Monday, December 12, 2011

Final Fall Share

We managed to pull a few new items out of the field today.  I've been waiting for the sugarloaf to make heads, and it's finally there, just in time for the last shares.  The brussels and scorzonera are still a bit small, but perfectly useable.  The carrots are also starting to get a little size, and the final item in the share is garlic, which we didn't plan on at all, but we had quite a bit leftover from planting, so I thought it would make a nice addition to the final week of the year.

If you haven't had sugarloaf chicory (pan di zucchero in Italian) it's a bit like butter head lettuce, or maybe cabbage, with a tight wrapped head of pale leaves.  I like to slice it in half lengthwise, drizzle a little oil and salt over the cut side and roast it in a hot oven.  It can also be eaten raw just like the frissee, only with a little more crunch.

Brussels are another new one for the season.  These might need just a little cleaning, generally trimming the butt ends and removing any yellowing leaves.  The fast way to prepare them is to cut them in half, toss them in a hot pan with a bit of oil, stir them until they turn a bit darker green and then add a splash of water and balsamic to the pan, put a lid on it and let them steam for five to ten minutes until they are still crisp tender.  Cooking them too long is the easiest way to make yourself think you don't like brussels sprouts.

Scorzonera is also called black oyster root, and it does have a faint oyster flavor when boiled.  I peel it cut it into chunks, boil it until tender and then add it to a cream sauce with pasta.  A word of warning, when peeling it will bleed white sap which is sticky and will turn brown.  That's normal, and if you want to keep it from browning, put it in a bit of water with some lemon juice (acidulated water).

Carrots and garlic I assume you know what to do with.  There is this fancy garlic peeling video that's been going around the web, so maybe you'd like to check that out.  Roasting the heads whole is another great way to enjoy them.

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