Rutabagas. I received two in the CSA this week. I had no idea what to do with them, but I was determined not to let them go to waste. I turned to the internet to figure out what people do with them. I discovered a Finnish dish called Lanttulaatiko. I have no idea what it translates into, but it is seems to be essentially a rutabaga casserole. Here is my take on it:
- Two medium rutabagas
- Two carrots
- One egg
- 1/2 cup of bread or cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup of milk
- salt and pepper
- One TBSP of butter
Peel and chop the rutabagas and carrots. Put them in a large pot. Fill the pot with water until it covers the vegetables by an inch or so. Generously salt the water. Bring pot to a boil and continue to boil the veggies until soft, around 25 minutes. While the veggies are cooking, in another bowl beat an egg with the milk. Add the bread or cracker crumbs, and allow them to soak up the milk/egg mixture. (I had wanted to use bread crumbs, but I had used the last of them on the meatloaf I was making at the same time. I found some buttery crackers still sealed in their tube in the pantry. I think they were from the last time we had company at the house. I crunched them up and threw them in the egg.)
Once the rutabagas are soft drain and return to pot. Then mash them until they look like lumpy mashed potatoes. Pour in the milk, egg, and crumbs and mix together. Salt and Pepper to taste. Then pour the entire thing into a greased baking dish.
Dot the top with several pats of butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. My cinnamon kind of exploded out of the jar on the first shake. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.
Once out of the oven allow it to cool slightly, and then dish it up. We enjoyed this quite a bit. It may end up on our Thanksgiving table. It could be served as a main course or a side dish.
Last Thanksgiving we helped out our community center by doing prep work for a town wide thanksgiving. My husband had the unfortunate job of trying to hack apart several donated hubbard squash. After several attempts with various knives and many cuts and blisters, he used a machete to bust those puppies open.
This spring I came upon a single hubbard squash seedling. I picked it up as a joke. As I put it into the ground, B asked, “Is that a pumpkin?” “No,” I answered and handed him the tag. “Oh no! I can’t believe you bought that! Seriously? Hubbard Squash?” I smiled, my joke had gone as planned…or had it?
Within just a few weeks this tiny seedling had taken over a large section of my squash patch. It climbed out of the bed and into the yard. We had to buy a new section of fence just so we could mow the grass. In the other direction it climbed up a trellis and into the tomatoes. The hubbard and pole beans developed some strange symbiotic relationship and wrapped around each other quite happily.
Today we cut two squash off this single plant, and there are more coming.
My daughter couldn’t even lift the larger one. These behemoths are currently taking up most of the counter space in our kitchen while I try to figure out what I’m going to do with them. Luckily, they last forever, and I absolutely love squash. I will conquer them.
Our CSA this week featured an interesting character called ground or husk cherries. B and I were excited to try it. So excited that before we even tasted it I traded a bunch of kale for an extra bag of these little paper lanterns. I’m not sure if they are a fruit or a vegetable.
My internet research has told me that they are related to tomatillos and originate in South America. In the north they are grown as annuals and reseed themselves, which has led me to contemplate saving one to throw in a pot this spring. They are called Ground Cherries because you have to wait for them to fall off the plant in order to harvest them. To eat them just pop them out of their paper and pop them in your mouth. I heard that when left in their husk they will keep on your counter for several weeks.
Now the important part- how do they taste? Well, they are almost indescribable. They are citrus-y, creamy, pineapple-y, tomato-y all at the same time. The first bite I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. As I chewed I started tasting one after the other each of the above flavors. Surprised I didn’t turn into a large blueberry at the end like Violet in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I ate a few more. Each one is slightly different than the last. One is more like pineapple, while another more creamy. They are truly interesting for such tiny piece of food. B thinks they taste like a sweet pineapple dreamsicle.
I used a hand full of these in a salad. I tossed them with a salad mix, garlic and herb goat cheese, and homemade balsamic vinaigrette. They offset the bitter greens and the goat cheese very nicely.
This is how my mom made green beans when I was a kid. I think fresh green beans taste like candy when made this way.
- 1 quart fresh green beans, ends cut off and cut into bite sized pieces
- Juice from half a lemon
- 1 tbsp of honey
- pat of butter
- salt to taste
Cook beans in a pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Drain. Pour into a medium bowl. Add lemon, honey, butter, and salt to taste. Toss together, and serve hot.
I’m trying to find an ingredient to substitute the lemon. Sumac may work, as it has a citrus taste, but that is a whole other blog entry. It is actually almost time for me to harvest some, so you’ll hear more about that another time.
This is an adaptation of my family’s recipe for sausage stuffing.
6 TBSP of butter
1 Medium onion, chopped
1 bunch(about ten) of rainbow chard stems, chopped (you can throw in some leaves if you want.)
8 ounces of bulk sausage
6 TBSP of dried parsley
10 slices of bread or medium loaf of french or italian bread (We used a multgrain sandwich bread)
1 cup of chicken stock
salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a pan, add the chard and saute until they begin to get tender. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Crumble the bulk sausage in and cook breaking up large pieces. Throw in the parsley, salt and pepper to taste and mix. As the sausage cooks, cut up or tear bread into bit size pieces. Transfer cooked sausage mixture and torn bread into a large bowl and toss. Add chicken stock and toss until all the bread is moist. Pour into a 9×13 dish. Bake at 350 until the top is crispy and brown, about 20 minutes.
This week we received chard, cabbage, fennel, basil, lettuce, potatoes, zucchini, squash, feta, chevre packed in olive oil, and sage cheddar.
Squash Spaghetti, not to be confused with Spaghetti Squash, is one of our favorite ways to eat zucchini and summer squash. Sometimes we even add carrots.
Last summer, or maybe it was the summer before B got a new peeler and wanted to try it out. It was that time of summer when gardeners become over run with summer squash and zucchini. Neighbors come over with armfuls begging and pleading for you to just take a couple. They leave them on people’s door steps in the middle of the night just to be rid of them. Such was the case in my office when a large pile appeared on the break room table with a sign saying, “Free for the taking.” I decided to take one home, not sure what we were going to do with it. B decided he would use the zucchini to try out the peeler and Sqaush Spaghetti was born.
1 large zucchini, or a few smaller ones
1 large summer squash, or a few smaller ones
1 clove of garlic
2 TBSP of olive oil
1 TBSP of butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Julienne the zucchini and summer squash down to where the seeds become visible. Finely chop the garlic. In a medium pan heat the olive oil. Add the butter. when the butter is melted, add the garlic. Once the garlic is fragrant add the squash. Saute in the olive oil and butter until cooked through. Serve immediately. Very simple and very good.
The Peeler! This was two small summer squash and three small zucchini- before getting cooked.