Oh! It is so cold in the mornings now. I just want to hibernate until the sun comes out. We are even getting a touch of rain; what a beautiful rainbow I saw yesterday. The box bounty is full of such warming foods... hearty ones, with staying power. At first I was having a hard time letting go of the beautiful summer foods, but the shift was easy once I began making some autumn dishes - amazing and vibrant - especially soups. Right now I am working on a chard and white bean recipe with lots of garlic. I hope to share this with you next week... I think it is pretty good! Stay warm everyone; cuddle up and think about planting some plants that will feed the hummingbirds during these cold months! Blessings, Rebecca
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BRUSSELS SPROUTS, GENERAL INFO
Though still classified as Brassica oleracea (meaning leafy garden vegetable used in cooking), their flavor is quite different from their parent plant. They are worth using raw in a variety of ways. Serve them as a salad with a vinaigrette. Slice them thinly with sliced onion or leek, or simply quarter and enjoy them raw in a plate of crudites. If you choose to eat them cooked, they can also be grated, stir-fried for a minute in olive oil or butter, then quickly seasoned and served. If you want to cook them in a more traditional manner, throw them in a small amount of boiling water and let them cook for 3 minutes, no longer! They should have plenty of crunch to them and all their flavor. If the sprouts are too firm for some cooks, let them boil for 2 minutes longer (if you detect a sulphurous smell, you have let them cook too long).STIR-FRIED SPROUTS with GINGER and ORANGE
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 inch piece of ginger root, grated (about 1 tbsp.)
juice and zest from 1 large orange (about 3 tbsp.)
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/2. tsp. Tabasco
1/2 tsp. sweetener
pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp. orange zest
1-3 green onions, chopped
a few chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
1. Heat the oil in a wok or heavy skillet and add the ginger and orange zest, followed by the sprouts. Stir-fry for 1 minute over high heat.
2. Add the orange juice and Tabasco, continuing to stir the sprouts in the pan for another minute or so until the juice has almost evaporated.
3. Add the sweetener, salt, and the last tbsp. of orange zest. Give a final stir, so that the sprouts are covered with the juices. Add the chopped green onions and stir-fry for another 5 seconds or so. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and serve.SPROUTS POACHED in LIME JUICE
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp. sweetener
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, peeled and trimmed
1 tbsp. malt whiskey (optional; can substitute broth)
1. First zest the limes, then squeeze the juice from them. Place zest and juice in a saucepan.
2. Add the salt and sweetener and bring to a boil.
3. Add the Brussels sprouts and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover pan and leave to simmer gently for 2 minutes.
4. Remove lid and raise the heat. Shaking the pan so the sprouts do not stick, boil rapidly until the liquid has evaporated to only a tablespoon or so. Pour the malt whiskey over all, if using, and serve.BRUSSELS SPROUTS and NUTS in LETTUCE ROLLS
1 lb. Brussels Sprouts, grated
1 oz. pine nuts or nut of choice, toasted [Pistachio!]
5 green onions, finely chopped
juice and zest from 1 lemon
1 tbsp. walnut oil or olive oil
1 tsp. sweetener
pinch of celery salt or sea salt
1 tsp. Tabasco
10-12 lettuce leaves
1. Place the grated sprouts in a mixing bowl. Add the pine nuts and chopped green onions, juice from the lemon, Tabasco, oil, sweetener, and salt. Mix thoroughly and leave to marinate for 1 hour.
2. Drain carefully, then squeeze the mixture to remove any excess moisture.
3. Smooth the lettuce cleaves, lay a tablespoon of the filling in one corner ands roll up, tucking the sides.ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
These are so easy, and make a nice side dish or a terrific snack!
as many sprouts as you want, trimmed and halved
sea salt and pepper
1. Place sprouts in a bowl and drizzle with enough olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with garlic granules to taste, and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.
2. Spread seasoned sprouts out evenly on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F until tender, about 7 minutes. Check them for doneness and for a slight browness on the bottom. You can experiment with different spices on the sprouts and even different oil such as toasted sesame oil.BUTTERNUT SQUASH GRATIN with ONIONS and SAGE
Serve this with a salad of slightly bitter, robust greens. [A nice massaged kale salad
would be perfect!] Good for a Fall supper for either family or company.
1/4 C olive oil
4 C thinly sliced onions
4 sprigs thyme
2 tbsp. chopped sage or 2 tsp. dried
sea salt and pepper to taste
6 C butternut squash, cut into half-inch cubes
1/2 C flour
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
1/2 C grated Gruyere or fontina cheese
1/2 C plus 2 tbsp. heated whole milk or broth
1 C fresh bread crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil or butter a 2-quart gratin dish or casserole dish.
2. Heat half the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, thyme and sage and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are lightly caramelized, about 15 minutes. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt and plenty of pepper to taste. Spread this mixture in the gratin dish, return the skillet to medium heat, and add the remaining oil.
3. Toss the squash with the flour, letting any excess fall away. [Put squash and flour in a ziploc or other bag, add some air, close it tight and shake briskly; this works nicely! Then fish 'em out, leaving the excess flour behind. - Debbie] Add floured squash to the pan and cook until brown on both sides, about 7 minutes. Add the parsley, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute more. Layer this squash over the onion mixture, cover with cheese, then add the milk (or a milk substitute). Cover and bake for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake until the top is browned and the liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes more.CHARD PIE
Serve this with freckly baked bread for simple wholeness fresh from your CSA box. This recipe is quickly prepared on the stove top. Good with a dollop of creme fraiche spiked with fresh horseradish.
8 C thinly chopped or ribboned chard
1/2 thinly sliced onion
1/3 C whole wheat pastry flour (or flour of your choice; corn flour is good)
3 eggs (or 3/4 C well mashed tofu for a vegan version)
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 tbsp. minced shallots
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 tbsp. ghee or vegetable oil, divided
1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the chard and onions, add the flour and toss to combine.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs (or tofu), yeast, shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper. Combine egg and chard mixtures, massaging the mass with your hands.
3. In a well seasoned 10 inch cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. ghee, making sure to coat the bottom and sides evenly. Place the chard mixture into the greased skillet and gently press to smooth the top. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the bottom browns.
4. Remove from heat and run a knife around the outside of the pie to loosen the edges. Lay a flat baking sheet on top of the skillet and with a couple of thick hot pads, carefully invert the pie onto the tray and remove the skillet. Put the remaining oil and ghee into the hot skillet and carefully slide the pie back in, uncooked side down. Cover and cook an additional 6-8 minutes, or until the pie has set and the veggies are completely cooked. Cut into wedges and serve hot.THAI CILANTRO PESTO
Makes about 1 cup
The flavors of the Orient come alive in this brightly flavored pesto infused with lemon grass, kaffir lime, and creamy cashews. Raw macadamia nuts can be substituted for the cashews for a tropical twist. Cilantro is a powerful green food and a rich source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants - vital elements for good health. Current research shows that if eaten in large enough quantities, cilantro helps the body to release toxins, especially heavy metals that can effect our well-being. This recipe packs a lot of wonderful green food into each serving and the exotic flavors of this pesto makes it easy to eat a healthy helping. Toss a good dollop with rice or buckwheat noodles smothered with steamed fresh vegetables; add a sprinkling of tamari-toasted sunflower seeds for a quick family meal everyone will enjoy.
1/2 C raw or lightly toasted unsalted cashews
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. minced lemongrass
2 tbsp. minced ginger root
1 large kaffir lime leaf or 1/2 tsp. lime zest
4 C (packed) chopped fresh cilantro, large stems removed [I chop cilantro up stems and all; stems have as much flavor as the leaves. If you're shy of your 4 cup quantity 'cuz you left out the stems, chop 'em finely and add 'em. - Debbie]
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 C unrefined sesame oil, not toasted
1. In a food processor, bowl fitted with the S-blade, process the cashews until finely ground. Add the garlic, lemon grass, lime juice, zest or kaffir leaf, and toasted sesame oil ands process for 5 seconds. Add the cilantro in batches as you continue processing the mixture into a smooth paste, scraping the side of the bowl as you go. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.BUTTERNUT SQUASH PIE
Winter squash roasted in the oven develops a richer flavor and many heirloom varieties are perfect for pies.Butternut squash is queen of them all. Winter squash is loaded with essential nutrients, fiber, and great flavor. When combined with fresh eggs, rich half-and -half , and warming spices, a piece of this wholesome pie is practically a meal in itself.
3 C roasted* or steamed** butternut squash, cooled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1/2 C maple syrup
1/3 C sucanat (or any sweetenrer of choice)
1 C half-and-half
2 tbsp. molasses
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger root
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 10-inch unbaked pie crust, with fluted edges
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place the squash, maple syrup, sweetener and eggs in a food processor and blend well. Add the half-and-half, molasses, spices and vanilla and process until smooth and creamy. Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack to cool. Cool completely before cutting. Serve with a dollop of maple whipped cream (recipe below).Maple Whipped Cream
1 C heavy cream
1/4 C maple syrup
1/ 2 tsp vanilla
To make the cream, place a medium-sized stainless bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes to chill. Remove the bowl from the freezer, pour in the cream, and beat with an electric mixer (or by hand with a wire whisk) until the mixture begins to thicken. Drizzle in the maple syrup and continue to beat until the cream is thick and holds a soft peak. Do not over beat or the texture will be compromised. Stir in the vanilla and serve.
*to roast the butternut squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut 2 medium-sized butternut squash in half, remove the seeds and strings and place halves cut side down in an oven-proof dish. Add 1/2 C water and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until tender. Cool and peel the squash, and cut it into chunks small enough for the food processor to handle.
**to steam the squash: Cut 2 medium size butternut squash into 2 inch chunks and steam until tender. Peel off the skin and proceed with the recipe above.CHARD DHAL
This is a recipe that uses two kinds of lentils and both the chard leaf and stalk; it comes out unexpectedly creamy. Orange lentils are much smaller than regular brown lentils, and cook more quickly; this is why they are added later.
1/4 C (2 oz.) brown lentils
1 tbsp. tumeric
1 lb. chard, washed and chopped - both stems and leaves
1/2 C (4 oz.) orange lentils
sea salt and pepper
1. Lentils do not have to be soaked. Rinse them thoroughly and place the brown lentils in a pint of boiling water with the turmeric. Let them simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.
2. Now add the chard and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.
3. Now add the orange lentils and simmer for another 10 minutes.
4. Season with salt and pepper. The mixture should have soaked up all the water and can be served at once. The dhal should have an amazingly creamy texture and creamy flavor. This is lovely served with aromatic brown Basmati rice.