Welcome to the fourth week of our Fall CSA Program.
This Share Includes: Sweet Potatoes, Red Radish, Moringa, Tokyo Turnips, Roselle Hibiscus, Summer Squash, Turmeric, and Baby Lettuce Mix.
Sweet Potato- With no real relation to the potato family, the sweet potato is in fact the edible star of the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae).
During the hot summer months, we picked and ate the sweet potato leaves while the tuber was still developing. In the early fall months, about four weeks ago, we harvested the sweet potatoes from the ground. Directly following harvest we start the curing process which is simply letting them sit coated with Diatomaceous earth (a natural dehydrating agent) and eventually the moisture is drained from the tuber and the starches turned into sugar, resulting in a sweet and delicious “potato.” Enjoy these sweet potatoes sliced and steamed in the oven with a bit of ginger, follow one of my favorite recipes, Baked Ginger Sweet Potatoes.
Red Radish – Throw them into a salad, slice them up and dip them in hummus, removing the tops and store in your produce drawer will prolong the life of radishes for at least a week or longer.
Radish Butter! Chop them up fine and fold them into soft butter with some
crunchy salt, parsley and a little lemon juice.
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, edible flowers, shallots, garlic, minced radishes or a mixture
Combine the butter, salt, lemon juice and any additional ingredients in a medium bowl, mixing until well incorporated. Transfer to a ramekin, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. The butter will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also shape the butter into a log, wrap it in plastic, and freeze for up to 6 months.
Moringa- The Moringa Oleifera tree is an excellent source of energy, loaded with antioxidants, antibacterial properties and vitamins A&C that will help clear your mind, cleanse your skin and boost your energy levels. Use the fresh leaves in your cooking or air dry them to use later. To prepare for cooking simply strip the delicate leaves off of the stem, no need to wash. Add the leaves to omelets or quiches, mix in quinoa, lentils or rice, use as a herb and top on pizzas, in soups and stews or toss in a fresh garden salad. Make tea with the fresh leaves by boiling a ½ cup of fresh leaves in 1 ½ cups of water, let cool and enjoy with lemon, honey or ginger for added flavor. The moringa leaves themselves are very light in flavor so you can add the tea to a variety of other drinks and get the added health benefits without compromising the taste of your beverage. Try it in your morning coffee or earl grey tea. The leaves will dry very quickly out of water and fall off the stem. Collect the leaves once they are dry and crisp and grind them up using a coffee grinder or spice grinder store in an airtight container and add the ground leaves to smoothies, teas and other dishes.
Tokyo Turnips- Also known as Hakurei turnip, a small, tender, mild turnip delicious raw or cooked. Too much moisture can cause fruits and vegetables to go bad quickly. Wait until you’re ready to eat them before you wash them. If you need to wash them ahead of time, dry them thoroughly before you store them. They will last in your refrigerator without the tops for a good week or more so you have time to look for a good recipe, or you could try my new favorite Caramelized Hakurei Turnips from the recipe book, Eating from the Ground up -by Alana Chernila
Roselle Hibiscus Calyces- Use these as you would a cranberry, they have a tart, sweet and earthy flavor similar to that of a cranberry. Remove the red calyces around the seedpod. You can dry the seed pod and plant the seeds in late spring but for making tea and other creative endeavors you will want the bright red calyces that protect the seed pod. You can also freeze them for use later, freeze the whole seedpod and calyces or remove the seed pod for condensed storage in the freezer or drying.
Roselle Simple Syrup- for cocktails and beverages
Roselle Tea- deliciously simple tea, kid tested and mother approved
Roselle Jam or Chutney– A perfect side dish for the holiday season
Summer Squash-Store these brightly colored, delicate squashes at room temperature and use within three days; otherwise store in the refrigerator in the produce drawer. The Patty Pan squash is a summer variety and may be used exactly like you use the others, it has a round and shallow shape with scalloped edges, somewhat resembling a flying saucer. Grilled summer squash with basil ricotta cheese from the recipe book, Eating from the Ground up-by Alana Chernila
Turmeric root- Gingers relative, is the rhizome of the turmeric plant a well known superfood originating from India. Turmeric is used as a dietary supplement for inflammation, arthritis, stomach, skink, liver, gallbladder problems, respiratory problems, rheumatism, serious pain and fatigue, just to mention a few. Turmeric’s underground stems or rhizomes are found most commonly in dried powdered form made into capsules, tablets or extracts however using it fresh is always the healthiest way to consume it. When using it fresh you will need to use at three times the amount of fresh turmeric to substitute for the powder, so for example if a recipe calls for one teaspoon of powder you will want to use three teaspoons of fresh minced turmeric. Turmeric has been in ancient cooking traditions of India dating back to 2500 bc. It is the major ingredient in curry powder and Curcuminoids in the rhizome give turmeric its notable distinct yellow golden color. Add a spoonful of fresh turmeric to hot water with honey and lemon for a warm and soothing flu fighting tea or visit our blog post– Terrific Turmeric to learn more.
Baby Lettuce Mix- So tender and delicate, this lettuce was cut in our greenhouse, lightly washed in a solution of highly diluted hydrogen peroxide and vinegar, and spun dry in our industrial sized salad spinners. Keep it freshest in the produce drawer of your refrigerator and don’t wash it until you are ready to use it. Washing produce before you are ready to use it may actually shorten its shelf life. Toss with a light vinaigrette and the little red radishes in your share.