Winter Session: Week 4 Boxletter

Week 4 Box Contents

• SnoValley Mushrooms Shitakes
• Jubilee Farm Eggs
• Hearty Red Beets
• Trusty Ol’ Carrots
• Sweet and Delicious Parsnips
• Subtly Oniony Leeks
• Sweet and Nutty Sunchokes
• Crisp and Clean Fennel
• Herbaceous Little Thyme
• Nutty and Toothsome Wheatberries
• Tender, Crispy Savoy Cabbage (Full Share Only)

Recipes
This week brings us a few new players to the winter game. Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, are the knobby little guy hiding out in the box. They are the tuber (root) of a type of sunflower. They have a nutty flavor that really is reminiscent of artichokes. They can be thinly sliced and eaten raw in salads, pureed into soup or as in the recipe below, roasted. Full disclosure they do have a tendency to afflict some with a little more gassiness than one might like so maybe don’t make them if you’re on a first date. We also should have wheatberries, these are what we use to grind our flour. They are awesome cooked up and used in grain bowls and salads. They do take some time to cook,, but if you think of it, an overnight soak will reduce this cooking time.
Happy Eating!

-Liz

Roasted Root and Wheatberry Salad (WHOLE CSA BOX SALAD!!!)
One recipe that uses pretty much everything in your box? You got it! Serve this with a fried egg on top and you’ve done it!

1 1/2 cup wheat berries
one bay leaf
2 pounds assorted root vegetables; sunchokes, carrots, parsnips, beets, leeks, fennel, whatever you have laying around
Shy ½ C olive oil
10 or so branches of fresh thyme
salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 425ºF
Bring about 2 quarts of well-salted water to a boil, then add the wheat berries and bay leaf. Cook until tender, but still chewy. Depending on the variety, they’ll take between 40-60 minutes to cook.
Anything that is a root can be diced into thumbnail sized chunks. Fennel should have the fronds removed, core the bulb and cut into 1/4” chunks. Leeks can be halved lengthwise, cleaned and cut into 1/2” chunks. While the wheat berries are cooking, toss the diced vegetables on a baking sheet with the onion and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and thyme, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Roast the vegetables in the bottom third of the oven, stirring once midway during baking, for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and browned on the outside.
Once the wheat berries are cooked, drain them well, plucking out the bay leaf. Transfer the wheat berries to a bowl and mix in 1/3- 1/2 cup of olive oil and the dried fruits, stirring well. Taste, seasoning with more salt if necessary
Stir in the root vegetables (I don’t mind the thyme branches in there, but you can remove them if you want) and do a final check for seasoning and add more salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and additional olive oil, if desired. You might want a splash of acid, like some vinegar or lemon in there, or check some of the additions below.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Here are some possible additions to add to the finished salad:

• Toasted and coarsely chopped pecans, hazelnuts, or walnuts
• Quartered marinated artichoke hearts (especially if you use the sunchokes, the flavors do real nice together!)
• Diced dried apricots in place of the cranberries or cherries
• Cubes of feta or bleu cheese strewn over the top
• A big squeeze of fresh lemon or tangerine juice, or some zest
• Sautéed mushrooms tossed in with the root vegetables
• Wilted greens, cooked with garlic, coarsely chopped
• A generous handful of spicy arugula or flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Rye Pasta ‘Rags’ with Fennel and Mushrooms
Ok, homemade pasta may seem fussy, and certainly this isn’t a weekday meal but on the weekend or a day off this is a great little number! You can omit the sausage if you want, you still get some good flavor from the rye pasta and sauce. As with everything think outside the recipe, add leek instead of onion, add a bit of thyme or even some roasted sunchokes would be amazing in here!

Pasta
1 cup rye flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1-2 tablespoons water
flour for dusting

Sauce
8 oz good italian pork sausage
olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, stalks removed and end trimmed, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 cup cream
1 tablespoon tomato paste
salt
pepper
fennel fronds for garnishing
pecorino cheese, grated

To make the pasta, place the flours in a medium sized bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the beaten eggs and using a fork, combine well into a shaggy dough. Add a teaspoon of water at a time to make the dough hold together, but don’t let it look wet. Use a rubber spatula to form it into a cohesive dough.
Sprinkle a cutting board or clean countertop with some white flour and knead the dough until it is silky and smooth, about 3 minutes. Wrap in a plastic bag or wrap and set aside to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. You can also refrigerate at this time or even freeze the dough to use for later. Refrigerated, the dough will keep about 3 days. If you freeze it, defrost in the frig first and then bring to room temperature 30 minutes before working it.
Roll out the dough on a flour dusted workspace. Rye pasta will not stretch as well as regular egg pasta, but it will roll out thin easily. Cut into irregular shapes like torn rags. Cover with a dish cloth and set aside until ready to cook.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes and add oil, swirling the pan to coat the bottom. Add garlic and onion and salt and cook for 2-3 minutes until onion begins to turn translucent. If using pork sausage, remove casing and pinch out 1/2 inch pieces into pan and sautee until nearly cooked through, 5-7 minutes, turning to brown. Add fennel and sautee for 2-3 minutes then add wine to deglaze pan, scrapping up stuck bits. After wine is cooked off, add stock and turn heat down to medium low and allow fennel to blanch in stock for 4-5 minutes. Once stock reduces, add tomato paste and stir to combine. Add cream and lower heat to simmer and allow sauce to cook for 3-4 minutes to allow flavors to marry.
Bring a pot of well salted water to boil and drop in pasta, stirring to ensure none stick to bottom. Once water returns to boil cook pasta for another 2 minutes then drain, reserving 1/4 cup of cooking water. Add rags to sauce in skillet and allow to cook in the sauce for 2-3 minutes, adding pasta cooking liquid to help thicken as needed. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with grated pecorino romano and chopped fennel fronds.

Adapted from “Gjelina”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s