What's In The Bag
A Complete List of Contents of the CSA Share Weekly
Okra / Jerry Gladden - Ashville, Alabama
Zucchini / Belle Meadow - Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Varied Sweet Bell Peppers / Hamm Farm - Hanceville, Alabama
Decorative White Acorn Squash / Kentucky / A Little Taste of Fall
Green Bishop Crown Peppers / Mt. Laurel Farm - Mt. Laurel, Alabama / Mild Heat
From Stone Hollow
Yellow Crookneck Squash
Chile de Agua Peppers
Basil & Parsley Bundle
Yard Long Beans
Arugula & Wasabi Mix Greens
Basil & Chive Pesto - Basil, Parmesan, Sunflower Oil, Pecans, Chives, Lemon, Salt, Garlic
Herbs de Provence Marinated Goat Cheese
Stone Hollow Farmstead /Harpersville, Alabama
Cheese and/or Yogurt
Coppinger / Sequatchie Cove
Red Hills Cheddar / Wright Dairy
Recipes We Love From People We Trust
Wilting Greens versus Salad Greens
Continuing with the theme we discussed a couple of weeks ago – the agricultural Shoulder Season – we’re fortunate to see another great example this week in the varieties of greens available. At this time of year, we still see many of the salad greens that were abundant in the summer months but we are also beginning to see the stronger, hardier greens that really stand out in the fall. As with most produce, these two types of greens can be enjoyed in a number of ways.
The Elegance Mix in today’s share contains a blend of those fall favorites like mustard greens. Many of our regulars are familiar with the sharp flavor of these dark leafy greens that are so rich in potassium. Come November, we’ll be braising those tougher leaves with some fatback or a little slab of bacon, coaxing out flavor along with a healthy dose of potlikker. These early greens though are more tender than the ones that will follow in the cooler month which means we can treat them more delicately in the kitchen. They don’t need a braise so much as a little warmth to make them sing.
Chef Anne Quatrano of Bacchanalia and Abbatoir in Atlanta was raised on such greens and still owns her family’s ancestral home, Summerland, which is nestled in the foothills of north Georgia. Her cookbook of the same name (Summerland, Rizzoli, 2013) is a coffee table-worthy tome of recipes that celebrate the cuisine of her people. Her recipe for Wilted Sutumn Greens with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette is but one of the recipes that makes use of these early fall greens that are still tender, and still a bit removed from being bitter. She roasts the squash and chestnuts and shallots that accompany the greens and then massages all of the ingredients together with a warm bacon vinaigrette. This is the kind of weeknight meal we can get behind, with or without a chill in the air (recipe below).
The other greens you’ll find in this week’s share are an arugula blend. This particular mix includes the especially peppery wasabi arugula. As you already know, these leaves do not need much to make them shine, just a bright dressing and a light shower of freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese. Or try your hand at this Alice Waters recipe which makes beautiful use of one of our favorite ingredients, goat cheese:
Baked Goat Cheese with Garden Lettuces by Alice Waters
1 small log fresh goat cheese, we only use Stone Hollow Farmstead
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ cup good olive oil
1 cup lightly toasted bread crumbs
6 small handfuls garden lettuces (try this week’s arugula blend!)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1) Cut the log of goat cheese into 6 disk-shaped pieces. Combine the chopped herbs and ¼ cup of the olive oil in a dish that will accommodate the cheese is one layer. Marinate the cheese in the oil mixture for a day or two, covered in the refrigerator, turning the cheese once or twice a day.
2) An hour before serving, remove the cheese from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 400*F. Remove the cheese rounds from the marinade and roll them in the bread crumbs. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 6 minutes, or until they are soft to the touch.
3) While the cheese is baking, wash and dry the lettuce leaves. Whisk together the vinegar and the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil. Toss the lettuce with the vinaigrette and arrange on 6 room-temperature plates. Place a cheese round in the center of each plate. Sprinkle the cheese with a generous pinch of black pepper and serve immediately.
Wilted Autumn Greens with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette from Summerland by Anne Quatrano
Anne says: “This is the perfect autumn salad: not so much cooked as wilted greens in a warm, savory-sweet vinaigrette. Here in the South, we are lucky to have so many different greens that grow remarkably well virtually all year round. From the traditional collards, spinach, mustard, and turnip greens to the international varieties that have recently made their way here, including bok choy, tatsoi, and komatsuna, there are a variety of tastes and textures to choose from. No matter where you live, experiment with seasonal greens until you find your favorites. If you’re shopping at the farmers’ market, most of the vendors will be happy to let you have a few nibbles for taste-testing. The same goes for the squash – you can use butternut, acorn, pumpkin, African, or any similar variety. At Summerland Farm, we are lucky to have American chestnut trees planted by my ancestors, and even luckier that those trees survived the chestnut blight that killed most American chestnuts in the first half of the twentieth century. Fresh chestnuts – often grown in California – are available in many natural foods stores in the cooler months. If you can’t find chestnuts, hazelnuts or cashews would make a good substitute.”
Wilted Greens Ingredients:
1 medium African or small butternut squash
2 Moonglow or Asian pears, cored, peeled, and diced (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup chestnuts (about 12)
10 shallots, peeled
1/3 pound (about 2 bunches) tender komatsuna leaves or fresh spinach, torn
1/3 pound (about 2 heads) tatsoi, torn
1/3 pound (about 2 bunches) mustard greens, torn
1) Preheat the oven to 400*F.
2) Peel the squash: First cut the two cross sections, scrape out the seeds, and place the squash, flat side down, on a cutting board. Work around the squash with a sharp knife or peeler, making sure to remove the layer of lighter colored flesh under the skin as well as the skin. Dice into ½-inch cubes to make about 1 cup (reserve any leftovers for another use).
3) Arrange the diced squash and pears on a baking sheet and toss with the oil. Roast until browned, about 20 minutes; set aside at room temperature.
4) Make a cross slit on the rounded end of each chestnut with a sharp paring knife. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, or until the cut sections on the bottoms of the nuts just start to curl. Peel the chestnuts as soon as they are cool enough to handle, as they will peel easiest while hot. Cut into quarters and set aside.
5) Reduce the oven temperature to 350*F. Wrap the shallots in parchment paper and then in aluminum foil. Bake until tender and slightly caramelized, about 1 hour. Once the shallots are cool enough to handle, chop coarsely and set aside.
Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
8 ounces bacon, diced
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons local honey
¼ cup champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/3 cup canola oil
1) In a large saute pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy; transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve the fat in the pan. Once the fat has cooled slightly, strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a measuring cup that has a spout. In a blender or food processor, combine the mustard, honey, vinegar, thyme, and pepper and blend for 30 seconds. Slowly add the strained warm bacon fat and the oil through the cap of the blender or the feed tube of the food processor, blending until thoroughly combined. Pour the vinaigrette into a large mixing bowl.
2) Add the squash and pears, chestnuts, shallots, bacon, komatsuna, tatsoi, and mustard greens to the mixing bowl and toss with the warm vinaigrette. Serve immediately.