Harlequin-in-the-Box

We have a Harlequin in the box for you – call him Jack if you like. Shaped like an acorn but with a vibrant skin that is a mixture of yellow, orange and green the squash brings out the best of autumn (yes, we are in denial…rain, what rain?).

If you’ve been buying imported butternut squash in spring or summer then you’re in for a treat for the rich sweet taste that true seasonal veg brings. The season can last through to Feb/Mar so there’ll be opportunities to try the good few more varieties available than just butternut.

The bright flesh inside has a sweet flavour due to high sugar levels, accentuated by yes, you guessed it, roasting! Why not try a roasted harlequin squash salad with and land cress if you’ve got a “no-potato” box this week (great substitute to the more familiar summer watercress, and hardier so grows right through the winter). Squash is also low on carbs and a great potato substitute.

Or another recipe from The Veghog – crusted harlequin squash wedges with cheesy potato mash. Dead easy with a herby lemony garlicky parmesan breadcrumb crust.

For those more adventurous amongst us, try roasting with sweet white miso paste and/or red Thai curry paste and tofu (this miso-curry harlequin recipe uses both). Or try roasting with ras-el-hanout (make the spice-mix yourself or buy ready made) for a Moroccan twist.

And to keep the beautiful shape (it would seem sacrilegious to make soup out of this squash) half lengthwise across the stem, scoop out seeds and go wild with the stuffing. Here’s a good guide on how to make stuffed roast squash. Why not try wild rice, pistachio or pine nuts, and raisins or currants for the stuffing.

On what to do with some of the other vegetables in your veg box here are a few ideas, some of which from our past newsletters/ blog posts:

  • Cauliflower – Have a look at our Daylight Savings = Comfort Food? blog post for some ideas and also last week’s Romanesco, Romanesco Where Art Thou? post
  • Sprout Tops – Check out our past Sprouting Tops write-ups
  • Parsnip – Rooting for Roots has some cheering these lovely roots on
  • Cavolo Nero – A Tuscan soup “ribollita” is the classic way to cook this Tuscan kale. We usually skip the soffrito (chopped onion, carrots and celery) and just make it with chopped onions. Link has lots of hints for twists and variations and here’s another – try it with rosemary and/or some Tuscan sausages. Taste even better made ahead.

Also, one of our collection points The Coffee Room at Mile End has won the Time Out Love London Awards 2014 for best cafe in E3 as voted by locals. Stepney City Farm came runner-up in the Locals’ Pick category. So well done and thanks to those of you who voted!

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Charlotte Potatoes, Lancs
* Carrots, Lincs
* Harlequin Squash, Lancs
* Black Kale, Kent
* Sprout Tops, Kent
Parsnip, Lancs
Cauliflower, Kent
Mustard Leaves, Perry Court
Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Land Cress, Perry Court

Fruit Supplement
Apples – Cox, Kent (standard only)
Oranges, Spain

 

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