CSA (10/1/2015): Check out those purple carrots
Every year it catches me off guard how fall creeps up on you. Within the space of days we go from picking tomatoes in the 80-degree sun to pulling our last ones off a withered vine as a chilly breeze sweeps across the field. Early morning harvests that had me breaking a sweat within minutes now require a warm hat and a fleece zipped all the way up.
One by one our summer crops are saying their goodbyes — cucumbers and summer squash went first, tomatoes had their final bow this week and peppers and eggplants will follow soon enough. Within a week or two we’ll be left with our cold hardy greens and storage crops to ride out the last boxes of the season.
This week we’re rolling out our third potato of the season, Red Norland. We had a really solid yield on these this year, turning 20 pounds of seed into nearly 150 pounds of potatoes. Many of them also sized up really well. Red Norlands have a soft white interior and are preferred for boiling or mashing. They also work great in potato salad.
We also have a beautiful winter squash called Red kuri this week. Like all winter squash, the simplest preparation is is to slice into wedges, scoop out the seeds, and roast in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper until fork tender. Red kuri can also be braised on the stove top by slicing into 2-inch cubes and sauteeing in olive oil over medium high heat for a few minutes, then adding some garlic and about 1/4 inch of water and simmering until soft.
Or try this easy soup recipe from the amazing Alice Waters. Peel and cube your squash and combine with chopped onion, bay and leaf and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and simmer until tender (If you have some celeriac left over from last week, toss that in as well, cleaned and cubed.). Discard the bay leaf and puree the soup in a blender, working in batches if necessary. Return to pot and warm over low heat, stir in 1 Tbsp. of unsalted butter and season with salt and pepper.