Muir Head Lettuce
Local Organic Potatoes
Notes from the Farm
The Four Frosts of the Apocalypse have descended hard as a concourse of rational thought... there are no more tender field crops... no more? there are NO more tender field crops. This is it for 2020, but this isn't it for us, you, or the hearty field crops who stand tall against frozen aggression.
As of 9:30 this morning, we are truly situated in Fall. The equinox is now, we are becoming. You had your last cup of coffee in mathematical Summer, and you'll be eating lunch in Fall.
What does this mean, well, it means we're even, between the dark and the light, between cold and hot, between the beginning of Summer and Winter.
Four consecutive frosts in mid-September is rough as a grower, but it's the unpredictability of the seasons that make this job so engaging. We prepare for the weirdest of conditions, because really, being ready to handle weirdness is the most important skill... or it's a good skill... well, it's a skill and we like to keep ourselves emotionally pliable enough to trundle-seat ourselves over the bumpiest of weird roads.
Lets eat some squash, have a potato, make the last fresh local BLT of the season... and dust off those sweaters, laugh somewhere off into the middle distance with an armload of fall vegetables, and have a great day.
Squash Gratin3 honeyrnut squash (5–6 lbs.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2" chunks
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 3/4 lbs.), peeled, halved lengthwise, and thickly sliced
8 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups milk
4 cups grated Gruyère
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400°. Put the honeynut into a large pot, cover with salted water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until squash are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well, pressing out any excess water. Meanwhile, put potatoes into a large pot, cover with salted water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.
Put squash into a large bowl and mash coarsely with a potato masher. Add the drained potatoes, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste and gently fold together. Transfer squash mixture to a deep 9" × 14" roasting pan or baking dish. Pour milk evenly over top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
Patatas Bravas1 tsp. hot smoked Spanish paprika
1⁄4 tsp. sugar
5 canned whole peeled tomatoes, drained
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1⁄2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil
Canola oil, for frying
2 1⁄2 lb. small waxy potatoes, quartered
1 cup mayonnaise
Minced parsley, for garnish (optional)
Pulse paprika, sugar, tomatoes, garlic, onion, salt, and white pepper in a small food processor until coarsely ground. Heat olive oil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Fry tomato mixture, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes; set bravas sauce aside.
Heat 2" canola oil in a 6-qt. saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 220°. Add potatoes all at once to oil; cook until tender and pale golden, 35–40 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to paper towels to drain; chill 30 minutes. Remove oil from heat.
Return pan of oil to heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Working in batches, fry potatoes until golden brown and crisp, 4–5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to paper towels to drain; season with salt. Drizzle potatoes with the reserved bravas sauce and mayonnaise; garnish with parsley if you like.
Butternut Squash Boulangère3 honeynut squash
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. slab bacon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3 large yellow onions, finely chopped
2 sprigs thyme
1 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sage leaves, to garnish
Heat the oven to 375°. Peel each squash and cut off the “necks.” Cut the necks crosswise into 3⁄4-inch slices, place in a bowl, and toss with the olive oil to coat. Using a vegetable peeler, peel about 12 vertical strips of squash off the base and place in a bowl of ice water. Reserve the remaining squash bottoms for another use.
Heat a large roasting pan over medium-high. Add the squash slices, and cook, turning once, until lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Transfer the squash to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until its fat renders, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the onions and thyme, and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Return the squash to the pan, pour in the wine, and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, season with salt and pepper, and transfer the roasting pan to the oven.
Bake the squash until tender, about 40 minutes. Transfer the squash and cooking juices to a serving platter and top with the raw strips of squash and sage leaves.