Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Aside #16; Community Supported Agriculture Basket #4

November 2011

CSA Basket Number #4 from Bryson's Farms arrived today.  I had delayed its delivery by one week as I was still cooking and munching my way through Basket #3. This week's basket is full of organic fall and winter vegetables but still has lots of greens for salads!  

Unfortunately, I can't delay my biweekly order too often or they will kick me off the program in favour of weekly clients so I'm still undecided about whether this will work out or not...  So I will be cooking and freezing this weekend!

Here's a sample pix of what #4 looks like.  I looked up some of the more unfamiliar vegeys on the website.  

For example, the Cauliflower has a greenish tinge to it.  The website notes that cauliflower can come with a variety of colours (e.g., purpose, green or yellow).  They stress there was no malathion or chemical fertilizers used. 

The Broccoli (bottom left) with all the leaves is quite rare.  It's called Spigariello Liscia or 'Italian leaf broccoli' and the entire plant (including leaves) are edible, either steamed or chopped into stir frys. 

The curly Blue Kale at the top of the picture is hardy through the early frost season here until the temperature hits -10 degrees Celsius.  In fact, frost makes it sweeter.  I will look for recipes for this one.  

Bryson's says they receive lots of emails inquiring about the “yellow root crop”.  They are Golden Beets and should be slice them (unpeeled) into 1/4 inch pieces, steamed for about 20 minutes.  The tops can also be eaten.  They are apparently quite treasured by chefs.   
The long, white vegetable on the left looks like a small Daikon Radish, which I've only recently discovered and enjoy.  They are 'hot' when eaten raw and milder when steamed or roasted. 

If I'm right, two types of turnips are included:  Those on the right (bottom) are called Milan Purple Top Turnip, and are sweet, cooked or raw.  I've been including them in a salad of julienned celeriac, carrot and turnips and it's delicious.  The second type of turnip (white, far right bottom) seems to be Hakurei Turnip, which can be enjoyed raw, grated on salads, steamed, sliced in a stir-fry – even baked. They are very mild with an almost sweet flavour. They originate in Japan where they are treasured. And the tops are nice as well as a cooking green.
The potatoes look like Banana Fingerlings and they advise not to peel them but to wash, steam and enjoy.  There is one treasured bulb of Garlic called Music Garlic, which is in short supply in Ottawa, and retails for $3 each if you are lucky enough to find it.  It has both great flavour and great storage capacity. 

I also added some items to my order for this time only i.e., 
-- Heirloom Tomato Sauce (pix right):  No salt, no preservatives. Just Tomatoes! Defrost and add to make spaghetti sauce or any other dish.  This will feature in tonight's dinner. 
-- Heirloom Tomato Tart (pix below) that is company-ready and would easily serve 6-8 people.  I cut it into manageable slices and will cook one at a time when it fits the menu.
-- Curried Roasted Squash Soup:  They describe it as the perfect mix of spicy and sweet.  It is also low fat, vegan and gluten-free.  Can't go wrong.

Heirloom Tomato Tart. 

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