ATHENS HILLS WINTER CSA:
Welcome to the Winter CSA Athens Half Share folks! We are so glad to have you, and everyone, around for the next few months. This week we have some delicious veggies in your bag, many of which you might be able to use for some of your holiday delights. I’ve included a lovely recipe for Sweet Potato Bread that will certainly compliment any holiday dinner, and would be a tasty treat to serve your overnight guests for breakfast. Breads like this one also make wonderful gifts that can be frozen and enjoyed later in the winter when all of the other goodies are gone.
The second recipe is for a great sauce that can be served over rice or pasta, and on baked potatoes. It might even work well with some of your leftover holiday meats. You decide. Either way I hope you have a chance to enjoy both recipes over the next couple of weeks.
Just a reminder that we will NOT be delivering shares next week (the week of Christmas): we will resume the following week with a Wednesday delivery (January 2nd) for all. We want to wish all of you a happy and joyous holiday season and we are looking forward to seeing you sometime this coming New Year!
Best Wishes for a Peaceful Holiday!
8 oz. Salad Mix: A mix of several lettuce varieties picked for their delicious taste and color combinations.
6 oz. Micro Mix: A mix of sunflower, buckwheat, radish, cabbage and kogani (pac choi).
8 oz. Mushrooms: Pickers' choice of our farm-grown shiitake, oyster or trumpet mushrooms.
1 bunch of Tatsoi: A beautiful Asian green that is a member of the Brassica family. It is technically a mustard green, but is quite mild and crunchy. It is a delicious raw addition to our salad mix, and is also wonderful steamed or sautéed with your favorite seasonings.
1 bunch of Swiss Chard: Another of our favorite greens from the Goosefoot family that had tender leaves that can be eaten raw or steamed, sautéed, etc. along with its crunchy white stems; some complimentary flavors include marjoram, parsley, savory, nutmeg, allspice & paprika. Cook these greens only until they are bright green.
2 lbs. Sweet Potatoes: Our first year growing these beauties; originally from Central America and are part of the Morning Glory family; don’t confuse with Yams which are from Africa and are a totally different vegetable species; keep in a cool, dry place & do not refrigerate.
2 heads of Garlic (a perennial from the Lily family; many of you are already familiar with its myriad of uses and attributes so I will say no more about this gem.)
Recipe: Sweet Potato Bread (makes 2 loaves)
You will need 2 ½ cups cooked & mashed sweet potatoes—bake in advance on 350F for one hour or until soft. Cool and peel off skin. If you have extra sweet potato left after measuring the 2 ½ cups, use it for casseroles, pancakes, soups, or whatever you desire—its nice on its own too.
For the sponge:
2 C wrist-temperature water
1package of active dry yeast
one drop of molasses
1 ½ C unbleached white flour
1 C whole wheat flour
Place water in a large bowl. Add yeast and molasses. Beat in flour. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.
For the mix:
2 ½ C well-mashed sweet potato
4Tbs. melted butter
1 rounded Tbs. salt
optional: 1tsp. cinnamon / ½ tsp. ground cloves
Mix together until well combined. Beat into risen sponge.
about 3 C more whole wheat flour
about 4 C more unbleached white flour
a little butter or oil for the bowl & pans or tray
Add the flour to the risen sponge one cup at a time. Proceed to knead until dough is springy using one hand to add flour and one to knead. Add flour until the dough has lost its stickiness. Knead for 15-20 minutes with both hands. Oil your bowl generously. Place the dough in it, swish it around, then invert the dough, and return to bowl (this prevents the dough from drying out). Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and return it to a warm place to rise. The dough has risen when it had doubled in bulk (usually about 1 hour).
Punch down the dough to deflate it, and transfer to a floured surface. Start kneading it. Push forward by pushing down toward the dough’s center and fold it back toward you again. If the dough is pretty wet, you can add bits of flour very gradually. You will establish your own rhythm of kneading: pushing down and forward, folding back. Do this for about 20 minutes.
Grease the pans generously with butter or oil, especially the corners. To make your loaves cut in half and use a rolling pin or the palms of your hands to gently push each portion of dough to 7in wide at the center and about ½-1in thick. Snugly roll up the oval lengthwise and when you get it to the other end, pinch the seam tightly, and pat the loaf firmly into shape. Place each loaf into the pan, pressing it hard into the corners and floor of the pan. Take the dough out again and return it upside-down—this gives the bread a handsomely shaped surface.
Once again, cover the dough with a damp cloth, and put it in a cozy place to rise. It is ready to bake when its bulk has doubled (this often goes more quickly than the other rises). Preheat the oven to 375F 15 minutes before baking. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when thumped. Remove from pans and cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
(Recipe adapted from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, 1995)
Recipe: Artichoke Sauce with Greens & Mushrooms (serves 5-6 or enough for 1 lb. pasta)
1Tbs. olive oil
1 C minced onion
¾ lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. each dried thyme & sage
½ lb. greens (either the Swiss chard or tatsoi would work here), stemmed and chopped
3 to 4 large cloves garlic, minced
4Tbs. vegetable broth or water
1Tbs. unbleached white flour
2 6oz. jars marinated artichoke hearts or crowns
freshly ground black pepper to taste
about 6 leaves fresh basil minced, or 1Tbs dried optional—3 to 4 Tbs. milk or cream
Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion and sauté for about 2 minutes over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, ½ tsp. salt, thyme, and sage. Stir and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, then add the greens, garlic, and remaining salt. Stir, cover, and cook another 5 minutes over medium heat.
Add the broth or water and wait until it bubbles. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring as you sprinkle. Cook uncovered for another minute or two, stirring constantly. The liquid will thicken.
Cut the artichokes into bite-sized pieces. Add to the skillet, along with all the liquid from the jars. Grind in some black pepper, stir in the basil, and if desired, stir in the milk or cream. Remove from heat and serve.
(Recipe courtesy of The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, 1995)
Have a wonderful couple of weeks and don’t forget you can contact us at:
(740) 448-4021 OR
We look forward to hearing from you!