Cooking With This Week's Box
Italian Garlic: Mediterranean Gratin with Almond Breadcrumbs (see below); One Pot Kabocha Squash and Chickpea Curry; HVF Fresh Korean Chili-Garlic Sauce; Potato Leek Pizza; Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Raab; Cauliflower Patties; Garlic and Lemon Roasted Broccoli Romanesco
Yellow Onions: Mediterranean Gratin with Almond Breadcrumbs (see below)
Yellow Onions: Mediterranean Gratin with Almond Breadcrumbs (see below)
Tomatoes: Mediterranean Gratin with Almond Breadcrumbs (see below); One Pot Kabocha Squash and Chickpea Curry
Orange Kabocha Squash: Fall Flan with Maple Yogurt and Caramelized Pecans
Sweet Corn: Carbonara with Leeks, Lemon and Bacon
Mini Sweet Peppers: One Pot Kabocha Squash and Chickpea Curry
Sweet Peppers: Mediterranean Gratin with Almond Breadcrumbs (see below); One Pot Kabocha Squash and Chickpea Curry; Carbonara with Leeks, Lemon and Bacon; Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Raab
Korean Chili Peppers: HVF Fresh Korean Chili-Garlic Sauce; Korean Style Gochujang Meatballs; Salt-Cured Chiles
Broccoli Raab: Mediterranean Gratin with Almond Breadcrumbs (see below); Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Raab
Green Boston Lettuce: Boston Lettuce Salad with Citrus Honey Vinaigrette
Baby Arugula: Arugula Salad with Walnuts, Blue Cheese, and Cranberries
Welcome back to another week of cooking! We are officially two-thirds of the way through the 2019 CSA season. Can you believe it?! Things are happening fast here at the farm. Summer crops are winding down and as they do, fields are cleaned up, cover crops are seeded and we’re getting ready to put them to bed for the winter. Root crop harvest is underway and we continue the transition to fall vegetables and dishes. This week we’re featuring broccoli raab, a vegetable we started growing because customers were asking for it! We’ve found fall is the best tasting time of year to grow this vegetable. This week’s recipe is a main dish Mediterranean Gratin with Almond Breadcrumbs (see below). While many gratins are rich and creamy, this is a lighter gratin. Imagine you’re sitting on the coast of Italy when you eat it, sipping a glass of red wine. This gratin features sweet peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic that are then combined with broccoli raab and either beans or ground pork. The acidity of the vegetables mellows out the broccoli raab and the crunchy topping helps bring it altogether. I also want to mention this recipe we featured last year for Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Raab. It’s easy and delicious and you might just find it can be a family favorite.
|Fall Flan with Maple Yogurt and Caramelized Pecans|
I’ve been waiting for our Korean peppers to ripen to red, as that is when I believe they have the best flavor. Thankfully they’re ready to send to you this week! If this looks like a lot of hot peppers, don’t worry, I’m going to tell you what to do with them! Last year when we featured this vegetable I shared two simple recipes. The first is for a HVF Fresh Korean Chili-Garlic Sauce. This is very similar to gouchujang, a traditional Korean chili paste that is used extensively in Korean inspired cuisine. Last year I made a batch of this and then divided it into small jars and put it in the freezer. I thawed them one at a time and used little bits at a time when I needed some heat in a dish. I also used it to make these Spicy Korean Style Gochujang Meatballs. They were so delicious! Tuck this recipe away and make these meatballs for your 2020 Super Bowl Party! The other recipe you can make with the Korean chili peppers is for Salt-Cured Chiles. I kept a jar of these in my refrigerator all winter long and just pulled from it little by little whenever I needed a little heat in a stir-fry, taco meat, etc. Even if you aren’t into hot peppers, I encourage you to make one or both of these recipes and use the peppers throughout the fall and winter. While these are hot peppers, they are very flavorful and you can get the effect of the flavor without burning your tongue off! Adjust how much you use to your liking.
|Jalapeno Popper Dip|
photo from delish.com
I always think about using leeks in a traditional potato leek soup, but I probably wouldn’t have thought to make Potato Leek Pizza! One of our members posted her version of Potato Leek Pizza which included bacon. What a great idea! I also remembered this recipe for Carbonara with Leeks, Lemon and Bacon. This was a popular recipe when we posted it several years and it’s perfect for this week because it also includes corn and sweet peppers!
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year to eat baby arugula. I like the flavor of arugula better once we start to have more mild temperatures and the pungency and bite of arugula pairs well with fall fruit such as apples, cranberries and pears. This week I’m going to use the baby arugula to make this Arugula Salad with Walnuts, Blue Cheese, and Cranberries. This would be delicious as a side along with a pasta or pizza dinner.
It’s nice to have lettuce back as an option for salads as well. The Green Boston Lettuce this week has tender, more delicate leaves, thus is best used with a light vinaigrette instead of a heavy creamy dressing. Use it to make this Boston Lettuce Salad with Citrus Honey Vinaigrette.
photo by Mark Weinberg, from food52.com
That’s a wrap folks. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to mark your calendars for Sunday, September 29 and plan to join us for a fun day at the farm as we celebrate fall with our annual Harvest Party! I’m planning to make a delicious vegetable chili featuring 20 different vegetables! Think I can pull that off? Come find out and see if you can guess all 20 vegetables!
Have a great week—Andrea
Vegetable Feature: Broccoli Raab
In this week’s box you’ll find a big bunch of green leaves. Wondering what it is? It’s broccoli raab! While its name would lead you to believe it’s a type of broccoli, it actually is in the mustard family. It is considered to be a slightly spicy bitter green, although this effect is minimized by growing it in cooler temperatures. We find the flavor of this green to be more balanced and pleasing when we grow it in the fall compared to when we grew it in the spring and summer. If you look closely near the base of the stem, you just might see a little broccoli-like head starting to push up through the center of the plant.
While this green may be found all over the world, it’s typically associated with Italian food, a region of the world where this green is quite popular. Broccoli Raab pairs well with ingredients such as tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, almonds, olives, white beans, sausage or pork cuts and red pepper flakes. When you’re looking at recipes that use broccoli raab, you’ll typically find many of these ingredients. In many traditional Italian recipes, broccoli raab is prepared very simply by cooking it along with garlic in olive oil until it is very soft and tender and then is finished with a splash of vinegar. Fatty olive oil and tangy vinegar help to tone down the bitterness. While you can eat broccoli raab raw, it is most always cooked. It’s tender enough that it doesn’t require a very long cooking time, unless you prefer to have it super soft! It can be boiled, steamed or sautéed. Broccoli raab is often used in pasta and bean dishes, but it can also be incorporated into toasted vegetable sandwiches, pizza, soups, etc.
Store this green in a bag in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Wash it well in a sink of cold water, then shake off extra water before using. Nearly all of the plant is usable. I generally just trim off the lower portion of the thicker stems.
Mediterranean Gratin with Almond Breadcrumbs
Yield: 6-8 servings
12 oz penne or other similar pasta
1 pound ground pork OR 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups diced sweet peppers
1 ½ cups diced tomatoes
½ cup pitted black olives, chopped (optional)
¼ cup fresh or 1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 cup dried bread crumbs or panko
½ cup toasted raw almonds, finely chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup red wine
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 bunch broccoli raab
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- While you assemble the components for the gratin, preheat the oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-8 minutes. You want the noodles to be starting to soften, but you do not want them fully cooked. Once they are cooked to this point, drain the pasta. Rinse with cold water and set aside.
- If you choose to use ground pork, preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the ground pork, then remove it from the pan and set aside. Clean out the pan and then return it to the heat to proceed with cooking the onions. If you are not using the pork, just skip this step and move on to step 3.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the preheated skillet. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onions. Saute the onions for 10-14 minutes, or until softened and starting to caramelize. You may need to reduce the heat to medium low to keep the onions from frying and browning. Once the onions are softened, add the garlic, red peppers, tomatoes, olives, parsley, 1 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper to the pan. Saute the vegetables for another 8-10 minutes.
- While the vegetables are simmering, you can prepare the topping. In a small mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs, finely chopped almonds, Parmesan Cheese, ½ tsp salt and 1-2 Tbsp olive oil. Stir to combine.
- Next, add the red wine, balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar to the pan with the vegetables. Continue to simmer for another 10-12 minutes or until the tomatoes are very soft and the liquid has reduced by about half to two-thirds.
- Chop the broccoli raab into bite sized pieces and add to the pan. Stir to combine. As the greens wilt down, continue to stir them into the vegetable mixture. Add the pork or beans, then simmer an additional 5-10 minutes. Taste a little bit of the mixture and adjust the seasoning to your liking by adding more vinegar, salt and pepper as needed. At this point you want there to be some liquid in the pan, but it shouldn’t be soupy. If it looks like there’s too much liquid, simmer an additional 5-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Put the cooked pasta in a large mixing bowl. Add the hot vegetable mixture. Stir to combine well and then spread it in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Spread the bread crumb and almond mixture evenly over the top of the pasta mixture. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the base is bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and serve while warm.
Recipe adapted from one in Mark Bittman’s book Dinner for Everyone.