Sunday, January 15, 2012

Badger Rock Farm Veggie Share Newsletter - Week # 19


This week marks your nineteenth veggie share. It is also the first one of the fall season, the last one that will come in September and the second to last one of 2011. As I thought might happen, the garden did take a frost last Tuesday night. It got colder than I guessed it would...I had many things covered, but some of the tomatoes partially froze right through their covers. Hard to imagine, given the almost immediate bounce of the temperatures up into the nineties! Happily, this summer-like weather has allowed for the surviving veggies (there were many) to continue to ripen. The squash fared mostly alright under double layers of fabric, and are in your bag this week. Rutabagas are also there. Radishes and beets are making a comeback appearance, and a couple of familiar items such as purple basil and tomatoes (albeit green ones....great for fried green tomatoes!) are also present. Enjoy!



A member of the Brassica genus, rutabagas are related to veggies such as turnips, cabbages, broccoli, kohlrabi, kale, cauliflower, mustards and more. A root crop that can take moderate frosts, it has been present in root cellars for centuries. In Britain and Ireland they have historically been carved, instead of pumpkins, at Halloween. Here is a recipe for your rutabaga:

Mashed Rutabagas

2 lbs peeled rutabagas, cut into large chunks
cold, salted water
3-4 tbsp butter
a pinch of nutmeg

Put the chunks of your peeled rutabagas into a pot of cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer until they are very tender (approx 30-40 minutes). Drain rutabagas, return them to the pot and heat gently for 2-3 minutes to dry them. Mash with a potato masher or fork. Work in the butter and nutmeg. Adjust seasoning to your taste and serve.

Radishes – Radishes are back! Of course, they are yummy raw. But if you prefer them cooked, here is a recipe:

Glazed Radishes
½ lb radishes, trimmed
½ tbsp butter
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup water

In a heavy saucepan wide enough to hold the radishes in one layer cook the radishes in the butter with the sugar and the salt over moderately low heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup water, simmer the radishes, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are tender, and boil them, uncovered, shaking the pan occasionally, until the liquid has been reduced to a glaze. Cook the radishes over moderate heat, swirling them, until they are coated with the glaze and serve!

Sweet Dumpling Winter Squash

Baked Sweet Dumpling Squash
1 Sweet Dumpling squash
1/8 cup butte
2 tsp honey (substitute brown sugar or maple syrup if desired)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place squash, skin sides down, in a baking dish and add 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tsp. honey into the cavity of each squash half. Then, sprinkle squash evenly with salt and pepper. Add water to baking dish to a depth of approx 1/4 inch. Bake, covered, at 400° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until squash is tender.

Beets – Beets are back too! You have a combo of regular red beets, and chioggia beets, which look like a target (alternating red and white stripes) when cut. Here is a recipe from Marquita Farm's website (chock FULL of wonderful, simple veggie recipes) that is perfect for these hot, Indian summer days we've been having:
Simple summer beet soup
Boil and peel your beets. Whirl them in a food processor with orange or lemon juice, a small amount of fresh mint leaves if you have some, and black pepper. Chill. Serve with plain yogurt or sour cream.

Green Tomatoes – The frost really set back the ripening process of the tomatoes. I think the plants are still somewhat alive and will probably continue to vine-ripen more tomatoes. But they certainly aren't hurrying along. Therefore, this week might be the perfect week for a fried green tomatoes recipe (also from Marquita Farm). If you're not into green tomatoes, you can allow them to ripen on your counter (or in a brown paper bag). They'll turn red and juicy over time.
Fried Green Tomatoes
4 medium sized green tomatoes
3/4 cup fine cornmeal
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
salt & pepper
Green Chile Mayonnaise (recipe below)

Slice the tomatoes crosswise 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. Press each piece into a plate of cornmeal and coat on both sides. Heat oil in a wide skillet over high heat until hot enough to sizzle a drop of water. Add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium and fry on both sides until golden. Remove to plate, season with salt and pepper. To make Green Chile Mayonnaise: Add several minced and seeded jalapeƱos or other hot peppers to 1 cup mayonnaise.

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