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  • October 13th, 2011

This week the CSA shares are beautiful!  The freshness of colorful yellow and green beans, tender lettuce, young swiss chards, winter squashes, and end of the season tomatoes, sprinkled with radishes or specialty squashes.  Next week we are expecting a beautiful selection again of fall items!  There is a lot of diversity here with comfort foods along with the freshness of crisp salads and raw green beans that will make you stop and say “thank you for fresh food”!

Pumpkin Dip (for breads or cookies)

For those of you whom enjoyed the spread that accompanied the pumpkin bread on Sunday, here’s the recipe:

1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened

1- 18 ounce can of pumpkin pie mix (or the equivalent of fresh pumpkin + 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. of ground ginger, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves)

2 cups of confectioner’s sugar

1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Beat cream cheese in a mixing bowl until smooth.  Add pumpkin pie mix; beat well.  Add sugar, cinnamon, and ginger; beat until smooth.  Serve with cookies or bread.  Store leftover dip in the refrigerator.  (Makes 3 cups)


Butternut Squash-White Bean Stew

Prep Time – 5 Cook Time – 45

tablespoons olive oil

cup slivered onion

3/4  cup thinly sliced celery

cups mushrooms, halved

cups cubed, peeled butternut squash

(14-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

clove garlic, pressed

cups water

tablespoons tomato paste

3/4  teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled

1/2  teaspoon coarse salt

1/8  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

(15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)


Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and mushrooms. Cook until vegetables start to brown, about 8 minutes.  Stir in squash, tomatoes, garlic, water, tomato paste, rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix well. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, about 25 minutes. Uncover, stir in beans and simmer until stew consistency, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Butternut /Acorn Squash Spice Loaf

I discovered this recipe last year and it was a huge hit every time I made it.  I really think you could use any type of winter squash or pie pumpkins for this.

1 butternut squash, or 2 acorn squash (or combination of the two)

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 large eggs

2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup chopped pecans (I used almonds)

Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds.  Place cut side down in a shallow pan; add water to the depth of 1/2 inch.  Cover with foil, and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until tender.  Scoop out pulp; mash.  Discard shell.  Measure 1 -3/4 cups pulp; reserve any remaining pulp for other uses.  Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating mixture well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Combine flour and spices; add to butter mixture alternately with squash, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Stir in pecans.  Spoon into a greased and floured 9-x 5-x 3-inch loafpan; bake at 350 for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes.  Remove from pan, and let cool on wire rack.

Butternut Squash Gratin

We should begin harvesting spinach next week, so if you want to use the butternut for decor for a week, hold out for this recipe!

(Better Homes and Garden, clipped recipe in 2003, by Becki Hagerman)

1-3/4 to 2 pounds butternut squash

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper

16 cups fresh spinach

1 cup half-and-half or light cream

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup creme fraiche*

Preheat oven to 425 degree F. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish; set aside. Peel the squash. Slice to 1/4-inch thickness. Remove seeds from slices and halve large slices. Arrange slices in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Brush both sides lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes. Remove. Increase oven temperature to 475 degree F.

Meanwhile in a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven cook the spinach in lightly salted boiling water, half at a time, for 1 minute or until wilted. Drain and cool slightly; squeeze out excess liquid. Coarsely chop the spinach; set aside. In a medium saucepan combine half-and-half and cornstarch; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in spinach; spread mixture in bottom of prepared dish. Arrange squash over spinach mixture.  In a small bowl stir together Parmesan cheese and creme fraiche. Spread mixture over squash in dish. Bake, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes or until squash is tender and topping is lightly browned. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired. Makes 8 servings. Note: To make your own creme fraiche, in small bowl stir together 1/4 cup whipping cream (not ultrapasteurized) and 1/4 cup dairy sour cream. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature for 2 to 5 hours or until mixture thickens. When thickened, cover and chill in the refrigerator until serving time or up to 48 hours. Stir before serving.


Stuffed Acorn Squash


1 cup shredded zucchini

1/2 cup crushed saltines

1/3 cup ketchup

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoons dried minced onion

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3/4 pound ground beef

2 large acorn squash

In a medium bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. Add beef; mix well. Cut squash in half; remove and discard the seeds. Fill with meat mixture. Place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Cover and bake at 400 degrees F for 1 hour or until squash is tender. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes.  (You may want to go light on ketchup if you aren’t a big ketchup fan and a little cheese on top is a nice addition, too).


Here’s a great way to utilize “end of the season tomatoes”!

Tomato Gravy,

Flavors of Kentucky, Sharon Thompson, pg. 85

4 slices of bacon

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 medium onion, chopped

14 and 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes (during the season, dice the equivalent fresh)


Cooked rice

Fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp (cast iron if you have one).  Remove the bacon and save for another use. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the grease.  Add the flour.  Cook for several minutes over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture, known as a roux, is medium brown.  Add the onion, tomatoes and a can of water to the roux and stir.  Simmer until thick.  Serve over the cooked rice.  Makes 4 servings.



The tomatoes that are still nice and firm, you’ve got to let them accompany the salad.  If there are others that aren’t so pretty, enjoy them as a side dish….warm, comfort food of fall, right?!


Escalloped Tomatoes

4 large fresh tomatoes

2 cups of soft bread crumbs, toasted

2 T. butter

1 medium onion, chopped

3/4 t. salt

1  T. sugar

Peel your tomatoes with the toasted bread crumbs and stir in butter, onion, salt and sugar.  Turn into casserole.  Bake in a moderate oven at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.  Makes 5 servings. (Kentucky Keepsakes, Elizabeth Ross)


I think the Black-Seeded Simpson goes great with French Dressing.

Here is a quick home-made dressing recipe that you are bound to enjoy—-light and delicious!  Again, compliments of Sharon Thompson, Flavors of Kentucky.  I made this the other day and quite frankly, can’t wait till lunch-time again to have it!

1/3 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of ketchup

1/3 cup of vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup canola oil

1 clove garlic

Combine the sugar, ketchup, vinegar and salt in a blender.  Slowly add the oil with the blender on medium speed.  Pour the dressing into a pint jar.  Split the clove of garlic and drop it into the dressing.  Place the lid on the jar and refrigerate.  Shake the jar before serving.  Be careful when pouring dressing so the garlic clove remains in the jar.  Makes 1 pint.


Sweet and Sour Green Beans

Now I will say, that these green beans are beautiful and I could eat a whole bag of them raw.  But if you’d like to cook them…here’s a recipe with a twist…

4 cups (or 1 quart) of green beans

4 slices of bacon

2 medium onions, sliced

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup vinegar

Cook the green beans in water to cover in a saucepan until tender. Drain, reserving one cup of the liquid.  Fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp.  Remove the bacon to paper towels to drain.  Drain the skillet.  Add the onions to the skillet.  Saute until brown and transparent.  Stir in the dry mustard, salt, brown sugar and sugar.  Add the reserved liquid and vinegar.  Bring to a boil.  Add the green beans and bacon.  Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.  Serve with a slotted spoon.   (from: Pride of Kentucky)


Honey-Glazed Wax Beans


for the beautiful golden wax beans this week, you may want to enjoy them really fresh in this light recipe!

1 1/4 pounds wax (yellow) or green beans, trimmed

1 tablespoon mild honey

3/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cook beans in a 4-quart pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain in a colander, then immediately toss with honey, zest, and salt in a large bowl.  6 servings.


Bacon and Swiss Chard Pasta

by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen, May 2008

1 pound linguine

12 ounces bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices

1 very large red onion, halved, sliced (about 6 cups)

2 large bunches Swiss chard, stemmed, chopped (about 12 cups)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in heavy large pot over medium heat until beginning to crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Drain all but 2 tablespoons bacon drippings from skillet. Add onion and saute over medium-high heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add Swiss chard and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add pasta cooking liquid to skillet. Toss until chard is wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle vinegar over; cook 1 minute.

Add linguine and oil to sauce in pot and toss to coat. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle with bacon and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

From our Fields to your Dinner Table, Enjoy!!

Mary and Crew


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