Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Two Farms Newsletter #419

October 24, 2007

Table of Contents:

1) In your box this week
2) The New “It” Root
3) Benefit Dinners: Ventana Wilderness Alliance in Monterey on November 11th; and Valley of Heart's Delight in Palo Alto on November 15
4) Photos
5) Recipes
6) Which Farm?
7) Unsubscribe
8) Two Small Farms Contact Information

1) In your box this week: Sibley Winter Squash (photo is above), Potatoes, Salad Mix OR Lettuce, Tomatoes, Watermelon Radishes, Cauliflower OR Poblano Peppers (these are spicy), and a mystery item.

This week's vegetable list: We try to have it updated by Monday night, sometimes by Mon. am

How to store this week's bounty: all but the winter squash and tomatoes should go in the fridge as soon as you arrive home, in plastic. The radish greens can be used as
well. The tomatoes can be stored on your counter. The winter squash should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place.

2) The New “It” Root by Andy Griffin

Vegetables go through their trends and fashions just like women’s shoes do. Sometimes I’ll come across a vegetable that is so easy to grow, so flavorful to eat, so versatile in the kitchen, so convenient to store for long periods of time, and so beautiful to look at that I can scarcely understand why it isn’t more commonly used or universally appreciated. Maybe it’s a question of timing. Or maybe it’s all in the name.

When some people hear the name “Watermelon radish” their fears get the best of them and they panic that in a secret laboratory behind a cyclone fence with concertina wire a mad scientist has woven together strands of DNA from a watermelon and a Cherry Belle radish. The hellish result?— Tiny watermelons that grow under the dirt and are sold by the bunch, or even worse, thirty-five pound radishes that are full of seeds.

The truth? Yes, while it is true that there are scientists who play Sorcerer’s Apprentice with fruits and vegetables, the Watermelon radish is a traditional Asian vegetable once known as the “Red Meat daikon.” With a name like “red meat” you can understand why producers have tried to ‘reposition” this antique vegetable with a new name that resonates with vegetarian consumers. I do not lie when I say that I have been approached twice in Farmers Markets by consumers alarmed that have not only the Dr. Frankensteins of this world had made a vegetable alloy of the radish and a beef steer BUT that I was crass enough to sell it.

Creating the perfect name for a food product is an art. The “watermelon” in “Watermelon radish” is an allusion to the radish’s red heart and green outer skin. The name is also a wink at the large size of the Watermelon radish’s root. Watermelon radishes are supposed to be large, compared to American salad radishes. While Watermelon radishes can easily be shredded raw into salads or sliced into chips or sticks for service as a dip delivery vehicles, they were once grown large, topped, and stored in root cellars to be used throughout the winter in soups, stews, and stir fry. Tiny Watermelon radishes harvested the size of Safeway radishes haven’t had enough time in the ground to develop their characteristic red heart.

Large-rooted radishes, like the immense white daikons, are still common in Asian cuisine, but they’ve passed out of vogue in European cookery, to be replaced by a plethora of little red or white, or red and white salad radishes. Once consumers in the West counted on the Black Spanish radish to hold over for winter recipes, along with a host of large German radishes, but they’ve faded into being mere curiosities adorning the seed catalogues for gardeners. I’ve grown the Black Spanish radish, but I much prefer the Watermelon radish for its mild flavor, its crispy texture, and its lovely red flesh.

Growing Watermelon radish couldn’t be easier. We plant the seeds in late Summer and cloak the field with a woven fiberglass floating rowcover called Agribon. The fabric, which is reusable and recyclable, is translucent and almost weightless. The Agribon acts as a barrier to keep the cabbage fly off the emerging plants so that we aren’t plagued by root maggots at harvest. When the plants grow tall we move the row cover to another planting. The plants are thinned to two inches apart on the line to allow the roots space to develop, and the rest is just watering and waiting.

When the roots of the Watermelon radish are red at the heart we harvest them by bunches. If you’re in touch with your thrifty peasant roots you can remove the radish greens and cook them as you would turnip greens. The roots can be bagged and refrigerated for use another day, or even another week. Properly stripped of their foliage and stored in a cool place, Watermelon radishes can keep for a long time. I hope you enjoy the Watermelon radishes in your harvest shares as much as my wife, Julia, does. They’re so nice that they just might be the next “it” root.

copyright 2007 Andy Griffin

watermelon radish


3) Benefit Dinners:

Ventana Wilderness Alliance is a favorite charity of many of us here at Two Small Farms. The benefit event is Sunday, November 11th starting at 5:45 pm in Monterey at Stokes Restaurant and Bar. It is $65 per person which includes tax and tip but not beverages. For more info, go to our web page
You can call or email Zelda at the office to make your reservation: 831-786-0625, csa@twosmallfarms.com

An Event put on by our fabulous Palo Alto Pick Up Site Host Susan: November 15th, The Valley of Heart’s Delight project in Palo Alto is presenting its second annual 100-Mile Thanksgiving Celebration - an evening of food, fun, and discussion. Two Small Farms will be just two of the farms donating vegetables for the meal. Eat Thanksgiving dishes prepared with organic and locally grown food, and discuss what’s involved in preparing a Thanksgiving dinner from food grown from within 100 miles of Palo Alto. The event is held at Conexions, 1023 Corporation Way in Palo Alto on Thursday, November 15 from 7 pm to 9 pm. Cost is $40 or $35 for Conexions members, seniors and low-income. Pre-registration is required. For more information and for registration, contact Susan Stansbury at sstansbury@conexions.org , call (650) 938-9300 (x11) or register on-line at www.conexions.org/vhd/thanksgiving


4) Photos:

Sibley Winter Squash

Poblano Peppers

Watermelon Radishes

Photo Gallery

5) Recipes from Zelda, Alexis, Marla and Julia

Julia's winter squash/pumpkin preparations:

I put cut up pieces (large ones) already seeded into my crock pot for 2 or so hours on high. When a fork can easily pierce the squash/pumpkin pieces, I remove it and
scrape the flesh into my food processor and whirl a bit. Then I freeze in 1 and 2 cup increments. Soup and pie are obvious and delicious choices, I also put 1 cup of this
puree into nearly every batch of muffins, waffles, cookies, pancakes, biscuits etc. that I make. I just take an existing recipe and add my cup of squash puree. It nearly
always works, and my kids are none the wiser.

Roasted Hard-To-Peel Winter Squash
adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

For those squash that don't peel well: three options:

1 (2-3#) acorn or other winter squash, or 2-3 smaller ones, washed
2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil, more or less
S & P to taste
Maple Syrup or brown sugar (optional)
1-2 garlic cloves, cut (optional)

preheat oven to 400 degrees

Option 1:

Cut the squash(es) in half an dscrape out the strings and seeds. In each half, put some butter, salt, pepper, and sweetner, if desired. Place in a baking pan open side up, and bake until a fork pierces the flesh easily, about 1 hour, depending on thickness of squash. Serve.

Option 2:

Cut the squash(es) in half an dscrape out the strings and seeds. Sprinkle each half with S & P, and rub with a little garlic if you like. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and place the squash, open side down, on the sheet. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Serve.

Option 3:

Cut the squash(es) in large slices, each about 1 inch thick. Place them on al ightly greased baking sheet and sprinkle with S & P. Dot with butter or brush with olive oil. Bake until tender, 30-45 minutes.

Here's a recipe for this week's box. This is one of my favorite side dishes of all time:

Cheesy Cauliflower Puree
-1 head cauliflower, cut in large chunks
-1 and 1/2 cups shredded cheese (any kind, but a sharp white cheddar works well)
-1/3 cup half and half
-1 tb butter
-salt and pepper to taste

Boil the cauliflower in salted water until fork tender and drain. Add the cauliflower back to the pot with the rest of the ingredients (except cheese) and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Serve as you would mashed potatoes.

Alexis / SeeUsEat.com\

Winter Squash and Chicken Stew, Bon Appetit

2 teaspoons olive oil
6 chicken thighs, skin removed

1 1/3 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups peeled winter squash, cut in 1 inch pieces
2 cups potatoes, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
2 cups diced tomatoes with liquid
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in soup pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to the oil. Sauté until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to plate. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, cumin, and
cinnamon; stir 1 minute. Return chicken to pot. Add squash, potatoes, broth and tomatoes. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Uncover and simmer until chicken and potatoes
are cooked through and liquid is slightly reduced, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash Stew, Bon Appetit
For the Stew:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of saffron
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups carrots, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint, divided

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Mix in paprika and next 8 ingredients. Add 1 cup water, tomatoes, and lemon juice. Bring to boil. Add squash and carrots. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally,
about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in half of cilantro and half of mint. This can be prepared 1 day ahead, but don't add the cilantro and mint until

For the Quinoa
1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups water

Rinse quinoa; drain. Melt butter with oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and carrot. Cover; cook until vegetables begin to brown, stirring often, about 10
minutes. Add garlic, salt, and turmeric; sauté 1 minute. Add quinoa; stir 1 minute. Add 2 cups water. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer until liquid is
absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Spoon quinoa onto platter, forming well in center. Spoon stew into well. Sprinkle remaining herbs over.

Squash Soup from CSA member, Marla

1-2 onions, sauteed
baked squash (about 6 cups)
(chicken) stock or water
curry powder (or other spices)
cream to taste (optional)

Use the stock/water to help puree the squash and sauteed onions. Season with plenty of curry powder (shake it on and stir it in, and repeat, for about 2-3 t. worth) or other
spices. Warm gently, do not boil if you have cream in it. Sometimes instead of curry powder, I use another "curry" I adopted from a recipe called Indian style chicken that is
really good with winter squash: equal parts cinnamon, cumin, coriander, ginger, (pepper), and a double-part cardamom. Cooked cubes of squash added to onions
sauteed in butter with liberal amounts of this home-made curry mix is truly delicious. It is sort of a side-dish, non-puree version of the above soup.

Beijing Radish Salad
This can be made with watermelon radishes or other types...

1 bunch watermelon radishes or one medium daikon radish
2 tablespoons rice or balsamic vinegar (or a combination)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Wash and julienne radishes. They can be peeled or not as you like. I often use a mandoline to do the julienne-ing, or you can grate them. Mix together the rest of the ingredients and dress the radishes with the dressing.

Julia’s simplest radish salad: 2 ways

1 bunch radishes, greens removed and set aside for another use radishes washed
2 Teaspoons sesame oil or olive oil
3 teaspoons rice vinegar or lemon juice
Salt and pepper
dash soy sauce if using the sesame oil
chopped parsley or toasted sesame seeds for garnish

slice the radishes pretty thin, then toss with the dressing ingredients. I make this salad often when I have radishes at hand.

IDEAS for Watermelon radishes:

ok, mostly just one idea: they are GREAT eaten raw. You can make them into slices or like carrot sticks and snack on them. They can be grated into a grain salad or a green salad. They can also be cooked like turnips, in most any turnip recipe. -julia

Skillet Potatoes with Olives and Lemon
1/4 cup green olives
1 pound fingerling potatoes, peeled if desired, then halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 (3- by 1-inch) strips lemon zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup water
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Lemon wedges

Smash olives with flat side of a large knife, then discard pits and chop olives. Toss potatoes with olives, oil, zest, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a
10-inch heavy skillet, then add water and bring to a boil. Cover skillet and boil over medium heat until potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove lid and cook, stirring,
until water is evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Butter Browned Cauliflower with Lemon and Almonds, from Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini by Elizabeth Schneider

1 medium to large cauliflower
1/3 cup sliced blanched almonds
1 TBS butter
1TBS corn or canola oil
1 lemon, scrubbed
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch white pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Cut off cauliflower leaves and rinse the head. With stem end up, slice large clusters of florets from the central stalk. Cut these into 1/4 inch slices (some will crumble). Peel remaining stalks and slice very thin (about 7 to 8 cups in all). Spread almonds in wide pan over moderate heat. Cook, shaking occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes; remove from pan. Add 1/2 tablespoon each butter and oil to pan and tip to coat. Add half the cauliflower and cook, flipping the pieces a few times to brown lightly and evenly, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat if necessary to prevent burning. Scoop into dish. Repeat with remaining cauliflower, butter and oil.

Meanwhile, grate enough zest from lemon to equal 3/4 teaspoon. Squeeze 2 Tablespoons juice, mix with water, sugar, salt, pepper and nutmeg. When second batch of cauliflower has finished cooking, add in the first batch along with the lemon juice mixture. Lower heat, cover, and cook until cauliflower is just tender, about 2 minutes. Uncover, add zest and raise heat. Toss gently until liquid evaporates. Season, add almonds and serve.

Cheesy Cauliflower Puree, from CSA member Alexis
1 head cauliflower, cut in large chunks
1 and 1/2 cups shredded cheese (any kind, but a sharp white cheddar works well)
1/3 cup half and half
1 TBS butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the cauliflower in salted water until fork tender and drain. Add the cauliflower back to the pot with the rest of the ingredients (except cheese) and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Serve as you would mashed potatoes.

Stuffed Poblanos - -similar to a dish served at Pajaro Street Grill in Salinas, from CSA member Angela U

Make a mixture of 2 parts grated sharp cheddar cheese, ~1 part raisins, coarsely chopped and `1 part slivered almonds. Cut generous caps off the stem end of poblano peppers, remove core, seeds and ribs, leaving peppers whole. Fill peppers with the cheese mixture and reattach "lids" with toothpicks. Broil or grill, turning to char all sides. Makes a great light dinner with a salad and maybe some rice. (If you cook them under a broiler, line the pan with foil for easier clean-up.)

Los Chiles Rellenos

8 poblano chiles
8 pieces of a good melting cheese
1.5-2 pound ripe tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, skinned
1 onion, skinned, quartered
S & P to taste
4 eggs, separated

makes 8 chiles rellenos

Wash and lightly dry 8 poblano chiles that are about the size of your fist or a bit larger. Put them whole under the broiler and roast, turning with tongs, until quite dark on most sides. Remove from oven and place in paper bag for 5 minutes. Take them out of the bag and skin them, trying to leave them whole as best you can, then let them cool down. Meanwhile make the tomato sauce:

Tomato sauce to go on the rellenos:

yes, you could doctor up a canned tomato sauce with garlic and pepper.... but this is what Jane did:

She blanched about 15 early girl tomatoes for about 15 seconds each, then skinned and seeded them. Next she put them in a blender with 4 skinned garlic cloves and one onion, quartered. She did several grinds of fresh black pepper and about 1/2 t salt (you may want more). After blending, I took her mostly raw sauce and cooked it over a medium high flame in a large, deep frying pan and let the sauce cook down a bit, about 15 minutes. (after coming to a strong simmer I turned the heat way down, but left the pan uncovered. The sauce was done. I put it in a large pyrex cup, ready to reheat at the moment the rellenos were ready to serve...

Slit each chile with a small whole, then attempt to remove some of the seeds, keeping the chile whole if possible. Stuff the roasted chiles with the cheese pieces. Don’t worry if some of your peppers aren’t completely whole, I just wrapped the frayed pieces around the cheese, and you couldn’t tell those chiles from the truly intact ones once they were on the plate.

With the roasted chiles and tomato sauce ready, you can start on the egg whites. Whip egg whites (I used my kitchen aid mixer) & 2 T flour until soft peaks are becoming a bit stiffer. Fold in 2 of the egg yolks (you can do as you please with the other two, you won’t need them for this recipe) with a rubber spatula, taking care not to disturb the egg white mass more than necessary.

Dredge stuffed chiles in flour (I put about 1/2 a cup in a saucer for this task), then thoroughly coat with the egg white stuff. Fry in hot oil until golden brown, turning at least once to cook all sides. Serve immediately with a couple of spoons of tomato sauce served over the relleno. Divine!!

Natalie's Gingered Baked Carrots

I first sliced the carrots and turnips and roasted them in a glass baking dish with a little bit of butter at about 400 degrees. After 10 minutes in the oven, I sprinkled fresh
chopped ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil over the veggies, added a little bit of water to the pan, and kept them in the oven for another 15 minutes. When I took them out,
I sprinkled them with chopped herbs from the CSA box. They were very tasty and very easy to prepare!

Spicy Carrot Salad

2 lbs. carrots
1 TBS lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup olive oil
2 TBS red wine vinegar
2 TBS chopped cilantro

Peel carrots and cut into julienne -- quick work with a Japanese mandolin. Mash the garlic clove with the salt, mix it with the vinegar, lemon juice, and cayenne. Whisk in the
olive oil. Taste for seasoning and add more acid, salt or cayenne if needed. Toss with the carrots and cilantro.

More Recipes at:

Tomato recipes

Radish Recipes

Winter Squash recipes

Spicy Chile Recipes


6) Which Farm?

>From High Ground: Sibley winter squash, salad mix, 2 mysteries
From Mariquita: Tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflower, poblano peppers, watermelon radishes

7) Unsubscribe/Subscribe From/To This Newsletter

Two Small Farms Blog

BLOG ADVANTAGES: I can change mistakes after I post them. I don't have to subscribe/unsubscribe folks. Old newsletters easily accessed. Links! (I send this newsletter
out as plain text so more folks with differently-abled computer systems can easily read it.) You can sign up for email updates to the Two Small Farms Blog on the main blog
page: http://twosmallfarms.blogspot.com/


8) Two Small Farms Contact Information

Two Small Farms
Mariquita Farm/High Ground Organics
Organically Grown Vegetables
P.O. Box 2065
Watsonville, CA 95077

1 comment:

viagra online said...

Thanks for this recipe galore! I will try some of those recipes sooner or later!