There is no denying: fall is in the air. Mornings and evenings are cool, and dark. The first few red and yellow leaves are turning with the cold nights, and the ones that have fallen already have that spicy-autumn smell. I love that smell. I love fall arriving, and picking up a caramel apple, making soups again (after a too-hot for soup summer!) and maybe having a back-yard fire to two.
I also have some trepidation about this fall. As far as the farm goes, we have seen a lot of rain towards the end of the season many years in a row, and it leads to some nail biting when thinking of getting into the fields to harvest our main storage crops. We’re hoping for a drier fall this year, but it’s quite dry right now so we wouldn’t mind a little rain.
We are also hoping for a full and healthy crew. It is hard to not look ahead, as if through a fog, and worry about what will happen when, inevitably, people start coming down with colds or worse and are waiting for COVID tests back.
Looking ahead to fall is difficult this year, because of all the uncertainty. The cold will bring more distance between friends and family, and many of the things we look forward to about this time are not happening (like Friday football and Harvest Fest). I am resolute to find fun where I can, and to sit around with friends outside while I still can, too.
I hope your week, and first bit of fall, start off well as you are replenished with fresh veggies. Maybe you will turn them all into a healthy, hearty soup to warm you and yours up.
For the farm crew,
In your share this week:
Green Beans – Broccoli – Carrots – Chard – Cucumbers – Dill – Onions – Red Peppers – Russet Potatoes – Daikon Radish – Tomatoes – Zucchini
Vegan Zucchini Fritters from The Crowded Kitchen
For the Lemon Cashew Cream:
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour and up to 4 (the longer the better)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 lemons, zested
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp white miso paste
- You may need ¼ cup cashew soaking water or more, to blend
For the Zucchini Fritters:
- 4 cups grated zucchini
- 3 tbsp scallions, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp basil, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp flax meal + 3 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup plain gluten free regular or panko style bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt plus 1/2 tsp more to season mixture
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4-1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tbsp of olive oil for cooking
For the Lemon Cashew Cream:
- Drain the cashews, reserving soaking water in case you need it to blend the sauce.
- Combine the cashes, garlic, all the lemon zest, juice from one lemon, salt, and miso in a blender. Blend until smooth, adding cashew soaking water one tablespoon at a time if necessary to achieve a creamy sauce.
To make the fritters:
- Grate zucchini. Place in a mesh colander inside a bowl and toss well with 1 1/2 tsp of salt. Let sit for about 35 minutes. Be sure to toss and squeeze the moisture out of the zucchini 3-4 times while it is sitting. (The zucchini will release a lot of moisture!) After 35 minutes, transfer zucchini to a clean dish towel and squeeze out as much remaining moisture as possible.
- While the zucchini is sitting, mix together the flour, bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp of salt, garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp of pepper.
- Add flax meal to a bowl with water, stir and let sit for 20 minutes. Stir once or twice.
- Add zucchini to a bowl with scallions and basil. Mix well, then add in all of the dry ingredients. Add flax + water mixture and mix well. Let mixture sit at room temp for 20-30 minutes so the flax egg has some time to bind the mixture together. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if desired.
- Heat a large nonstick fry pan over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of oil. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup so patties are the same size. Form into a ball in your hand and press flat, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Cook for 4- 5 minutes on each side over medium heat, until golden brown and crispy.
Gluten-Free Pan Pizza from King Arthur Flour
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose gluten free flour
- 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, for the pan
- 1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 6 ounces mozzarella, grated (about 1 1/4 cups, loosely packed)*
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup tomato sauce or pizza sauce, homemade or store-bought
- freshly grated hard cheese and fresh herbs for sprinkling on top after baking, optional*
- Veggies from the Food Farm!!
- To make the crust: Place the dry ingredients (except the yeast) into the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl. Mix until thoroughly blended.
- Place the warm water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, yeast, and a scant 1 cup of the dry mixture into a small bowl. Stir to combine; a few lumps are OK. Set aside for 30 minutes or so, until the mixture is bubbly and smells yeasty.
- Add this mixture to the remaining dry ingredients and beat on medium-high speed for 4 minutes using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer. The mixture will be thick and sticky, but not elastic; it won’t feel like regular yeast dough. Note: You must use an electric mixer to make this dough; mixing by hand doesn’t do a thorough enough job.
- Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes or so.
- Pour the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil into a cast-iron skillet that’s 10” to 11” diameter across the top, and about 9” across the bottom. Tilt the pan to coat the bottom with the oil. This heavy, dark pan will give you superb crust; but if you don’t have a cast-iron pan, use a 10” round cake pan, a 9” square pan, or other oven-safe, similar-sized, heavy-bottomed skillet.
- Scrape the dough from the bowl into the pan. Starting at the center of the dough and working outward toward the edges, use your wet fingers to press the dough to fill the bottom of the pan.
- Let the dough rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, place one rack at the bottom of the oven and one toward the top (about 4″ to 5″ from the top heating element). Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- When you’re ready to bake the pizza, scatter about three-quarters of the mozzarella (a scant 1 cup) evenly over the crust. Cover the entire crust right to the edge, so the cheese will become deep golden brown and crispy as the pizza bakes. Dollop small spoonfuls of the sauce over the cheese (putting the cheese on first will prevent the top of the crust from getting soggy under the sauce) then sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella.
- Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 20 to 22 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the bottom and edges of the crust are golden brown (use a spatula to check the bottom). If the bottom is brown but the top still seems pale, transfer the pizza to the top rack and bake for 3 to 5 minutes longer. On the other hand, if the top seems fine but the bottom’s not browned to your liking, leave the pizza on the bottom rack for another 2 to 4 minutes. Home ovens can vary a lot, so use the visual cues and your own preferences to gauge when you’ve achieved the perfect bake. You’ll notice the pizza has shrunk away from the sides of the pan, and perhaps deflated a bit; that’s OK.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack. Carefully run a spatula between the edge of the pizza and side of the pan to prevent the cheese from sticking as it cools. If desired, sprinkle freshly grated hard cheese and fresh herbs over the hot pizza. Let the pizza cool briefly, and as soon as you feel comfortable doing so transfer it from the pan to a cooling rack or cutting surface. Serve pizza hot or warm.
- Store any leftovers, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for a day or so; freeze for longer storage.