Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Plump Napa Cabbage in the Cabbage Patch

FALL CSA Harvest Week 4:
Plump Napa Cabbage in the Cabbage Patch
Waxed veggie BOXES: Please return the waxed veggie boxes that your veggies come in.  Simply trade us an empty box for a full box each week. 

We’ve hauled in a huge “last chance” harvest of sweet peppers, red tomatoes, green tomatoes, and the last of many frost-free vegetables.  Here comes the frost- along with some consecutive days of cold weather.  What do the vegetables think about that?   You may notice a chance in the appearance of some of the arugula, lettuce, kale, and other greens as the plants respond to seasonal changes and their growth slows down.  The plants may lose some of their beauty pageant looks, but we all know they are still good down to their little veggie core.

Why is my box so full?
We’ve got another beautiful harvest to share with you this week!  This pre-frost harvest is above average in size, and remember that some of the November veggies boxes will be below average in size. 

The Napa cabbage (Chinese cabbage) will last for 2 weeks in a plastic bag stored in your crisper drawer.  Enjoy it raw in salads, sautéed, steamed, stir-fry, or chopped and wilted into miso soup.  One of our garden patches has been sprouting plump Naba cabbages.  These mild flavored cabbage cousins are more tender than regular cabbages with a more mild flavor.  You can also try substituting Napa cabbage for regular cabbage in many recipes.             
Image from http://www.bike2power.com/blog/cycling-super-food-napa-cabbage.html

Let us know if you questions or comments about your veggies!

Farm Fresh Harvest

Napa cabbage- Check out the great recipes in the recipe section
Scallions- Use the white AND green parts of these green onions or scallions.
Beets- Beets have a sweet earthy flavor.  Maybe you don’t like beets? Try one of the tasty recipes below- give them a try.  I recommend slicing boiled beets thinly for the sweetest flavor.
Broccoli- Last time for our garden fresh broccoli.   Will keep in a plastic bag for 1 week, but use by Friday night for an amazing flavor that is garden fresh! 
Bell peppers
Tomatoes- Last tomatoes!


Fresh Gingered Beets
Adapted from The Passionate Vegetarian, 2002.

Basic Cooking Method
1.       Wash beets well. Cut off and discard root tails and all except 1 inch of stems.  Do not peel.  Cook, covered in lightly salted boiling water for 40 to 50 minutes or until just tender. Drain.  Let cool until easy to handle.
2.       Slip skins off beets under running water.  Carefully slice each beet into 1/4 inch thick slices, removing and discarding remaining stem ends.
Once the beets are sliced, you may splash them with a bit of olive oil and store for about 2 days before using or creating them into a dish.  I like to store beets in Mason jars, so they don’t stain the Tupperware.
1 bunch of beets (approx 5 large beets or 10 golf ball size beets)
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1-2 teaspoons finely diced ginger
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons water

1.       Heat 1 teaspoon each butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  When the oils are sizzling hot, add the cooked beets and toss them in the hot fat. 
2.       Then add 1 to 2 teaspoons peeled very finely dice ginger.  Toss for about 30 seconds.
3.       Then add 3 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 tablespoons water.  Cook, stirring, until the water and brown sugar have bubbled into a glaze, about 30 seconds.

Orange-Beet Salad
From Better Homes and Gardens annual Recipes 2001
Marie’s notes: I used olive oil instead of walnut oil and plain chevre instead of feta cheese. I also omitted the orange peel (the peel of conventional citrus have a high concentration of pesticides) and used 1 extra tablespoon of orange juice.
Tip: Roll the plain goat chevre or feta cheese in a black pepper and thyme mixture (coat the cheese in herbs)  to keep the red juice of the beets from staining the cheese.  I let the beets marinate overnight in the dressing, drained the beets, and then topped the beets with the walnuts and cheese on the dinner plates.   It was delicious!

3 medium beets (about 9 oz)
3 Tbsp. walnut oil or salad oil
1 tsp. shredded orange peel
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar or white vinegar
2 Tbsp. broken walnuts toasted
3 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
¼ coarsely ground pepper
3.      Wash beets well. Cut off and discard root tails and all except 1 inch of stems.  Do not peel.  Cook, covered in lightly salted boiling water for 40 to 50 minutes or until just tender. Drain.  Let cool until easy to handle.
4.     Slip skins off beets under running water.  Carefully slice each beet into 1/4 inch thick slices, removing and discarding remaining stem ends.
5.     Meanwhile, for dressing, in a screw-top jar combine walnut oil or salad oil, orange peel, orange juice, and vinegar.  Cover and shake well.
6.     In a medium mixing bowl gently toss the beet slices with the dressing. Cover, and chill to marinade for 2 to 24 hours. 
7.     To serve, let mixture come to room temperature. Gently stir walnuts into beets. Sprinkle with feta cheese and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

Recipes for Napa Cabbage…..

Asian Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce
Peanut Sauce-
Sauté 4 garlic cloves and 1 chili (or 1 teaspoon chili powder) over medium heat in a medium pot for 4 minutes.  Then add 1 cup water, ¼ cup soy sauce,  1/3 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy), and 2 teaspoons brown sugar.  Stir vigorously to combine.  Thicken sauce over medium heat, stirring occasionally.     Makes about 1 ¼ cups of sauce
Stir Fry Vegetables: Add any veggie that you’d like. The possibilities are endless.
Saute 1 onion and 2 carrots over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add chopped bok choy stems and cook for about 3 minutes. Turn up heat to medium high heat and add a splash of water. Add roughly chopped bok choy leaves and stir. After about another minute of cooking, lower heat to medium andpour peanut sauce over veggies. Cook over medium heat until some sauce absorbs or vegetables are done to your liking. Serve over soba noodles, basmati rice, or brown rice.
8 things to do with Napa Cabbage- Need ideas? Check these out!

Napa Cabbage Slaw
This is a recipe I made up the other day with a little inspiration from a few cook books.  Remember that salads are a great creative way to blend vegetable flavors, textures and colors.  They are also where you see the seasons change.  Arugula and spinach salads in the spring, lettuce a little later, rich summer salads of tomatoes and cucumbers, back to greens in the fall, then things like slaws late into the winter.  Have fun with them, experiment with some new ingredients, play with the dressing.  If you use fresh in season vegetables you won’t go wrong. 
A quick and easy salad with a little extra body and great fall flavors
One head napa cabbage-diced
3-4 carrots-cut into coins, diced, or grated depending on your tastes
Olive Oil-about ¼ cup
Apple Cider Vinegar-about ¼ cup
Lemon Juice-2-3 tablespoons
Honey-1-2 tablespoons
Garlic-1-3 cloves diced
Salt-to taste
Pepper-to taste
 Mix dressing ingredients.  Modify as needed.  Toss into cabbage and carrots. 
 This salad goes great with roasted fall vegetables or roast chicken (it’s the salad we had with our Thanksgiving dinner).

 Roasted Broccoli Recipe
 Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4 as a side dish.
 The measurements are just a guideline. Add more or less olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, or cheese to taste.
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into florets
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • Juice from half a lemon, about 1 Tbsp
  • Kosher salt
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste


1 Preheat the oven to 400. In a large bowl toss the broccoli florets, chopped stems, and minced garlic with olive oil and lemon juice until lightly coated. Sprinkle salt over the broccoli and toss to coat.
2 Arrange the broccoli florets in a single layer on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.  Roast for 20 minutes.  Then uncover and cook until done to your liking.

3 Put the roasted broccoli back in the bowl and toss with lots of freshly ground black pepper and the grated parmesan cheese.

Serve immediately.


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