Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
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My oh my; we are once again at the end of a season! Doesn't feel like it to me though. Next week is Thanksgiving, and the week after that we start the Winter Share, so things are hardly slowing for me! It's all good though... I can remember the days before we offered a winter share, when we'd all go into withdrawal at the end of the season ("What, no more veggies until APRIL??").
So Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Here are some recipes to get you through. And for those of you doing a Winter share, I'll be talkin' to you in December!
New this week
. Tom says the turnips are "baby", which means they're small and tender and won't require peeling in order to cook. Both turnip and rutabaga greens are also good cooking greens. Remember to remove them from the root and store separately so that they don't continue to suck moisture from the roots, leaving them rubbery. [Late breaking news: the rutabagas were so big that Tom says if we put them into the shares with their green tops attached, we wouldn't be able to put anything else in! So they removed the green tops :-( Oh well.]
I like making a simple rutabaga 'mash'
(like mashed potatoes); peel, cut into cubes, and simmer in salted water until tender, i.e. easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Depending on the size of your cubes this can be anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Don't cook 'em so long they fall apart though; you'll wash out the flavor. You want 'em juussst tender. They are a lovely deep buttery-yellow. Mash them with plenty of butter, and additional salt to taste. You can embellish on this with a little nutmeg or coriander, or minced fresh parsley. Or experiment with other seasonings!On to turnips! This next recipe is good because it calls for using small turnips like we're getting, which don't have to be peeled. [More late breaking news: I saw the bunches of turnips in the cooler today, and they are really baby
... I don't think you'll have a pound to do this next recipe (perhaps enough to make soup for two though, if you halve the rest of the ingredients). I think I might just trim them, halve them, saute them in a little butter, and season with salt and pepper! And cook the greens as a side.
]Creamy Turnip and Turnip Greens Soup
from an un-dated newspaper clipping
1 lb. small turnips, with very fresh greens [naturally!] attached
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for garnish
1 C thinly sliced leeks, white and pale green part only
1 large clove garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Approximately 4 C chicken or vegetable stock
Separate turnips from their greens. Trim greens, removing tough stems, and wash well. Quarter unpeeled baby turnips.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Add the leeks and saute until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute briefly to release its fragrance. Add the turnips, season with salt and pepper, and stir to coat with the butter. Add 3 cups of stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the turnips are almost tender, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the turnip greens, cover and cook until the greens are tender, about 5 minutes.
Puree the soup in batches in a blender. Strain through a sieve, if desired, to remove any threadlike shreds of turnip greens. Return to a clean saucepan and stir in enough additional stock to thin soup to desired consistency. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Reheat soup. Divide among warm bowls. Top each portion with a slice of butter. Butternut Squash, Feta and Cilantro Quesadillas
Bon Appetit, October 2009 (modified slightly)
3 C 1 1/2-inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash
1 finely chopped seeded jalapeno (about 2 tbsp)
12 flour tortillas
10 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1 1/2 C coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 limes, cut into wedges
Cook squash in boiling salted water until tender but not falling apart, about 10 minutes [or you could steam them]. Drain and cool 10 minutes. While squash is still warm, transfer to a processor and puree until smooth. Stir in jalapeno; season with salt and pepper.
Divide squash mixture equally among 6 tortillas (about 1/4 C per tortilla) and spread evenly. Sprinkle feta over each. Top each with 1/4 C cilantro and sprinkle with black pepper. Top with second tortilla.
Heat a heavy large skillet over medium high heat. Cook quesadillas until golden and dark char marks appear, about 1 minute per side. Serve with lime wedges.You'll just have to keep this next recipe handy; as of last night, we were maybe going to have a mix of Kabocha and Butternut squashes in our shares so that's why I included it; today, as the shares are being packed, Tom says it'll only be Butternut. Ah, but many of you may still have Kabocha's from prior weeks, so there you go - you can still use it!Simmered Kabocha
from "Vegetables and Vegetarian Dishes"
This recipe says, "Squash is filling and flavorful and is excellent eaten warm or cold served alongside meat or on its own. Children love its slightly sweet taste, and it's melt-in-the-mouth texture is simply irresistible."
8 oz. kabocha squash, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces [remember from earlier recipes; you don't have to peel kabocha if you don't want to. The peel is soft and edible when cooked using moist heat.]
1 3/4 C dashi or broth
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. mirin
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. soy sauce
Chopped parsley and fresh ground pepper, to garnish
Combine the squash, dashi, sugar, mirin, and salt, cover and cook over a medium heat until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Add the soy sauce and cook uncovered over low heat until the liquid has almost all been absorbed. Take care when handling the squash as it will fall apart easily.
Remove from the heat, sprinkle with chopped parsley and black pepper and serve.Here's a nice Thanksgiving side dish!Thyme-roasted apples and onions
Bon Appetit, Nov 09
Serves 8 -10
4 C apple cider
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. coarse kosher salt plus additional for sprinkling
6 7- to 8-oz. onions, halved through the root end, each half cut into six wedges
6 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh thyme, divided
6 apples, peeled, halved, cored, each half cut into 4 wedges
Boil cider in a large saucepan until reduced to 2/3 C, about 28 minutes. Whisk in butter. Season glace with 1 tsp. coarse salt.
Position 1 rack in top third of oven and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 425 degrees F. Butter two large rimmed baking sheets. Toss onions in large bowl with 2 tsps. thyme and 3 tbsp. glaze. Arrange in single layer on 1 sheet. Toss apples in same bowl with 2 tsp. thyme and 3 tbsp. glaze. Arrange in single layer on second sheet. Sprinkle onions and apples with coarse salt and pepper.
Roast onions on upper rack 10 minutes. Place apples on bottom rack. Roast onions and apples 20 minutes. Remove both sheets from oven. Drizzle remaining glaze evenly over onions and apples. Reverse position of sheets. Roast 20 minutes longer.
Increase oven temperature to 475 degrees. Roast onions and apples until tender and slightly caramelized, watching closely to prevent burning, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer onions and apples to large bowl. Season with coarse salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tsps. thyme.