Week Twenty-Two: Coming To A Close



That’s it folks!  Twenty-two weeks.  Where did it go?  Many thanks to our farmers Rick and Salena Garber for all the sweat and hard labor they put in over the past year providing the amazing assortment of food over this CSA season.  I know that I tried some new foods and learned a lot along the way and I hope you did too.  Somehow we had lettuces and greens all season long!  There were a lot of familiar faces like, carrots, cucumbers, radishes and zucchini.  Fresh new faces like tatsoi, kohlrabi and fennel.  Those luscious little tomatoes!  Those fresh eggs, I had so many double yolks!  Mostly, those smiling yet tired faces as we made our way each week to gather up our bounty.

Best wishes to the Garber family as we hope they enjoy a season of rest this winter. They have definitely earned it.

It’s been a great pleasure for me to sit and write these weekly posts.  I hope that you found a recipe or two that worked for you, or that you printed or bookmarked for later. While there will not be any new posts, these postings will be here for you to refer back to.  In addition, almost all the recipes I have included this CSA year can be found bookmarked on my Pinterest page, CSA Blog Recipes, feel free to bookmark that page as there are 187 recipes posted there for you to utilize.

I will also pass along a book that became invaluable to me while I was working on this project.  The Practical Produce Book: How to Plant, Pick, Prepare and Preserve Produce is a humble gem of a book if you want to continue to eat farm fresh produce or grow it yourself.  It gives you not only, recipes, but growing, harvesting and putting up instructions for all our CSA favorites.

Hope you are enjoying this last week of goodies!  Happy Autumn and have a safe and cozy Winter.




Week Twenty-One: Savoy Cabbage

image_riviera_savoy_cabbageYou know your basic green and purple cabbages right?  So why the Savoy Cabbage?  Well, the contrasting shades of green, combined with the deeply crinkled texture of the leaves, make savoy cabbages gorgeous and while some may look at these rough-looking leaves and assume that they are tough and hard, even more so than the common, green cabbage that most people are used to, but they would be wrong.  Despite this rough appearance, the leaves of the savoy cabbage are tender, even when eaten raw. This makes them an ideal choice for salads, vegetable wraps, or as a bed for rice, fish, or other dishes. This in sharp contrast to the leaves of “green”  or “purple”cabbages, that are hard and rubbery. Their only real use, in the raw state, is in making coleslaw. Even then, the texture can be too tough for many people to enjoy. On the other hand, savoy cabbage can make a tastier, and much more tender coleslaw.
While the tenderness is a huge factor in the appeal of savoy cabbages, over other forms of cabbage, its taste is another reason for its popularity. The green and red cabbages have a slightly bitter taste, which some describe as peppery. Savoy cabbage, by comparison, is milder and sweeter, making it not only a good fit in salads, but also a much preferred alternative in just about any recipe that includes cabbage.
While it’s unclear when and where the headed cabbage that we know today was developed, cultivation of cabbage spread across northern Europe into Germany, Poland and Russia, where it became a very popular vegetable in local food cultures. The Italians are credited with developing the Savoy cabbage.  Sauerkraut, a dish made from fermented cabbage, has a colorful legacy. Dutch sailors consumed it during extended exploration voyages to prevent scurvy. Early German settlers introduced cabbage and the traditional sauerkraut recipe were introduced into the United States. As a result of this affiliation, German soldiers, and people of German descent were often referred to as “krauts.”
Like the rest of the cabbage family, savoy cabbage has high nutritional value. It is very low in calories, and contains no fat or cholesterol. It is a good source of dietary fiber, and protein. It is also rich in many vitamins and minerals, such as: Thiamine (B-1), folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, manganese, calcium, copper, phosphorous, and copper. They are also an excellent source of both Vitamins K and C. Each of the different types of cabbage have high nutritional value, as well as tremendous antioxidant and disease combating properties.

PREP TIME:  Keeping cabbage cold will keep it fresh and help it retain its vitamin C content. Put the whole head in a plastic bag in the crisper of your refrigerator.  Savoy cabbage will keep for about 1 -2 weeks.  Even though the inside of cabbage is usually clean since the outer leaves protect it, you still may want to clean it. Remove the thick fibrous outer leaves and cut the cabbage into pieces and then wash under running water.  To cut cabbage into smaller pieces, first quarter it and remove the core. Cabbage can be cut into slices of varying thickness, grated by hand or shredded in a food processor.

In its simplest form, we love a big pot of sautéed cabbage with just butter, salt and pepper.  Great for those chilly nights.  If you are looking to combine your cabbage for a more exciting meal, check out the recipes below.


1 savoy cabbage, cored, leaves separated, small leaves reserved for another use

Place oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 200°. Working in several batches, cook cabbage leaves in a large pot of boiling salted water just until translucent and bright green, about 2 minutes per batch. Using a large slotted spoon, immediately transfer leaves to a large bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain cabbage leaves well and dry thoroughly.   Set a wire rack inside each of 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Arrange cabbage leaves on racks in a single layer. Bake until completely dry and crisp, about 3 hours. Season with salt.  Cabbage chips can be made 8 hours ahead. Store chips at room temperature loosely layered between parchment paper or paper towels.



1 head Savoy cabbage
2 apples
½ cup walnuts
Pecorino romano cheese (or Parmesan)
⅓ cup olive oil
⅓ cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

For the dressing, whisk together ⅓ cup olive oil, ⅓ cup cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons honey, a few pinches kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper.

If desired, toast the walnuts by placing them in a dry skillet over low heat for several minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly browned and fragrant. Immediately remove from the heat into a bowl.

Thinly slice the savoy cabbage. Core the apples and chop them. (If not eating immediately, sprinkle with a bit of lemon juice.) Using a vegetable peeler, make shavings of Pecorino romano cheese, enough for around ½ cup.

To serve, place savoy cabbage on a serving plate, garnish with apples, walnuts, cheese, and dressing.

MORE SAVOY CABBAGE RECIPES:  Stir-Fried Savoy Cabbage, Savoy Cabbage with Scallions and Garlic, Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage, Colcannon (another of our favorites!), Lemony Toasted Quinoa and Cabbage Salad, Italian Peasant Soup, Spicy Cabbage and Chorizo Soup, Chicken Fajitas with Savoy Cabbage Slaw, Spaghetti with Savoy Cabbage and Bread Crumbs



CSA Week Nineteen: Roasting Vegetables

roastSince we don’t have a new crop this week, I thought I would write about one of my favorite ways to cook vegetables over the fall and winter months.  Roasting vegetables is the equivalent joy of grilling in the summertime.  Some vegetables I never enjoyed before, asparagus, carrots, turnips, were turned around for me once I tried this method of cooking them and some vegetables I never considered roasting, like broccoli, have become demanded favorites.  Honestly, from this point on through the winter we will usually roast vegetables once a week and the crops we see coming this time of year are prime for the roasting.

Trust me, roasting browns your veg nicely on the outside, concentrating and sweetening their flavor in a way that even avowed veggie haters find hard not to like—and that goes for even the most unpopular of vegetables, like turnips and Brussels sprouts. While raw garlic is pungent, roasted garlic has a sweeter, milder flavor. You might be hard pressed to choke down a clove of raw garlic, but you can spread six cloves of roasted garlic over a slice of bread just as you would butter.  But what’s especially great about roasting is that it’s fairly quick, hands-off, and much of the prep can be done ahead of roasting time. You can cut up the vegetables (except potatoes and sweet potatoes) in the morning, if you like, so by the time you’re ready to roast, all you have to do is toss them with oil and seasonings, spread them on a pan, and check on them occasionally as they roast.

Even the simplest and easiest of dressing works, most times we just use good olive oil and either, basil, thyme or rosemary, freshly ground salt and pepper, and of course garlic lovers we are, there is always lots of garlic.

Here are some quick guidelines to get you started:

  • If you are roasting various veggies together, cut them into similar sizes to ensure cooking consistency.
  • The heat needs to be high. I generally roast at 425-475 degrees F. The high temperature ensures that the veggies will cook quickly; they’ll brown on the outside, but stay tender on the inside.
  • Don’t overcrowd. Give each piece a chance to cook!  If you are cooking for a group, opt to spread your vegetables onto two pans.
  • Big chunks are bad. Smaller pieces have more surface area that will be exposed to the heat, giving them a better chance to crisp and brown.
  • Some people drizzle oil on top of the vegetables in the pan, but I always mix them in a bowl prior to placing on the pan to ensure that they are well coated.
  • Baking pans with low sides are best; metal is optimal. Line your pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Glass or ceramic will work fine as well.  Generously oiling the bottom of your pan or paper will eliminate sticking!!
  • Check and toss the veggies halfway through cooking. As you head towards the end of your cook time check for tenderness with a fork and toss again.

Here is a quick guideline to various vegetables and their approximate cooking times from Good Housekeeping.  You can find a more detailed chart broken down by cooking times with combination suggestions from the Heal With Food website.

Here is a step-by-step visual recipe for roasting from The Pioneer Woman, I love her recipe posts because she gives you a photo of each step.

MORE YUMMY RECIPES:  Balsamic Roasted Vegetables, Roasted Vegetables With Fresh Herbs, Maple-Ginger Roasted Vegetables, Cider-Roasted Vegetables, Roasted Carrot, Parsnip and Potato Soup, Omelets with Roasted Vegetables and Feta, Roasted Vegetables with Sage Butter, Honey-Roasted Veggies and Gnocchi, Winter Herb Pasta with Roasted Veggies, Roasted Broccoli and Garlic 




CSA Week Eighteen:: Fennel


Fennel?  Another one of those oddly shaped crops that may leave you bewildered.  But take a quick look at all the health benefits it brings and you’ll be trying to find ways to work it into your diet.  Fennel belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is therefore closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander.  Fennel plays an important role in the food culture of many European nations, especially in France and Italy.  Its reputation dates back to the earliest times and is reflected in its mythological traditions. Greek myths state that fennel was not only closely associated with Dionysus, the Greek god of food and wine, but that a fennel stalk carried the coal that passed down knowledge from the gods to men.  Fennels aroma and taste are unique, reminiscent of licorice and anise, so much so that fennel is often mistakenly referred to as anise in the marketplace, but don’t let an aversion to black jelly beans keep you away from fennel, whether braised, sautéed, roasted, or grilled, the bulb mellows and softens with cooking.

This strange plant  has an abundance of medicinal uses and health benefits. In fact, fennel, is a major digestive powerhouse.

Some of the components of the essential oils in fennel are stimulants and they stimulate secretion of digestive and gastric juices, while reducing inflammation of the stomach and intestines, and facilitating proper absorption of nutrients from food. It can eliminate constipation and thereby protect the body from a wide range of intestinal troubles that can stem from being “blocked up”.   Fennel is very popular as an antiflatulent, due to the carminative properties of the aspartic acid found in fennel. Its extract can be used by everyone, from infants to the elderly, as a way to reduce flatulence and to expel excess gas from the stomach.  Fennel is helpful in curing diarrhea if it is caused by bacterial infection, because some components of the essential oil in fennel such as anetol and cineole have disinfectant and antibacterial properties. Its amino acids, aid in digestion and the proper functioning of the digestive system, thereby helping to eliminate diarrhea due to indigestion. Fennel has long been used by indigenous cultures as a way to eliminate diarrhea.

The iron and histidine in fennel are also helpful in treating anemia. Whereas iron is the chief constituent of hemoglobin, histidine stimulates production of hemoglobin and also helps in the formation of various other components of the blood. Fennel is a great source of fiber, as mentioned above, but besides the advantages to digestion that fiber provides, it also helps to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood stream. This means that it can stimulate the elimination damaging LDL cholesterol, which is a major factor in heart disease and strokes.  Fennel is a rich source of potassium, which is an essential nutrient in our bodies and is vital for a number of important processes. One of the benefits of potassium is its quality as a vasodilator, which means that it relaxes the tension of blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure. High blood pressure is connected to a wide range of health issues, including heart attack and stroke.  Also, for diabetic patients, blood pressure issues can make management of their insulin and glucose levels very difficult, and can be the cause of many potentially lethal complications. A cup of fennel bulb in your daily diet will pump you full of potassium and all the benefits that come along with it.

And women, read on….fennel is also an emmenagogue, meaning that it eases and regulates menstruation by properly regulating hormonal action in the body. Fennel is used in a number of products to reduce the effects of PMS, and it is also used traditionally as a soothing pain reliever and relaxing agent for menopausal women.   Fennel also increases production and secretion of milk in lactating mothers and since this milk contains some properties of fennel, it is an anti-flatulent for the baby as well.  Fennel is an herb that has also been used for breast enlargement and to increase libido.

Fennel is useful in respiratory disorders such congestion, bronchitis, and cough due to the presence of Cineole and Anetol which are expectorant in nature, among their many other virtues. Fennel seeds and powder can help to break up phlegm and prompt loosening of the toxins and buildup of the throat and nasal passages for elimination from the body and quicker recovery from respiratory conditions.

Fennel is diuretic, which means that it increases the amount and frequency of urination, thereby helping the removal of toxic substances from the body and helping in rheumatism and swelling.

Finally, the juice of fennel leaves and the plant itself can be externally applied on the eyes to reduce irritation and eye fatigue


PREP TIME:  Remove the foliage by snipping an inch or two above the bulb. Place fennel in a produce bag to prevent moisture loss, and store it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator for three or four days.  The three different parts of fennel—the base, stalks and leaves—can all be used in cooking. Cut the stalks away from the bulb at the place where they meet. If you are not going to be using the intact bulb in a recipe, then first cut it in half, remove the base, and then rinse it with water before proceeding to cut it further. Fennel can be cut in a variety of sizes and shapes, depending upon the recipe and your personal preference. The best way to slice it is to do so vertically through the bulb. If your recipe requires chunked, diced or julienned fennel, it is best to first remove the harder core that resides in the center before cutting it. The stalks of the fennel can be used for soups, stocks and stews, while the leaves can be used as an herb seasoning.


Sliced crisp fennel is delicious served raw in salads.

Sautéed fennel and onions make a wonderful side dish,

Combine sliced fennel with avocados, and oranges for a delightful salad.

Braised fennel is a wonderful complement to scallops.

Top thinly sliced fennel with plain yogurt and mint leaves.

Fennel is a match made in Heaven when served with salmon.

Fennel and Celery Salad

2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, some fronds reserved
3 celery ribs, trimmed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.

Cut fennel bulbs in quarters lengthwise, discarding outer layer if it is exceedingly tough. Use a mandoline or slice quarters thinly; slice celery equally thin.  Put sliced fennel and celery into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. Top with lots of freshly shaved Parmesan and chopped fennel fronds if you like.


Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Fennel and Garlic

6 garlic cloves, peeled
1-2 fennel bulbs, fronds and stalks removed, bulbs cored and cut into eighths
2 tablespoons olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat oven to 475. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss garlic, fennel, and 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast 10 minutes.  Rub pork with remaining tablespoon oil; season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Remove baking sheet from oven, and push fennel and garlic to sides of sheet. Place pork in center, and roast 20 to 25 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 145.  Transfer pork to a cutting board, and let rest at least 5 minutes before thinly slicing. Serve pork with fennel and garlic.

 MORE RECIPES:   Fennel in Wine and Honey, Pan Seared Scallops With Fettuccine in Bacon Fennel Cream Sauce, Roasted Chicken Sausages with Brussel Sprouts, Fennel and Potatoes, Braised Fennel and White Beans, Baked Fennel with Parmesan and Thyme, Shaved Fennel Salad, Roasted Fennel and Butternut Squash Soup, Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Fennel and Rosemary, Caramelized Fennel, Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup, Fennel and Smoked Salmon Salad



CSA Week Seventeen:: Pattypan Squash

1262197613_5afd020b1bPattypan squash originates from the region between Mexico and Guatemala, and is a relative of the cucumber and melon, members of the Cucurbitaceae family.

These little guys have a lot going for them.  Pattypan squash is an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C and a very good source of magnesium, vitamin A (notably through its concentration of carotenoids, including beta-carotene), fiber, potassium, folate, copper, riboflavin and phosphorus. All of pattypan’s nutrients combine to form a heart healthy, disease-preventing food, not to mention extremely diet-friendly fare. One cup of cooked pattypan squash is only 38 calories.  The antioxidants in pattypan work to keep free radicals at bay while its high fiber content helps excrete toxins from the body. Pattypan also contains nutrients that combat inflammation.  Its fiber content helps reduce the risk of colon cancer and reduce dietary cholesterol.  Pattypan squash’s potassium and magnesium content work to lower blood pressure. Magnesium also reduces the risk for heart attack and stroke.


You can keep your pattypan in an airtight container in the fridge, but they keep best on the counter.

Begin by washing your pattypan under cool running water and then cutting off both ends. It’s up to you from there how you finagle the cutting of this oddly-shaped veggie.  You can avoid the whole question of how to slice patty pan squash and cook them whole. Whole patty pans can be steamed over boiling water until tender, about 4 – 6 minutes, depending on size.
You can also roast patty pans, although they cook more evenly if you slice them in half first. Place the pieces on a baking sheet and roast on the top rack for about 10 – 15 minutes at 420 degrees until tender. You can coat with olive oil or butter and season to taste before hand, if you wish.
If you want to be brave and slice your patty pans, feel free to slice them anyway you like. You can slice through the diameter, dice them into chunks or simply scoop out the cooked flesh. There’s no right or wrong. You can scoop out its insides and use the pattypan as a decorative container for other foods like a pilaf or couscous. Some people like to slice, coat and fry their pattypans until golden brown. In Polish cuisine they are pickled in sweet vinegar. Pattypan can be prepared in a variety of ways including steaming, baking, sautéing and deep-frying. Generally, anywhere you can use a zucchini, a pattypan will do.

 Corn Stuffed Pattypan Squash

2 pounds pattypan squash
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
Kernels from 2 ears corn
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
2 ounces (1/2 cup) freshly grated Parmesan or Gruyère cheese
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
Chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish

Cut the pattypan squash in half along the middle. Using a small spoon, scoop out the seeds in the middle and discard. Scoop out the flesh to within 1/2 inch of the outside and finely dice. Lightly salt the pattypan shells, and let sit while you prepare the filling.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a baking dish or casserole large enough to accommodate the pattypan shells.   Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about five minutes. Add the diced squash and cook, stirring, for four to five minutes until tender. Add the corn, and cook, stirring often, for four minutes until just tender. Remove from the heat, and stir in the Parmesan and the cilantro or parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fill the pattypan shells with the corn mixture, and arrange in the baking dish. Beat together the egg and milk, season with a little salt, and carefully spoon a little over the corn mixture in each filled squash. Add a small amount of water to the dish (about 1/4 inch). Cover tightly, and place in the oven. Bake 45 to 50 minutes to an hour until the squash is tender. Remove from the heat, and transfer to a platter. Serve hot or warm, garnished with additional chopped cilantro or parsley.

Pattypan Squash with Pasta

1 pound bow tie pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5-7  small or 2-4 large pattypan squash, tips and stems removed, quartered
4 links of sausage
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus 1 teaspoon grated peel
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups of chopped broccoli
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint (optional)
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain, reserving 1/3 cup of the cooking water.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage until browned. Remove and set aside.  Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat. Add the squash, broccoli, onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 8-10  minutes. Stir in the garlic, lemon peel and reserved pasta cooking water.  Add the pasta to the squash mixture. Add the sausage to pan. Toss in the mint, if using, and cheese; season with salt and pepper

MORE RECIPES:  Indian-Spiced Grilled Baby Squash, Pickled Pattypan Squash, Pattypan Squash Soup With Pesto, Pattypan Squash Fritters, Stuffed Pattypan Squash, Pattypan Squash Pancakes, Tuscan Pattypans


CSA Week Sixteen: Butternut Squash

butternut-squashBUTTERNUT SQUASH:  Doesn’t the name just sound delightful?  In the history of our other crops, I’ve often talked about where we imported them from, but this week’s crop started right here.  Modern day squash developed from the wild squash that originated in an area between Guatemala and Mexico. While squash has been consumed for over 10,000 years, they were first cultivated specifically for their seeds since earlier squash did not contain much flesh, and what they did contain was very bitter and unpalatable. As time progressed, squash cultivation spread throughout the Americas, and varieties with a greater quantity of sweeter-tasting flesh were developed. Christopher Columbus brought squash back to Europe from the New World, and like many other native American foods, their cultivation was introduced throughout the world by Portuguese and Spanish explorers.  In fact, this vegetable was once such an important part of the diet of the Native Americans that they buried it along with the dead to provide them nourishment on their final journey.

However, like all members of the gourd family (which includes pumpkin, melon, and cucumber), butternut squash is another of those veggies that is technically a fruit.

Low in fat, butternut squash delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems. The folate content adds yet another boost to its heart-healthy reputation and helps guard against brain and spinal-cord-related birth defects such as spina bifida.

The butternut squash’s beautiful color though shows it’s most noteworthy health perk. The color signals an abundance of powerhouse nutrients known as carotenoids, shown to protect against heart disease. In particular, it boasts very high levels of beta-carotene (which your body automatically converts to vitamin A), identified as a deterrent against breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration, as well as a supporter of healthy lung development in fetuses and newborns. What’s more, with only a 1-cup serving, you get nearly half the recommended daily dose of antioxidant-rich vitamin C.

As if this weren’t enough, butternut squash may have anti-inflammatory effects because of its high antioxidant content. Incorporating more of this hearty autumn/winter staple into your diet could help reduce risk of inflammation-related disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.

Butternut squash is one of the healthiest vegetables for losing weight with its low calories and high levels of dietary fiber. There’s around 6 grams of primarily insoluble fiber in a cup of steamed squash and eating them is known to be especially beneficial for relieving digestive problems such as constipation.

And in spite of their rich and buttery taste, butternut squash is very low in calories. They’re only around 75 calories in one cup, which makes them one of the ‘negative calorie’ foods considered so good for weight loss.

And the best news, butternut squash store well; this hardy squash can be kept for up to three months in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate.  The hardest part as  you could imagine is trying to figure out how to get into your squash but here is some help for this conundrum!

Cutting Your Giant Oddly Shaped Butternut Squash:  

Halving the squash:  Start with a large, sharp knife.   Start by cutting across and removing the stem.  Turn the squash so the cut end is facing away from you, and insert the tip of your knife straight down into the center , keeping it stable with your free hand. Press the handle of the knife down until you cut through the bottom half.  Turn the squash 180 degrees and insert the knife into the center again, repeating the technique in step 2 to halve the squash, completely halving the squash so that you can scoop out the seeds.

To cut into smaller pieces:  Again, you want to start with a sharp knife. Cut off the stem and bottom ends of the squash so both ends are flat. Slice the squash in half, just where the thinner end begins to widen. Use a heavy-duty peeler to peel away the skin. If you notice green streaks remaining on the squash as you peel, peel those away as well until only orange flesh remains (they can be a little tough). Cut the larger end in half and spoon out the seeds. Cut each piece into 1-inch-thick sticks then slice into 1-inch cubes.  You can make the cubes larger if you like.

 And don’t forget the seeds!!!

How to Roast Butternut Squash Seeds: Remove pulp and  threads from seeds. Simmer seeds in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Toss seeds with olive oil and lightly season with salt. Roast in a 325 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.


7-8 cups, peeled chunks of peeled butternut squash
4 cups chicken broth
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp coriander
salt and pepper

Combine squash, broth, onion, curry powder, ginger and coriander in a large pot.  Bring to a boil on high heat; reduce heat to simmer and cover.  Simmer 40 minutes.  Add more broth if needed.  Puree in food processor or blender in small batches until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.


1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Peel squash then cut in half. Scoop the seeds out. Cut the squash into 1/8″ slices using a mandoline slicer.  In a large bowl, toss butternut squash slices with olive oil, herbs and sea salt until evenly coated. Spread slices in a single layer over two baking sheets.  Bake in preheated oven for 3 hours, turning twice. After 3 hours turn off oven, leaving chips to cool in oven for 6 hours or overnight. Store in an airtight container.

MORE BUTTERNUT SQUASH RECIPES:   Butternut Squash Pancakes, Butternut Squash and Kale Risotto, Squash and Sage Biscuits, Maple Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash, “Better Than Pumpkin” Butternut Squash Pie, Curried Butternut Squash and Pear Soup, Butternut Squash Gratin with Blue Cheese and Sage, Squash and Ricotta Toasts, Caramelized Butternut Squash

CSA Week Fifteen: Sweet Peppers

prod000839_lgSweet bell peppers are another vegetable in the nightshade family of plants, along with our other peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes.   Bell Peppers are perhaps the most common pepper we see in the grocery store, piled high in the summertime, but truthfully, the green bell peppers you purchase in the grocery may actually be immature, non-ripe versions of the other color varieties. Not all bell peppers start off green, however, nor do green bell peppers always mature into other basic colors.  We can find a variety in our CSA bundles and the joy is whereas in the grocery you usually pay a higher price for the yellow and red peppers, at our wonderful farm, you do not!!

Bell peppers have been cultivated for more than 9000 years, with the earliest cultivation having taken place in South and Central America. While the name “pepper” was given to this food by European colonizers of North America who first came across it in the 1500-1600’s and then transported it back to Europe, the original name for this food in Spanish was pimiento, you know like those red centers in the jars of olives…peppers.

Because bell peppers can be grown in a variety of climates and are popular in various cuisines they are grown throughout the world, but within the U.S., California and Florida are the largest bell pepper-producing states. (In terms of chili pepper production, however, New Mexico currently stands in first place.) . The average U.S. adult consumes about 16 pounds of peppers per year, including almost 9.5 pounds of bell peppers.

Bell peppers can be eaten at any stage of development. However, recent research has shown that the vitamin C and carotenoid content of bell peppers tends to increase while the pepper is reaching its optimal ripeness. Bell peppers are also typically more flavorful when optimally ripe.  I talked before about our jalapenos being high on the Scoville  hotness scale, well our lovely sweet bell peppers have zero units, so if the jalapenos were too hot for you, here is a pepper for you (and me)!

And a cool FYI :  Paprika is a dried powdered form of bell pepper, and even though we are used to seeing red paprika in the spice section of the grocery, a paprika can be made from any color of bell pepper and it will end up being that same color once dried and ground into powder.

Bell peppers are an outstanding source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. These phytonutrients include flavonoids and hydroxycinnamic acids, but the hallmark phytonutrient group found in bell peppers is the carotenoid family, with more than 30 different carotenoids being provided by this vegetable. Included in bell pepper carotenoids are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), vitamin C, and vitamin B6. They are a very good source of folate, molybdenum, vitamin E, dietary fiber, vitamin B2, pantothenic acid, niacin, and potassium. Additionally, they are a good source of vitamin K, manganese, vitamin B1, phosphorus, and magnesium.  Who knew all these great nutrients were stored in this humble summer vegetable?

PREP TIME: Unwashed sweet peppers stored in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator will keep for approximately 7-10 days. much longer than our recent friends the eggplant. Because bell peppers need to stay well hydrated and are very sensitive to moisture loss, I recommend that you include a damp cloth or paper towel in the vegetable compartment to help the peppers retain their moisture. Do not cut out the bell pepper stem prior to storage in the refrigerator. Bell peppers are especially sensitive to moisture loss through this stem (calyx) portion and are more susceptible to chilling injury if the stem is removed. Sweet peppers can be frozen without first being blanched. It is better to freeze them whole since there will be less exposure to air which can degrade both their nutrient content and flavor.  Yay for no blanching!!

ROASTING PEPPERS:  Put peppers under the broiler or on a grill and broil 2-3 minutes per side.  Rotate until the entire pepper is blistered and slightly charred.  Then quickly place in a paper bag for 10-20 minutes.  Peel charred skins off under cold water and cut into slices.

Corn and Pepper Salad

4 ears sweet corn
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons slivered basil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Husk corn and boil or grill until crisp-tender.  Cool and slice off the kernels.  Place corn in a bowl with sweet peppers, onions and basil.  Whisk balsamic vinegar and mustard in a small bowl, then slowly whisk in olive oil a little at a time.  Toss with the vegetables.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stuffed Peppers

1 pound ground beef or sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 cup shredded cheese

Brown meat and onions together.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add tomatoes, water and uncooked rice.  Cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.  Add more water if needed.  Stuff peppers and sprinkle with cheese.  Place upright in a baking dish.  Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

MORE SWEET PEPPER RECIPES: Bell Pepper Egg In a Nest, Potato Hash with Bell Peppers and Onions, Bell Pepper Slaw, Greek Style Bell Pepper Salad, Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers, Marinated Roasted Red Bell Peppers, Roasted Garlic and Red Sweet Pepper Soup, Bell Pepper Scoops, Mini Frittatas with Spinach and Red Pepper