Last week was clear and beautiful, but very cold. The thermometer outside our back door read 23 degrees Friday and Saturday mornings; it was probably 18 or 20 in the coldest, lowest spots on the farm. The chicken water bowls froze solid and we had several broken pipes to fix. We picked strawberries Saturday morning; they clearly had frozen as well. Their texture was just like defrosted strawberries. Most of the other vegetables seemed to have survived although it was drier than I expected. Everything needed to be watered. We covered the most sensitive crops but the fennel may be the one that we also should have protected. It will be curious to watch how everything grows now that the temperature has dropped so dramatically.
While we have not had any large storms yet, I am certain they are on the horizon. We are pulling in the equipment form the field, cleaning the barnyard, and getting organized.
- Winter squash
- Brussel Sprouts
- Pac Choy
- Dill, cilantro, parsley
roasted squash and radicchio salad with buttermilk dressing, from nytimes.com
2 delicata squashes (10 ounces each), halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch half-moons
1 tablespoon honey
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon smoky chile powder, such as New Mexico or chipotle
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped tarragon
1 large garlic clove, grated
1 head radicchio, cored and shredded (4 cups)
1 head lettuce, cored and shredded (4 cups)
⅔ cup chopped toasted pecans (see note)
Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss squash with honey, 3/4 teaspoon salt, chile powder and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, lemon juice, tarragon, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and the garlic. Whisk in remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) oil.
In a large bowl, combine radicchio, lettuce, squash, and pecans. Toss in buttermilk dressing; taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
To toast pecans, heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until they deepen in color and turn fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Cool before chopping.