Thursday, January 5, 2012

Welcome to Winter

A beautiful share today for the first harvest of 2012.  We pulled all of the remaining carrots today, mostly Napoli but a few Yellowstones and Cosmic Purples as well.  Fortunately the voles left enough celeriac and castlefranco chicory for everyone to get some.  The frisee continues to look good in the field, as do the leeks and they round out the share.  Cabbage was on the schedule for today but with all of the chicory in the share I thought I'd leave it to size up another two weeks.  One of the real tricks this time of year is trying to figure out what will keep in the field, and what to harvest.  Everything is more or less ready to be harvested, some will keep, other crops will either get eaten by voles or will rot, or suffer cold damage if they're left.  

If you're not familiar with chicories like the frisee and castlefranco, they're particularly good this time of year with the cold weather.  Chicories are known for a slight bitter taste, but with the cold they also have a lot of sugar and make great raw salads.  Chicories are also strong enough to hold up to a bit of heat, and are good sautéed or even in soup or roasted.  If you're going to eat them raw they benefit from soaking in cold water for up to 1/2 hour after cutting up the leaves.  Use a spinner to get them dry.  Celeriac is another new one for many folks.  The tops can be used like celery for flavoring soups or other dishes.  The roots are the main attraction here, and are great grated in salad, or boiled and mashed with potatoes.

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