Black Futsu: Loving The Unlovely

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Black Futsu SquashThe black futsu squash is pretty darn ugly. There is no getting around it. But, don’t let the warty, greenish-grey skin put you off, these are one of the best darn squashes around. They are incredibly sweet with a hazelnut taste, plus you can eat the skin…no peeling required.

The black futsu is an heirloom variety that is very difficult to find. We asked Sparrowbush Farm to grow them specially for you. We’d suggest grabbing them while you can!

To Prepare: Cut in half from top to bottom, scoop out the seeds, then cut each half into ½ inch wedges. Toss the wedges with oil. Coconut oil is perfect if you have it. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until tender.

Speaking of ugly…check out the The Old Maid in Winter Apple (aka Knobbed Russet Apples). A super ugly, lumpy, russeted apple from the early 1800’s. It has a delightfully crisp, sprightly flesh with a citrus overtone.

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Black Futsu Squash

You can eat the skin! Its flesh is golden color and has the rich taste of hazelnuts, that is sweet and buttery roasted or light and fruity raw. Delicious julienned and quick-cured with salt in a winter slaw!

How to Roast Kabochas (or Futsus!)
Squash Soup
Baked Futsu
Roasted Black Futsu with Kale
Black Futsu in Green Curry

Escarole, Fighting for Your Love

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Raw Green Organic Escarole LettuceEscarole is oh so misunderstood by so many people (except Italians). Lovers of Italian Wedding Soup and White Bean Soup have escarole to thank for the hearty healthiness of these dishes. Escarole has a mild, slightly bitter flavor and a big heavy head with abundant tender leaves and creamy, blanched hearts. The inner, lighter-colored leaves are less bitter than the darker outer leaves. The inner leaves are more suitable for salads, while the outer leaves are ideal for cooked dishes.

There is almost no end to how you can prepare escarole: eaten raw, wilted, stewed, grilled, sautéed, as a wrap, and of course in soup. Epicurious offers ½ dozen ideas for enjoying escarole.

Here are three recipes that include ingredients we have:
Escarole Soup with Ginger and Cilantro (minced ginger & cilantro)
Escarole and Bean Soup (soldier beans = a cannellini bean alternative)
Escarole and Little Meatball Soup

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Escarole

A variety of endive with less bitter leaves. Tastes similar to radicchio. High in folic acid, fiber, and vitamins A and K, escarole can be eaten raw or gently cooked. Use in salad, wilt quickly with lemon, or add to soup. More info

Braised Escarole with Lemon and Garlic
Escarole and Beans

Eating Purple Vegetables, People

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purple vegetablesThis week we bring you purple vegetables: Chinese Eggplant, Purple Viking Potatoes, and Concord Grapes (Fruit of the Week).

The Chinese eggplant has a much thinner skin and less bitter taste than standard eggplants and are a favorite in Asian cuisine. We’ve found three Chinese eggplant recipe videos we think you will enjoy. Chef Buck peppers his Chinese Eggplant with Sweet Saucerecipe and Chinese Eggplant with A Super Duper Lot of Garlic recipe videos with very funny quips…”Today we are going to cook us up a little bit of some Chinese Eggplant. Why? Because it’s purple!” Maangchi is adorable as she makes an Eggplant and Soy Sauce Side Dish.

We love breaded Chinese eggplant. Slice the eggplant into sticks, salt, and let sit for 15 minutes. Dip the eggplant in flour, then egg, and finally breadcrumbs. Fry in oil for about 4 minutes, or bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until soft and brown.

The Certified Organic Purple Viking Potatoes are grown for us by Richard Guardi of Skymeadow Farms, our favorite specialty potato guy!

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Chinese Eggplant

A long, slim variety that’s dark lavender in color, and great for stir-fries or braises. More info

Ratatouille
Baba Ganouj
Grilled Vegetable Kabobs
Eggplant Parmesan Rolls with Swiss Chard
Spicy Seared Eggplant