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The twentyfirst share for the twentyfirst century

Posted 10/17/2013 9:51am by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

howdy folks! It is the twenty first share of the 2013 growing season at White Barn Farm. It is truly hard to believe . . . Thanks for sticking with us.

This is a tricky and challenging share for your culinary endeavors.

So, you finally figured out how to use kale. Now try BROCCOLI RAAB. it is naturally very bitter (which translates to excellent tonic for the liver). Therefore it makes a perfect foil to richness and heat. That richness can be olive oil and the heat can be a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. If you eat meat, the ultimate broccoli raab pairing is a spicy italian sausage. For basic raab preparation see Sauteed Broccoli Raab with Garlic and Olive Oil. To make a main course out of it, add to a pasta with some cheese and toasted walnuts or some Italian sausage, sliced on the bias and seared.  Matt Gennuso at Chez Pascal (one our best chef customers from PVD) often serves broccoli raab on his grilled housemade sausage sandwiches. Deluxe and healthify your tailgating regime . . . 

Fennel is another friend of the sausage. Sauteed fennel and onions would be perfect on your sausage in a bun for tailgating, too. Unless you are a true fennel fanatic, you will not want to bite into this bulb like an apple, but slicing or shaving it very thin should render it fabulous in a salad, slaw or side dish. Our recipes page abounds with fennel ideas since it is one of the tougher vegetables to convince grocery shoppers they can use. Type "fennel" into the search recipes box and hit "submit" for the full list of fennel ideas, past and present. Shaved fennel and citrus pair nicely as a composed salad. The fronds can be treated as an herb and may also go into your stockpot. Fennel adds a nice freshness to a poultry or seafood stock, in particular. You could aslo make a compound butter out of the chopped fennel fronds (compound butters freeze well) or put some in a homemade creamy herb dip (mayo & sour cream or yogurt & garlic powder) or homemade boursin spread (half butter/half cream cheese in the food processor). 

1 Red and 1 Green Lettuce for your continued salad pleasure. There are also two bags of salad greens - one is the peppery arugula and the other, perhaps less familiar, is mizuna, which has the more feathery appearance and a milder flavor (see the suggestion for radishes and mizuna with white balsmaic vinaigrette below). The greens are dunked to remove coarse dirt particles and cool down the leaves, then they are portioned into bags. You should still wash your greens and then spin them dry in a salad spinner and store dry in a loosely closed, dry plastic bag with a paper towel at the bottom if you think there is still a lot of moisture. Greens sitting in water will go bad quickly, so get 'em dry or eat 'em now.

Radishes to top that salad. If you've never gotten around to sauteeing slices of radish in butter 'til just tender, give it a shot. Thin-sliced radishes and coarsely chopped mizuna make a nice salad, dressed with white balsamic vinaigrette.

Garlic. Oh, precious garlic! This is the second to last share and the garlic should keep well, so don't feel you must use it all this week. The cloves of our garlic tend to be ginormous - one can provide enough sliced garlic for an entire sautee, etc.

1 Asian and 1 Italian Eggplant. Usually we have had a hard frost by October 15th. It is some sort of strange miracle that these guys are still kicking. As I was stocking the farmstand yesterday morning, I was noticing that many of our eggplants were damaged (soft spots, brown spots forming under the calyx) - they do not appreciate the shorter days, cool nights and damp mornings. Use these promptly to avoid spoiling. Sliced or diced eggplant are great in a stir fry. Add after onions, carrots, celery, fennel (hard things like that), at the same time as peppers, and before bok choy. I find that if I just stir fry everything on high heat in organic canola oil with just salt and pepper and make a sauce to add at the last moment, i get less soggage. Chopped garlic, ginger, minced chilli peppers, soy and/or fish sauce, orange or lime juice, and sesame oil are some good ingredients for your sauce.

Bok Choy. So fun to say. so delicious to crunch on. I like to cut off the base so that I can wash the bottoms of the stems under running water, rubbing away any dirt (kind of like you clean the dirt off the bottom of celery stems). Then I usually slice the stems across thinly so you have half moons (add these to a stir fry a few minutes earlier) and then just coarsely chop the greens to toss into a stir fry or brothy soup at the very last minute - they will wilt quickly. For a simple side, let's look to our cooking hero and money magnet, Martha Stewart, whose Seasonal Produce Recipe Guide is truly indispensable and should probably be bookmarked by all CSA Members everywhere. Anyway, the simple side is Bok Choy with Chile, Garlic, and Ginger. My aunt turned me on to this salad featuring bok choy and ramen noodles, though several variations exist - don't be afraid to experiment!

Since we are talking about salads featuring ramen noodles, there is also one for your pointy "gnome" cabbage. I need to get the exact recipe from our friends, but they made it at a dinner party last week and it was fabulous. There was shredded cabbage and carrot, 3 packs of ramen noodles (seasoning packets discarded), sunflower seeds, and an apple cider dressing. They called it crack salad, due to its addictive quality and crunchiness, presumably. Another killer cole slaw is this one featuring a peanut butter and fresh herb dressing. If these cold days have you wanting more warm dishes, check out the recipes page and search for cabbage for all sorts of hot recipe ideas for cabbage rolls, soups, strudels, etc.

Hot peppers were available for you to take next to the sign in board. It is a great time of year to be making chilli. The long red peppers (cayenne) also dry well. Just keep them out of the sun in a dry spot and they should dry right up. I sometimes just hack off a few thin slices of dried cayenne pepper to add to my mortar and pestle or to olive oil and garlic when sauteeing broccoli raab or bok choy, at the beginning of a stir fry or soup, or pasta sauce. If you put the pepper in a coffee grinder you'll have your own crushed red pepper flakes. If you grind it fine you'll have your own chilli powder.