Thursday, November 15, 2012


All cleaned up and ready to go
Beets and Carrots have been on my cravings list and this week’s bonus harvest did not disappoint. Being “root” vegetables, and considering the heavy rains we had recently, they were amply coated in their earthy jackets; but underneath the mud were the sweetest carrots EVER. Carrots have been a favorite of folks for a very long time and everyone knows they are a good source of vitamins, low in calories, rich in carotenes and who hasn’t been told to “eat your carrots, they are good for your eyes.” They are also powerful anti-oxidants, and provide both fiber and calcium for your diet. All of that comes from a root that grows in the ground and is most often eaten raw. And don’t forget the tops – as we are often reminded by Farmer Pablo they make great additions to salads, eggs, and soup. But the simple carrot also dresses up exceptionally well. Who doesn’t love a good carrot cake, or a Morning Glory muffin or a creamy soufflé? This week I’d like to share with you a Creamy Carrot Soup recipe that I’ve been making for about 30 years. This is the perfect weather for a bowl of warm and creamy soup and our harvest share has just the right amount of carrots to whip up a batch.

Beets on the other hand are probably not a “go-to” root vegetable like the carrot. For many people, a beet can be a rather intimidating thing, awkward in size and staining everything in sight a purply-red. But a serving of beets offers many of the same health benefits as carrots, is sweet and tasty and there is no end to the way a beet can be prepared and eaten. Beets are a great source of fiber, high in Vitamins A and C and full of important minerals. Beets are also full of folic acid which helps to make new cells and is known as a fighter of cancer and heart disease. The greens are also tasty and in the time of the Romans were used to counter garlic breath and had healing properties and so were used to bind wounds. How about that beet? Beets can be eaten raw, juiced, baked, boiled, sautéed among other methods of cooking. Roasting a beet brings out the sweetness.Various versions of a beet soup called Borscht is popular in most Eastern European countries. Beets have been gaining in popularity and many chefs feature them on their menus regularly. My favorite comfort food using beets is Harvard beets. A good recipe for Harvard beets immediately takes me back to holiday meals at my grandmother’s house. It’s a simple recipe with a sweet and sour taste. Try it as an addition to your Thanksgiving meal.

My new favorite way to eat beets has to be hands down - beet salad. It’s a simple salad of greens – especially good with greens with a bite, but any simple lettuce mix will do just as well – add a few beet greens to whatever you use. Add sliced cooked beets (either boiled or roasted), some tangy goat cheese, a few walnuts if you’d like and a splash of vinaigrette.

Well friends, we go out with a bang – a generous bonus harvest and the anticipation of more bountiful servings of love from Stoney Lonesome Farm next year. It’s been fun writing about the vegetables this season and I know we are all looking forward to seeing what Season 10 will bring next year.  ~ Mary
The rest of the Bonus Harvest - Parsley, Dill, Garlic, Lettuce mix and broccoli

 Cream of Carrot Soup

6-8  carrots, peeled and diced
1 small onion diced
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp butter
3 cups Chicken stock
salt and pepper
1 tsp of sugar, optional
lemon rind and parsley for garnish

Combine carrots, onion, bay leaf and butter in a covered saucepan. Cook over low heat until carrots are tending, keeping the pan covered. Cook 8 minutes. Cool and remove bay leaf. Add 1 cup chicken stock. WIth immersion blender blend until smooth. (or use blender) Return to pan, add remaining stock and sugar. Serve with a garnish of lemon rind and parsley. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Seeing Green

The share - acorn squash, carrots, pac choi, kale, radishes, zuchinni and braising mix
As the season draws to a close and the weather turns colder, there are a few things that we can count on to become staples. Winter squash, root vegetables and greens (kale), and greens (pac choi), and greens (braising mix).

Acorn squash

 Acorn squash and spaghetti squash are two favorites for warm meals as the weather turns cold. There is nothing quite so yummy or simple as an acorn squash baked with melted butter and brown sugar and a twinge of cinnamon on top. Spaghetti squash can be either hearty with a meat sauce or light with a little pesto mixed in. This versatile vegetable is generally a lighter meal than the heartier squashes such as acorn or butternut.

Braising mix
Traditional braising mixes consist of assorted greens including, but not limited to, kale, chard, bok choy, mustard greens, spinach, turnip greens, beet greens and pretty much any other dark leafy green. Most braising greens are members of Brassica family; rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and soluble fiber, these leafy greens have been cultivated for their flavor and nutritional value for over 2000 years. Many varieties are also known to contain antioxidants and cancer fighting agents.

Kale can be a part of the braising mix and you can identify two types of kale in our braising mix and kale of course also stands alone as its own hearty green. The leaves in our share this week were perfect for kale chips and stood up to a hot oven roast beautifully.


Anyone can see that a carrot is a brilliant shade of orange, after the dirt is scrubbed off, anyway, but this root crop also has a topping of greens that are tasty in several different recipes. Earlier this season we shared a recipe for carrot top soup and these tops were perfect for another batch or just chopped and added into salads which is the easiest way to use them, in my opinion.

 But let's concentrate on braising mix for a minute. Braising is a method of cooking where the main ingredient is first seared in hot oil and then simmered in liquid. Braising mixes do not have to be braised, they can also be sautéed, stir-fried, blanched, steamed or mixed into stews and soups. They can be eaten alone, added to pasta dishes, quiches, rice dishes or burritos, and they can be served with most any other vegetable, especially potatoes. The simplest method of preparing greens is to sauté them in olive oil with a little garlic and serve them with a splash of vinegar. When cooking greens, they should be reduce to a little less than half their original size, but still maintain their essential shape. Although over cooked greens are still tasty, properly cooked greens will add more flavor and texture to the meal.

Tired of the rut I was in of sauteing the greens and adding them to a frittata, I googled braising mix on the internet and came up with several tasty recipes.

Quinoa and Braising Mix Pie
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 pound greens, rinsed
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
4 farm fresh eggs
¼ cup milk (dairy free options work fine)
1 pie crust, uncooked
Heat oil in skillet and sauté onion until translucent. Stir in rinsed braising mix and cook until mix is reduced to at least half its original size, but leaves still maintain their shape. Stir in cooked quinoa and heat through. Stir in nutmeg and pepper. Spread mix into prepared pie crust. In separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk together. Pour egg mixture over greens and quinoa. Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes, until eggs are set and crust is golden brown. Serve warm as a main dish or a side dish.

Eggs in a Nest
From Animal Vegetable Miracle recipe written by Camille Kingsolver
(This recipe makes dinner for a family of four, but can easily be cut in half.)

1 medium onion, chopped
garlic to taste, chopped
Carrots, chopped
½ cup sun dried tomatoes
2 bags of braising mix, coarsely chopped
8 eggs
Sea salt and pepper
Cooked brown rice (optional)

  1. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil in a wide skillet until lightly golden.
  2. Add carrots and tomatoes and sauté for a few more minutes, adding just enough water to rehydrate the tomatoes.
  3. Mix in greens and cover pan for a few minutes. Uncover, stir well, then use the back of a spoon to make depressions in the cooked leaves, circling the pan like numbers on a clock.
  4. Break an egg into each depression, being careful to keep yolks whole. Cover pan again and allow eggs to poach for 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and serve over cooked brown rice. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Or try one of the following ideas with this very versatile greens mix:

  • Toss a couple handfuls of braising mix into a stir fry.
  • Be sure to balance the slight bitterness of baby chard, dandelion or mustard leaves with contrasting or sweet flavors such as persimmon, apple, pear, baby beets, citrus, vinaigrette spiked with honey or a syrupy balsamic vinegar.
  • You can also toss some chopped greens into soup or a frittata, or serve them sauteed with pancetta, pine nuts, and golden raisins and heaped atop crusty toasted or grilled bread rubbed with garlic. 
Enjoy the  above options courtesy of other CSA group's blogs and/or better yet, share with us on this blog or on facebook how your family likes to eat greens.
  • Bon Apetit!