Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday - Week # 21



Hi,

I hope you are doing well. Our Small Shares this week have red turnips, butternut squash, chinese rose radishes with their greens, , mixed color fingerling potatoes, and mustard greens. Our Full Shares include all of that as well as extra turnips, and in addition green bell peppers, elephant garlic, various kinds of lettuce, and red onions.

New in the shares this week are our red turnips, chinese rose radishes, mixed color fingerling potatoes, and elephant garlic.

The red turnips are larger, and slightly differently shaped than the white turnips, but otherwise are not much different. You might be able to detect a faint difference, but they are about the same, and used for the same purposes. As with most members of the 'cabbage' family, they have a little bit of a spicy, astringent flavor, but it goes away completely when cooked, and even turns a bit sweet if roasted/broiled/braised.

The chinese rose radishe are slightly spicy radishes with a beautiful skin pattern. All radishes have a similar texture, close to that of turnips, but a spicier, richer flavor, that also changes and sweetens when cooked. They are commonly sliced and served with salads, as sticks for dip, grated or sliced into slaws, roasted, braised, stir fried by themselves or with other vegetables, and pickled by themselves of with chinese cabbage to make kimchi. Adding salt and/or cooking will diminish their spice if you prefer, and roasting will really transform the flavor, especially with herbs/spices. They should be stored in the crisper of your refrigerator, and eaten within a week or two--they will lose moisture and start to soften and shrivel far before they begin to rot, but if you can keep them moist (wrap tightly in a moist bag/plastic) they will last much longer. You can eat the skin and everything, but if you prefer, feel free to peel them. Their greens can also be eaten, and have a peppery, radish flavor as well. They will change color (to tan/brown) when cooked, and change flavor from spicy to slightly sweet, just like the radishes.

The mixed color fingerling potatoes are a combination of the russian banana fingerlings that you have already had, as well as french fingerlings (the pink/salmon colored ones) and purple peruvian fingerling potaotes. They each have their own size/shape, but taste and are cooked just the same. I think the mix of all three is especially attractive in a lot of meals.

The elephant garlic can be described as giant, mild, garlic. It is actually a closer relative of leeks than garlic, but nonetheless, it's taste is very similar to that of regular garlic, but less intense; which makes it ideal for slicing or grating and eating raw, or roasting whole and spreading on bread, or vegetables or meat. The cloves can be sliced up or pressed just like normal garlic, but I think they are best roasted whole until they are soft and gooey, then used as a spread.

It is difficult to believe that next week is our final one for the season. If you are interested in continuing on with our Winter CSA, there is still space, and you can sign up here. Please also remember that any credit you have to the Online Store will expire this upcoming week, so use it up. I will include some details of closing out the season (returning your bags) next week, and you will receive a final newsletter the week after with an overview of the season, a feedback survey, and a link to put yourself on the list to join us for next year's summer CSA.

Please remember to return your bags.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.

Enjoy!

-Mark

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