Siena Farms Blog
Come check us out at our new, year-round location in the South End… we’re open as of today, December 1st! Here you’ll find the freshest of the fresh, tastiest of the tasty, and most local of the local… all in one place. Click the tab at the top for more general information or better yet, drop by and say hi to Trevor…!
Now that it’s the season for hard squashes and dark, leafy greens we thought we’d pass along another great, easy, hands-off recipe for your fall veg!
White Bean, Sausage & Kale Soup
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage (casings removed)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 pound dry white beans (canellini or great northern), rinsed
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 14 oz canned, diced tomato
- 1 large bunch kale, thick stems removed and chopped
- Parmigiano-reggiano cheese (optional)
Cook the sausage in a medium skillet until lightly browned. Use a wooden spoon to break up the pieces while you cook so you have small crumbles of sausage. Deglaze the pan with red wine vinegar and scrape everything (including drippings!) into the pot of a large crockpot. Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, chicken broth, thyme, and canned tomato. Stir in dried white beans and cook on medium for 6-8 hours. (If you have a parmigiano-reggiano rind in your fridge, add it to the soup to infuse flavor while it cooks.)
About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the chopped, cleaned kale and test seasoning. Salt and pepper to taste. (This will largely depend on the saltiness of the stock you are using.)
Serve with croutons and a couple shavings of fresh cheese, if desired. This is the perfect soup to start in the morning and enjoy when you come home after a long day!
Who needs potato chips when you’ve got awesome, fall kale! We hope our CSA members jump for joy when they see beautiful, leafy, Tuscan kale in their weekly farmshare because it’s truly a special veggie. If you’re tired of sauteing it, adding to soups & stews or braising it – why not make a chip. It’s a basic idea that you can make truly your own by adding spices, aged cheeses, and exotic salts. Give it a go…!
Baked Kale Chips
1 bunch of kale (about 6 oz of leaves)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the stems and tough center ribs. Cut into large pieces, toss with olive oil in a bowl then sprinkle with salt. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Place baking sheet on a rack to cool.
*If you decide to sprinkle with cheese or other spices, you may want to line the baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Also, if you are adding cheese, it’s best to cook halfway, then flip the kale, sprinkle the cheese and finish baking.
For chefs, perhaps the most unsung hero of fall-flavor is the celery root. Also referred to as Celeriac, celery root is prized for its soft, celery-like flavor with notes of anise, toasted hazelnuts, and fresh earth. Don’t let the craggy exterior scare you – what lies inside is filled with flavor, will stay fresh in a root cellar, and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Shave it in a salad or try one of these two gems from Nigel Slater’s book, Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch.
Celery Root & Sausage Salad
- 1 lb. celery root
- 4 plump, garlicky sausage
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon walnut oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
Peel the celery root and dip into cold water with a drop of lemon juice as you go. (This will prevent oxidation.) Cut into pieces about 1/8″ thick. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook celery root for seven to ten minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife.
Meanwhile, fry or grill sausages, slice thinly and place in a large salad bowl. If they crumble that’s fine!
Prepare the dressing using both oils, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and salt. Whisk together. Add roughly chopped parsley to the dressing and pour over sausages. Toss everything together with the cooked celery root and try not to finish the whole bowl…!
Baked Celery Root & Parsnip Cake
- 1 large onion
- 1 lb. parsnip
- 1 lb. celery root
- 5 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 6 1/2 tablespoons vegetable stock
Peel the onion, slice into thin rounds, and place in a large bowl. Peel the parsnips and celery root and also slice thinly – toss together with onions. (Your slices should be almost thin enough to see through.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and melt butter in a shallow, oven-proof pan. Layer in the vegetables seasoning with salt, pepper, and thyme as you go. Be generous with the salt! When all the vegetables have been layered in, pour the stock over the top.
Cover with a round of wax paper or aluminum foil and press down well on top of the cake. Bake for about an hour and 10 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife. Remove the cover and turn heat up to 425 degrees. Bake for another ten minutes or until the top is crispy and has a nice golden color. Enjoy!
Fall is truly the best month for eating in New England! Frost warnings late last week gave us a scare as we begin to think about losing our beloved summer crops. Eggplant in particular has been yielding tremendously this season and continues as we move toward cold weather. A true frost will destroy the fruit off temperature sensitive summer crops. We’ll circle the wagons, leading an all-hands harvest the day and night before a true frost picking every last summer crop and storing it in our walk-in. Last season even Ana and Siena came out to the pepper patch late into the night to help pull in the final harvest as we literally could see the frost forming. The frost is glorious because of this tradition, but also because it symbolically punctuates summer. Summer flavors have already begun to change and the presence of winter squash and parsnips are a welcome distraction. In many ways fall has already begun, but the sugar doesn’t creep into our favorite fall crops until the first frost. The frost-induced sugar is an attribute unique to New England. Like citrus in the south, our fall root and brassica crops are only this sweet here in New England. We are ready for fall!
As much as we look forward to corn and tomatoes season, we get excited when we turn around and, *poof*, it’s fall! This mid-September time of year is just the best because we’ve still got tomatoes, but we also have great hard squash to enjoy. How about making a nice soup from our Honey Bear Acorn Squash? What about some nice pumpkin tarts or pie with our New England Sugar Pumpkins?
Have you ever heard of a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin? It’s the variety of choice at Sofra and Oleana because of it’s meaty, dense texture and full flavor. Maura Kilpatrick, head baker and co-owner of Sofra, uses the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin for her signature Pumpkin Jam! Try it cubed and roasted in a hash with cumin, golden raisins, and onions… and serve it with your favorite grilled fish, pork, or even a seared duck breast. Yum! Yum! Yum! Can you taste the fall?
Hurricane Irene brought August to a busy close as we enter the second, and most glorious half of the growing season. As the farm crew transitions from our summer to fall staff we’ve had to stay on our toes as a team to keep ahead of the harvest. With an monumental winter squash harvest under our belts, we feel poised to begin our fall mode. September’s sunny days and chillier night air perfectly facilitates the switch. Farmers and foodies alike revel in the bounty that September has to offer. Tomatoes, eggplant and peppers are still going strong as leeks, winter squash and carrots begin to yield nicely. For those of you that love the flavors of the summer months, now is the time to start preserving your favorite veggies. The market is a wonderful sight this time of year, so take advantage of a sunny day and stock-up on the best the season has to offer!
Maybe you found our little blog because you’re a fan of our farmstand…
Or maybe you found our page because you’re a CSA member…
Or maybe you came here because you needed some new ideas for veggies…
Whatever your reason, we’re glad you’re here! Did you know that even though it’s mid-season you can still join us for a CSA Farm Share? Click the little CSA tab at the top to find out what the pro-rated amount is to get a 1/2 bushel box of the best we’ve got – now through Thanksgiving.
If you’re here for new recipes or to share what’s going on with your Siena Farms veggies this year, please look below or leave us a comment with your delicious dish!
We love fairytale eggplant! The clever name most likely derived from its fantastic color scheme and miniature size. The fairytale is bred to be small, thin-skinned and have a beautiful purple and white color pattern. The smooth texture and superior taste define this eggplant when it’s cooked because the purple fades to a rich caramel after five minutes. The fairytale’s creamy flavor is drawn out on the grill or in the oven, converting even the most ardent hater of eggplant. There is no need to peel the skin or salt and rinse, just grill-roast and enjoy like an eggplant popper!