This week we’ve been busy transplanting and direct seeding many root crops, onions, and garlic, which, if you can believe it, will be ready in time for our 2022 CSA season in late April/early May. We’re adding low tunnels to carry the crops through winter, after which their growth will pick up through spring. This week we included a mix of root vegetables in the share If you keep them in a bag in your fridge, they should last a few weeks or longer, though they’ll have the best flavor the sooner you eat them. Since we don’t spray any pesticides their skin has some damage from ground-dwelling insects, but it peels easily and the interior has great texture and flavor. Last week’s frost has made them sweeter, and we really enjoyed them in this week’s root mash, and in the pancake recipe below. The frost also improved the flavor of our leafy greens, so the kale and escarole are very tasty this time of year. We hope you enjoy the second to last share!
Escarole & Meatball Soup (Italian Wedding Soup)
Recipe uses between .5lb-1lb of Italian meatballs, which can either be purchased frozen, or prepared using the following recipe. To make meatballs: combine 12oz ground meat (chicken, beef, turkey, or pork) with 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs or panko, 1 egg, 1/4 cup of Pecorino cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley or oregano, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Mix thoroughly but do not overwork the meat. Form the mixture into 3/4 inch to 1 1/2 inch balls, for a total of 20-30 meatballs.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs in batches without crowding the pan. Turn occasionally until browned on all sides, 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a plate.
To make soup: Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add 1 diced onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic. As onions and garlic become fragrant add 1/2 cup diced celery, 1/2 cup diced carrots and 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. (Optional- add 1/2 cup dry white wine to deglaze the pan). Add 8 cups of chicken broth. Add 3/4 cup small pasta or orzo and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Add the meat balls and 4-6 cups of roughly chopped escarole, 1 bunch. Add salt and pepper as necessary, and red pepper flakes and a squirt of lemon juice to taste. Cook until meat balls are heated through and escarole is tender. Serve topped with grated Parmesan and 1 Tbsp of heavy cream per serving for a richer soup. Garnish with additional finely chopped parsley.
Pickled Sweet Peppers and Onions
In a large pot, make the brine. Place 2 Tbsp salt, 3 cups apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 2 cup water, 3 cups sugar, 3 cloves of garlic whole, a pinch of turmeric, 1/2 tsp peppercorns, 1/4 tsp mustard seed, and 1/4 tsp celery seed. in a large pan and bring to a boil over medium to high heat. Once the brine is boiling make sure everything is mixed, turn off and let cool for a bit.
Remove the seeds from the sweet peppers, and cut all the sweet peppers in halves or fourths. Slice 1 large onion.
Sterilize your jars in a 16-quart canning pot. Place the sliced peppers and onions into the jars. Press down to compact and make sure you have plenty of peppers and onions in each jar, as they will rise up to the surface during the processing.
Using a wide-mouth funnel, ladle hot pickling brine over top of the peppers and onions, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rim with a clean, damp paper towel. Center the lid on the jar. Apply the band until the fit is fingertip tight.
Place the jars in a water bath and process for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove from the water bath. Allow to cool completely on the counter for 24 hours. For best flavor, let stand for 3 to 4 weeks before enjoying. Store the jars in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year. Once opened, store in the refrigerator.
Japanese Veggie Pancake
Rinse, then finely chop 1/2 bunch of kale. Peel and grate all of the turnips/radishes, and eggplant, squeeze out the juices and place in a bowl with the kale. Grate 3 medium carrots, finely dice 1/2 onion. Add 1 tsp salt, 1/2 cup flour, and 6 eggs. Mix all the ingredients together.
In a large cast iron skillet heat a thin layer of oil. Scoop out mixture into pan flatten with a spatula, and cook until lightly brown on both sides
Serve with optional tangy sauce: 1/4 cup ketchup, 1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 tsp dijon mustard, 1 tsp rice cooking wine or sake, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp honey, 1/8 tsp ground ginger.
Rutabaga and Potato Mash
Skin and peel the rutabega and cut into 1 1/2" cubes. Cut the same amount of potatoes the same size leaving the skin on. Boil in salted water until tender.
Drain and mash with a potato masher. Stir in 3 Tbsp butter 1/4 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup milk. Salt and pepper to taste.
For creamier mash put in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pork Chop with Ground Cherry Jus
We used a lamb chop because that is all that we had but this recipe would be best with a pork chop. Local heritage, pasture pork would be best, try to get your chops cut as thick as possible. 1 1/2 inch would be best, nothing under 1", don't you dare make this recipe with those tiny little 1/4 inch "pork chops" they sell at the grocery store. If you do get your meat from the grocery store, ask the butcher for a thicker chop. If you would like to know who to get your meat from locally send me an email.
Salt and pepper pork chop. Cook in a cast iron skillet with 3 Tbsp butter, and 3 Tbsp olive oil. Cook to desired doneness basting occasionally with the butter and oil. Remove the meat and let it rest in the oven on warm.
Dehusk 1.5 pints of ground cherries, about .45lb. Finely chop 1 red onion, mince1 clove of garlic. Add the ingredients to the pan that you cooked the chop in. Mash the ground cherries and cook on medium high heat until it begins to simmer. Add 1 cup of chicken, or beef broth, and simmer until it reduces by 1/2. Pour over the pork chop and enjoy.
The first table shows the ingredients that come in the share. The table after that shows the ingredients you would need to make the recipes.