HARVEST GUIDE - WEEK 24 - NOVEMBER 7, 2013
Dear CSA Members,
Sitting at my computer writing this last harvest guide is bittersweet. Whether I had the pleasure of meeting you or not, I hope you enjoyed this year’s harvest as much as I did. For our final week, we’re harvesting cabbage, Brussels sprouts, radishes, bok choy, kale, and lettuce. I’ve written about most of these vegetables in previous harvest guides, so make sure to look back for a refresher. (See week 1 for more info on radishes and lettuce; see week 12 for kale; see week 15 for cabbage; and see week 23 for a bok choy recipe). Also, don’t discard your radish greens! They’re incredibly nutritious, containing more vitamin C and calcium than their roots do. You can cook radish greens as you would other fibrous greens, or I’ve included a recipe for radish leaf pesto if you wanted to give that a try. I’ve also included some information and recipes for Brussels sprouts, as those are brand new to this week.
It’ll be strange not to have anything to write about next week! Yet, as the season comes to a close and we all prepare for the holidays, I’d like to extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to each and every one of you. You, the members, are what makes this possible, and we obviously couldn’t have done it without you. I’d also like to thank the working share members who got down and dirty with us. I’d like to thank Amber, my fellow apprentice, who’s become a great friend. And lastly, I’d like to thank Jonathan, your tireless farm manager, whose hard work, dedication, and knowledge of farming has taught me countless invaluable lessons this season.
I hope everyone has a wonderful winter!
RADISH LEAF PESTO
2 large handfuls of radish leaves, stems removed
1 ounce hard cheese, such as pecorino or parmesan, grated or shaved
1 ounce nuts, such as pistachios, almonds, or pine nuts
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to get the consistency you like
Salt, pepper, and ground chili pepper to taste
Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender, and process in short pulses until smooth. You will likely have to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. This produces a thick pesto; add more oil and pulse again to get the consistency you prefer. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and pack into an airtight container. Use within a few days or freeze.
Can anyone guess where the Brussels sprout originated? If you guessed Brussels, you’re certainly right; however, the oldest ancestor of this popular Brassica--cabbage--dates back 2,500 years to ancient Greece and Rome. I think Brussels sprouts are one of those ‘love em or hate em’ type foods; but my guess is that most people who hate Brussels sprouts have only been exposed to the poorly cooked, packaged kind that are shipped in large trucks from California and have to be doused in processed cheese sauce to hide their bitter flavor and lack of texture. I hope I didn’t just offend anybody’s mother’s cooking, but if this is you, then I dare you to give these tiny cabbages another try. Under ideal circumstances (ideal being fresh, local, organically grown, and properly prepared), Brussels sprouts have a crisp, almost nutty flavor. I think roasting them brings out their maximum potential, but they can also be steamed or even eaten raw. Actually, eating raw, cruciferous vegetables has been shown to reduce the risk of bladder cancer in several studies. In addition to their cancer-fighting properties, Brussels sprouts provide a lot of vitamin C, with 124% of your daily value coming from just a cup. They’re also high in vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin K, vitamin B-6, folic acid, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Note: never boil your Brussels sprouts, only to discard the water, because this cooking method depletes your vegetables of any water-soluble vitamin content (i.e. C and B vitamins). Anyway, I hope you enjoy the recipes I’ve provided! As the season ends, if you ever have any questions about vegetable preparation, nutrition, or even if you’d like to share with me your own favorite recipes, feel free to shoot me an e-mail at
. I look forward to hearing from you.
APPLE AND BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD
1 pound Brussels sprouts, cored and thinly sliced
1 medium apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup scallions, sliced
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 and 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp Sriracha or other hot sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
In a large bowl, toss the sliced Brussels sprouts with the sliced apple, scallions, and sunflower seeds. Drizzle the olive oil, vinegar, sesame oil, and Sriracha over the salad. Stir everything together and season with salt and pepper. Let the salad sit for 30 minutes before serving.