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From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Bell Peppers, Assorted Eggplant, Radishes and Baby White Turnips, Curly Kale and Swiss Chard, Green Onions, Mixed Cherry Tomatoes, Salanova Lettuce, Mixed Arugula and Greens, Strawberries and Fuyu Persimmons

Coming Soon… Sweet Potatoes and Snap Peas

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week the changing seasons are evident in the contents of the basket. We will have curly kale this week and some baby turnips and an assortment of greens with lettuce heads and arugula. I have recipes today that take advantage of the variety. The first is a Kale and Turnip Green Frittata. We will probably just have small bunches of kale, so this recipe will take advantage of the small quantity. This is a favorite weeknight meal for my family that I can throw together quickly. I kept the recipe vegetarian but usually at home I add a handful of cooked sausage or bacon.

Kale and Turnip Greens Frittata

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large or 2 small potatoes, small diced, about 1 & ½ cups total)

1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped


4 cups of loosely packed, chopped kale and turnip greens

8 eggs, lightly beaten

Coarsely ground black pepper

½ cup grated cheese, like cheddar

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Warm the oil in a large skillet. Add the potatoes and cook over medium high heat until browned on the edges and soft in the center. Add the garlic and season with salt after the potatoes have been cooking for 2 minutes. Stir in the greens and cook until wilted and tender, about 3 minutes. Season the eggs with salt and pepper. Pour the eggs into the pan with the potatoes and greens, add the cheese and stir for a minute on the stove top. Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake uncovered until the frittata is just set, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.

Fuyu Persimmon “Cookie Crisps”

Sunday afternoon, I made a Pumpkin Mousse that called for shortbread “leaf” on top of the whipped cream resting on the mousse. My guests needed a gluten free option so I decided to experiment with roasting slices of persimmon for a gluten free alternative. Here is a recipe for a sweet and crunchy, slightly smoky “cookie crisp”. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice the persimmons into ¼- 1/2 inch rounds and use a cookie cutter to cut out the center of each slice. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Lightly brush the top and bottom of the persimmon stars with butter or spray with cooking spray. You can also make another cookie sheet filled with the “frames” of the cookie cut outs. They are not as crunchy with the skins on but you can also peel the persimmons before cutting them out. Bake in the 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes and turn over each star half way through. Now turn down the oven to 325 degrees and bake another 20-40 minutes until brown and crispy. You can take them out sooner if you prefer a chewy, less browned version. You may need to play around a bit with the temperature to get the texture you prefer. Enjoy!

The Changing Seasons…

In the fall, I like to have a hearty salad. By roasting the vegetables and adding the cooked bulgur and nuts, this salad is full of texture and color. Roasting the radishes and turnips brings out their sweet flavor. For added warmth, toss the salad when the vegetables are still warm out of the oven.

Roasted Fall Vegetable Salad

4-5 cups mixed vegetables such as diced large, bell peppers, eggplant, summer squash, radishes, baby and turnips

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup sliced green onion

4-6 cups lettuce and arugula greens

½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

½ cup cooked bulgur

¼ cup almonds, toasted and chopped

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar 

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the diced vegetables with the oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until tender. In the same oven, while cooking the squash, toast the nuts until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  In a large bowl, combine cooked vegetables, bulgur, tomatoes, nuts, onion and greens, drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Toss the salad gently. and transfer to a serving platter or bowl.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul by Ronda May Melendez…

As we approach the official start of winter, the garden is in transition and the winter garden veggies have or are currently being planted for harvest. With this transition come tasks that seemingly contradict our purpose. One such task is thinning.

The turnips this last week have shown themselves so beautifully prolific. They are healthy, green and CROWDED! On the face of things, we have what we want…green, healthy plants, right? It means that our little veggie friends are thriving and enjoying their environment. And that is all well. However, we need to be mindful of what the end goal is. Do we want really healthy greens that will be sold? Or do we want the root vegetable to be robust for market?

These are the predominant questions to ask when thinning certain vegetables. Do we want the visible growth in the greens, what we see on the exterior? If so, it is perfectly okay to leave them crowded, as the greens will continue to grow in a healthy way. If, however, we want to bring the roots to market, then, we must do what seems contradictory and that is to pull out enough of the seedlings to allow others room to continue to grow. We must be willing to sacrifice some of what we planted; some of what was thriving, so that we can get the growth that we are looking for in areas we cannot yet see.

So it is in life, it seems to me. There is a time to plant and a time to pull up. There is a time to thin those things that are growing, even if the growth seems for all intents and purposes to be what we want, in general. Are we willing to give up what is good for what is better according to the end goal of things that we may not yet be able to see in whole? If we are, we will bear the fruit of sacrifice and patience in due season…just as we will, in due time, harvest those beautiful and healthy turnips.

What is it that we would like to achieve that may be only showing its “greens”? Is there a root harvest that is more important to us? If so, what are we willing to “thin” out of life in order to grow deeper, more robust roots?

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