Our first frost
It finally happened. A little later then expected this year.
first frost of the season.
With it, it took down the last of the Summer crops in the gardens. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, golden berries and a ton of flowers. The good news is that some Fall/Winter crops are ready.
We pulled the Burgess Buttercup and the Black Futsu (not pictured and not ready) last week. They can be found in the tent at the end of the parking lot. So you can grab a few on your way out and make a super simple soup! *recipe at the end of this email.
Beautiful Turnips (they are located in the area where the summer squash was near in front of the hoop houses). The greens are delicious (sauté with some olive oil and garlic or toss in soup!) OR cut tops off, half the turnip bulb, scatter on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle olive oil, a few tablespoons of maple syrup or runny honey sprinkle sea salt (toss) and roast in a 375 oven for about 40 minutes or until golden.
Chicory Greens (in the same garden as the also Chard). My favorite way to eat Chicory is a raw salad. Chop up, toss in some shaved pecorino or parmesan, olive oil, lemon, splash of apple cider vinegar and nice pinch of sea salt. Some toasted walnuts or crunchy homemade croutons are good too but not necessary. Done and yum.
Not sure if anyone knows this, but the outside of the Kale garden and Chard (also ready) are lined with Italian Parsley. I know it may blend into the beautiful clover grass but, trust me it’s there. Look for it and get some!
Rapini (also known as Broccoli Rabe). Rapini is one of my favorite greens. You pick it like you would kale - cut the leaves around. Sauté it with some olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and chili flakes until soft then squeeze some fresh juice of a lemon and drizzle of more olive to serve. DELICIOUS.
Radishes (located in the back garden in one of the rows where the beets used to be) These are bigger radishes then you may be used to so I peel them and then slice to eat any way you like. Lovely in a salad, of course, but also great with cheese and toast!
In the same garden as the radishes, Wild Arugula, Green Onions, Leeks, Chives and Rosemary are ready.
**The Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbages, Kohlrabi, Rutabaga, Fennel and Asian Greens are not ready quite so hold tight.
Ok. On to the recipe.
I learned this trick many years ago when attempting to roast my very first winter squash (with my knife in hand - fearful I would cut my hand off in the attempt of slicing the hard thing). I still use this trick today having roasted many many squashes later.
Pre-heat oven to 350, wash and dry your winter squash of choice, rub the entire thing with little olive oil and put it on a large baking sheet. Now, pop it into the oven, whole, and take it out after about a 1/2 hour or when the squash is softer to the touch. The point is to allow the hard squash to soften a bit so you can then easily take a sharp knife to cut it or use a sharp peeler (or carefully with a knife) to remove the skin. **I recommend trying this with the soup recipe below. Easier!
If you have cut it in half, return the now halved squash (cut side down) to the baking sheet and back into the hot oven to continue baking until the squash is very soft. About another 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Depending on how big your squash is. Remove squash, scoop the seeds (discard), scoop flesh out into a separate bowl, discard the skin and that is that. Leftover baked squash keeps very well in the refrigerator for at least 5 days in an airtight container. You are now ready to use the puree to make pumpkin bread, muffins, pancakes, pasta, soup and (of course) pumpkin pie!
4 TB extra-virgin olive oil or butter
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
8 cups non tomato based vegetable broth, bone broth or chicken stock
1 large buttercup or kabocha or butternut , peeled /seeded and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 tsp fresh thyme, leaves only
1/4 cup heavy cream or coconut milk, optional
In a large pot over medium flame, heat oil or butter. Add red pepper flakes, onion, garlic and a nice pinch of salt. Sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, squash, thyme and 1 tsp sea salt. Bring to boil.
Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
Take pot off heat and allow to cook a bit. Then, carefully, working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream or milk and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Top with some roasted red walnuts if you have on hand (pictured below), or toasted pumpkin seeds.