This second to last CSA share is a big share as there is no share pick-up next week. The final share will be the week after that, which should also be a large share like this.
- German Butterball potatoes
- Celeriac (celery root)
- Swiss Chard
German Butterball potatoes are esteemed for their excellent flavor and texture. They are versatile and do well baked, mashed, fried, and roasted. Celeriac (aka celery root) is a crazy looking vegetable very closely related to celery (the tops look very similar), but bred for its edible root. It can be eaten raw or cooked and there is more info & preparation ideas at the bottom of this post (and as always check cookwithwhatyouhave.com). Escarole is a kind of chicory so see last week’s post on chicories for details. Some of the escarole heads have a bit of “tip-burn” on the leaf edges. If you find it, just pull off those parts and use the rest of the leaves. Parsnips get sweeter when cooked – try them roasted with other root veggies, mashed with potatoes, or in a pureed soup with other veggies. In the arugula planting there was a weed that looked very similar to arugula. We tried to get it all out but it’s possible you may find a little bit of it in there – it’s not poisonous or anything, just doesn’t taste like much.
The colder weather brings a sweetness to almost every vegetable that’s still being harvested from the field. Do you notice the difference? I definitely taste it in the carrots, parsley, and arugula. Cold-tolerant plants make a sort of anti-freeze that involves sugars when the weather turns cold, and this is responsible for the taste difference.
If I were looking to use a lot of these veggies quickly and easily I’d do a roasted root dish (can add any winter squash from last week as well – see recipe below), or a soup that could include any or all of these – leeks, shallots, garlic, potatoes, celeriac, carrots, and parsnips.
ON CELERIAC, FROM THE KITCHN.COM:
Celeriac is a pale-yellow, dense, knobby (some say even ugly) root; it’s roughly the size and shape of a grapefruit. Like most root vegetables, celeriac is excellent in stews and soups, and makes a perfect a gratin — with or without the addition of potato. It also makes an amazingly silky purée. Left raw, it can be grated into salads, as is the case in its most well-known dish, céléri remoulade.
It requires a fair amount of peeling to reveal its creamy-colored flesh. To peel, simply lop off the top and bottom so that it sits flat on your cutting board and work your knife down the sides to remove the knobs and roots. Occasionally you may have to take out a few rougher spots with a sturdy peeler. Use the flesh right away or put it in acidulated water to prevent discoloration.
Roasted Root Vegetables from Greta’s Kitchen – Serves 6
- 3 pounds various root vegetables, including carrots, potatoes, beets, rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, celeriac, and daikon radish, peeled and chopped into ½-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh or dried thyme, to taste (optional)
- Grated ginger, to taste (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Place all of the cubed veggies in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan (you should have about 8 cups).
3. Mix the olive oil, soy sauce, and maple syrup. Add the salt and pepper, as well as the thyme and ginger. Season according to your mood.
4. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 40 to 55 minutes, depending on the size of the vegetable cubes. The vegetables will be tender, and a fork should easily pierce the largest vegetable cube in the pan. Be careful when you’re removing the foil so as not to get a steam burn.
— Greta Sikorski, Featherstone Farm, Rushford, Minnesota, as appears in Bounty from the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook, by Mi Ae Lipe