sweet potatoes

Weekly recipe roundup (Thanksgiving edition)

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Hi friends!

These days, it can require quite a lot of awareness and intention to eat fresh foods that were grown near us. But not so when it comes to holidays! Somehow seasonal foods still play a giant role for almost all of us as we gather with family and friends. Corn on the cob and big watermelon slices are at the center of our Fourth of July celebrations, for example – and those foods really do grow in July in much of the United States.

Thanksgiving is the most delicious example of this, of course. Here are loads of ideas for your table this Thursday (and in the days after). Wherever you are and whomever you’re sitting with, we wish you all full bellies and warm hearts.

Arugula

Arugula Fig Salad with Blue Cheese and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette at White on Rice Couple

Arugula also plays a supporting role in many of the other recipes linked here!

 

Broccoli

Broccoli Apple Soup at Food52

Spicy Roasted Broccoli with Almonds at My New Roots :: Try this with other flavors too, if you don’t like spicy foods – lemon juice, lemon zest, and lots of garlic, for example.

Broccoli Crunch at 101 Cookbooks

 

Cabbage

Raw Kale, Cabbage, and Carrot Chopped Salad with Maple Sesame Vinaigrette at Gourmande in the Kitchen :: We made this last week and it really is delicious. It’s quite substantial but not heavy, and so would balance nicely with the typically rich dishes on the Thanksgiving table. Our only suggestion is to maybe double the vinaigrette recipe and add it to taste.

Braised Cabbage with Apples and Caraway Seeds at Orangette :: Hands down one of our favorite Thanksgiving sides. Works with red or green cabbage.

Roasted Cabbage with Bacon at The Kitchn

 

Carrots

Carrot Souffle at Simply Recipes

Crisp, Chewy Parmesan-Roasted Carrots by Francis Lam at Gilt Taste

 

Greens

Herbed Cream Collards at VegNews :: Vegan!

Beer Braised Collard Greens at Budget Bytes

Sauteed Red Russian Kale with Apples and Butter at Frog Bottom Farm :: Easy peasy and deeeelicious!

Barley and Kale Salad with Golden Beets and Feta at Bon Appétit

 

Leeks

Honey-Glazed Leeks at Food.com

Leeks with Cream and Tarragon at Orangette

 

Lettuce (and other light salad-y things)

7 Salads to Lighten Up Your Thanksgiving Feast at Food52 :: Includes salads with lettuce, kale, arugula, celery, Brussels sprouts, and fennel.

5 Favorite Fall Salads at Food Network

Sauteed Dates with Ricotta and Lettuce at Sweet Amandine :: I’ve wanted to try this for close to a year!

 

Potatoes

Southern Living’s Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes at My Recipes

Crash Hot Potatoes at The Pioneer Woman :: These are crazy good.

Simple Fondant Potatoes at The New York Times

 

Sweet Potatoes

Brown Butter-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Arugula and Bacon at Food52

Sweet Potato Rolls at The Washington Post :: We’ve made these the last 4 or 5 Thanksgivings. Delicious.

Herbed Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits with Honey Butter at A Sweet Spoonful

Sweet Potato Pie at The Washington Post

 

Turnips

Mashed Turnips and Apples at Getting Stitched on the Farm

Turnip Puff at Kitchen Parade

Honey-Thyme Roasted Turnips, Carrots, and Mushrooms at Foodie Tots

 

Winter Squash

Remember, most winter squash – butternut, kabocha, hubbard — can be used interchangeably in these recipes.

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette at Smitten Kitchen

Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale and Almond Pecan Parmesan at Oh She Glows :: Vegan!

Butternut Squash Soup with Pear, Cider, and Vanilla Bean at Seattlest :: I made this soup the first year I ever hosted Thanksgiving. Really fantastic.

Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Candied Bacon at Suburban Sous

Slow Cooker Winter Squash Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk at Frog Bottom Farm

From Scratch Pumpkin Pie at Grist :: Use any winter squash for this!

 

General

Five Thanksgiving Menus from the Food52 Community at Food52

Real Food Thanksgiving Recipes at Cheeseslave

Veganizing Thanksgiving at Food52 :: Everything looks delicious. Don’t miss the recipe for Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout, and Bread Stuffing with Apples!

Vegan Holiday Recipes + Tips for Navigating the Holidays as a Vegan at Oh She Glows

Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2012 at The New York Times :: Thanks to CSA member Gabriella for this one! Dozens of amazing-looking recipes, and links to similar feasts in 2011 and 2010 as well. Gabriella especially recommends the squash and spinach lasagna, which she made with a Frog Bottom kabocha.

Clara’s First Thanksgiving at Food52 :: Good ideas for including new eaters in the celebration.

A month of Thanksgiving videos at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef :: Gorgeous videos, joyful encouragement, and loads of recipes for all kinds of eaters – including dinner rolls, cornbread, stuffing, and gravy, in addition to some fantastic-looking vegetable dishes. (Also – have you seen their Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Baking iPad App? VERY cool. And word has it there’s a holiday baking app coming soon.)

Top 10 Side Dishes at Dinner: A Love Story

 

Leftovers

Turkey Cranberry Monte Cristo at Paula Deen

Leftover Turkey Pho at Healthy Green Kitchen :: In case you wondered what’s happening here at the farm on Friday – this is it. We’ll use leeks in the place of the green onions and our Hakurei turnips in  place of the daikon.

A Radical Rethinking of Thanksgiving Leftovers by Mark Bittman at The New York Times

One Turkey, Four Meals at Simple Bites

Reveal the Appeal of Potato Peels by Sheri Castle at Gilt Taste :: We actually got to meet Sheri last week at a cooking class. She is as fun as she is wise in the kitchen, and we can’t wait to share some more of her inspired cooking ideas with you in coming weeks. In the meantime, head on over to Gilt Taste and use up those potato peels!

Thanksgiving Thrift: The Holiday as a Model for Sustainable Cooking by Tamar Adler at The New York Times :: We get it right on Thanksgiving, Adler says. What about the rest of the year? “As we try to juggle food choices, tight budgets and busy schedules — and the constant question of what to make for dinner — we could do nothing smarter than approach all our meals as we do Thanksgiving: expecting each and every thing we cook to feed us well tomorrow and the day after, envisioning an efficient unraveling of future meals from previous ones, always having something to start with.”

 

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. Eat well. Be merry. Give thanks.

 

Thanksgiving
Tim Nolan

Thanks for the Italian chestnuts—with their
tough shells—the smooth chocolaty
skin of them—thanks for the boiling water—

itself a miracle and a mystery—
thanks for the seasoned sauce pan
and the old wooden spoon—and all

the neglected instruments in the drawer—
the garlic crusher—the bent paring knife—
the apple slicer that creates six

perfect wedges out of the crisp Haralson—
thanks for the humming radio—thanks
for the program on the radio

about the guy who was a cross-dresser—
but his wife forgave him—and he
ended up almost dying from leukemia—

(and you could tell his wife loved him
entirely—it was in her deliberate voice)—
thanks for the brined turkey—

the size of a big baby—thanks—
for the departed head of the turkey—
the present neck—the giblets

(whatever they are)—wrapped up as
small gifts inside the cavern of the ribs—
thanks—thanks—thanks—for the candles

lit on the table—the dried twigs—
the autumn leaves in the blue Chinese vase—
thanks—for the faces—our faces—in this low light.

 

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Our Weekly Recipe Roundup is a quick weekly list of recipes featuring produce we’re growing right now. We hope it helps! We’d love to know what’s happening in your kitchens this week too.

Weekly recipe roundup

Posted by Lisa on October 25, 2012
autumn, collards, eggs, Frog Bottom Farm recommends, greens, kale, recipes, sweet potatoes, winter squash / Comments Off on Weekly recipe roundup

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Reed digging sweet potatoes

Oh my word, people. We grew two kinds of butternut squash this year – the smaller ones you’ve been seeing in your CSA shares and at market in recent weeks, and a bigger variety. A MUCH BIGGER VARIETY. We are unsure what to do with this unexpected bounty – cut them into more manageable chunks and wrap them before getting them to you? Just pass them along with a bunch of recipes, bidding you the best of luck? Hmm. We’ll see.

In other (fantastic) news, we’ve started digging sweet potatoes! The first ones will be in CSA shares this week. They’re good now, but their sweetness will intensify if you cure them a few more days at home.  Just leave them in a box, covered with paper or heavy cloth, in the warmest place in your house, for up to a week.  After that, we suggest keeping them in a cool, dark location, ideally not the fridge.  Try wrapping them in some newspaper and putting them in a reasonably well ventilated cabinet or pantry closet.

Enough talk – onto the cooking! Here’s this week’s culinary inspiration:

Cinnamon Spiced Butternut Squash at Beauty That Moves :: My friend Heather’s approach to food seems to echo her approach to life in general – encouraging and nourishing with a focus on simplicity. This butternut squash recipe is perfect for this gorgeous autumn we’re having.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup: A Raw/Cooked Comparison at Choosing Raw :: So intriguing!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls at Smitten Kitchen :: Because we love you. (Try our butternut or kabocha for these.)

Lacinato Kale and Ricotta Tart at Bona Fide Farm Food :: This looks so good. You could try it with any of our kale varieties. Collards would probably be tasty too.

Apple & Sweet Potato Latkes with Poached Egg and Sweet Mustard Sauce at Tasty Kitchen :: These sound fussier than they really are. We’ve eaten them for breakfast and dinner and they’re very, very good. Arlo even likes them sometimes!

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Our Weekly Recipe Roundup is a quick weekly list of recipes featuring produce we’re growing right now. We hope it helps! We’d love to know what’s happening in your kitchens this week too.

Our go-to braise

Our go-to braise

We’ll get right to it: this is a recipe every CSA member everywhere should have in their arsenal.  It’s easy, it works with just about any vegetable you find in your share these days (except the leafy stuff like lettuce and cooking greens), and it’s seriously delicious.

To braise means to cook in a small amount of liquid in a covered dish for a long time at a relatively low temperature. It’s a perfect cooking method for the tough roots, firm winter squashes, and strong-tasting cabbages you’re seeing in your CSA shares and on market tables everywhere right now. Braising tames even the most pungent vegetables into something earthy, tender, and sweet.

Here’s the basic idea: grab a couple casserole dishes.  Chop two or three or four kinds of vegetables very coarsely, arrange them in crowded single layers in the dishes, and douse with olive oil and/or broth and/or white wine and/or water.  Add salt, pepper, and red pepper.  Cover tightly with foil and cook in a 325°F oven for about two hours, turning the vegetables about midway through the cooking. And that’s it!  (If you have time, uncover the dishes, turn the oven up to 400°F, and cook everything for another 15 minutes to brown the vegetables lightly. But if you’re ready to eat, you can certainly just dig right in.) This dish is a classic example of the whole being far, far greater than the sum of its humble parts.

Tonight’s version includes arrowhead cabbage, Sunshine kabocha squash (from our friends at Waterpenny Farm in Rappahannock County, since our winter squash fared so poorly this year), and rutabagas.  It, along with some gingerbread and whipped cream, will warm our bellies as we say our sad goodbyes to Shannon, who’s leaving us this week after two years on the Frog Bottom crew.

It’s also delicious with carrots (coming soon in the shares!) and onions.  We often add garlic — keep the cloves whole and unpeeled, and everyone can squeeze their own garlic from the peels when they eat (it’s fun!).  It’s very, very good with a poached egg on top.  And chicken is a perfect addition — just tuck some legs or wings in among the vegetables.  Or try it with sweet potatoes, beets, turnips…

Read the step-by-step instructions over at Orangette.

Fall comes to Frog Bottom, in pictures

Greens greens greens

Red Russian kale

Collards

Chard

Inspecting

(It will be) cabbage

Picking collards

Overhead irrigation

Arugula!

Hakurei turnips

Digging sweet potatoes

Grubbing sweet potatoes

Looks like this grasshopper isn't singing the autumn away

Broilers

Pulling plastic

Surprise baby chicks!

We dig sweet potatoes.

3 lbs 1 oz!

3 lbs 1 oz!

Autumn is really here!  Three cheers!  Another three!  Who else is with me?

We’re a bit crazy about fall vegetables, and what better way to begin talking about that than with this beautiful monster of a sweet potato?  Perhaps Deborah Madison says it best in her inimitable, indispensable Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone*: “Nearly every time I bite into a roasted sweet potato, I ask myself if anything can be more delicious.”

Sweet potatoes have a lot going on nutritionally: they’re chock full of Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene (which means they’re a great immune system boost, and help you see better too!), are a very good source of Vitamin C, and also contain a significant amount of fiber, iron, and potassium. Lots of their nutritional value is found just under the skin, so consider leaving the skin on when you cook or bake with sweet potatoes.  We don’t use any pesticides, so you can be sure the skins are safe to eat!  And remember, carotenes are fat-soluble.  This means it’s important to eat carotene-heavy foods with some fat, to fully digest and absorb all the good stuff.  So butter those sweet potatoes!

Just out of the ground

Storing sweet potatoes

We dug the sweet potatoes going into this week’s shares last week, and so they’re only partially cured. You can eat them right away and they’ll be delicious, but their sweetness will intensify if you cure them a few more days at home.  Just leave them in a box, covered with paper or heavy cloth, in the warmest place in your house, for up to a week.  After that, we suggest keeping them in a cool, dark location, ideally not the fridge.  Try wrapping them in some newspaper and putting them in a reasonably well ventilated cabinet or pantry closet.  They should last several weeks, but do be gentle with them. Despite their tough-looking skin, they’re not as rugged as regular potatoes.

Some of our sweet potatoes this year are pretty enormous!  Don’t be afraid of them.  If you slice off as much as you need, you’ll see a milky white fluid begin to appear.  This is naturally occurring latex! It will form a film over the exposed flesh, and will preserve the sweet potato for another couple days at least.  Generally raw sweet potatoes shouldn’t be stored in the refrigerator, but we sometimes do put them there after we’ve sliced off a piece, and we make a point to use the remaining sweet potato fairly quickly so it isn’t damaged by the dry cold.

Sweet potatoes come in all shapes and sizes!

Sweet potatoes come in all shapes and sizes — just like people!

Eating sweet potatoes

I grew up eating sweet potatoes smothered in marshmallows at the Thanksgiving table … and that was about it.  While I’ll gladly eat them that way even now, golly, I was missing out on so much!  Sweet potatoes are delicious just about any way you cook them: roasted, grilled, braised, steamed; whole, sliced, cubed, mashed, puréed.

Our favorite way to eat sweet potatoes is to slice them into thin rounds, toss with a few good glugs of olive oil, salt, and a few cloves of minced garlic, and arrange in a single layer or so on a cookie sheet. Bake at 400°F for about 15 minutes on one side, and then flip them and cook another 5 or 10 minutes, until they to start to caramelize at the edges.  So good!  We eat them this way a couple times a week but never time the cooking exactly, so do cook them a bit longer if they’re not caramelized yet.

Green things like kale and collards are a happy complement to the sweetness of sweet potatoes. Recently we’ve been eating these roasted sweet potato rounds, or baked sweet potatoes with butter, alongside a raw massaged kale salad (more on that soon in a few days!) and salmon fillets seared in our trusty cast iron pans.

They make wonderful casseroles, of course (savory and sweet), and are also great roasted right alongside chicken, pork, or beef.  They’re fantastic in stews — try a stew of sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and beans, seasoned with peanut butter, garlic, ginger, and cayenne, and served over rice or quinoa.  Puréed, they make an easy early baby food (puréed sweet potato freezes great) and a wonderful soup.  They’re also wonderful cubed and then steamed or roasted, and added to burritos or tacos with black beans and cilantro.

They’re a great addition to breads too!  We make a seriously good braided Hawaiian Sweet Potato Bread from a delightful little cookbook called Goddess in the Kitchen (we thought it was out of print, but it seems it’s just been repackaged as Romancing the Stove: Celebrated Recipes and Delicious Fun for Every Kitchen Goddess).  Last Thanksgiving we made these yeasted sweet potato rolls from James Beard via Joe Yonan at the Washington Post: heavenly.  We haven’t tried these sweet potato biscuits, but they look darned delicious as well.

Have you tried mashed or puréed sweet potatoes in pancake or waffle batter yet?  So good.  And sweet potato pound cake is out of this world.

Other things I’m itching to try: sweet potato gnocchi, a sweet potato soufflé with a bit of cayenne and some crumbled fried sage leaves on top, bread pudding with cubed sweet potatoes.  Ohhh, and how about a sweet potato milkshake with a bit of maple syrup??  Ahem.

One more cooking tip: try substituting sweet potatoes in any recipe that calls for other orange foods like carrots, pumpkin, or winter squash.  It almost always works!

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(Sweet potato pound cake recipe below!)

Digging sweet potatoes

Sweet Potato Pound Cake
adapted from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott

We started making this pound cake in February 2009, right around the time I found out I was pregnant with our own little sweet potato.  Perhaps that explains why I ate that first one for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert till it was gone.  Perhaps not.  This recipe makes a big cake. You stand forewarned.

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
4 eggs
2 large sweet potatoes, baked until soft, peeled and mashed (you want 2 cups — eat the rest!)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Butter and flour a Bundt pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt, and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla, and set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until they’re light and fluffy, and then add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each egg.  Add the mashed sweet potatoes and mix on low for about a minute. Add half the flour mixture and mix on low or with a wooden spoon until it’s just incorporated into the batter.  Now add half of milk, continuing to mix gently, then the rest of the flour, mixing gently again, and finally the rest of the milk, mixing gently until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60-75 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. If you can bear it, let it cool in the pan on a rack for about 20 minutes before gently flipping it out of the pan and onto the rack.  Our friend Shari, who told us about this recipe, warned that it makes your kitchen smell like heaven.  Make some coffee while you wait.  Have your first cup while browsing the archives of this joy+ride, the lovely site co-curated by Shari.  When the cake has cooled just a bit, slice yourself a piece and take it, and the coffee, out to the porch. Exhale. Also makes a great breakfast toasted.

Sweet potato pound cake

Two notes:

1) If you prefer, you can peel, cube, and steam the sweet potatoes, instead of baking them, before mashing them.  We prefer the sweetness that baking them brings, but either method makes a delicious cake.  We don’t recommend boiling sweet potatoes because they can become a bit waterlogged and also lose some of their nutrients.  (And we know you’re eating this cake for its nutrients.)

2) You can use two 8″x4″ loaf pans instead of a bundt pan.  The baking time will probably be shorter — keep an eye on the loaves and check with a tester.

two sweet potatoes