2018 CSA Week 19

****Final week of CSA will be the week of September 23rd-29th. We will be combining weeks 20 and 21 into a ‘double box’, including both a week’s worth of fresh veggies and a collection of the storage crops: garlic, shallots, potatoes, and winter squash.****

One of our goals this year was to make the CSA box truly reflect the passing of the seasons in our region. We are so excited about the beautiful fall food in the boxes for the month of September this year; they are a wonderful reflection of the passing of summer to autumn.

This week we’ve got a taste of storage crops in the medley of root vegetables. Many of these are probably new to you. The purple top turnip is a familiar fall crop, but the watermelon radish (dullish color on the outside and bright pink inside) is starting to be more of a common vegetable. I’ve seen them available at grocery stores and specialty markets. A little less common is the black storage radish. We are putting just a few of these in your box as they have a strong/hot flavor that people either tend to love or really not love.

I know everyone loves Montana summers, which we all lament are much too short, but even shorter is fall which positively slips away into winter in such a short blink of an eye. And what beautiful fall weather we have had the last two weeks and the forecast just has more and more coming!

Every week, fields are coming out of production for the season, our small movable tunnels are being taken down as crops come out of production, and fields are being taken out of production for the season. Our amazing crew has made it possible that this year we were not scrambling at all before the first frost last week. We were completely and totally ready for it! And now our fall crops in your box this week are sweet and flavorful. Safe to say, if you don’t like these carrots or collard greens, then you really do not like carrots or collard greens because they just Do Not get any better than this!

We can’t believe next week is the last week of CSA already and we are so thankful for our fieldwork and packshed crew who have made this such a great season on the farm. We are thankful for the really great weather we have had this year, and we are thankful for each and every one of our CSA members!

Partial shares get all the same veggies in ½ - ¾ amounts.

Watermelon Radish, Black Radish, Purple Top Turnip Medley
Purple and Yellow Carrots
HOT “Ring of Fire” Cayenne Pepper (VERY HOT!) keep away from young kiddos and you may want to wear latex gloves when chopping.
Yellow Onions
Leeks--Slice the white part lengthwise and swish in a bowl of cool water to remove any grit before slicing and sauteing.
Collard Greens--These hardy greens can stand up to a long cooking time. Traditionally, this southern staple might have been cooked in broth along with a smoked meat for a hour or two.
Acorn Squash--Yay! Sweet winter squash at last. It is delicious served with butter and brown sugar or maple syrup, but the steamed flesh can also be substituted for pumpkin in breads and pies.
French Breakfast Radish: The tender tops of this radish can be sauteed or added to a frittata or scrambled eggs.

Recipe of the week: Creamy Leek and Acorn Squash Soup
(Adapted from spicechronicles.com)

1 medium sized (about 2 pounds), acorn squash
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 leeks (thinly sliced, and very well washed white and pale green parts only)
1 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper (decrease or omit for a less-spicy version)
salt to taste
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, plus more or less for pureeing
1 cup of half and half

Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and roast in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Cool slightly before removing the flesh.
While the squash is cooking, Heat the olive oil and add in the cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle.
Reduce the heat; add the celery and the leek and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes, until the leeks wilt, shrink and then begin to turn very lightly golden.
At this point add in the ginger, garlic, rosemary and thyme and cook for another minute.
Add in the squash and mix well, then add broth and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes
Carefully place the squash and leek mixture in the blender (or use an immersion blender in the pot) and puree with the half and half. Return to the cooking pot, add more broth if needed and/or adjust seasonings, and heat through before serving.
To serve, garnish with chopped herbs and freshly ground black pepper or even toasted sesame or squash seeds and enjoy!