The views from my office have changed drastically over the last couple of weeks. I have gone from watching wagons of sweet corn and trucks carrying tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and other produce from our Montrose farm arrive at our packing shed to watching our parking lot become a sea of pumpkins. On a bright sunny day, it truly is a beautiful sight to see the bright orange pumpkins and sea of specialty pumpkins that sit and wait to be shipped out to their new homes. It’s a little crazy to think that in just over a month, the lot will be bare again and most things will be tucked away for winter. Let’s enjoy this next month and hopefully spend a lot of time outdoors enjoying everything the Minnesota fall has to offer!
The shares this week are a sign that we are shifting towards fall, but haven’t completely let go of summer quite yet. Let’s dive in and take a look.
Brussels Sprouts: We cut the stalks to fit into the shares, but some of these stalks can reach up to 4 feet in height! Shell the bulbs off the stalk and get creative. I like to roast the bulbs whole in a bit of olive oil and add some balsamic vinegar when the sprouts are nearing completion in the oven. Another great way to enjoy sprouts is to shred them and turn them into a great fall salad. These are mild and absolutely perfect for enjoying cooked or raw.
Pinto Potatoes: I had the opportunity to give these a try on Sunday night and they are amazing! The flavor is fantastic and the texture is smooth. I will likely recreate my Sunday dinner, which was a take on a Shepherd’s Pie. Most recipes are going to call for frozen vegetables, but I’m not about to switch to frozen produce quite yet, so I put together some things I had in the fridge. Kale, onions, peppers, zucchini, and sweet corn along with a pound of ground beef. This is the recipe I followed, but clearly made substitutions for the filling. I highly recommend giving it a try!
Apples: Whether you get the Sweet16s or SweeTangos, enjoy them! If by chance you haven’t been able to get to your apples over the last few weeks, it’s the perfect time to make a batch of homemade applesauce. Both varieties are great for sauce, which will leave your house smelling just like fall.
Buttercup Squash: With the cooler temps, squash is a great addition to any dinner. For an easy addition to dinner, I recommend slicing the squash in half and baking at 350 until done, typically an hour or so. Once baked I add a bit of butter, salt, and pepper. There you have it, a great addition to any main meal.
Sweet Italian Peppers: These are perfect chopping up and adding to the Shepherd’s Pie if that is of interest for you this week. Otherwise, you can always enjoy raw for an afternoon snack. These are also great for stuffing or cutting up and adding to a stir fry or fajitas.
Cauliflower: To make sure I eat my cauliflower, I typically chop it up and roast it as soon as I get my share home. I don’t do anything fancy, just toss it in a bit of olive oil and maybe some salt and pepper. Whether I eat it for dinner tonight or just grab it for lunches later in the week, I’m glad that I have it prepared and ready to go.
Green Beans: A real treat for this late in the season. Pan fried green beans are one of my favorite ways to enjoy them and they are fairly easy to make, which makes them a win-win.
Lettuce: A mix of red and green lettuces for you today, they may be little heads, but they are perfect for salads or sandwiches this week. Remember, this lettuce does have a pretty long shelf life if washed and stored properly.
Strawberries: Yes, strawberries at the end of September! Truly remarkable. Enjoy these red, ripe berries as we all know this season is fading quickly. If Jack Frost makes an appearance this week, it may be the end, but we shall see. Only time can tell.
There you have it, Week 15! It’s the perfect time of year to get creative in the kitchen with the cool weather. Whether you are turning apples into sauce or crisp, baking squash, or feeling creative in another way, have a great week.