Cooking With This Week's Box
Welcome back for another week of Cooking With the Box. After this week we only have 6 more CSA boxes! How are we going to fit all the vegetables we still want to send you in just 6 boxes! I’m excited to be transitioning to fall cooking and seeing the sweet potatoes piled in the greenhouse after this week’s harvest makes me even more ready! Pull out your favorite sweet potato recipes…they’ll be in your box within the next few weeks!
Lets start off with Broccoli Raab, one of the bunching greens in this week’s box. If you aren’t familiar with this green, take a minute to read more about it on our blog and/or in the newsletter. It goes very well with garlic and pasta, which is why I recommend using it to make the pasta recipe in this week’s newsletter, Garlicky Pasta with Broccoli Raab (see below). I adapted this recipe to include a few more vegetables, shredded carrots and sweet peppers, which add some color and sweetness to the dish. Of course there’s lots of garlic as well! Don’t forget to serve this dish with shredded Parmesan cheese.
Our second featured vegetable this week is Spaghetti Squash. This week I’m going to try Sarah Britton’s recipe for Spaghetti Squash Cakes with Crispy Sage (See below). This is an interesting way to use spaghetti squash, but will yield a little crispy patty that can be a main entrée or a side dish. Spaghetti squash is much different than the other squash in your box this week, kabocha squash. I found a delicious recipe for Miso Glazed Kabocha Squash on the Johnny’s Seed website when I was looking up seed information last week! I didn’t expect to find a recipe on a seed company website, but it’s a tasty looking recipe and they even made a video to demonstrate how to prepare this dish!
|Pizza with Arugula Pesto, Butternut Squash and Apples|
I was poking around the Smitten Kitchen blog this week and found several delicious recipes including this one for Carrot Tahini Muffins. This is another recipe from the Smitten Kitchen blog.
We’ve reached the bottom of the box yet again. I wanted to mention that I love when members share recipes with us. If you have any favorite “go-to” recipes for fall vegetables and wouldn’t mind sharing them with us, we’d love to see what you’re cooking! Either email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them in our Facebook group. I’ll see you back here next week with an update on how the “curing” process is going with the sweet potatoes. Farmer Richard is hopeful they’ll be ready for next week’s boxes, but we don’t want to rush the process either. We want them to be sweet and delicious for your first taste! Have a great week and I hope you enjoy your time in the kitchen.
Featured Vegetables of the Week: Broccoli Raab & Spaghetti Squash
Broccoli raab is a popular Italian vegetable, but is also found in Asian cuisine as well. It is often used in pasta and pizza dishes paired with sweet Italian sausage, garlic and cheese. Nothing wrong with a combination of those ingredients! While you can eat broccoli raab raw, it is most often cooked. It’s tender enough that it doesn’t require a very long cooking time. It can be boiled, steamed or sautéed. In Italian cooking, you may find recipes that have longer cooking times to ensure the leaves and stem are very soft and tender. Many times this preparation is done with a lot of garlic and olive oil. I prefer the bright, light flavor of broccoli raab so usually just cook it long enough to wilt it and soften the leaves.
If you taste a bit of the leaf in its raw form and don’t care for the bitterness, try cooking it before you rule it out. When cooked, the flavor of broccoli raab mellows out. It also becomes more balanced if prepared with a splash of vinegar at the end.
|Squash and Leek Skillet Gratin|
As with all squash, they are best stored in a dry environment at 45-55°F at 50-60% humidity, so keep them in a cool location in your house. If you don’t have a location that meets this temperature criteria, just store them at room temperature on your counter and check them periodically. If you notice a spot starting to form, it’s time to cook the squash!
Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Raab
Yield: 4 servings
½ cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 heaping teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (Optional, see note below)
2 cups (8 oz) shredded carrots
1 ½ cups thinly sliced sweet peppers
1 bu broccoli raab, chopped into bite sized pieces
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente according to package instructions. Before you drain the pasta, save 2 cups of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
- Put the olive oil in a small saute pan and add the minced garlic, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon of salt. Heat the oil over medium low heat. You want to infuse the oil and cook the garlic gently just until the garlic becomes light golden. It’s better to keep the heat low and do this slowly while you prepare the rest of the recipe so the garlic doesn’t get too brown. If you notice the garlic starting to turn golden, remove the pan from the heat.
- Heat a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Take 2 Tbsp of oil from the small pan and add it to the large pan. When the pan and oil are hot, add the pieces of chicken and cook until browned on both sides.
- Once the chicken is browned, add the shredded carrots, sweet peppers and 1 cup of the pasta water to the pan. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half the volume. Next, add the broccoli raab and allow the greens to wilt down. Stir the vegetable mixture to combine them well and continue to simmer until nearly all the liquid has evaporated. If the vegetables are not yet cooked to your liking, add more pasta water and simmer a little longer.
- Add the cooked pasta to the pan and stir to combine. Carefully pour the garlic oil over the pasta and toss to combine and evenly coat the pasta and vegetables. Season with freshly ground black pepper and more salt as needed.
- Serve the pasta hot with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Note from Chef Andrea: I wrote this recipe to include chicken, but this would also be delicious if made with Italian sausage, ground pork or shrimp in place of the chicken. If you do not care for meat or seafood, just omit all protein options and prepare the dish vegetarian style. The flavors of the vegetable are bold and delicious on their own.
1 medium to large spaghetti squash (approximately 2 pounds)
1 cup rolled oats, ground into flour (or use oat flour)
4 cloves garlic
1 green onion, with green tops (may substitute finely chopped yellow onion)
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 ½ oz Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (substitute ¼ cup nutritional yeast)
1 organic egg, beaten
1 bunch sage, about 30 large leaves, divided
Ghee or coconut oil, for cooking the patties
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Rub with a little ghee or coconut oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the oven, cut side up and cook for 45 minutes or so, until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Using a fork, scrape out all flesh and place in a large sieve over the sink or a bowl to drain.
- In a food processor, grind oats until you have a rough flour. Add 12 sage leaves, garlic, salt, pepper and pulse to combine.
- Squeeze any remaining liquid out of the spaghetti squash. Place in a large bowl and add the oat mixture. Thinly slice the green onion into rings and add to bowl, along with the egg, and grated cheese. Fold to combine. A kind of dough should start to form as the ingredients come together. Take a small amount, roll into a ball and flatten into a patty shape – if the patty stays together they are ready. If they are too dry, add a little water, one tablespoon at a time until they hold. If they are too wet, add another handful of oats. Form all the cakes before you begin.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a knob (pat) of coconut oil or ghee. When hot, add the cakes and cook until golden on one side, then flip. Alternatively, you can cook these in a 375°F oven for approximately 10-15 minutes on each side.
- To fry sage, heat a couple knobs of coconut oil or ghee (ghee is preferable) in a small saucepan. When hot, add 6-8 sage leaves at a time, fry for 10-15 seconds, transfer with a fork to paper towels, and sprinkle with sea salt immediately.
- To serve, place a few squash cakes on the plate and garnish with fried sage leaves. Enjoy with roasted tomatoes and a simple massaged kale salad. Freeze leftover cooked cakes and heat to enjoy.