Week 22 CSA from Valley Flora!

  • Winter Kohlrabi
  • Pie-Pita Pumpkin 
  • Treviso Radicchio - the first in our fall line-up of radicchio varieties
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Yellow Onions
  • Bunched Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Peppers

On Rotation:

  • Cauliflower
  • Romanesco

The CSA share is taking a decided turn towards Fall food this week, with the return of cabbage, the first harvest of our impossibly large winter kohlrabis, Treviso radicchio kicking off chicory season, and a quintessentially seasonal pumpkin. Autumn boasts the highest concentration of the "weird" vegetables in the CSA, so I'd better take a minute to walk you through some of this new fare:

  • Winter Kohlrabi: this is our most ginormous, and ginormously delicious, kohlrabi of the year. In the case of kohlrabi, it turns out bigger is better because there is more crunchy, juicy, sweetness and less fiber. Some of these guys weigh in upwards of 5 pounds each - eek - so you might want to triple this recipe for Kohlrabi Slaw and take it to a big potluck. The top leaves of your kohlrabi are as edible as kale or collards, so don't let them go to waste, and after you cut the leaves off your kohlrabi it will store for MONTHS in the fridge - so feel free to save it for a big holiday meal.
  • Pie-Pita Pumpkin - This is a pie pumpkin with superpowers: it has sweet flesh for baking, but it is also filled with hull-less seeds that you can roast into delicious pepitas. Every other pumpkin variety in the world only does one or the other: pie or seeds. Either way, you end up tossing the seeds out or you toss the meat out. We hate waste on the farm, so when I learned that this variety does both, and does them both well, I was sold. To roast your seeds, scoop them out, rinse them off, pat them semi-dry, toss them with a little salt (and olive oil if you want, but not necessary), and roast at 300 in the oven until lightly browned, stirring now and then. And you could be baking your pumpkin at the same time for that homemade pie. Maybe all this after October 31st, so that it can augment your Halloween decor in the meantime...
  • Treviso Radicchio: I'm always sad to see the lettuce go, but my consolation is the radicchio. I got to harvest our first variety yesterday, a dense, upright, wine-colored treviso type. Over the past five years I've fallen in love with chicories (escarole, radicchio, etc), more and more each year. From a production standpoint, I love how hardy they are, thriving through the difficult weather of late fall and winter. From an aesthetic standpoint, I love the beauty of them all: so many deep, vibrant colors in myriad shapes and forms. And from a culinary perspective, I love eating them. Here's a recipe that's hard not to love: Tasty Radicchio Salad. I get that they can be a challenge for the uninitiated, due to their bitterness. But that can be overcome by cooking, or by cutting them up raw and soaking in cold water for 10 minutes. The treviso type you're getting this week lends itself well to braising, grilling, or other applications of heat, but you can just as easily use it raw in salad. Thanks to Epicurious for curating this amazing list of radicchio recipes, at least ONE of which should get you curious enough to dive into the world of radicchio starting this week. You'll see a few other radicchio varieties before the season is over, so use this first opportunity to get on good terms with it, and maybe like me, learn to love it...