This is the last day of distribution before the holidays! We’ll take the next 2 weeks off, then be back January 9. Happy Holidays from all of us at PCCSA!
food for thought
full share: cucumbers, kabocha squash, swiss chard, cabbage, carrots, pinto beans, parsnips, and a surprise item!
veg of the week
swiss chard: Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla
Like beets, swiss chard descends from the sea beet, but has been bred for highly nutritious leaves at the detriment of the root, which is inedible (as compared to beets, which were bred primarily for delicious roots). There are many types and colors of chard, resulting in beautiful bunches of “rainbow chard”. The earliest accounts of chard have been traced to Sicily, and it remains a staple in Mediterranean cuisine.
Uses: Chard has a slightly bitter taste that turns remarkably delicate and buttery when cooked with fat. The stem as well as the leaves are edible, but require 2 minutes longer cooking time. WHFoods recommends boiling chard to free up the acids, resulting in sweeter greens (don’t save the water for stock because of the bitter acid taste).
Here’s my favorite way to prepare chard: saute onions and garlic in olive oil, add chopped chard and a little water or broth. Cover and let steam until greens are wilted, uncover and let liquid boil off. Toss with butter and salt – yum!
Toss with pasta, top pizza, add to eggs or casseroles, or use in place of spinach!
Nutrition: Swiss chard is high in vitamins A (hair, skin and nails), K (bone health) and C (immune system), iron, and dietary fiber. The presence of syringic acid controls blood sugar, and betalains provide anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.
To store: Place unwashed chard in a plastic bag and wrap tightly, squeezing out as much air as possible. Place in the refrigerator, where it will last up to a week. Or blanch and freeze the leaves if you have extra!
Deck Family Farm
By Alex Deck
I’m home for the holidays! I’m staying for three weeks on my family’s farm in rainy Oregon. Since I’m here I thought I’d tell you a bit about my family’s farm and follow the trend we started of farm biographies.
Eight years ago my parents, John and Christine, moved up to Junction City, Oregon from the Bay Area to follow their lifelong dream of farming. They found a beautiful piece of land, 320 acres, eight miles out of town. The property includes equal amounts of rolling hills and valley. Forty acres is forested with another forty acres in newly planted trees. The farm kicked off with around forty head (breeding moms) of cows – already living on the farm. Over the last eight years my parents, myself and four sisters, Ella, Maria, Brigid and Shanti, added another 150 cows, a small herd of goats, 200 sheep, a garden, around 15 milking cows, a variety of grain crops, 10 horses, between 20 and 150 pigs (depending on the season), hundreds of laying hens, thousands of meat chickens (again depending on the season) ducks, geese, dogs and cats.
For the past four years we have been selling at farmer’s markets in nearby Eugene and Portland, totaling around 6 markets a week during the busy season. In addition we sell at restaurants, grocery stores and online. Shippable items include frozen butter, beef, pork,
To learn more or to order meat (shippable to Arizona!) visit the website at www.deckfamilyfarm.com.lamb, goat and chicken. The farm is run with the help of the family (when I’m home I’m busy all day), a few WWOOFers at a time, and around 6 employees. The main mission of the farm is to provide the Willamette Valley with pasture raised meat – 100% grass fed in the case of the beef and lamb.
broiled rosemary chicken over pureed lentils and swiss chard
adapted from World’s Healthiest Foods
- 3 boneless chicken breasts
- 2 C or 1 15 oz can lentils, drained
- 1 bunch Swiss chard
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1-1/2 C crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 3 T vegetable or chicken broth
- 1/2 t dried thyme
- 1/2 t dried sage
- 1/2 C walnuts
- 1 T + 3 T fresh lemon juice
- 1-1/2 T chopped fresh rosemary (or 2 t dried)
- 2 cloves pressed garlic
- 2 T + 1 T olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the broiler on high and place an all stainless steel skillet or cast iron pan about 6 inches from the heat for about 10 minutes to get it very hot.
While the pan is heating, rinse and pat the chicken dry and season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Leaving the skin on, place the breast skin side up on the hot pan and return it to the oven. It is not necessary to turn the breast because it is cooking on both sides at once. Depending on the size, it should be cooked in about 7 minutes. Remove the skin before serving; it is left on to keep it moist while broiling. The breast is done when it is moist, yet its liquid runs clear when pierced. The inside temperature needs to reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
While chicken is broiling, bring pot of water large enough to cook the chard to a boil.
Chop chard. Chop onion, garlic, mushrooms, thyme, and sage and then sauté them in medium pan over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add lentils, walnuts and 3 T broth and heat through.
Purée mixture in blender or food processor with salt and pepper to taste. You will have to scrape sides of blender with a rubber spatula a few times.
When water has come to a boil, add chard and boil for 3 minutes. Drain chard and toss with 2 T olive oil and 1 T lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Place 3 T lemon juice, pressed garlic, chopped rosemary, salt, and pepper in small sauté pan and heat on stove for a minute. Turn off heat and whisk in 1 T olive oil.
Remove skin from chicken, slice into thirds, and serve over puréed lentils and chard. Drizzle rosemary lemon broth over chicken and lentils. Serve.
roasted winter squash and swiss chard quinoa bibimbap
adapted from closet cooking
- 1 T oil
- 1 T gochugaru (Korean-style chile flakes)
- 2 C butternut or kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 C quinoa, rinsed
- 2 C water
- 1 bunch swiss chard, sliced
- 1 T sesame oil
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 4 eggs
- 1 C black beans
- 1/2 C cucumber, shredded
- 1/2 C carrot, shredded
- toasted sesame seeds to taste
- toasted seaweed powder to taste
- green onions to taste
- gochujang sauce to taste (Korean sweet chile sauce, found at New Frontiers)
Mix the gochujang/chile flakes and the oil, toss with the butternut squash, place in a single layer on a baking pan and bake in a preheated 350F oven until tender, about 30-40 minutes.
Meanwhile bring the water and quinoa to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, then remove from heat and cover with lid.
Steam the swiss chard.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, add the shiitake mushrooms, saute until slightly caramelized, about 7-10 minutes and set aside.
When the butternut squash is ready, fry the eggs.
Assemble bibimbap, garnish with toasted sesame seeds, toasted seaweed powder, green onions to taste and gochujang sauce.
smoky kabocha squash soup
- 1 kabocha squash
- 1 t olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 t hot smoked paprika
- salt and pepper
- 2 leaves fresh sage
- 1 can chickpeas (or 1 1/2 C cooked)
- optional garnish: paprika, fresh olive oil, sage
Turn on your oven to 350F. Wash the squash and cut it in half. Wrap each half in tin foil, place on a baking sheet (or place cut side down on baking sheet with 1/2 inch of water) and bake for an hour. (* you can also substitute approximately 4 cups leftover cooked squash)
Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you start the rest of the soup. Heat a large saucepan to medium low heat. Add the olive oil and the onion. Sweat until soft. Add the minced garlic, paprika and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Remove the seeds and stringy middle of the squash and discard. Remove the flesh from the squash and discard the rind. Stir the squash into the onions. Add 4 cups of water and the fresh sage. Drain the can of chickpeas and give it a good rinse, add half of the chickpeas to the soup. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the sage and discard. Transfer the soup to a blender and pulse until very smooth. Place back in the saucepan along with the remaining chickpeas. Bring to a simmer. Check for seasoning and add salt as necessary. Serve hot garnished with olive oil.