Wednesday, September 25, 2019

September 26, 2019 - This Week's Box Contents, Featuring Jicama!

Cooking With This Week's Box

Italian Garlic: Honey Fermented Garlic

Green Boston OR Red Batavia Head Lettuce: Black Bean Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps

Jalapeno Peppers: Jicama and Carrot Slaw with Honey Lime Dressing (see below); Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs

Broccoli Romanesco or Cauliflower: Cauliflower Slaw

Purple or Orange Carrots: Jicama and Carrot Slaw with Honey Lime Dressing (see below)

Jicama: Baked Jicama Chips (see below); Jicama and Carrot Slaw with Honey Lime Dressing (see below)

Cilantro:  Jicama and Carrot Slaw with Honey Lime Dressing (see below)

Black Bean Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps
photo from
Welcome to another week of CSA eating!  This week’s vegetable treasure is a bit less flashy than most vegetables.  Jicama is a humble vegetable, but one we’ve come to love and appreciate—both because we like to eat it and because we like the challenge of growing it!  It’s often eaten raw as a snack or used in raw salads and slaws.  One of this week’s featured recipes is for Jicama and Carrot Slaw with Honey Lime Dressing (see below).  Eat this on its own as an accompaniment to a sandwich or bowl of soup, or use it as a topping on tacos or even a lettuce wrap.  This recipe for Black Bean Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps calls for serving them with a mango salsa, but they’d also be good with the Jicama Carrot Slaw!  The second featured recipe is a simple one, Baked Jicama Chips (see below).  Everyone loves a good vegetable chip and of course every chip needs a dip.  My suggestion is to turn the poblanos in this week’s box into Caramelized Onion & Roasted Poblano Dip.   I’ve mentioned this recipe in previous years because it’s a good one and is on my favorites list!  It’s a good dip for chips, but it’s also good on baked potatoes, spread on sandwiches, and stirred into scrambled eggs.

We’re moving into fall greens and that means leafy green salads are back on the menu!  This week’s boxes will contain either spinach or baby arugula.  Fall greens go very nicely with fall fruit such as pears and apples.  This week I have two suggestions for fruity greens salads.  The first is an Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad.  This salad features fresh apple, dried cranberries, walnuts, feta  and a honey-dijon dressing that is more of a vinaigrette than a creamy dressing.  You can eat this as a side salad or add some cooked chicken and turn it into a main dish salad.  The second recipe is an Arugula Salad with Pears, Prosciutto and Aged Gouda.  This is a slightly different take on a dijon based vinaigrette, which is a nice contrast to the fattiness of the prosciutto and gouda as well as the sweet pears.  Of course, you can mix and match your greens in these two salads.

Balsamic Vinaigrette, photo from
We also have salad mix this week!  I like to keep a jar of one of my favorite, basic salad dressings handy for quick salads on the fly.  One of my favorite go-to recipes is for Balsamic Vinaigrette.  If you have a jar of this in the refrigerator, you can build a quick salad in no time at all!  Toss it with some fresh salad mix and then start adding toppings as you wish.  You might include some thinly sliced red onion, sweet peppers, shredded carrots, dried or fresh fruit, toasted almonds, and the list could go on!

Last week we featured broccoli raab along with a recipe for Mediterranean Gratin with Almond Breadcrumbs.  This is a baked pasta dish that is more on the lean side, not cream based.  If you prefer cream based, try this recipe for Baked Pasta with Broccoli Raab and Sausage.

Sadly, this is our last week for leeks.  One of our members used her leeks last week to make this classic leek dish, Leeks Vinaigrette.  I have to mention it because it is not only a simple, classic way to prepare leeks, but also because she said it’s kid-approved and accepted!  Of course, I can’t resist a good quiche and I love the way the silky leeks mix with the creamy custard of a quiche.  So, perhaps you’ll join me in making Leek & Mushroom Quiche.  Serve it for breakfast, dinner or brunch alongside this Cauliflower Slaw.  Of course you can substitute broccoli Romanesco for the cauliflower in this recipe.  This dish also includes some sweet, dried currants, toasted almonds, and a light vinegar based dressing.

Sausage & Egg Stuffed Sugar Dumpling Squash
photo from
I do like eating vegetables for breakfast, especially winter squash.  Check out this recipe for Sausage & Egg Stuffed Sugar Dumpling Squash.  Of course, this dish could also be lunch or dinner as well.

Eggs are typically in abundance around here and Richard always loves a good deviled egg.  How about making these Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs!  Eat them as a snack, add them to a dinner menu, or pack them and take them for lunch!

Lastly, while food is our medicine on a day to day basis, sometimes during the winter cold and flu season we need a little extra immunity protection.  Start now and make this Honey Fermented Garlic.  Keep a jar of this in your kitchen and use it as your own homemade way to prevent and ward off colds, flu, etc this weekend.

That brings us to the bottom of the box.  Before I close, I want to extend one final invitation to you to join us at our Harvest Party this coming Sunday.  We’ll have lots of good food, games, activities and more.  We hope you’ll join us for the day and come prepared to reap the benefits of being immersed in nature!

Vegetable Feature: Jicama

Jicama is the odd-shaped vegetable with brown skin occupying one corner of this week’s CSA box.  It is also known as yam bean, Mexican yam or Mexican turnip and is native to Mexico.  The name of this vegetable is pronounced [HICK-uh-mah] or [HEE-kuh-mah].  It is a tropical plant that resembles a bean plant with bean-like vines and seed pods.  The jicama grows underground and is a tuber that can produce multiple tubers off the one main stem.

On the outside jicama is not the most attractive or flashy vegetable.  Peel away the brown, leathery skin and you’ll find a solid white flesh inside that is mild in flavor, crunchy with a slight sweetness and slightly starchy.  You can eat jicama both raw and cooked.  One of the most basic ways to eat jicama is to slice it into sticks and give it a squeeze of lime juice and a light sprinkling of chili powder and salt.  Jicama also pairs well with fruit including citrus (oranges, grapefruit, limes), pineapple, mango, and apples.  It is common to see jicama slaws, salads and salsas that also include fruit.  It also pairs well with avocado, hot and sweet peppers, cilantro, tomatoes, seafood, onions, and garlic to name just a few complementary ingredients.  In Asian cuisine you may find jicama used in stir-fry type preparations.  When stir-fried, jicama should be added towards the end of cooking to retain the crisp texture.  If you let it get just slightly soft, it has almost a potato-like flavor and texture.

When we first started growing jicama, we realized by accident just how important post-harvest handling is to the overall quality of the vegetable.  Jicama needs to be “cured,” similar to how we cure sweet potatoes after they are harvested.  We held the jicama in one of our greenhouses for a week after harvest at a temperature of 68-77°F with high humidity of about 95%.  This process helped to set the delicate skins so they will store better.  Jicama is very sensitive to chill injury, so it is best to store it on your kitchen counter until you are ready to use it.  If you store it in the refrigerator, you’ll notice the quality will deteriorate quite quickly.  Once you cut into it, store any cut jicama in the refrigerator and eat it within a few days.

JAC washing jicama
We can’t deliver jicama without giving credit to one of our crew members, Jose Antonio Cervantes Gutierrez (aka JAC).  JAC is responsible for introducing jicama to Harmony Valley Farm.  Without his influence, we likely wouldn’t be growing this vegetable!  One day we were working in the greenhouse and he presented me with a handful of seeds in a small packet.  He asked if I thought we could grow it here?  Well, I had no idea how to grow jicama and had only eaten it several times.  We decided to give it a try and after several years of learning we are finally getting good results!  I asked him why he brought those seeds with him when he came to work here that year.  There is a large farm not far from where he lives that grows large amounts of jicama.  He would pass by their fields, see the jicama and was intrigued by it.  He said he brought them because he had tried planting them at home, but couldn’t ever watch them grow because he had to leave to come here to work!  So, he brought the seeds with him so we could plant them here and he could watch them develop!  JAC’s favorite way to eat jicama is to eat it raw with a squeeze of lime juice and salt or lime juice and a sprinkling of Tajin, a seasoning mix made from salt and a specific type of chile.

We don’t grow jicama every year, but it has a permanent spot on our list of “vegetables we grow every 2-3 years.”  We’re grateful to JAC for introducing us to something new and we’re glad you, our members, have grown to appreciate it too!

Jicama and Carrot Slaw with Honey-Lime Dressing

picture from

Yield:  8 servings

1 Tbsp + 2 tsp fresh lime juice
¾ tsp honey
¼ tsp ground cumin
⅛ tsp salt
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound jicama peeled & thinly sliced (1 small or half of a large)
2 large or 4 small carrots, grated
3 Tbsp minced cilantro
½ jalapeño pepper, seeded & minced
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey, cumin and salt.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the jicama, carrot, cilantro and jalapeño pepper.
  3. Add the dressing and toss to coat.  
Recipe borrowed from

Baked Jicama Chips

photo from

Yield:  4 servings

2 medium or 1 large jicama, peeled
2 tsp olive oil
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper or baking racks if you have them.
  2. Cut the jicama into super thin slices.  Try to achieve similar thickness with all the pieces.  You can cut the jicama using a mandolin or just a sharp knife.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, lime juice and zest, chili powder and salt.  Add the jicama slices, and mix well so that all the slices are fully coated.
  4. Place the slices of jicama in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, or until they begin to brown and get crispy.
Recipe borrowed from

Fall Farm Update: Reflections on the 2019 Growing Season

By Farmer Richard

Harvest crews working to gather harvest before the storms hit
Recently we came up on the one year anniversary of the 2018 fall floods.  While we are thankful we have not experienced another major weather event like that in this growing season, the weather patterns of 2019 have made this season another extremely challenging year to be farming.  We started out with a cold and wet spring which made planting seeds and transplanting plants from the greenhouse very challenging!  We are all avid weather map and forecast watchers and our crew is 110% with us.  We made good planning decisions and when a hint of dry weather looked imminent, we pulled out all the stops to prepare ground, plant and transplant.  On those days, we worked until it was too dark to see and if the forecasted rain missed us we continued the next morning.  We pushed the limits, we transplanted in the rain, we harvested in the rain.  We had to take some time off when the storms were severe.  When we did get some fast, heavy rains, the extensive repair work we did to creek bottoms and berms last fall proved to be effective and mostly held and protected fields!

Black Futsu Pumpkin plants starting to
flower earlier this season
Despite the challenges, we did manage to plant all our crops fairly timely, even when it was wet and cold.   In late May and early June the weather shifted to the other end of the spectrum and became extremely hot and humid!  The heat loving plants took off and made up for lost time!  Unfortunately, so did the weeds.  We had to play our cards right to make weed control a priority when it was dry enough and pushed the limits at times to complete some critical cultivation.  Hot and wet weather also brings its own problems with disease, poor pollination and even nutrient problems.  In early summer we were seeing some disease and fertility problems in some of our crops.  We collected leaves from some of the affected plants and sent them off to a laboratory for a sap analysis (kind of like a blood test for plants) to diagnose the problems.  With results in hand, we set out to correct some nutrient and microbial deficiencies likely caused by the excess water.  We applied copious amounts of beneficial organisms, soluble nutrients and trace minerals that the plants needed and saw some dramatic responses in our pepper, eggplant and squash crops.  We also had several weeks of growth during that hot period where plants that should have been setting fruit were not doing so (tomatoes, melons, squash and watermelons), which resulted in low yields.  Despite our best efforts, only one of our five sweet corn plantings was the quality we had hoped for.  Sadly, the cold wet conditions followed by the hot and wet weather not only took a toll on our crops, but our native pollinators as well.  We rely on their services and were concerned that many of our native pollinator creatures were very late to show up.  Thankfully the populations seem to have recovered.  While we all would’ve liked to have seen more tomatoes and sweet corn in the box, we have been able to include most items we had planned for in the CSA boxes.  So, while you may have been just minimally affected by our crop deficits, our bottom line has taken a hit with some of our crops that we plan to have in quantities that allow us to supply CSA boxes and then have extra to sell to wholesale buyers.  The good news is, we did have some better weather in August and our fall crops actually look quite nice!  Time and again, Mother Nature continues to provide for us, even when she’s at times a bit cantankerous.

Farmer Richard inspecting cover crop
As we head into fall, we’re happy to report our cover crop plantings have been timely and some fields have well-established cover crops that we’ll reap the benefits of next year.  Some of our fall crops are coming in ahead of schedule, including celeriac, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, turnips and winter storage radishes.  We’ve already started harvesting many of our root crops and will continue doing so until they’re all in.  The sweet potatoes look promising, but need a couple more weeks of growth.  Fall greens, such as escarole, look very nice, but the recent 80°F weather has them coming in earlier than we had hoped for.  Sadly, we did lose 50% of our spinach stand last week when we had 4.5 inch or rain, but we have more plantings coming and they look promising.  In the midst of vegetable farming, we’ve also managed to get sufficient hay put away for our animals despite forecasts of hay shortages in the rest of the farming community.  If Mother Nature will afford us just get a couple of dry weeks to get our roots harvested and plant garlic, sunchokes and horseradish for next year, we would be most grateful.

Despite the challenges of this season, we are proud of the CSA boxes we have delivered this year.  The boxes have been plentiful, colorful and delicious.  If you’ve been pleased with your shares this year, we’d appreciate your help in spreading the good word about our CSA to your friends, family members, work associates, etc. We’re hopeful that our membership numbers will grow for the 2020 season, but we need your help to make that happen!  Yes, we’re already laying out plans for next year!

As I reflect on the past few months, I realize we have learned a lot from this season!  As we’ve dealt with crop challenges due to fertility, etc, we have all became more aware of the very subtle differences in the many shades of green of our plants which will help us care for our plants better in the future.  We watched for blossoms, pollinators and fruit set as we learned to observe and listen to our plants more closely.  As we learn more about the value of our microbial communities in the soil, we have gained a new appreciation for the role they play in our environment and still have trouble fathoming the billions of micro-organisms that surround us!   We realize we are all part of a living organism.  There is a life force that emanates from the soil, the plants, the animals and people.  The many families that depend on our farm and the many that we provide nourishing food for are all a part of our farm and community.  I want to close with a quote from an interview with Michael Phillips, an organic orchardist growing in New Hampshire.  He wrote a book entitled Mycorrhizal Planet and was featured in an interview in a recent issue of Acres magazine.  He says “The plants and fungi have always sung what I think of as a soil redemption song—and they’ll continue to sing it—and that is what makes life possible on earth.  Our job is to emulate all these good teachings and to make it part of our agriculture, part of our communities, part of our innate understanding of what it is to be a caring human on this blessed planet.”

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

September 19, 2019 - This Week's Box Contents, Featuring Broccoli Raab!

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)

Tomatoes: Mediterranean Gratin with Almond Breadcrumbs (see below); 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

Broccoli Raab: Mediterranean Gratin with Almond Breadcrumbs (see below); Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Raab

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
Last week we featured kabocha squash along with a recipe for Fall Flan with Maple Yogurt and Caramelized Pecans.  If you didn’t have a chance to try this yet, I’d recommend you add it to this week’s list.  It’s super easy to make and very tasty.  If you prefer to use the kabocha squash in something more savory, consider this dish for One Pot Kabocha Squash and Chickpea Curry.

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
While we’re talking hot peppers, lets deal with jalapenos too!  How about this recipe for Jalapeno Popper Dip?!  This would be another good Super Bowl party recipe.  Freeze the jalapenos and you can make it this winter!

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.

Cauliflower Patties
photo by Mark Weinberg, from
Last, but not least, we’re happy to have cauliflower and broccoli Romanesco coming in!  I came across this recipe for Cauliflower Patties.  I’ve never used cauliflower for anything like this, but they look cheesy, garlicky and delicious.  Paired with one of the aforementioned salads, they would be a great dinner option.  I also like just a simple roasted broccoli Romanesco, so might just have to do this recipe for Garlic and Lemon Roasted Broccoli Romanesco.

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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  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.
  4. 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.  
  5. 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.  
  6. 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.  
  7. 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.
  8. Remove from the oven and serve while warm.
Recipe adapted from one in Mark Bittman’s book Dinner for Everyone.