Common Ground has teamed up with Turning Point Farm this season to help CSA members find interesting ways to enjoy their shares. Even if you’re not a CSA member, we think you’ll find lots of useful information in these posts about seasonal veggies you’re likely to encounter at farmers markets and in stores. Let us know what you think!
Week 18: Okra, tomatoes, chard, beets, cucumbers, chocolate bell peppers, celery, green beans.
Local farmers markets are shutting down for the season, and we’re all realizing the Fall Festival is just a couple weeks away. At the café we’ve been processing the last of the tomatoes and turning our attention to cooler-weather menus.
Do you like baked stuffed peppers? I know some people swear by their crockpots for making stuffed peppers, but I prefer the oven for the drier heat that brings out the natural sweetness and preserves the color. This week’s chocolate bell peppers are particularly good for baking, because they don’t get bitter in the oven like green peppers sometimes do. (If you think you don’t like stuffed peppers, it may be that bitterness you object to.) Here are some ideas for stuffing a pepper that go beyond the usual rice-and-ground-meat. (Pad Thai Stuffed Peppers, anyone?)
We’ve been using our green beans in noodle bowls at home, giving them a sauté before adding them to the broth and noodles. Freshly picked green beans don’t need much time in the skillet, and are surprisingly sweet. Try them wrapped in crepes, or with a bit of hot chili sauce in this Chinese restaurant favorite.
If you haven’t paired your chard with beets yet this season, now’s the time. You can chop everything and cook in on the stove top, but roasting the beets first will spark some serious joy. Add lentils and you just might think you’re in Provence.
On a final note, if you’re not sure what more you can do with celery, may I suggest you dice it and freeze it? You’ll be glad you did come Thanksgiving and you’re the one in charge of making the stuffing.
It’s autumn, friends. Believe it or not.