(Do feel free to scroll down to get to the recipes) Yet again, our CSA farm has outdone itself, providing us with not the promised 7-8 types of produce, but a whopping 11 types! If I hadn’t told the guy at the farm what size box we had this week, I would swear this was a large box. Amazing! In it:
- 1 bunch carrots
- 1 bunch celery
- 1 bunch very dark kale
- 1 bunch bok choy
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 carnival winter squash
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 3 tangerines
- 2 grapefruits
- 1 pouch of sugar snap peas
- lots of little sunchoke roots (aka Jerusalem artichokes)
Now, this box made me apprehensive for a few reasons. I am ambivalent about grapefruit, though still interested in trying the cakelets + broiled supremes from last week I haven’t tried yet, and looking for some way to use the additional ones. Sunchokes are something completely foreign to me, so I am opting to do what I do with things that scare me as well as things I love – pickle them!
But finally, I was a little dismayed to see J’s and my arch nemesis, kale. It is one of the few vegetables that we agreed will never cross our threshold because we just find it unbearably bitter and unredeemable. However, because we received it, we’re going to try incorporating it into mashed potatoes, and making the apparently ubiquitous kale chips. Also on the menu:
- Chicken Teriyaki with Bok Choy and Snap Peas
- Barbecue Chicken Salad with Kale Mashed Potatoes
- Burgers with Charred Vegetables with Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips
- Cauliflower “Rice” and Black Beans
- Carnival Squash Pearl Barley Risotto
Also, this week is Passover, the Jewish festival celebrating spring (oh, yeah, and the Jews’ escape from slavery in Egypt). I’m having my family over for dinner on Monday night to celebrate (even though it doesn’t officially start until Tuesday, so says my calendar) and I’m making:
- homemade matzoh bread (and, therefore, meal)
- homemade gefilte fish
- homemade matzoh ball soup (are you beginning to see a theme here?)
- roasted hard-boiled eggs
- charoset (more on this later)
- horseradish with beets
- roasted chicken
- roasted potatoes, carrots, and onions
- coconut macaroons
- chocolate sponge cake roll with orange frosting
Acorn Squash and Goat Cheese Pizza (12 slices)
Pizza crust recipe from “Fields of Greens,” by Annie Somerville; Pizza toppings adapted from Smitten Kitchen
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
- 6 tbsp. warm water
- 6 tbsp. milk
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. cornmeal
- 1/2 tsp. salt (next time I would probably increase this amount)
- about 1 3/4 c. whole-wheat flour
- Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside in a warm place for a few minutes. In a large bowl, combine milk, oil, and cornmeal. Add yeast, then salt and flour, gradually, until dough is soft and becomes difficult to stir. Turn out onto a floured board, and knead in additional flour as needed until no longer sticky.
- Put the dough into an oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Note: This makes 1 medium-thick 15″ crust or 2 thin 15″ crusts. I found this dough to be extremely soft, almost bread-like. I have read that whole-wheat flour has a lower gluten content, so next time I plan to add a tablespoon of wheat gluten to see if I can get a chewier result.
For the pizza:
- pizza dough
- 1 acorn squash
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 c. mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 c. crumbled goat cheese
- 1 c. spinach
- red wine vinegar, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice squash in half and scoop out seeds. Slice in approximately 1/2″ slices. Toss with maple syrup, olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake about 20 minutes, or until tender. Peel squash pieces and set aside.
- Turn oven to broil. Roll out pizza crust and transfer to baking sheet sprinkled lightly with cornmeal – I do this as I do with pie crusts: roll the dough around your rolling pin, then lift the pin, position over your baking sheet, and unroll, letting the dough fall lightly on the sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil.
- Arrange squash slices on pizza dough, then sprinkle cheeses on top. Turn oven to 500 degrees, and bake pizza 8-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned. Remove from oven, pile spinach on top, and sprinkle over red wine vinegar, salt, and cracked pepper to taste.
Stuffed Squash (2 servings)
- 1 medium squash
- 1/2 lb. button mushrooms
- 1/4 – 1/3 lb. Italian-style sausage
- 1/4 c. bread crumbs
- 1 c. greens (spinach, chard, etc.), wilted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Lightly brush olive oil over cut side of squash, and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven while you prepare the stuffing.
- Heat a little olive oil in a medium saute pan. Mince the mushrooms and add to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, about five minutes, or until mushrooms have shrunk and are soft. Add the sausage, and cook until cooked all the way through. Add enough bread crumbs to bind the filling together.
- Remove squash from the oven. Place stuffing in the cavity of each squash half and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes.