From the Farmer

Week 20 – 9/30/2015
In Your Share
 
Fall is coming on now, isn’t it?  Your share is now more than fifty percent fall, in fact.  This week you’ll see radishes, “spring” broccoli, arugula, lettuce mix.  The Swiss chard, which tries to be a summer crop, too, really shines when the weather cools even down into the seventies.  This is the first of the fall chard and it’s real pretty. Some of it’s also real large, like elephant ear large.  Get used to it, many of our fall greens crack out on us, but they’re so pretty we don’t mind.
 
The arugula is also large and in charge.  Just past baby leaf, you can cook with it (add it last to a stir-fry) or add to salad (might cut it in half so it fits on your fork).  Arugula makes an excellent salad by itself or in combination with other leaves.  It has a nutty, sometimes spicy taste, so add something sweet like fruit and nuts.  It goes well with many cheeses, especially harder, gruyere-types.  Can I recommend: arugula and lettuce salad, apples, walnuts (candied?), Thistle Hill tarantaise, and garlic-maple vinaigrette dressing.  Have I mentioned we have real Vermont maple syrup that Momma Snow brought down on her visit?  We do.  Oh, we do.
 
Speaking of maple syrup and trips down to visit, the Week 20 spotlight is on: spaghetti squash.  Spaghetti squash is unique in that when cooked, the flesh comes out in long strands.  Momma Snow,  in town this week with special guest appearances at the farm stand on Wednesday (sorry, tickets are standing room only), uses it just like spaghetti, sautéing onions and tomatoes to make a sauce, then putting it over the squash.  Simple.  Fun.  And delish.  
To get those noodles, cut the squash in half and take out the seeds (microwaving a minute or two makes this easier).  Place the halves face down in a baking dish.  You might add ¼ cup water.  You can cook in a 350°F oven for half an hour (until a knife can pierce the outside) or in the microwave for 12 minutes.  If you use the microwave cover the dish tightly.  Make your kids scoop out the insides after its cool enough to handle.
 
What about radishes?  It is worth remember that radish leaves, while not of the best texture, are entirely edible and nutritious, and if you’re making lasagna, eggs, greens, soup, etc., add them to the dish.  If you’re not a radish fan – farmer secret: I’m not, either – try roasting or frying them with your favorite fat.  I’ve been cooking with coconut oil recently, but olive oil, sunflower oil or butter might be nice, too.  Cut them in rounds, cook, and serve to your kids with ketchup or BBQ sauce.  They’re like spicy potatoes.  I trick myself every time.
 
As for broccoli, we really like this variety.  Not a true broccoli, which explains the loose head, but it’s so tender and happy.  Use the stalk, which is just as tender and flavorful.  And in our organic crunchiness I should warn you that it’s unlikely but possible that you’ll find a green worm on a broccoli leaf.  If you see it, scream, drop the broccoli, collect yourself, and then dispose of with the compost.  Continue preparing happy broccoli.
 
Mike
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