The Last Weekly Farmshare Delivery of the Season

This is Harmony Valley's last weekly farmshare for 2009 - after this week, deliveries will come only every other week through the end of the year. I can't help but feel a little bit sad about it, although I know it'll give me a good opportunity to try new foods at my local co-op - and maybe even to get out to the St. Paul Farmers Market a few times in January.

If you haven't already, now is a good time to start thinking about joining a CSA (community supported agriculture) program in 2010. It's a great way to support local farmers, to invest in their success, to try a whole bunch of fresh new foods, and to think like a locavore.

Here's a look at what's in the box this week, along with suggestions and a picture from Harmony Valley:

  • Garlic: Pulse crushed garlic in the blender with honey, cider vinegar, and soy sauce to make a bold and tangy glaze for a pork roast.
  • Red and yellow onions: Serve lightly poached fish on a bed of buttery caramelized onions with wilted escarole and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
  • Sweet potatoes: Make up a batch of sweet potato oven fries by tossing cut sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat, spreading in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and baking in a 500° oven, turning once, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, or any mixture of herbs and spices you'd like to try. Sweet potato fries are good with salsa and other tomato -based sauces.
  • Carrots: Toss julienne carrots with grated horseradish, lemon, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and a pinch of sugar. Serve as a cold salad alongside a hearty stew or roast.
  • Celeriac: If you haven't tried it yet, cut celeriac into French fry-sized sticks and eat as a snack with your favorite veggie dip. Raw celeriac has quite a satisfying crunch, and a pleasant celery flavor that is mild enough to enjoy on its own.
  • Escarole
  • Lettuce, Redleaf or Red Boston or Romaine: Use leaf lettuce as the base of a light lunch salad. Toss cooked whole grains, such as wheat or spelt berries, quinoa, or millet with chopped fresh herbs, onions, grated carrot or celeriac, olive oil, and lemon juice. Serve over lettuce.
  • Beauty Heart Radish: Shave thin slices of radish on a mandoline or box grater to add a refreshing crunch to salads or sandwiches.
  • Collards: These sturdy, broad green leaves are closely related to kale and cabbage and can be used in the same ways you would prepare your favorite kale or cabbage dishes. Strip away and discard the stems, then chop or slice the leaves according to usage.
  • White turnip/Sweet Scarlet turnip: Combine turnips with other root veggies or potatoes in a gratin or root mash. They contribute a light sweetness and earthy aroma that makes for a more complex and elegant mashed potato dish!
  • Arugula or Spinach: Add the nutritional boost of leafy greens by adding chopped spinach to your favorite soup. Stir spinach in right before serving, after the pot has been removed from heat, so the spinach retains its bright green color and maximum nutritive value.
  • Salad mix: Top a crisp green salad with warm roasted root veggies tossed in balsamic vinaigrette and crumble a flavorful goat or sheep cheese over the top.
  • Kabocha Squash: Cook peeled, seeded kabocha until quite tender, then puree with heavy cream. Toss with fresh cooked pasta and grated parmesan cheese for a more nutritious version of Alfredo. (Bonus if you toss in some wilted spinach, arugula, or collards!)
  • Festival Squash: How about a dessert version of stuffed squash? Use baked squash halves as cups for baking sweet custards like crème brûlée, or a mixture of chopped apples and nuts drizzled with caramel sauce.