Delicata squash is on the list this week! This popular oblong squash is a great shape for stuffing, or you can just slice it in rounds (with or without the seeds in), oil a baking sheet, lay the slices on it, then brush the tops with oil as well, and a sprinkle of salt. Bake them until they're starting to brown. Flip them and let the other side brown too. Squash rings are an easy finger food, and they're both tastier and healthier than potato chips!
One storage note about winter squash: Despite its name, winter squash is a warm-weather fruit, and it doesn't like cold! Squash keeps well at room temperature, so keep it on your counter, in a cupboard, or use it as a seasonal decoration anywhere inside your house until you're ready to eat it. Here's a nice simple chart showing the relative storage lives of different kinds of squash. Note that delicata squash (and I would add Uncle David's) should be eaten by the end of the year.
Rutabaga is one of my favorite roots. It looks similar to a purple top turnip, but in my opinion it's much sweeter. You want to make sure to peel the thick rind all the way off; it can be tough and fibrous. My favorite way to eat a rutabaga (like many root crops) is to dice it into about 1/2" to 1" cubes, toss the cubes with olive oil and salt, and maybe some garlic or herbs like rosemary or thyme, then roast them until their edges are browning. Yum!
|enter root season!|
I have one final sowing of cilantro and dill that should take us through the end of the season. I haven't had great luck trying to preserve cilantro, but dill stores well and keeps its flavor both frozen and dried. Parsley can also be frozen for use later in soup stocks, or try making some chimichurri to freeze in serving-sized amounts. If you haven't already stocked up on your winter herbs, now's the time!
And finally, spinach is making a return to the list! This delicious winter-hardy variety, Winter Bloomsdale, was intended mostly for my winter farmers' market, but it's being chewed up by bugs and swallowed by grass, so I decided to offer it now. Be warned that it's pretty holey, but it's a vibrant green and it tastes great.