December 13



  • Carrots
  • Vates curly kale


  • Baby fennel
  • Butternut squash (Deer Run Farm--King William County)
  • Chestnuts (Rocky Creek Chestnut Farm--Buckingham County)

Local Food Hub:

  • Golden Delicious apples (Dickie Brothers Orchard--Nelson County)


To roast the chestnuts:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F
  • With a sharp knife, cut an "X" into the flat side of the chestnut to allow steam to escape
  • Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with water 
  • Roast them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until they become tender and the shell easily comes off. Flip them occasionally while roasting. 
  • Remove from oven and let cool slightly or 2 to 3 minutes. Wrap them in paper towels and squeeze them until the skin is crushed. Leave them in the paper towel for another five minutes. 
  • Remove the shell and inner skin completely. If tough to peel, place back into oven and roast for 3 to 5 minutes.  


From Martha Stewart Living October 2004; modified for butternut squash


Butternut Squash-Chestnut Soup


Serves 10



4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 medium onions, coarsely chopped

8 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken or vegetable stock, plus more if needed

Butternut squash, roasted, cut into 1-inch cubes

6 large waxy potatoes, such as Yukon gold (about 3 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

Chestnuts, roasted and outer skins removed

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Up to 2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)

Roasted, dried no-hull seeds from pumpkins such as 'Lady Godiva,' for garnish (optional)



Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions; cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, squash, potatoes, and chestnuts; simmer over medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly.

In batches, process mixture in a food processor until smooth (if the soup is too thick, gradually add more stock). Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, stir in cream to taste, and garnish with pumpkin seeds, if desired.


From One Pan Wonders by Cook's Country/American's Test Kitchen 2017


Fideos with Chickpeas, Fennel, and Kale


Serves 4



8 ounces spaghettini or thin spaghetti, broken into 1- to 2-inch lengths

2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

12 ounces kale, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 fennel bulb, 2 tablespoons fronds minced, stalks discarded, bulb halved, cored, and sliced thin (Can mix up with carrots for a lil extra crunch!)

1 onion, chopped fine

Salt and pepper

1 (14.5 ounces) can diced tomatoes, drained and chopped fine, juice reserved

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 3/4 cups water

1 (15 ounces) can chickpeas, rinsed

1/2 cup dry white wine



Toss pasta and 2 teaspoons oil in 12 inch broiler-safe skillet until pasta is evenly coated. Toast pasta over medium-high heat, stirring often, until browned and releases nutty aroma (pasta should be color of peanut butter), 6 to 10 minutes; transfer to bowl.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to now-empty skillet and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add kale, a handful at a time, sliced fennel, onion, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook until mixture is thick, dry, and slightly darkened in color, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in garlic and paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.


Stir in toasted pasta until thoroughly combined. Stir in water, chickpeas, wine, reserved tomato juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is slightly thickened and pasta is just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler.

Transfer skillet to oven and broil until surface of pasta is dry with crisped, browned spots, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove skillet from oven (skillet handle will be hot). Let cool for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with fennel fronds and serve with garlic aïoli.