone you know has an interest in learning about how to plan for your crops or business in starting a small farm, you might enjoy this workshop being offered at Winter Green Farm by Josh Volk from the Portland area. He has been part of the Portland farming community for many years, working on Sauvie Island Farm and eventually managing his own small Slow Hand Farm. Here are the event details:
Saturday December 1st, at Winter Green Farm
12:00 to 4:00pm. The cost is $40 and you can contact Erik Deitz at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to reserve a spot or receive more information.
We wish you all a lovely weekend and hope you enjoy your veggies this week!
Linda and all of your Winter Green Farmers