Loving fall is easy to do this year. Warm days, cool nights, regular rain -this is the climate we all want! I’m trying to soak up these days. Our late season crops feel the same way as they are looking great. Cabbage and broccoli, spinach and lettuce, it’s all exploding out there.
While we are loving this fall the crew is also getting ready for what comes next. We start prepping one of the tomato tunnels this week for the greens that will go into the last fall share. This involves pulling out the spent tomato plants and their trellising as well as turning over the ground and fertilizing. We are also trialling a fall transplanted onion variety that winters over and is harvestable in June. These onions spend the winter outside, growing slowly. More on this next spring…
With fall also comes the back to school/back to work busy. A CSA member
forwarded a favorite slow cooker recipe using upic tomatillos for
the heavily scheduled:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 quart of tomatillos
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 1/2 lbs chicken breasts (legs and thighs work too)
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh pepper
- chopped cilantro to top
Start slow cooker on low, add olive olive to coat bottom. Remove tomatillo husks, wash and halve. Lay chicken into cooker followed by onion slices then tomatillos, garlic and jalapeño. Pour in broth and finish with salt and pepper before closing the lid and cooking for 8 hours. Remove chicken and blend the contents of the cooker. Shred the chicken and top with blended sauce.
Fennel -it’s not licorice really!
Fennel makes and appearance in the share this week. We always walk on eggshells when we offer this vegetable as it is not universally loved. Like most scorned things, it is misunderstood. Yes it smell like licorice but when cooked it becomes sweet and complements everything from apples to onions. Here’s a great way to get started with fennel for the uninitiated:
Fennel, Kale and Rice Gratin
- 1 hearty handful of stemmed kale
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 -2 bulbs fennel, trimmed, quartered, cored and chopped (about 4 cups chopped)
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup cooked rice, preferably short-grain
- 3 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (3/4 cup) (sub any cheese here)
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs, or a mixture of breadcrumbs and freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add a generous amount of salt and add kale. Blanch for 2 to 3 minutes, remove from the water with a deep fry skimmer or a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of cold water. Drain and, taking the greens up by the handful, squeeze hard to expel excess water. Chop medium-fine or cut in thin ribbons.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes, and add fennel. Cook, stirring often, until the fennel begins to soften. Add salt to taste and continue to cook, stirring often, until the fennel is very tender and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and kale, stir together for another minute, then stir in dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in milk and salt to taste (I use about 1/2 teaspoon). Stir in fennel and kale mixture, rice and Gruyère, and combine well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Scrape into baking dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top if using, and drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of oil. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until set and the top and sides are beginning to color. Remove from oven and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. This is good hot, warm, or room temperature.
Late Fall Shares Still Available
Don’t want the fun to end in October? Sign up for our late fall share. Storage vegetables like carrots cabbage and potatoes along with fresh greens out of our tunnel. Sign up online here.
Farm Raised Pork For Your Freezer
We have filled almost all of our orders for pork. If you are considering filling your freezer with some outstanding farm raised bacon (and a few other cuts) don’t delay. Never had farm raised pork? It is like nothing the grocery store has to offer. Raised on pasture and fed organic grain (in addition to gelato) our pork tastes great and you know where the animals came from and how they lived. Ask us for a info/sign-up sheet at pick-up or download one here.
What’s In The Share
What’s In Upic
- Cherry Toms