One of the things that I’ve learned to appreciate most about Fall fruits and vegetables is the contrast of flavors that we encounter within a single season. Sweetness certainly takes the forefront in the form of all of those Squashes, Pears, Pumpkins and Apples; however, there’s something to be said for the delicious pungency of cauliflower, rutabaga, the light bitterness of escarole, the heat of a radish—not to mention what those aromatic vegetables bring to the table—like that celeriac from a couple of weeks back and the Fennel that we’ve got to be sure and harvest ahead of this week’s frost. Though it is a season of comfort foods, I find that Fall above all seasons tends to force Mark and I out of our culinary comfort zones (or ruts even), encouraging us to try out new flavor combinations—or try something comfortable in a new way. Case in point, my tried and true Fall Fennel trick is making Alice Water’s Squash Soup for the sole purpose of putting crispy roasted fennel on the top of whatever squash I feel like. But this week, I’m going to make sure I slice some up with Asian Pears too, because Hazel could nosh on raw fennel for days. We get a whole lot of inspiration from the cookbooks that we actually have time to read come November, but to be honest, most of our inspiration comes from all of YOU out there, cooking with this stuff from week to week, sharing recipes and ideas. Do you remember learning about permutations? Think of all of the possibilities there are for cooking in season when you send the same seven ingredients home with several hundred people! Not a week goes by that Mark doesn’t come back from his market, hellbent on trying some experimental recipe per a customer’s recommendation. Our fridge is full of grated up roots and things right now. As for me, I delight in hearing customers share their recipes and ideas with me and with eachother (my fave!) in the farmstand or on social media week after week, and I’m going to share some of the recipes that you’ve forwarded to my inbox too. I’m also thinking of this week as Pear-A-Palooza, because thanks to some of our fellow growers from the U-District Market, we have Purple Goddess, Green D’Anjou and Hosui Asian Pears coming your way this week. All the more reason to mix, match and have some savory and sweet times.
In other news, last weekend was Chicory Week in Seattle. We were bummed that we couldn’t attend this awesome event this year, but Mark had a modest little sagra with the new flock of chicks who put their new big girl feathers to the test on Sunday and, with plenty of netting to keep the hawks out, have made their first forays into the yard where Mark has planted (yes, this is real) Chicken Chicories for them. Like us, they love escarole too— Salud!
Katie Read More