From the Land 2/8

food for thought
full share: honey, red potatoes, sprouts, salad mix, butternut squash, onions, choice of dried dill or garlic, and grapefruit
partial: honey, red potatoes, sprouts, salad mix

veg of the week
clover sprouts: Trifolium pratense

Clover sprouts are derived from clover seeds and can be grown in any climate, as they are usually grown indoors in small plastic containers in water.

Uses: Sprouts of any variety are most commonly eaten as salad or sandwich toppings. They can also be juiced; the mild tasting juice is extremely nutritious and mixes well with other types of juice.

Nutrition: Clover sprouts are rich in calcium, folic acid, magnesium, manganese, and vitamins A, B complex (even B12!), C, E, and K. They are the top source among vegetables for anti-oxidants, which helps prevent heart disease, menstrual symptoms, osteoporosis, and cancer, and an anti-inflammatory compound reduces arthritis symptoms. They are a great blood toner and source of chlorophyll, and have been shown to lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, prevent leukemia, lower LDL cholesterol, and heal ulcers.

To store: keep in sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Rinse before eating or juicing.

And even better – you can sprout your own clover! The process is roughly the same as for other seeds, nuts, and beans. First, you can find the seeds through various online sources or at natural health food stores. Soak the seeds overnight, pour out the water (you can save it with your soup stock), and then just rinse the seeds (at least) every 24 hours to keep damp but not wet, completely draining them each time! I use a mason jar with cheesecloth over the top, secured with the ring. After rinsing and draining, suspend jar upside-down over a bowl so remaining water can continue to drain out. After about 3 days your sprouts are ready to eat! Make sure they’re completely drained before storing. More details here (they want you to use a “sprouter”, but a mason jar with cheesecloth works just as well):
http://sproutpeople.org/seeds/clover.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSt0DmAPDm4&feature=related

keeping herbs

Today one of the full-share items is dried dill. While you may not want to follow my example and dry 70 bags-worth of dill in your dehydrator, knowing how to keep herbs in a valuable skill for a CSA member, as we often receive too large of a quantity to use within a week. Each herb differs in its storage preferences, but most can be either frozen or dried for longer-lasting flavor and nutrition. Here are couple tips for extended storage (and minimized waste):

refrigerator storage: keep parsley, cilantro, basil, and other herbs for up to two weeks with the “plastic bag method”. According to Elise at Simply Recipes, snip off the bottom of the stems and put the herb in a cup partially filled with water. Loosely cover with a plastic bag and put in the refrigerator (except basil, which doesn’t like temperatures below 50 – keep it at room temp). Change the water if it starts to discolor.
http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_store_parsley_cilantro_and_other_fresh_herbs/

freezer storage: Ice cube method: remove the leaves from the stems, wash and dry. Process in a blender or food processor with one tablespoon of olive oil, butter, water, or stock (depending on how you want to use it later). Spoon into ice cube trays, and use throughout the year to flavor soups, sauces, or anything else that calls for fresh herbs. Herb oil or butter can be defrosted and spread on toast or used to fry eggs or veggies. Freeze mint in water and use in drinks. Freeze in stock to flavor soups or to cook rice. Flash freezing method: spread whole sprig or just leaves on tray and freeze overnight. Then store in resealable freezer bag. Use as needed for up to a year!
http://www.thebittenword.com/thebittenword/2011/09/freezing-fresh-basil-and-other-herbs.html
http://www.cheapvegetablegardener.com/2009/07/how-to-freeze-herbs.html

dehydrating herbs: whether you have a food dehydrator or not, you can dry herbs and keep them for up to a year. Keep in mind that they can be dried on the stem, but it will take much longer. Dehydrator: This is best for tender herbs: basil, oregano, mint, etc. Pre-heat to 95-115, spread the herbs in a single layer, and dry for 1-4 hours (longer if you had too much on the tray). Air-drying: this is best for hardier herbs: rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme, etc. Tie the herb together in a bunch and hang in a dry warm area. With either preparation technique, herbs are dry when they crumble. Store in a sealed container. And remember: dried herbs are about 3-4 times more potent than fresh (so think in teaspoons rather than tablespoons!)
http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/dry/herbs.html

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sweet potato and butternut squash tagine
adapted from veggieventure.blogspot.com

  • 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds), washed well, peeled and cubed (How to Cut a Butternut Squash & Keep All Ten Fingers)
  • 1 pound sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 2 cups vegetable stock, heated
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Cilantro leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 375F. Prep the sweet potatoes and butternut squash.

In a tagine or skillet, heat the oil on MEDIUM until shimmery. Add the onion and let cook, stirring often, until beginning to turn golden. Add the garlic and spices, cook for another minutes or two until fragrant. (If you don’t have a tagine, transfer this mixture to a shallow oven-safe baking dish such as Corningware or Pyrex.) Stir in the hot broth, slowly at first, it will sizzle. Stir in the sweet potato and butternut squash cubes, top with raisins, drizzle with honey. Cover and bake for an hour or until the vegetables are soft and aromatic but not mushy. Remove the cinnamon stick, sprinkle with cilantro leaves, serve and savor.

Serve with rice, couscous, or bread to sop up the delicious liquid.

quick baked tilapia with grapefruit dill butter
adapted from yummly.com

  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 3 tbsps grapefruit juice
  • 4 tbsps unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 grapefruits, sliced

Butter — mix the grapefruit juice, butter, dill, honey, salt and pepper.

Fish — Spray a parchment lined or foil lined pan with oil. Then add your fish fillets and brush well with the grapefruit butter. Cook on the middle rack 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Baste with the butter 2 times during the baking process. Halfway through, add the slices of grapefruit on top of this fish. Serve with a dollop of butter on each fillet.

honey orange butternut squash
adapted from epicurious.com

  • a 1-pound butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

In a steamer set over boiling water steam the squash, covered, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until it is just tender but not soft, and remove it from the steamer. In a skillet melt the butter with the honey, the zest, and the orange juice, stirring, add the squash and salt and pepper to taste, and cook the mixture over moderately low heat, stirring gently, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the squash is coated well with the orange mixture. Serve.

butternut squash pie
find it at: http://farmersdaughterct.wordpress.com/2008/08/30/butternut-squash-pie/

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2 thoughts on “From the Land 2/8

  1. I’m glad you like my pie recipe, but you didn’t adapt it, you copy and pasted it word for word with my notes about what to try with leftovers, how to ensure that it browns, that I (!) like it best cold. Please remove the copy and paste and include a link to my post if you want to share my recipe, which just happens to truly be adapted from my great grandmother’s recipe. Supporting local agriculture is cool, stealing content is not. http://farmersdaughterct.wordpress.com/2008/08/30/butternut-squash-pie/

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