From the Land 2.20

food for thought

full share: grapefruit, salad mix, carrots, wildflower honey, potatoes, butternut squash, onions, and garlic!

partial share: grapefruit, salad mix, carrots, and honey!

veg of the week

Ozette fingerling potatoes: Solanum tuberosum subsp. Andigena

Fingerlings are the general name for any heritage variety of potatoes that are harvested as small, stubby tubers. The variety we are receiving this week is called Ozette: it is commonly regarded as the oldest North American variety and has been grown by the Makah Nation people for generations, but only came available to small farmers in the US in the 1980’s. They are on Slow Food’s Arc of Taste for delicious foods in danger of extinction. Ozettes have an earthy, nutty flavor that gives them a reputation as the “best tasting fingerling”. They are most commonly found in home gardens for personal use, at farmers markets and through CSAs, as the commercial potato industry has decreed them as having a “very poor grade out”, meaning that an Ozette plant will produce tubers of very different shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, the commercial market does not appreciate vegetables’ naturally occurring diversity!

These potatoes are easy to save for your own garden. Save a few in a cool dry place (where they won’t freeze). In the spring, cut the wrinkled potatoes into 1 inch pieces, each with an “eye” or sprout. Plant them in full sun in compost-enriched soil and each piece will grow into a potato plant that will produce many pounds of potatoes!

Uses: Ozettes are most commonly served boiled, fried or roasted, and they develop a smooth buttery flavor. Toss with olive oil and roast with other root vegetables and winter squash; boil for a potato salad, or cut lengthwise, roast and dip in your favorite creamy sauce – or just sprinkle with salt and pepper because these delicious potatoes can hold their own! PS: not that you would anyway, but the skin is thin enough that you don’t need to peel these potatoes.

Nutrition: Potatoes are actually fairly nutritious before we laden them with fatty sauces. Fingerlings are fat-, cholesterol-, and sodium-free, and are an excellent source of vitamin C.

To store: Keep these tender potatoes in the refrigerator or root cellar and they’ll last at least a month.

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Lactofermentation update

This week you’ll notice the “lactofermentation experiment” out for display on top of the cooler. While I wish my son would have thought of this for his science fair experiment, instead we get to reap the benefits of comparing three different methods of lactofermentation: saltwater brine, whey, and fermentation culture. Vegetables naturally contain lactobacillus, and our main priority when fermenting is to promote the growth of that good bacteria while limiting the growth of the “bad” bacteria. We do this by adding salt (a preservative), more lactobacillus (optional, but this is what the culture and whey are for), and capping with an airlock to keep out the oxygen that feeds the bad bacteria that would result in mold.

washing veggies

Because we had plenty of Valentine radishes leftover from last week, these became our vegetable of choice. I began by washing and then chopping them. I could have also sliced them, but was missing part of my food processor. I didn’t peel them, just cut off the stem and root ends and then chopped them into rough 1-1 1/2″ pieces.

chopping veggies

I stuffed the radish pieces into half gallon jars, with layers of chopped green onion and garlic. You can see the beautiful green, white and pink colors of the radishes.

filling jars

I topped them with saltwater liquid, roughly 1 tablespoon of salt for each cup of tepid water, let dissolve and poured over the veggies, leaving an inch of head-space. To one of the jars’ liquid was added the packet of fermentation culture; to another was added four tablespoons of whey.finished product

You can see that the jar with whey is a little milky, which is how my whey turned out. My internet research this morning verified that it’s completely usable, but could be run through a dishtowel (I used cheesecloth) to reduce the presence of milk solids, which will therefore help the whey last longer in the fridge. I’ll do this final step later, as whey is useful for soaking grains, beans, and making fermented sauces and dressings.

Finally, I topped the jars with Pickle Pros, a brand of airlock produced in Chino Valley by Homesteader Supply. These kind folks also supplied the fermentation culture. You should buy stuff from them.

Now we wait until next week, when we’ll be able to sample and compare our batches of lactofermented radishes!

For more info on the difference between these methods of lactofermentation, check out

 Cultures for Health.

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India Adventures
by Alex Deck

Hello PCCSAers!

I just got back from an amazing block coarse I did for school in India. Below is a section of a blog post I did for the course. If you’re still interested after reading please follow the link to read the entire post.

About three years ago I heard about a festival in India called the Kumbha Mela. This festival happens once every three years, each year at one of four different cities along the Ganga River. The Maha (great) Kumbh Mela happens every twelve years near the city of Allahabad. Here the three great holy rivers of India come to a meeting place: the Yamuna, Ganga and Saraswati. Indian legend goes that one of the Devas (demigods) was flying through the air on the way back to heaven with a pot of the nectar of immortality, Amrita. He was attacked mid flight by demons and ended up spilling a few drops of amrita. A few of these drops fell in the water at the confluence of these three rivers, called the Sangam. Some believe that by bathing in the water at the Sangam they will attain freedom from the necessity of reincarnation.

Others view this meeting point as a representation of the spiritual eye and the three rivers as a representation of the three spiritual pathways in the spine. These pathways are called the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. Ida and Pingala on either side of the Sushumna represent the Ganga and Yamuna. These two pathways are less subtle and easier to concentrate on. The meditator focuses on these currents in order to find the more subtle Sushumna, represented by Saraswati. The Saraswati river makes it’s appearance at the Sangam by bubbling up from the ground. Legend has it that Saraswati was cursed to flow underground because she was making too much noise. When one jumps in the Sangam he could say that he is swimming in the Spiritual Eye of the World.

http://lokispcadventure.blogspot.com/

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fingerling potatoes with aioli
adapted from the food network
serves 6

  • 2 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, unpeeled
  • kosher salt

For the Aioli:

  • 1 slice bread, crust removed
  • 2 T Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/2 t grated lemon zest
  • 3 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 t saffron threads
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 C good olive oil
  • chives, chopped

Rinse the potatoes and put them in a large saucepan. Cover them with cold water, add 1 tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are just tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and place a kitchen towel on top, allowing them to steam for 5 to 10 minutes.

For the aioli, tear the slice of bread into pieces and place in a bowl. Pour the vinegar over the bread, and set aside for 5 minutes.

Place the garlic cloves, egg yolks, zest, juice, saffron, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the bread, and puree into a paste. With the processor running, slowly pour the oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until it is the consistency of thick sour cream. Place in a serving bowl.

Slice the potatoes in half and place them on a serving plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and decorate with the chopped chives. Serve with the aioli.

bacon and fingerling potato phylo pizza
adapted from ross sveback
makes 6 pizzas

    • 1 – 16 oz package phyllo dough thawed in refrigerator
    • 1 stick unsalted butter
    • 1 lb thick-cut bacon
    • 1 lb fingerling potatoes – cooked and sliced
    • 1/4 C minced onion
    • 1 T fresh thyme
    • 5 oz shredded Asiago, Parmesan & Romano cheeses
    • fresh ground sea salt & pepper to taste

Dice bacon and fry until crisp, removing bacon and placing onto paper towels to drain.  In a medium bowl, combine red onion, thyme, cheese and bacon, then set aside.

Melt butter in a liquid measuring cup.  Unroll phyllo dough and using a salad plate place on the phyllo dough and cut around it with a knife – discard extra.  Pull one round sheet of phyllo dough off and place onto a slice of parchment paper, brush with butter using a basting brush. Place another phyllo round on top and brush again with butter repeating until you have seven layers brushing top layer with butter.  You will get six pizzas out of one package.
Place fingerling potato slices on top of pizza rounds, divided evenly between the six. Divide topping between six pizzas sprinkling even over the tops and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes depending on your oven.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh ground sea salt and pepper.  Cut into six with a knive and serve.  Crust will harden up if allowed to rest for five minutes.

warm winter salad with roasted butternut squash and fingerling potatoes
adapted from gluten free goddess
serves 4

  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs fingerlings, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • olive oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • half a butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • another drizzle of olive oil
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.In a roasting pan combine potatoes, olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir the potatoes to distribute the olive oil and seasonings. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until tender but not quite done.

Stir the winter squash and potatoes together and coat the squash with the olive oil and seasonings. Place the roasting pan back into the hot oven and roast until the potatoes and squash are fork tender and the squash is caramelized – about 15 to 20 minutes.
When the potatoes and squash are done, remove the pan from the oven and cool it on a rack while you prepare the salad greens.
Plate a mix of baby spinach and mizuna, arugula or other salad mix.
Spoon the warm roasted squash and potatoes onto the greens. Dress lightly with a dab of
extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top with fresh ground pepper.
Add a sprinkle of fresh organic goat cheese or a shaving of Parmesan.
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From the Land 2.6

food for thought

full share: bean sprouts, baby spinach, romanesco, Valentine radishes, mizuna, spaghetti squash, hakurei turnips, and navel oranges!

partial share: bean sprouts, baby spinach, romanesco, and Valentine radishes!

veg of the week

romanesco: Brassica oleracea

Is it cauliflower, cabbage or broccoli? People in Germany, France, and England, respectively, all have different names for this beautiful “broccoli Romanesco” (or “Roman cauliflower”) that is a variant form of cauliflower and a gorgeous representation of natural fractals. It was first documented in Italy in the 16th century, but only reached the international market in the early 1990s. Don’t be put off by this alien creature! It is surprisingly sweet, tender like cauliflower, but with a denser texture that holds up well to different cooking methods. The nutty taste lends itself well to both cooking or eating raw.

Uses: Romanesco is very versatile: try it steamed or boiled, and served with a splash of lemon and olive oil; or blanched and sauteed and mixed with pasta, olive oil, garlic, and a little tomato sauce for a simple treat; or roast with olive oil and garlic and serve as a side dish. Don’t forget to top with Parmesan cheese!

Nutrition: Similar to cauliflower but firmer in texture, romanesco is very digestible (more so than cauliflower) and is rich in zinc, which promotes full range of taste in the mouth, and vitamin C, which deteriorates quickly after harvest, so eat as soon as possible. It is also rich in dietary fiber and potassium.

To store: Put whole head into tightly sealed plastic bag and store in the fridge.

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whey

I wrote last week that we would soon begin and document our fermentation experiment. I intended to compare fermenting three batches of the same vegetable with saltwater brine, whey, and vegetable fermenting culture. The saltwater brine is easy to make, Homesteaders Supply sent over some fermenting culture, and so we were just lacking the whey. What to do? – make some!

I began with some leftover raw cow milk from our milk share last week. According to Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, whey is easy to make by simply leaving raw milk at room temperature for between 1 and 4 days. The milk will separate into white curds and yellowish whey. So far (after 1 day) ours just looks like a nice layer of cream on top of skim milk, but we will begin to see the cream curdle over the next couple of days. It must remain at least 72 degrees, so this project is happening in my warm office!

Inline image 1

Once curdled, we’ll run the curds and whey through cheesecloth, catching the whey in a bowl below. Cover and let sit for several hours. Then tie up the ends of the cheesecloth and hang it until it stops draining. Voila: curds and whey!

As you can see, we will end up with way more whey than we need for our fermenting experiment, which is only a couple of tablespoons! Fortunately, whey is useful for many things besides vegetable fermentations (like pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi), such as soaked pancakes or lacto-fermented sauces like ketchup, mayonnaise, and salad dressing, and to soak flour, grains, rice or beans in! We already know that lactofermented vegetables aid digestion and release valuable nutrients. Using whey to soak grains or beans in does something similar: it gets rid of the antinutrients and releases the full nutritional potential of the grain! Fallon recommends always soaking flour grains in water or water-whey combo before using, unless you’re sprouted grains.

You can make whey in larger batches like we’re doing, and it will keep in your refrigerator for up to 6 months. And the byproduct, the curds, are also useful and delicious! Fallon calls it “cream cheese” and recommends mashing until creamy and using as cream cheese or sour cream (depending on the consistency).

For more info on whey, check out Nourishing Traditions, or The Nourishing Cook website, dedicated to all 773 recipes from Nourishing Tradition.

Next week we’ll chop up the veggies (any recommendations?) and start our fermentation experiment!

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miso almond romanesco
adapted from habeas, brulee
serves 4-6 as side dish

  • 1 large head romanesco
  • 1/8 C white miso
  • 1 tsp Korean anchovy sauce
  • 1 tsp Korean red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp Vietnamese caramel sauce
  • 1/4 C sliced almonds
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter

Cut the romanesco into individual florets, cutting the larger florets in half. Discard the stem and leaves.

Stir together the miso, anchovy sauce, red pepper flakes, Vietnamese caramel, and 1/8 C water until smooth.

In a wok, heat 2 tbsp butter on high until it melts and sizzles. Add the romanesco and saute until browned all over. Let it sear a bit; that will only make it taste better. Stir in the water and garlic and simmer until the water is nearly gone. Stir in the almonds and cook a minute more. Stir in the sauce and serve.

With a typical home wok, it is best to do this in two batches so your romanesco actually sears instead of merely steaming when you cook it.

wheatberries with romanesco, butternut squash, and preserved lemon
adapted from cayuga st. kitchen
serves 8

    • 1 3/4 cup wheat berries
    • 5 cups water
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • 2 romanesco, chopped into 1/4-inch cubes
    • 1 butternut squash, chopped into 1/4-inch cubes
    • 6 scallions, chopped
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
    • 1/4 ground cinnamon
    • 1 preserved lemon
    • 1 teaspoon preserved lemon juice
    • 1 cup parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 475.

In a colander, rinse the wheat berries (after soaking, of course!). Add them to a medium pot with the water and cinnamon sticks. bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook the wheat berries for about 60-75 minutes, or until the water is completely absorbed.

On a baking sheet, toss the romanesco, butternut squash and scallions with the olive oil and sea salt. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving dish.
Meanwhile, put the almonds in a small dry pan and toast them over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the almonds and ground cinnamon to the serving dish and toss.

Rinse the preserved lemon under water to remove some of the salt. Remove the flesh from the lemon and set aside. Mince the rind and add to the serving dish. Over the serving dish, squeeze the liquid out of the flesh with a lemon squeezer or through a colander. Add the extra preserved lemon juice and toss again.

When the wheat berries are done, remove the cinnamon sticks and drain the wheat berries in a colander. Toss in with the romanesco and butternut squash.
Add the parsley leaves last for one final toss to this bright dish!
warm romanesco salad
adapted from in a village called segur le chateau
serves 2 as main dish or 4 as side

  • one head romanesco
  • 10 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 T soft goats cheese
  • 3 T olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 t wholegrain mustard
  • ground black pepper

Chop the romanesco and steam until al dente.

Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and black pepper in a jar and shake until blended.

In a large bowl, mix the romanesco, sundried tomatoes, goat cheese and dressing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

From the Land 2.6

food for thought

full share: grapefruit, salad mix, grilling onions, swiss chard, beets, fennel, kohlrabi, and sweet potatoes!

partial share: grapefruit, salad mix, grilling onions, and swiss chard!

veg of the week

grapefruit: Citrus paradisi

Grapefruit is a subtripical fruit, meaning that it grows in regions just above and below the tropics. Fortunately for us, Phoenix has a subtropical climate! Grapefruits are the hybrid of the pomelo and sweet orange, first bred in Barbados in the 18th century and referred to as “the forbidden fruit”. They have a characteristic sour and  bitter flavor that can be decreased by cooking the fruit or by adding sugar.

Uses: Depending on your tolerance for the bitter flavor, grapefruits can be eaten plain, just like an orange, or topped with sugar and eaten with a spoon, or cut onto a salad to combine with other flavors. In Costa Rica, grapefruit is commonly heated (reducing the bitterness), stuffed with dulce de leche and eaten as a dessert called toronja rellena (stuffed grapefruit).

Nutrition: Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C (immune system booster) and lycopene (promotes prostate health). Studies have shown it can help lower cholesterol, and the fruit’s low glycemic index helps the body’s metabolism burn fat. The seeds are shown to have antioxidant properties, and grapefruit seed extract to have antimicrobial properties against fungi.

To store: Like other citrus, grapefruit can be stored at room temperature (up to a week), but shelf life will be extended up to 2-3 weeks with refrigeration (bring to room temp before eating to increase juiciness and sweetness). In you have excess, it can also be frozen: peel, divide into sections and discard membranes and seeds, mix together and heat 2 3/4 C sugar and 4 C water, cool the syrup and pour over grapefruit, store in freezer bags or airtight containers where the fruit will stay good for 10-12 months.

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fermentation

Needless to say, I am a huge fan of fermented and cultured foods! And while I love experimenting with different strains of cultured dairy (yogurt, kefir, curds and whey…yum!), it’s the lacto-fermentation process on vegetables that really excites me. Humans have been preserving foods with this method for thousands of years. Lactobacilli are present on the surfaces of all plants, especially vegetables that grow close to the ground, and produce Lactic acid, a natural preservative. When promoted properly, the lactic acid not only preserves the food but also promotes healthy flora in the intestine, making lacto-fermented foods even more healthy than in their natural raw state! Lacto-fermented vegetables are full of enzymes that aid digestion, increase nutritional content, and have antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Cabbage (sauerkraut), beets, turnips, cucumbers, green tomatoes, lettuces and herbs, corn, watermelon rind, and even fruit (chutney) can all be lacto-fermented – or mix them all together with garlic and chile paste to make kimchi! A simple recipe is here.

Why bother making your own? Lacto-fermentation is best done in relatively small quantities, and the advent of industrial food processing introduced a different process for pickling and fermenting: vinegar. This preservation technique does not produce the same health benefits, and only accomplishes long-term preservation.

There are many different approaches to even the most simple vegetable fermentation: different people prefer a saltwater brine, or whey, or even vegetable fermentation culture. Some people like to make a large crock of sauerkraut to last all winter; others prefer a quart at a time in an ongoing process. All emphasize the importance of keeping the fermenting vegetables away from oxygen, but accomplish this in various ways: through tightly sealed lids, or using fingers to push the vegetable under the liquid, or keeping it under liquid with a weighted plate or a bag of saltwater brine, or just removing the top layer of the sauerkraut (when mold grows) before eating it. A new fermenters tool called a Pickle Pro (made by hand in Chino Valley) is put onto the lid, and allows the oxygen to be pushed out with the gas produced by the fermenting vegetables.

Next week we’ll begin an experiment on different fermentation techniques using the Pickle Pro. Keep an eye out for the jars at CSA, and we’ll keep you posted on the progress of jars using just saltwater brine, whey, or culture. And when they’re done you’ll be able to sample them! Stay tuned…

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rainbow swiss chard with grapefruit vinaigrette
adapted from chef-k
serves 8

for vinaigrette:

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 ½ t grapefruit zest (from same grapefruit)
  • 2 T white wine vinegar
  • 2 small sections shallots, finely diced
  • 2 T olive oil

Zest the grapefruit, using micro plane or fine grater. Cut grapefruit in half and squeeze juice into a bowl. Add grapefruit zest to juice, then add vinegar to juice mixture. Heat olive oil in a small pan on medium heat. Add diced shallots and sauté 3 minutes. Add sautéed shallots to grapefruit juice.

Set aside until ready to use.

for chard:

  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 1 batch Grapefruit vinaigrette

Wash and drain Swiss chard. Cut leaves into ribbons, and place in a pot with a lid and ¼ cup of water. Bring water to boil and steam for 3-4 minutes.

Drain and place chard in a serving bowl. Pour vinaigrette over and serve immediately.
beet, citrus, fennel and pickled ginger onion salad
adapted from eat relate love blog
serves
  • 1/2 C honey balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 beet
  • 1 grapefruit, segmented
  • 1 orange, segmented
  • drizzle of olive oil

Combine honey balsamic vinegar and sugar in an airtight jar and add onions. Refrigerate overnight.

Toss fennel, olive oil, brown sugar and salt and spread in even layer on cookie sheet. Roast at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
Boil beet until tender, peel and slice thinly.
Plate. Layer in order: beets, oranges/grapefruits, fennel and pickled onion.
sweet potatoes and winter greens
adapted from garden of eating
serves 4
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 bunches of chard or collard greens
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • juice of one half lemon
  • 1 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch or red pepper flakes
  • 2 T olive, peanut or grapeseed oil

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into bite-sized chunks (make them as uniform in size as you can.)

Heat one T of oil in the pan over medium heat and add the sweet potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just brown on all sides and soft (about 12-15 minutes). If the potatoes are still hard at the end of this time, you can add a few T of water or broth, put a cover on the pan and steam for 2-3 minutes and they should soften right up.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, wash the greens (but do not dry them.) Remove the ribs and cut the leaves into ribbons. Mince or press the garlic and set aside. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, add the cinnamon, gloves, salt and pepper and then set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the pan and saute the garlic and the chili flakes for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant. Add the greens to the pan (in batches if needed) and stir often until they’ve cooked down significantly and are tender. Season the greens with salt and pepper to taste. Combine the potatoes, honey or maple syrup, and lemon juice with the greens, stir and serve.

From the Land 1.30

food for thought

full share: Red Russian kale, dried black beans, red potatoes, onions, braising mix, arugula, navel oranges, and collard greens!

partial share: Red Russian kale, dried black beans, red potatoes, and onions

veg of the week

braising mix

There is no scientific name for braising mix because it is a mix of many different greens, usually brassicas. Our braising mix contains kale, lettuce, beet and turnip greens, collards, chard, bok choy, and probably a couple other varieties! Greens such as these can be grown and harvested young (for salad mixes) or mature (for cooking greens), but braising mixes are right in between. The greens are harvested at mid-maturity, so they are much milder in taste than the same varieties when full grown, but have more flavor than when harvested as baby greens and eaten raw. They are an unusual taste explosion of peppery, sweet, earthy, bitter and nutty. And as you know, when they are purchased through a CSA or farmers market, the greens are incredibly fresh, crisp, and have superior nutritional quality!

Uses: Braising mixes are usually cooked. Named after the cooking technique of searing in hot oil and then simmering in liquid, braising greens can in fact be steamed, sauteed, stir-fried, or mixed into soups or stews. Braising greens are the perfect addition to salads, stir-fries, pizza, pasta, eggs, or casseroles. From Tufts University:

  • Toss a couple handfuls of braising mix (baby chard, kale, spinach, mustard, arugula, or other greens) into a stir fry.
  • Be sure to balance the slight bitterness of baby chard, dandelion or mustard leaves with contrasting or sweet flavors such as persimmon, apple, pear, baby beets, citrus, vinaigrette spiked with honey or a syrupy balsamic vinegar.
  • You can also toss some chopped greens into soup or a frittata, or serve them sauteed with pancetta, pine nuts, and golden raisins and heaped atop crusty toasted or grilled bread rubbed with garlic.

Nutrition: Because braising mix contains many different varieties of greens, each harvest may be nutritionally different. But because it contains many types of brassicas, braising greens are always rich in vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, folacin and beta carotene, while low in calories.

To store: You guessed it – keep the bag closed and in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Enjoy for at least a week!

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quinoa and braising mix pie
adapted from well commons
serves 4 as main dish, 8 as side dish
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 lb greens
  • 1 C cooked quinoa
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 2 t coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 C milk (or dairy-free alternative)
  • 1 pie crust, uncooked

Heat oil in skillet and sauté onion until translucent. Stir in rinsed braising mix and cook until mix is reduced to at least half its original size, but leaves still maintain their shape. Stir in cooked quinoa and heat through. Stir in nutmeg and pepper. Spread mix into prepared pie crust. In separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk together. Pour egg mixture over greens and quinoa. Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes, until eggs are set and crust is golden brown. Serve warm as a main dish or a side dish.

sweet potatoes, apples and braising greens
adapted from epicurious
serves 10
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, cut lengthwise into quarters, then cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices
  • 5 T unsalted butter, plus 3 T melted
  • 1 T fine sea salt
  • 2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium baking apples, such as Sierra Beauty or Granny Smith, cored and cut into quarters
  • 6 C loosely packed braising greens, stems removed and torn into 2-inch strips
  • 1/4 C loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F.

On a baking sheet, toss potato slices with 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake until cooked through and slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Keep warm.

In heavy medium skillet over moderate heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add apples and sauté until tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Keep warm.

In heavy large pot over moderate heat, combine remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons water. Add greens and sauté, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Lower heat to moderately low and add sweet potatoes and apples. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in parsley, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Serve hot.

hot wilted greens
serves 4
  • slice thick smoky bacon
  • 1/2 T olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sweet red onion
  • 3 T chicken stock
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bag braising mix
  • 1/4 C toasted pecans

In a large, deep skillet or wok over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Crumble and reserve. Add olive oil to bacon drippings in skillet, heat and add garlic and onions.

Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until onions and garlic are softened. Add greens and mix. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until leaves are coated.

Stir in stock and vinegar. Cover and cook several minutes more, until leaves are wilted and cooked tender-crisp.

Top with bacon and chopped pecans. Serve hot.

From the Land 1.23

food for thought

full share: kabocha squash, carrots, onions, romaine, pinto beans, fingerling potatoes, swiss chard, and dill!

partial share: kabocha squash, carrots, garlic, and romaine

veg of the week

romaine lettuce: Lactuca sativa

Romaine lettuce – the slightly bitter and hearty salad green with the thick milky stalk down the middle of each leaf – originated in Greece and reached the West through Rome, where it is called lattuga romana. Unlike most other salad greens, romaine is heat tolerant, making it the perfect salad to be grown at our Phoenix farm, Crooked Sky.

Uses: Romaine is the lettuce most commonly used in Caesar salads. It is also common in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Nutrition: According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, like other darker greens, the antioxidants in romaine lettuce are believed to help prevent cancer. The chlorophyll pigment in dark greens may reduce levels of colon and liver cancer carcinogens. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, folate, manganese, and chromium. It’s also a great source of dietary fiber, maintaining digestive system health.

To store: Wash and dry thoroughly before wrapping in plastic and storing in the crisper drawer. You can also wrap the leaves in damp paper towels in the crisper, keeping the lettuce humid but not wet.

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romaine salad with butternut squash “croutons” and pumpkin seeds
adapted from high ground organics
serves 4

romaine salad:

  • 1-2 heads romaine lettuce, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 2 C Butternut Squash Croutons (see recipe below)
  • ½ C “pepitas” (hulled roasted pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 C Cilantro Cinnamon Vinaigrette (see recipe below), or as needed
  • 1-2 T roasted pumpkin seed oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place the lettuce in a large bowl and drizzle with just enough oil to moisten evenly. Toss well.

Distribute lettuces on 4 chilled plates.

Sprinkle “croutons” evenly over the lettuces.

Scatter pepitas over salads, and hit salads with a few small droplets of pumpkin seed oil.

Sprinkle a few grains of salt on the salads and lightly pepper.

butternut squash croutons:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ inch dice
  • grapeseed or light flavored olive oil, as needed
  • ½ t fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 1/8 t garlic powder, or as needed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T cake flour (optional)

Bring a pot of water to a boil that is twice the volume of the squash, and salt it liberally. Once boiling, add the squash cubes and blanch just long enough to take away the raw quality of the squash, 1-2 minutes. Immediately drain the squash, dunk in cold water to slow the cooking, and immediately drain well. Place on a kitchen towel and blot dry.

Place the squash into a non-reactive bowl (stainless steel, plastic, glass or ceramic) and drizzle with enough oil to coat the squash well. Toss to evenly coat. Season with enough garlic powder to get some on all the cubes and season with salt and pepper. Add the thyme and toss to evenly distribute the seasonings.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 2-3 T oil. When the oil is hot, add the sage leaves and fry them to flavor the oil. Turn them when they color on the bottom side and then when they are done, put them on a paper towel to dry.

While the sage fries, dust the squash lightly with the cake flour and toss to evenly coat. Toss into a strainer to remove the excess.

When the sage leaves are removed from pan, add the “croutons”. Spread them out. They should have plenty of room, and not be piled up at all or crowding each other. If they do, they will steam and become mushy. If needed, sauté the squash in batches.

Toss and gently stir the cubes over medium heat until they lightly brown and get a little crispy on all sides. If they seem to be getting soft faster than they are browning, turn up the heat to medium-high. Cook until the cubes are tender and golden with crispy edges and sides.

Remove from the pan when done and dry on paper towels.

cilantro cinnamon vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 C rice vinegar
  • 1/8 t cinnamon
  • 1/3 C cilantro stems, chopped
  • 1/4 t coriander seeds, powdered
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 t honey, or as needed
  • 1 C mild tasting olive oil or grapeseed oil

Place the vinegar and cinnamon into a blender. Start on low, and work up to high. Blend on high for 1 minute.

Add the rest of the ingredients, except the oil, and blend on high until cilantro in liquefied, 1-2 minutes.

Through the center of the cap, slowly drizzle in the oil in a steady stream with the motor running. Proceed until the oil is used up or the “whirlpool” in the center fills in.

Taste for balance and adjust as needed. If there are a lot of chunks of stem or coriander seed, run the dressing through a strainer so it is smooth.

Yield: 1 cup

grilled pinto bean burgers
adapted from taste of home
serves 8
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1 to 2 t chili powder
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 4 C pinto and/or black beans, cooked
  • 1 1/2 C quick-cooking oats
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 T soy sauce, tamari or Braggs
  • 1 T ketchup
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 8 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
  • 8 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 8 T salsa

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, saute onion in oil for 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute. Stir in the carrot, chili powder and cumin; cook 2 minutes longer or until carrot is tender. Remove from the heat; set aside.

In a large bowl, mash the pinto beans and/or black beans. Stir in oats. Add the mustard, soy sauce, ketchup, pepper and carrot mixture; mix well. Shape into eight 3-1/2-in. patties.
Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Grill patties, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until heated through. Serve on buns with romaine and salsa.
swiss chard and romaine soup
adapted from ny times
serves 6-8
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 C water
  • 1/2 C rice
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed, both leaves and stems washed and coarsely chopped (keep separately)
  • 4 leaves romaine lettuce (use the large, tougher outer leaves)
  • a handful of arugula or spinach leaves
  • 1 T chopped fresh tarragon
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • fresh tarragon or croutons for garnish (optional)

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes, and add the water, rice, carrot, celery, the chopped chard stems and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes until the carrots and celery are tender. Add the Swiss chard, romaine lettuce and spinach or arugula, and continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the Swiss chard stems are tender and rice is cooked.

Puree with the tarragon in 1 1/2-cup batches. Don’t cover the blender tightly with the lid, which will cause the hot liquid to spill out. Instead, remove the center stopper from the lid, and cover the top of the blender with a towel to prevent hot splashes. Return the soup to the pot and heat through. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If you wish, garnish with croutons or with fresh tarragon.

From the Land 1.9

Happy New Year! We hope you all had a fantastic and relaxing holiday! CSA distribution begins again this week, and will continue every week through May 1 (for students or those on the “academic calendar”) or May 8 (for “community members”).

food for thought

full share: carrots, potatoes, onions, choice of butternut or acorn squash, pie pumpkin, dried chiles, garlic, and choice of pasta or jam!

partial share: carrots, potatoes, onions, and choice of butternut or acorn squash

veg of the week

acorn squash: Cucurbita pepo

Though commonly thought of as a winter squash, this sweet nutty squash belongs to the same family as summer squashes such as crookneck and zucchini, but is cold-tolerant and is therefore planted late and harvested after the skin hardens. Acorn squash is native to North and Central America, with 10,000 year old seeds of a similar variety found in a cave in Mexico! Squash is particularly effective at mobilizing contaminants from the soil, so this is one vegetable that is especially important to purchase or grow organic.

Uses: Like other larger squashes with hard rinds, acorn squash are often baked and then stuffed with rice, meat, and/or vegetables. The seeds can be toasted and eaten (170F for 15-20 min), and the skin is even edible (unlike true winter squashes with their harder rind). Acorn squash is very versatile, and can be roasted, stuffed, chopped and eaten with pasta, mashed and baked into bread or blended and made into a pie, or sliced thin and fried (acorn squash fries – yum!)

Nutrition: Acorn squash is not as rich in beta-carotene as true winter squashes, but is rich in dietary fiber and potassium, and is a good source of vitamins C and B, magnesium and manganese.

To store: Keep in a cool place (the kitchen counter in winter should be fine!) for up to a couple weeks, cooler if storing longer.

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How do cows make milk?
By Alex Deck

Recently I have been getting up at 7am to milk the dairy cows on my family’s farm. I’ve been around lactating cows for a long time and I always wondered how cows actually made the milk.

Here’s how it works. Most of you know that a cow needs to have a calf before she can start lactating. What is not quite so obvious is that milk is made solely from the cow’s blood. The process begins with the cow eating grass, grain, hay, anything. The food goes into the first of the cow’s four stomachs, her rumen, where it is broken up and mixed with water. The food then “mooves” to her second stomach, the reticulum, where it is turned into small balls. These balls are called cud. The cow burps up her cud during leisure moments and chews it a second time. The cud then moves to the third stomach, the omasum, where it is squashed to remove water. In the fourth stomach, the abomasum, the food is digested and broken down further. Animals with four stomachs are called ruminants. The four stomachs enable them to break down coarse fibrous material into something we can use. Unfortunately, humans are three stomachs short of being able to eat grass.

After all this, the digested food goes into to the intestines. Capillaries (small veins) connect to the intestines and transport the blood all over the cow, including the udder. Inside the udder the blood is fed to millions of alveoli where milk cells are located. These cells take nutrients from the blood, reconstitute it and make new molecules like casein and lactose (a kind of sugar). When the cow is triggered by oxytocin the milk moves from the alveoli to the Gland Cistern. When the Gland Cistern is full the teat cistern begins to fill, ready for a calf to nurse! This process takes between 50 to 70 hours.

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potato-stuffed acorn squash
adapted from never homemaker
serves 4

  • 2 acorn squashes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 15-20 small red potatoes
  • 1 T packed fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 T olive oil
  • milk

To roast the squash . . .

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Split the squashes in half and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Place the squash halves — cut sides up — on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until they are tender.

Prepare the filling in the meantime . . ..

Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Chop the onion and garlic.

Saute the onion and garlic until the onions are glassy. Toss on some pepper and salt to taste. When the potatoes are done, toss everything — including the chopped sage — into a large mixing bowl. Add milk 1/4 cup at a time and keep mashing until you reach a chunky mashed potato consistency.

When acorn squash are done roasting, turn up the heat in your oven to 400 degrees F. Remove squash from the oven and fill each with the potato mash. Top with cheese and bake for 10 minutes.

acorn squash and arbole chile soup
adapted from petit chef
serves 4
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 large or 4 medium acorn squash
  • 15 dried arbole chile pods or any small red dried Tai chile will work just as well
  • 2 quarts chicken or veggie stock

Cut squash in half, cut of the ends so squash can sit upright once in half, and clean out the seeds and place on baking sheet, cut side up. Put one pat of butter and one spoonful of brown sugar in each half and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. Squash should be very tender and a little browned is okay too.

Meanwhile, in a good sized pot, saute over medium heat the onion, garlic, celery and carrot in olive oil until soft, then add stock and the chiles. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for about 30 min.

Remove chiles from stock and cut off stems of about 3-10 chiles (depending on how spicy you like it). Put cleaned chiles back in stock/ veggie mix and discard the rest of the chiles.

Let the stock and the squash cool a bit. With a metal spoon scoop the squash out of the skin straight into the stock/veggie mix. Once all the squash is in the stock go ahead and, in batches, ladle it into the blender and puree until smooth. Pour soup back into pot, reheat, salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with sour cream.

acorn squash with carrots and roasted seeds
adapted from green lite bites
serves 2
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 5 carrots, chopped 
  • 5 sprigs each of fresh Rosemary and Thyme (or a sprinkle each of dry)
  • 2 t olive oil
  • salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and place in a strainer. Separate the pulp from the seeds and rinse. Cut the squash in about 1/2 inch chunks. (As noted above, the skin is edible so don’t worry about cutting it off)

Lay the seeds on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Spray the tops and sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast for about 10 minutes.

While the seeds are cooking, cut the carrots into 1/2 inch chunks.

When the seeds are done, remove them from the cookie sheet.

Put the squash, carrots, olive oil and herbs in a large bowl, toss and put on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt and roast for about 25-35 minutes until the squash is soft.

Just before serving, sprinkle the toasted seeds on top.

From the Land 12.19

announcements

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!

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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.

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broiled rosemary chicken over pureed lentils and swiss chard
adapted from World’s Healthiest Foods
serves 4

  • 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
serves 4
  • 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
serves 4
  • 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.