In this week’s share:
- Butternut squash
- Napa cabbage
- Sweet potatoes
- Collard greens
- Summer squash
- Bell peppers
- Mixed herbs: basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, sage & rosemary
Ask anyone from Western PA and they’ll say their favorite season is fall. I’m right there with ’em. For me and my family, it’s all about fall food. When the weather turns chilly, it’s a signal to start hunkering down with some soul-warming comfort food. After a summer of avoiding the hot oven at all costs, now it’s time for slow-roasting, long-simmering and real cooking. This week you’ll be getting some of our fall favorites: butternut squash, sweet potatoes and napa cabbage. All three are incredibly versatile, but here are some of our favorite recipe ideas.
Butternuts have lots of natural sugars which pair great with both savory sauces and sweet desserts. Roasting butternut in the oven is one of the best ways to caramelize those natural sugars. Here’s the simplest way to roast a whole butternut as a side dish:
- Preheat over to 400F
- Cut squash in half from stem to bottom and remove seeds with a spoon
- Place squash halves cut-side down in a glass baking dish filled with 1 inch of water
- Roast for 45 min to 1 hour. You know it’s ready when the squash begins to cave in and is very soft when pricked with a fork
- Carefully pour out the water, turn squash halves over and let them cool for a few minutes. Then scoop out the flesh with a large spoon into a bowl.
- Stir in 1 to 2 TB of butter, 1 TB of brown sugar (optional), a few shakes of cinnamon and a pinch of salt
A classic flavor combination is squash and sage. Some sweet Italian sausage also goes great in the mix. Here are some recipe ideas:
- Cubed roasted butternut squash with sage
- Roasted butternut squash risotto
- Butternut squash and sage lasagna
- Penne with roasted butternut squash, pancetta and sage
Roasted or boiled and pureed butternut squash is also the perfect base ingredient for soups and bisques:
- 8 Things to Do with Napa Cabbage
- Asian napa cabbage slaw
- Beef and napa cabbage stir-fry
- Pasta with caramelized cabbage, anchovies and bread crumbs
(Bitter) Sweet Potatoes
I had such high hopes for the sweet potatoes… Last year, I only planted a few, but got great results. So this year I tripled down and planted 100 expensive sweet potato “slips.” I don’t know if it was a late frost to blame, or the torrential rains and cool summer weather, but only a third of the plants produced tubers, and of those, a significant amount suffered some kind of insect damage below the soil. We love sweet potatoes around here, so we’re mourning the slim harvest. Make the best of the few sweet potatoes you’ll get tomorrow. Some have been trimmed to remove damaged areas, so I would eat them sooner than later. Here are some ideas:
- Sweet potatoes make an excellent substitution for potatoes in the Indian and Thai curry recipes I shared a couple of weeks ago
- We make a mean pot of chili (vegetarian or beef) using sweet potatoes and lots of beans. Here’s a quicker version.
- The kids also love oven-baked sweet potato fries
Share Your Ideas
If you’ve made some great dishes with the CSA goodies, share the recipes with the rest of us by replying to the post below.