Winter Meals on the Farm

While there are many things that can be done to preserve the harvest, I must admit that I use my non-farming moments during the summer to visit with friends and swim at Walden Pond, so there isn’t a lot of canning or freezing that happens in my kitchen. However, I am still enjoying farm produce that keeps well in the refrigerator and cabinets. Vegetable staples for me this winter have included cabbage, carrots and beets stored in plastic bags in my refrigerator. It’s nearing the end of February and they are still crisp and sweet! Another go-to is butternut squash. While a few squash have gone bad during their months in my coat closet, the ones that remain are creamy and delicious. Below are a couple of our favorite vegetable recipes that help us get through the winter.

And we have almost made it! Despite the snow, the 2015 season is just around the corner and we are looking forward to getting started on greenhouse seeding in just a few weeks. Exciting changes for this year include expanded farm store and CSA hours, the addition of strawberries and garlic to our crop plan, and an increase in CSA memberships. We are thrilled that over 80% of last season's CSA members are going to join us again for 2015 and we are now welcoming new members.  In addition to 20 weeks of CSA pick-ups, all CSA members receive $25 Barrett's Bucks, a farm store credit, which may be used for farm store purchases any time of the year starting with the asparagus harvest in mid-May.  Check out our website and be in touch if you'd like to join us!

Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw (we make it without the optional spice!)

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, or to taste
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, or freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh chile, like jalapeño, Thai, serrano, or habanero, or to taste (optional)
1/4 cup peanut oil or extra virgin olive oil

6 cups cored and shredded Napa, Savoy, green, and/or red cabbage
1 large red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced or shredded  (This winter we've been making the origional recipe with shredded carrots instead! Carrots are also featured in the Mexican Style slaw listed below).

1/3 cup chopped scallion, more or less
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. To make the dressing, whisk together the mustard and vinegar in a small bowl, along with the garlic and chile. Add the oil a little at a time, whisking all the while.

2. Combine the cabbage, bell pepper, and scallion and toss with the dressing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve. (It’s best to let the slaw rest for an hour or so to allow the flavors to mellow; the cabbage will also soften a bit and exude some juice. You can let it sit longer, up to 24 hours, if you like. Drain the slaw before continuing.) Just before serving, toss with the parsley.

Cabbage and Carrot Slaw, Mexican Style. Grate 2 medium carrots and use them instead of the bell pepper. Use freshly squeezed lime juice in place of the vinegar. Finish with cilantro if you like instead of the parsley.

Apple Slaw. Use carrots instead of bell pepper, as in the preceding variation. Use 1 medium onion, grated, in place of the scallion. Shred or grate 2 medium or 1 large Granny Smith apples (or use any tart, crisp apple) and include them in the mix. Lemon juice or cider vinegar is the best choice of acid here.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Penne Pasta 
From the Whole Foods Market Cookbook by Steve Petusevsky and Whole Foods Market Team Members

1 medium butternut squash
1 ½ cups diced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 ½ teaspoons)
½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt

1 pound penne pasta

½ cup minced parley
½ cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375F

Peel the butternut squash (a vegetable peeler works best). Using a heavy knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, and discard them. Dice the squash into 1 inch cubes (you should have about 4 cups). Place the squash cubes into a large mixing bowl, and add the onion, garlic, red chili flakes, olive oil, lemon juice and 2 teaspoons salt. Toss the ingredients to mix well.

Place the mixture in a large roasting pan, and roast for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. The squash should be firm-tender, not mushy.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until it is al dente. Darin the pasta, and place it in a large serving bow. Mix in the cooked squash mixture, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper.