We are so excited to finally have collard greens in our boxes again. Having lived in North Carolina for nearly a decade we became accustomed to their omnipresence in local markets, but few farmers in this area grow them. When we had the chance to choose the greens for our winter boxes, these versatile greens were first on our list. We introduced our Buffalo family to collard greens a few years back and now they ask us to make them– they have even become a staple in our Thanksgiving dinner.
Selection and Storage
Collards can be prepared the same way you prepare other greens like spinach, kale, turnip greens or mustard greens.
To start, cut the collards into thin strips, removing the thick middle stalk.
Collard Green Recipes
Collard Green Casserole
I like to make a version of this with chicken and use lots of lemon instead of sour cream
Like most greens, collards can also be eaten raw
Stuffed Collard Greens
Similar to stuffed cabbage leaves, but with a twist
This week the Farm and FamilyFix recieved a pie pumpkin. If you don’t have a pie pumpkin, you can follow the same preparation and recipes with a butternut or honeynut squash. We will show you how to prepare a sugar (or pie) pumpkin so that you can use it in various recipes. It’s much easier and faster than you might think and the flavor of a fresh roasted pumpkin is quite different from the canned variety; it’s a bit earthier and nuttier. For fun, you might want to try a side-by-side taste comparison of canned pumpkin versus freshly roasted pumpkin. You might find It’s worth the extra work now and then. As a rule of thumb, 1 small pumpkin should make enough puree to equal one 15-oz. can.
How to Cook a Pie Pumpkin
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Use a sharp knife to slice the stem off before slicing in half so you don’t have to slice through the stem. Then slice the pumpkin in half.
4. With a sharp-edged spoon (such as a metal tablespoon with a sharp edge or a metal ice cream scoop), scoop out the seeds & guts. Make sure you clean & save the seeds for roasting.
5. Brush inside the pumpkin with oil and place face down on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
6. Roast at 350F for about 45-50 minutes. The exact time will vary depending on the size of the pumpkin(s) and you may need more time. The skin will be slightly darker and wrinkled and you should be able to poke a fork quite easily through.
7. Let the pumpkin cool for 10 minutes before handling. Use a large spoon to peel away the very thin skin. It comes off almost effortlessly. At this point, you can use the flesh in all kinds of dishes – soups, casseroles, risotto, pies, etc.
8. If making a puree: Place the pumpkin flesh into the blender and blend until smooth. Drain the pureed pumpkin in a cheesecloth to remove excess water or you can use it as is.
In New York, broccoli is in season from June until late November. Broccoli is very versatile in the kitchen. It can be eaten raw in a salad or dipped in a fresh yogurt dip. Broccoli is also great roasted, boiled, steamed or microwaved. Add broccoli to a pasta sauce for an extra punch of vitamins. Or try some in burritos or quesadillas.
Spaghetti squash is another type of "winter squash." While it is harvested in fall it can last all winter if stored properly. It gets its name because when prepared the flesh resmbles spaghetti. Never cooked a spaghetti squash before? Have no fear! We will help you turn those beauties into a delicious dinner.
Spaghetti squash stored in a cool dry place will last several weeks. Squash store at ideal temperatures will even last months. If possible, store at 50-55° in a dry spot with low humidity. If its too cold it will suffer chilling injuries and start to deteriorate. We don’t recommend storing in the basement because it is probably too moist and they will be more likely to rot.
Most often spaghetti squash is prepared by first roasting it in the oven. Start by cutting the squash in half lengthwise and scooping out the seeds and pulp (see pictures below). Next, place both halves face side down on an oiled baking sheet. Bake the squash for about 45 minutes. Alternatively you could microwave it for about 15 minutes, but roasting is preferred for the best texture. You can tell the squash is cooked when the outside starts to cave in a bit and appears hallow. Use a fork to scrape out the inside of the squash. If well cooked it should separate into stringy pieces that resemble spaghetti.
Melons are one of those fruits that are technically a vegetable. They are related to other crops that grow on trailing vines like cucumbers and squash. True cantaloupes are found more widely in Europe and the Middle East. Cantaloupes get their name from a town near Rome named Cantalupo. However, what we call cantaloupes in North America are actually really netted melons. True cantaloupes are smaller and rounder than netted melons and have tougher skin that is either smooth or scaly, nut never netted.
Selection and StorageOne thing everyone asks is how to pick a ripe melon. If you ask ten people they will all tell you something different. My go-to method for cantaloupes is to smell the indentation at the end. If it smells fruity and fragrant (rather than just like rind) than it is usually ready to eat. If not leave it on the counter a few days. For melons with thinner skins, I usually expect them to be somewhat soft on the outside when they are ripe. Not mushy, but not rock hard.
Ripe melons don't last long so eat them as soon as you can. If they aren't quite ripe, you can usually store on the counter until they ripen. Once they are ripe, move them to the fridge and they will be good for a few more days.
A perfect melon really needs very little preparation. Remove the seeds, slice and eat! However, if you want to get creative, here are some other preperation ideas: