Summer CSA, Week 3

How do you prepare for something you’ve never done before; Knowledge, hydration, relaxation and one metric ton of good faith?

I’m participating in a 100 mile bike race next week and I’m kind of freaking out. I’ve never biked that far before. I’ve raced my bike countless times but never that far.

Thankfully I’m finding a bit of solace in the farm. During lunch Sam whipped out a couple of cookbooks. One stood out to me: From Asparagus to Zucchini. According to Sam this book came to fruition when CSAs started becoming more popular around the US. People were excited to get a CSA box but were left overwhelmed with what to do with all the veggies.

How do you all prepare for a CSA box every week? Mix up lots of dressings for salads I hope! Perhaps clear shelves in the refrigerator? I feel that committing to a Summer CSA share is more impressive that completing a 100 mile bike race. Summer CSA share season is a marathon not a sprint.

Thank you for eating veggies you might not have tried before and experimenting with recipes new to you. Thank you for reminding me a 100 mile bike race is a walk in the park compared to eating a farm load of veggies, you are the real athletes!!!

Also if you are having trouble eating all of those mixed greens some fun ways to use them up could be:

  • Put them on a sandwich
  • Mix in with scrambled eggs
  • Add to lentil or miso soup

The carrot field is a beach where the carrots soak up the sun all day. This past week more cucumbers went into the ground, more potatoes went into the ground and the onion field got a cozy layer of mulch. Weeding continued throughout the farm; the bright sunny days have been prime weed killing weather.

The deer fence across the road got one step closer to being finished. Garrett and I post-pounded many T-posts. Additional support wood posts were added to the fence lines. The next step is to hang the gates and roll out the fence!

A friendly reminder the Free Range Film Festival is this weekend. See you at the big red barn!

From a film hungry farm crew,

Tiffany


In your share this week:

Green Onions – Carrots – Greens Mix – Kale – Butter head Lettuce – Pac Choi – Radishes – Turnips


Carrot and Beet Kale Salad with Roasted Potatoes and Tofu

For the roasted potatoes

2 russet potatoes chopped (about 1 cup chopped per salad) seasoned with salt and pepper, olive oil and chili powder (if you’re into that)

Roast potatoes at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes

For the Tofu

1 package of firm Tofu cut into cubes and seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.

Bake Tofu along side potatoes at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes

For the salad (per serving)

  • 1/2 cup Grated Carrot
  • 1/2 cup Grated beet
  • 2 cups finely chopped kale
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Tahini sauce

  • 6 Tbsp Tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp maple syrup

Whisk sauce ingredients together and top over salad, potatoes and tofu!

Pac Choi stir fry with Turnips and Carrots

  • Pac Choi chopped into even square pieces
  • Turnips and carrots chopped into quartered pieces similar to pac choi

Cook veggies over medium heat in olive oil with soy sauce and fish oil until veggies are tender. Top with mixed greens and enjoy!

 

Summer CSA, Week 2

Summer Solstice is days away and the sunlight feels infinite.

This time of year everything looks so vividly green. The woods are thick with lush leaves and grass seems to grows back over night after its been mowed. The farm is fast paced here on out till after fall harvest. So it’s easy to get caught up in the work and forget to take a moment and breathe it all in.

I’ve seen three different mama ducks on the pond in the back with little babies. I always update the farm crew after I’ve seen them. I saw a great horned owl this past weekend fly in front of me and perch in a tree around dusk.

We’ve had a handful of sweltering day in June so far. But for the most part it’s been a mild end to spring. I keep saying I’m waiting for those hot days, those sleep with the windows open and run around in a tank top and shorts kind of days. But of course when those hot days do come a knocking I’ll be ill prepared without a hat or sunscreen. Inevitably getting oddly placed tan lines all across my body. So this is my public service announcement to be prepared, summer is coming.

Karin will be taking a baby sabbatical this summer starting hopefully on the solstice (then I win the pool) while the rest of us on the farm crew attempt to fill her shoes. I’m confident we will make her proud.

This week the farm crew began the season of weeding, the first planting of carrots got weeded along with many other rows, beds and aisle ways. The fields across the road have irrigation now and a mountain of seed potatoes was conquered.

Food is starting to leave the ground and enter your homes! I’m constantly amazed at just how much food we harvest in a season and how many people get to eat these wonderful veggies.

So thank you for being the consumer and thank you for putting up with me writing the newsletter in Karin’s absence. I’ll try to be as witty and well spoken as she is.

With fists fulls of greens,

Tiffany


In your share this week:

Green Onions – Greens mix – Rhubarb – Lettuce – Radishes – Spinach – Turnips


Spinach and Quinoa Patties

1 cup – uncooked quinoa OR 2 ½ cups pre-cooked quinoa, (black, white or red)
¾ cup – rolled oats
4 eggs
7 oz – feta cheese
4 cups – fresh spinach, chopped
sea salt & pepper
coconut oil, butter, olive oil or ghee for frying

Cook quinoa: Place 2 cups water, rinsed uncooked quinoa and a pinch of salt in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a bare simmer and gently cook for about 15 minutes, or until you see small tails on the quinoa seeds. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, place cooked quinoa, oats, eggs, feta cheese, chopped spinach, salt and pepper and combine until all is mixed. Place in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.
Take out the mixture and form 10 to 12 patties with your hands. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the patties and fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, soft boiled eggs, beans and sprouts or micro greens. The patties keep for 3-5 days in the fridge and freezes well.

Garlic Roasted Turnips (also works with radishes)

Turnips from CSA box! 2 Tablespoons olive oil or butter (melted) 1 teaspoon garlic power 1 teaspoon Oregano Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove greens and ends of turnips. Quarter turnips. In a mixing bowl mix ingredients together. Place turnips on baking sleet cut sides down. Roast 30-35 minutes or until fork tender and golden brown.

Summer CSA, Week 1

Here it is – the first Summer CSA Share! How nice that it actually looks and feels summery to be starting things off for the harvest season. This morning, I found myself eyeing up pants that I might cut into shorts – I am always aspiring for that 7-year-old scraped knee look.

Anyway, here we stand at the beginning of what I think will be a fantastic season. We img_20190602_145959574_hdrhave a rock star crew with Garrett, Sam and Tiff (from a few seasons back) returning, and a new face, Jane, who is not new to farming and is game for whatever we seem to throw at her. Of course Teri and Patricia and Dave are all back and in full swing planting for the CSA and keeping us organized in the pack shed. Now we’ll see less of Teri, since she’ll be running (sometimes literally) around delivering the shares on Mondays and Thursdays. Of course, with the harvest season we’ll see familiar faces of volunteers returning to help us a few different days a week. I’m excited to start this routine back up -it’s like going to summer camp, only with more lifting.

We had a full crew starting earlier than normal this season. Start times were a bit 20190605_095057staggered, but not by much. Even though things have been off to a cool and wet start, the crew has been getting some good projects rolling. The barn roof has been replaced, and the inside cleared through in preparation to remove the side wall so we (i.e., Janaki) can park more tractors and implements in there. All of the carrots are being planted across the road this year. If they get water on them, they’ll like that sandier soil. Or that’s the idea. The deer of Wrenshall also seem to like it over there, and the crew has been in a race against the clock to get a deer fence up. Wooden posts are in at the corners, H braces made, T posts in progress… if nothing else the activity around there must be a turn off for a curious herd.

I am in my own race against the clock every day. Any time now, my project of 8 1/2 months will be joining me in the outside world. I’ll be missing almost an entire farm season, but starting my own season of sorts -and we’re delighted.

I am leaving the newsletter, and probably other projects I haven’t thought of yet, in the capable hands of Tiff. She’s a kick -you’ll all like her I’m sure.

As some of you know (hopefully) from seasons and newsletters past, we’re glad you’ve chosen to plan your meals and your time around getting our CSA share. Your investment in our farm makes the season, the hiring of the amazing crew, and all the projects for sustainability possible.

If you’re new to all of this, welcome! Thanks for seeking out a new way to get food onto your table. Sometimes aspects of getting a share can be daunting. If you’re new (or even not so new) and find yourself with questions about how to use things, or tricks about storage or how to put some things away, reach out and we can connect you with other members who are pros at using up a share. Personally, I just cook most things in butter and put an egg on top – but that’s not for everyone.

Thank you for slowing down some of your meals, and being outside norm of the constant “grab and go” way we treat food in this culture.

For the hall of famers and farmers crew,

Karin

 


In your share this week:

Greens Mix – Green Onions – Romaine and Bibb Lettuce – Pac Choi – Rhubarb – Spinach


Pac Choi with Ginger and Garlic

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 8 cups chopped fresh pac choi
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute. Add bok choy and soy sauce cook 3 to 5 minutes, until greens are wilted and stalks are crisp-tender. Season, to taste, with black pepper.


 

Rustic Rhubarb Tarts, from The Smitten Kitchen

  • 1 cup corn flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher or coarse salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 batch Rhubarb Vanilla Compote (recipe below)

In a food processor: Combine the dry ingredients in the work bowl of your food processor. Add the butter and pulse in short bursts, until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add heavy cream and egg yolks and pulse until combined; it will look crumbly but it will become one mass when kneaded together.

In a stand mixer: Whisk the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, add the butter and turn the mixture speed to low (you’ll want to lock the top, so the mixture doesn’t fly about) and mix to break up the butter. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the butter is as coarse as cornmeal. Add the heavy cream and egg yolks and mix until combined. The dough will look crumbly but when pinched between your fingers, it will come together.

By hand: The butter can also be blended into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender, or you fingertips. The cream and egg yolks can be mixed into the butter mixture with a wooden spoon. You’ll likely want to turn the dough out onto a counter to gently knead it into one mass.

Shape the tarts: Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Lightly flour a work surface and using the heel of your hand, flatten the dough into a rough circle. Continue flattening until it is approximately 5 inches in diameter. Try to work quickly, so the dough doesn’t get too warm and soft, making it harder to handle. For more elegant edges, gently flatten the outer edge of the circle with your fingertips, making it thinner than the rest of the dough.

Spoon 3 tablespoons of the Rhubarb Vanilla Compote into the center of the dough. Fold the edge of the dough toward the compote and up, to create a ruffled edge; continue around the perimeter, letting the ruffles be their bad irregular selves. Slide a bench scraper or spatula under the tart and transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue with the remaining dough. Freeze the tarts on their tray for at least 1 hour or up to 2 weeks, wrapped tightly in plastic.

Bake the tarts: Preheat over to 375°F. Bake tarts, still frozen, for about 35 minutes or until the edges of the tarts are brown and the rhubarb is bubbling and thick. Serve warm or at room temperature. The tarts keep in an airtight container (or not, as I forgot to wrap mine and they were still awesome the next day) for up to 2 days.

Rhubarb Vanilla Compote

1 1/2 pounds rhubarb stalks
1 cup minus 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar (i.e. 15 tablespoons, if you want to drive yourself mad)
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Rinse the rhubarb stalks and trim the very ends. Cut them in half lengthwise (unless they’re very slim) and then on the diagonal into 3/4-inch chunks. Leaving the last 1 1/2 cups aside, put 3 cups of the rhubarb into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the brown sugar, vanilla bean seeds and pods and turn the heat to medium low. (You want to start at a low temperature to encourage the rhubarb to release its liquid. Unlike most compotes, this one adds no water.) Cook the rhubarb mixture, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture is saucy. Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium, cooking an additional 15 to 17 minutes, or until the rhubarb is completely broken down and thick enough that a spoon leaves a trail at the bottom of the pan. Discard your vanilla bean pods and add remaining rhubarb chunks to the compote. Pour the compote out onto a large plate to cool.

April Winter Share

Welcome to

 

We made it! through the winter, through the stores in the root cellar, through all the snow (we can make it through some more, right?).  I like winter a lot, but I’m glad it isn’t forever. It is nice to walk into a store and leave my jacket in the car, and it’s nice to walk on sidewalks again.

Though we look forward to it, this time of year doesn’t get any blue ribbons for presentation, that’s for sure. The melting snow reveals the half-rotted detritus of last fall. Walking out of the new greenhouse yesterday with freshly harvested spinach, and past the field with some of last year’s broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts sure was a contrast of scents.

All that mess and decomposition makes the next season’s bounty possible. The debris in gardens and yards and forests makes space for insects and small critters to winter over, and all the organic matter odoriferously returning to the soil is a feast to some microscopic life form or two. Life and death are always tangled up together; sometimes in our lives, sometimes in our yards.

I am really looking forward to this next season’s produce. I’ll miss the parsnips, carrots and potatoes when they’re gone, but for farm lunches I get really excited about cooking vegetables that cook fast, like bok choi or peppers. Or tomato mayonnaise sandwiches. That’s cooking, right?

I hope that as your spring moves forward (and it is moving forward, even if it snows again) you enjoy these last offerings from the root cellar (and the first from the greenhouse!) Thank you for participating with us in the season’s cycle. Your support of our CSA makes our planning and planting through the years possible.

Please sign up for next season’s produce if you haven’t already and take our Winter Share survey here.

Until June, and for the sweater-shedding crew,

Karin


In your share this month:

Beets – Orange and Purple Carrots – Onions – Parsnips – Red and Yellow Potatoes – Rutabaga –  and Spinach & Greens Mix! 

Note: the spinach has made it through the whole winter in the greenhouse and gets a little freeze-dried in the cold weather. It’s a good idea to give it a little soak in cold water to rehydrate it a bit. Enjoy!

 


Raw rutabaga and purple carrot salad

  • 1 rutabaga
  • 3 purple carrots (any carrots work – these are just pretty in the salad)
  • 1 large apple
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped (optional)

 For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard

Shred the rutabaga, carrots and apple in a food processer, spiralizer, or grater (or do small matchsticks). Add the walnuts (optional).

In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing and whisk until smooth. Pour over the salad ingredients and toss until coated.

Enjoy chilled or at room temperature!


Potato, Scallion and Kale Cakes

  • 8-12 scallions
  • 1 handful spinach leaves, rolled in a stack and sliced into very thin ribbons
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt (or less)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups cold leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Clean and trim the scallions, leaving about 2 inches of green stems;  reserve the darker green tops for garnish and salad additions. Cook in boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, wring out well, and chop finely. Place the scallions in a medium-sized bowl, add the spinach, eggs, nutmeg (if using), salt, pepper, bread crumbs and potatoes and stir to combine. The batter will be loose and wet; this is just fine.

Heat the oils in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Use about 2 tablespoons batter (I used a cookie scoop that holds slightly less) per pancake, flattening them as they hit the pan. Cook until golden brown underneath, just a couple minutes, before flipping them and cooking them on the reverse side until golden and crisp as well. Drain on paper towels, but be gentle as they are still fragile. You can keep them warm in a 200 degree oven while cooking off the rest of the batter, adding more oil as needed and letting pan cool between batches if it gets too hot.

Serve scattered with reserved scallion stems, if desired, topped with an egg or alongside a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt. They also make a wonderful meal with a big salad. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for a few days

March Winter Share

Est. 2012

I went shopping yesterday for this and that and walked out of the store noticing that of the variety of things I bought, everything was a sky-blue ranging from light to vibrant. I also happened to have put on a bright blue shirt that morning. I felt like one of those Bowerbirds that collect the blue bits and pieces of the world to decorate their homes with. Maybe the blue things in my home will impress all my friends?

I think the color du jour was a sign of having let myself get a little more cooped up this winter than usual. But I am looking forward to playing in the snow as it (hopefully) starts to dissipate. Maybe I’ll make a snow man, just to watch it melt this weekend.

Seeing the sunlight return is my favorite thing about this time of year. Not setting the clocks ahead, I hate that nonsense, but having more daylight and having the sun higher in the sky is a good feeling. And a 40° high late this week? I am sure that will be a welcome feeling for most people.

The transition and back and forth nature of spring in this region can make winter seem 20190308_105451like it’s dragging on and on. On the farm we’re hoping for not too much dragging. It would be nice to see fields drying and thawing out by next month. As soon as the frost is out of the ground, our plan is to build a deer fence on the land across the road. This will be the forth season of planting out there. So far we’ve had potatoes and squash (and cover crop) planted in those fields. Deer tend to leave those things alone, though they’ll go for the squash when they get sweeter. Janaki wants to put carrots over there this year, because of the soil being nice and sandy. If we plant, we’ll be up against the clock for putting up a fence.

It’s hard to picture weeding carrots over there. Not like it’s so very far, but we’ll all need to bike over, or jump in the van with bottles full of water, because there won’t be back and forth to get water in the middle of weeding. And the way the soil is over there, I’m sure on warm days it’ll feel like we are roasting from all sides, like rotisserie chickens. That actually sounds kind of nice right now, but I know that when I’m in the midst of carrot weeding, I’ll be picturing standing in the cool packing shed, putting all the carrots into bags.

Farming seems to always be a mix of being in the moment and looking ahead a few months, or a few rows. It’s life.

For the expectant farm crew,

Karin


In your share this month:

Beets – Carrots – Onions – Parsnips – Yellow potatoes and Purple Fingerlings – Rutabaga


 

Parsnip Cupcakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom or 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 cups grated parsnip (from 1 large peeled parsnip)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs, oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and parsnip. Stir in flour mixture.
  2. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners. Divide batter among cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  3. In a large bowl, with a mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining teaspoon vanilla until combined. Spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

Mashed Potato, Rutabaga and Parsnip Hot-dish

  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 3 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 ½ pounds rutabagas, peeled and cubed
  • 1 ¼ pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  • Combine chicken broth, potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips, cloves, bay leaf, and thyme in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cover partially. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Drain.

  • Transfer vegetables to large bowl. Add 1/2 cup butter . Use an electric mixer, beat mixture until mashed but still chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mashed vegetables to a buttered 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish.

  • Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter or margarine in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions. Saute until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Saute until onions are tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spread onions evenly over mashed vegetables. Casserole can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until heated through and top begins to crisp.

Febrrruary Winter Share

Rosemary

***Your farmers are coming to the big city on February 19 from 5-7 in the Zeitgeist Arts atrium to talk about the upcoming season and give away some of our precious rutabagas! You can come and sign up for a CSA share or just chat local organic farming and swap root vegetable recipes.***


If you are reading this, and you’re in Northern Minnesota or Wisconsin right now, congratulations. You’re still here! The stand-out weather events of the past few weeks are a great unifier of sorts. Case in point: I know we’ll all be shoveling this evening, no? At least it’s fluffy.

I’ve always felt that our less than ideal driving conditions actually make us better drivers. The slipping and sliding, not to mention the hills and banks of snow (that I’m sure hide my silvery Civic from all cross traffic) keep us in constant awareness of our actions on the road affecting those around us. We know to slow down early before stoplights, and to give the right of way to anyone trying to make it up a narrow avenue. We shovel people out and get pushed out of intersections by strangers, with no time, or traction, to stop and say thank you. We’re all in it together, and I think we either love complaining about it or relishing in the wintry wonderland of it all. Or a mix of the two.

And we’re unified by our source of staples for the month. At points during these winter months I’m sure many of us are eating lunches and dinners that look very similar. Our cutting boards will all look bright pink at points too.

As always, I’m thankful that you all seek out our winter (and summer) CSA and with that support we are able to keep growing in sustainability and resilience for our shifting climate.

We are all unified in that too, though it doesn’t always create the rush of feeling of sliding to, or maybe past, a stop sign. Sometimes it is like a lullaby of climate change – of more and more sunny beach days in the summer where the Lake is actually warm. Or of fewer mosquitoes on camping trips. Sometimes the way we are affecting the environment does pack a punch. Like with washed out bridges from “hundred year” floods that have happened back to back, or record highs year after year, or a photo of stacks upon stacks of bison skulls bleached in the prairie sun. Our grasping reach has been off balance for a long time, and we’re sliding.

Day by day, with our choice to eat locally what we can, and live simply in the ways we can, we’re unified in trying to make the out-of-control slide slower, to ease the burden our convenience culture has put on the environment.

I hope we can go forth in the world and treat each other with with the same awareness too. We are all a part of the climate just as much as the Lake or the rutabagas or the honey bees. On the surface it’s often impossible to see who might be sliding uncontrollably down hill, or unable to dig their way out of a drift as the winds of life blow, or who might need a kind push to get going, even if they don’t stop to say thank you.

The roads, our dinner plates and our humanity unify us, and I for one should practice going out with a sense of collaboration and not of playing bumper cars with anyone or anything.

For the boot stomping and carrot bagging farm crew,
Karin

 


In your share this month:

Red and Chioggia beets – Red cabbage – Carrots – Yellow and red onions – Parsnips – Red and yellow Potatoes – Rutabaga – Delicata squash


Spicy squash salad with lentils and goat cheese -From the Smitten Kitchen

Serves 6 as an appetizer, 3 as a main

3/4 cup black or green lentils
6 cups peeled, seeded and cubed squash (1-inch cubes)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika*
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup soft crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves (optional)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus additional to taste
Roasted squash seeds (about 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss squash cubes with 2 tablespoons oil, cumin, paprika and salt. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet and roast 20 minutes. Flip pieces and roast for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. Cool.

Meanwhile, soak lentils for 10 minutes in a small bowl, then drain. Cook lentils in boiling salted water until tender but firm, about 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water, then drain and cool.

Combine lentils, squash, any oil you can scrape from the baking sheet (I didn’t get enough for this to be worth it) with arugula, if using, half of goat cheese, mint, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper and extra vinegar, if desired (we felt it needed it). Divide among plates and pass with remaining goat cheese to sprinkle.

*More or less spicy to taste


  • 1/2 lb delicata, peeled and cubed

  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 1 large beet, peeled and cubed

  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cubed

  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cubed

  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature

  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

     

    Place squash, potato, beet, rutabaga and parsnip into a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and return to pot.

    Mash vegetable mixture and butter together with a potato masher or fork until orange-ish with streaks of red from the beets; season with nutmeg, salt, and black pepper.