Week 1: 12/3-12/6
Thursday 3pm - till Sunday Night | SELF SERVE 13197 10TH St. South. Afton, MN. 55001 | 612.770.7194
What we're up to:
Welcome to the winter CSA! Your winter bags will be filled with all fresh veggies from our tunnels harvested the week you pick them up! The cold winter tempetures and low daylight hours make growing difficult, to say the least, but the reward is the sweetest carrots, kale and spinach you will ever eat! The low light conditions intensify the colors of mustards, chard and choi as they try to capture all the sunlight they can. As everything grows so much slower in these Persephone days (see history at bottom of email), these plants survival mechanisms are our flavor bombs in the kitchen and we think farming in the winter is worth all the work ;)
In Your Bag This Week
Swiss Chard: use the recipe below or simply sauté with olive oil and finish with balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese. Chard can be used as a wrap, chopped and added to anything baked or is great sautéed with breakfast eggs! Store in a bag in your fridge. Carrots: small pencils carrots have great sweet and earthy flavor! Store in a bag in your fridge. Bok Choy: Literally can go in any dish. chop thin for raw salads, throw on the grill with some Bbq, stir fry, chop for a casserole, steam it, ect! Store in a bag in your fridge. Red Radishes: these little beauties are grown in soil in our greenhouse. They are tender both in the root and tops so you can eat the whole plant. Try adding the greens to a salad or sandwiches for a little peppery flavor addition. Store in a bag in your fridge. Sunflower Shoots: These are nutty and crisp and oh so delicious. I have been eating these in replacement of romaine in Caesar salads and on sandwiches. They are supper easy to add to almost anything! Store in a bag in your fridge. Flavor Mix Micros: Mild and tasty, its a great base for any salad or make it a simple side by adding olive oil, salt and pepper. Store in your fridge. Micro Cilantro: No chopping necessary. Easy to add to tacos, salsa, dressings, nachos, salads, wraps eat.. Store in your fridge. Spinach: This has frozen more than a few times now and is absolutely fantastic!! super sweet and crisp it is perfect for a salad or sautéed as a side. Store in your fridge for up to a month.
Chicken & Butternut Gnocchi with spinach | Serves: 4 | total time: 30 mins
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 (6-oz.) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-in. pieces
3 cups (1/2-in.) cubed peeled butternut squash
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 (12-oz.) pkg. whole-wheat gnocchi
3/4 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
2 tablespoons prepared refrigerated pesto
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
5 ounces baby spinach, chopped
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes or until browned. Place chicken in a bowl.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium. Add squash and onion; cook 8 minutes. Add squash mixture to chicken. Add gnocchi to pan; cook 2 minutes. Add chicken mixture, stock, pesto, sage, garlic, and spinach to pan; cook 1 minute. Top with cheese.
Easy Creamed Swiss Chard & Garlic Breadcrumbs | Serves: 4 | total time: 15 mins
2 large bunches swiss chard
2 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove pressed or minced
1 shallot or small yellow onion thinly sliced
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Garlic Breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon McCormick Black Garlic Seasoning
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh or dried minced parsley
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
First, prepare the garlic breadcrumbs. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add the bread crumbs and season with the garlic seasoning and kosher salt. Stir often to be sure the panko toasts to a golden brown but doesn't burn. Remove from heat and cool. Stir in the parsley and Parmesan cheese.
To Prepare the Swiss Chard
Trim the tough inner ribs from the stalks of the swiss chard leaves and discard. Roughly chop the swiss chard and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions soften, stirring often. Add the cream cheese and the chicken stock and whisk together until the cream cheese melts into the broth and the mixture is smooth. Season with the nutmeg and the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring continuously until thickened. Add half of the swiss chard and gently fold into the sauce until it wilts and softens, then add the remaining chard and fold into the mix until it softens and reduces as well. Sprinkle the creamed chard with the bread crumbs and transfer to a serving dish.
We wash everything in your bag but we wash them in bulk so some things may need an extra rinse at home.
Please bring your bag back next week so we can re-use them!
A little Winter Mythology:
Elliot Coleman coined the term “Persephone Days” for the period when there is less than 10 hours a day of sunlight and plant growth slows to a halt. Typically November 7th through February 7th. Persephone was the Greek goddess of vegetation, especially grain, and the wife of Hades, with whom she rules the Underworld, whom she was forced to marry. Demeter, her mother, created a great drought to convince the other gods to release Persephone from Hades. As a compromise, it was decided that Persephone would be released but that she would have to return to Hades for one-third of the year. So, when Persephone depends to the underworld each year, her mother kills off all the plants on earth.
And that is the story of winter lol