Cooking With This Week's Box
After a year without sweet potatoes, we’re super excited to be sending sweet potatoes in your box this week! Where do we start with cooking? There are so many things we could make with sweet potatoes! Don’t worry, we’ll be sending them for most of the remaining boxes, so you’ll have plenty of time to make all your favorite recipes and maybe try a few new ones! This week we’re pretty busy with harvest so I’m keeping things a bit more on the simple side. The Moroccan Sweet Potato Salad (See below) is pretty easy to make. You just toss roasted sweet potatoes with a simple, but flavorful vinaigrette and eat it at room temperature. I think I’ll roast a chicken and serve the Moroccan Sweet Potato Salad with the chicken and this simple recipe for Moroccan Couscous. The currants and pine nuts in the couscous will go nicely with the sweet potatoes.
We are finishing off our last crop of broccoli raab which will give me a chance to make Alice Water’s Pizza with Broccoli Raab and Roasted Onions and Olives. I think this would be good with a few little sautéed shrimp on top. We need something to go along with the pizza, but we already have our greens on the pizza. I think I’ll go with this simple French Grated Carrot Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette. I like simple carrot salads for several reasons. First, when the carrots are flavorful and sweet on their own, you don’t need to do much to them so keeping it simple is better. The other thing I like about carrot salads is that you can put the dressing on and it doesn’t get soggy like a greens salad does. You know I’m a fan of taking leftovers for lunch the next day, and this type of salad works great for that purpose.
Ok, we’ve done Moroccan and we’ve had a taste of France, now lets move into Indian cuisine! I have pretty limited experience with Indian food, but am intrigued by the different styles of Indian cooking and the spices they use. The food is much different than what I grew up with in the Midwest! When I was in college, one of my neighbors in the dorm was from India and invited me to attend one of their traditional celebrations. It was wonderful to experience their culture and I was overwhelmed by the delicious food they served. In my feeble attempt to learn more about this cuisine and culture, I try to dabble a little with some of the easy adaptations as I build my comfort level and slowly learn more about this part of the world. So that whole explanation leads me to this recipe for Indian Creamed Spinach. Richard really likes creamed spinach, so I thought I’d try this variation. The recipe calls for 16 oz of spinach, but the bag of spinach in this week’s box is only 8 oz. You can either cut the recipe in half or use the green tops from the beet greens to make up the difference. This recipe has a little heat in it, which can come from using either the jalapeno or guajillo in your box. I’ll probably serve this with the leftover roasted chicken and some steamed basmati rice.
|Recipe courtesy of foodiecrush.com|
What are we going to do with the squash this week?! Well the honeynut butternut squash is an easy one. These are so sweet and flavorful, you really don’t need to do anything more than to just cut them in half and bake them. After they’re baked I usually just top them with a pat of butter, salt, pepper and occasionally a little bit of cinnamon or nutmeg. This actually makes a very delicious breakfast item!
This recipe for Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai with Cashew Ginger Sauce caught my eye, so I think I’ll give it a try this week. I already used shrimp on my pizza, so I’ll probably substitute thinly sliced sirloin steak in place of the seafood. This is a meal on its own!
I’ve had Fish Chowder on my mind lately. The waxy gold-fleshed potatoes in this week’s box are perfect for this type of chowder. Serve a bowl of hot chowder alongside a fresh arugula salad with bread or crackers and you’re set.
The last item in our box to use is the broccoli/cauliflower. I love roasted broccoli and cauliflower, so I’m going to jazz up this concept this week with this Balsamic and Honey Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower. This will make a nice accompaniment to a seared steak or pork chop.
And that’s a wrap for this week! What’s the next exciting vegetable coming up in the box? Well, it may not be in next week’s box, but we’ll be harvesting Brussels sprouts before long! That should give most of you something to look forward to this week. I hope you have a good week and create some delicious meals!
This week we’re excited to be packing sweet potatoes in your boxes! Sweet potatoes are an important part of our fall and winter diets. If stored properly you can eat sweet potatoes all winter! The ideal storage temperature for sweet potatoes is 55-65°F. They can get chill injury if stored at temperatures below 55°F, so if you don’t have the perfect location to store them at their ideal temperature, it’s better to store them on your countertop in the kitchen instead of putting them in the refrigerator.
|Peanut & Sweet Potato Soup|
Sweet potatoes are less starchy and more sweet and moist than a regular potato and have a wide variety of uses. You can simply bake them whole until fork tender and eat the flesh right out of the skin. They are also delicious cut into bite-sized pieces and roasted or cut them into wedges or thin slices and make roasted fries or chips. If you’re going to do this, it’s best to put the wedges or slices of sweet potatoes on a rack in a pan. If you do this, the air and heat from the oven can better circulate on all sides of the sweet potato making it more crispy and less soggy. Sweet potatoes also make delicious, hearty soups and stews. One of my favorite sweet potato recipes is for a Peanut & Sweet Potato Soup that we featured in a previous newsletter. Another favorite sweet potato recipe is for Sweet Potato and Kim Chi Pancakes. This is a recipe that was shared with me by a CSA member and I look forward to making it every year. If you haven’t tried it yet, you really should. Don’t be afraid to eat sweet potatoes at room temperature or even cold in salads such as the Moroccan Sweet Potato Salad (See below)recipe featured in this week’s newsletter.
Sweet potatoes can also be incorporated into baking. Sweet potato pie is a decadent way to eat a vegetable. If you’re going to make pie, consider this Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping featured at MarthaStewart.com. It’s delicious served with Bourbon Whipped Cream. You can also use sweet potatoes to make biscuits, rolls, quick breads, cookies, bars, cheesecake and more!
Sweet potatoes pair well with a wide variety of ingredients, which makes them so versatile in their use. They pair very well with apples and pears as well as other root vegetables, bitter fall greens, dried beans and greens such as kales. They also go very well with coconut, ginger, chiles, butter, cream, citrus and nuts of any kind.
This year we have several different trial varieties. If you haven’t read Farmer Richard’s main article for this week, please take a minute to do so. In his newsletter he discusses the different varieties we’ve grown. We’ll identify the variety in each week’s newsletter. We’re looking for member feedback about the different varieties so we can decide what to plant next year! As we go through the remainder of the season, pay attention to the different varieties and let us know what you think!
Moroccan Sweet Potato Salad
Yield: 6 servings
2 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
⅓ cup plus 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¾ tsp kosher or fine sea salt
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
⅓ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
⅓ cup sliced almonds, toasted
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425°F.
- In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the 2 Tbsp oil and ¼ tsp of the salt. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a large rimmed baking sheet and spread them out in an even layer. (Set the bowl aside to use for tossing the cooked potatoes). Roast the potatoes, stirring once at the midpoint of roasting, until they are tender when pierced with a fork but still hold their shape, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne, lemon juice, and the remaining ½ tsp salt. Whisk in the remaining ⅓ cup oil. Add the parsley and cilantro and stir to combine.
- When the potatoes are ready, return them to the large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss gently. Add the almonds if you are planning to serve the salad within a few hours; otherwise, toss them in just before serving so they stay crisp. Serve at room temperature. The salad can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered, and refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before serving.
Coconut Pan-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2 pounds of sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp coconut oil
Sea Salt, to taste
Maldon sea salt, for finishing
- Scrub the sweet potatoes, then peel and chop them into cubes a scant inch across.
- Warm the oil in an 8-inch or 10-inch sauté pan. Add the sweet potatoes, turn them about to coat, and season with a few pinches salt. Put a lid on the pan, turn the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 20 minutes in all, giving the pan a shake every now and then to turn the potatoes. Taste a piece and if they’re not yet soft, continue to cook a few minutes longer or until they are tender and browned. Serve with flaky sea salt.