Sunday, July 22, 2018

Week 6 Newsletter 2018

Hello Everyone,    

1st sunflower of the season!
We are in the heat of the summer now, and brighter-colored veggies are going to start filling up your bins and buckets where there was once only green. Along with all the heat we've been dodging some storms. So far, we are not seeing any cracking in the cherries with the rain we had this past Saturday. It has been a great season in the garden and the heat loving plants have really moved ahead this week.

Listed below are the items that will be in your bins this week:

Cherries
Zucchini
Mixed Greens
Yellow Beans
Peppers
Rat Tail Radishes
Bok Choy
Sage

and the buckets:

Cherries
Zucchini
Green Beans
Rat Tail Radishes
Sage

Here a couple recipe ideas for you to give a whirl.

Fettuccine With Zucchini

FLORENCE FABRICANT
YIELD
 6 servings
TIME
 1 hour 20 minute

INGREDIENTS

1 pound medium-size zucchini, about 6, diced
Salt
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ cup minced onion
1 cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic, slivered
1 pound fresh fettuccine
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley leaves
½ cup grated Grana Padano

PREPARATION

Place zucchini in a colander, toss with salt and set aside to drain in sink or over a bowl 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy sauté pan, add onion, pine nuts and garlic and sauté over low heat about 10 minutes, until onion is soft and nuts start to brown. Rinse and drain zucchini and add to pan. Sauté about 20 minutes, until tender.
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta, cook pasta about 3 minutes and drain, reserving about 1 cup pasta water. Add pasta to sauté pan, cook over low heat about 5 minutes, to blend ingredients, adding pasta water as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in parsley, cheese and additional olive oil and serve.


Tuna and Bean Salad

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN
YIELD
 Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a starter
TIME 
About 15 minutes


INGREDIENTS

1 small or 1/2 medium red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 (6 1/2-ounce) can water-packed tuna, drained
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans or borlotti beans, drained through a strainer and rinsed
3 fresh sage leaves, slivered
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small or medium garlic clove, finely minced
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt (or omit and use 4 tablespoons olive oil)
½ Japanese cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and sliced, for garnish

PREPARATION

Place the onion in a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of the vinegar and cold water to cover. Let sit for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then dry on paper towels.
In a medium bowl or salad bowl, combine the tuna, beans, onions, sage, and parsley.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the remaining vinegar, salt to taste, freshly ground pepper, garlic, and Dijon mustard. Whisk in the olive oil and the yogurt. Toss with the tuna and beans and serve, garnishing each plate with cucumber slices.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Week 5 Newsletter 2018

Hello Everyone,
Rattail Radishes


It is tomato trellising time! Tomatoes are a vine and we use a trellising system called the Florida weave to keep the plants erect. The tomato plants grow up rather than crawling on the ground which helps with moisture control, disease prevention and makes it easier at harvest time. We are looking forwards to walls of tomatoes!

I know many of you take vacations in July and August. Remember to let me know a week ahead if you would like to skip a bin or bucket. Also be sure to also schedule which week you would like to have your extra bin or bucket.


What to expect to find in your bin this week:
The beginning of the leeks

Cherries
Lettuce or Mixed Greens
Rattail Radishes
Zucchini
Leeks
Broccoli
Basil
Sugar Snap Peas or Snow Peas
Cucumber

and buckets:


Butterhead Lettuce
Cherries
Lettuce
Broccoli
Zucchini
Rattail Radishes

Here are a couple of recipes that include zucchini.

Zucchini Cake With Ginger and Hazelnuts

MOLLY O'NEILL
YIELD
 12 servings
TIME
 1 hour, plus cooling time

INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup orange juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons peeled, grated ginger root
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups grated zucchini
½ cup finely chopped hazelnuts

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, orange juice, zest, ginger and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour and stir until just combined. Fold in the zucchini and hazelnuts.
Butter and flour a tube pan. Scrape the batter into the pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Slice and serve.


Zucchini With Shallots

PIERRE FRANEY
YIELD
 4 servings
TIME
 About 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ pounds small zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
4 tablespoons chopped parsley

PREPARATION

Rinse the zucchini and pat dry. Trim off the ends, but do not peel them. Cut into 1/8-inch slices.
Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet and when the oil is hot, add the zucchini. Saute the zucchini over high heat, shaking the pan and tossing gently. Add salt and pepper, and cook a total of 5 minutes.
Add the bread crumbs and butter to the pan. When the crumbs start to brown, add the shallots and cook for another minute, tossing. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Week 4 Newsletter 2018

Happy Summertime Everyone!

It looks like we have some warm weather continuing to come our way this week. It will give all the warm loving plants a boost including the zucchini squash, eggplants, tomatoes, peppers and melons. Things are definitely moving ahead.

We started hand picking black sweet cherries on our farm on Monday of last week. The new cherry packing line is up and running and we packed our first order this afternoon. It is quite a gadget and more sophisticated than I ever imagined. Our cooler is well filled with hand picked cherries and I think we will have plenty of packing taking place in the packing shed this week.


Items to expect in your bin this week:

Cherries
Lettuce
Mixed Greens
Zucchini
Broccoli
White Turnips
Cucumber or Baby Kale
Sugar Snap or Snow Peas

Blue buckets:

Cherries
Lettuce
Peppers
Zucchini
White Turnips

Here are a couple of recipes that include sweet cherries.

Cherry Tabbouleh

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN

YIELD 4 servings
TIME 10 minutes, plus 20 to 30 minutes' soaking

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup fine bulgur
Salt to taste
½ cup boiling water
1 ¼ cups finely chopped parsley, tightly packed
¼ to ½ cup finely chopped mint, to taste, tightly packed
24 sweet cherries, such as Bing or Queen Anne, pitted and diced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons pistachio oil
¼ cup pistachios, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

PREPARATION

Place bulgur in a bowl. Add a little salt, cover with boiling water and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes, until bulgur is tender and has absorbed most of the water.
Transfer bulgur to a strainer and press out excess water.
Combine the bulgur, parsley, mint and cherries in a large bowl and toss.
In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon juice, salt to taste, the olive oil and the pistachio oil. Toss with salad mixture. Add pistachios, toss again and serve.

Pork Chops With Brandied Cherries



MELISSA CLARK

YIELD 4 servings
TIME 45 minutes 


INGREDIENTS

1 ¾  teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
1 ½  teaspoon garam masala
½  teaspoon black pepper
¼  teaspoon ground allspice
2  bone-in pork chops, 1 1/2 inches thick, about 1 pound each
1  tablespoon olive oil
1  garlic clove, smashed and peeled
2  tablespoons brandy
2  cups fresh sweet or sour cherries, pitted and halved
4  sprigs thyme, plus thyme leaves for garnish
1  tablespoon unsalted butter
½  teaspoon sherry vinegar or honey, or more to taste (use the vinegar with the sweet cherries, the honey with the sour cherries)


PREPARATION

Combine salt, garam masala, pepper and allspice in a small bowl. Rub mixture all over pork chops, covering their entire surface. Let chops rest for 15 to 30 minutes at room temperature, or up to 24 hours, covered, in the refrigerator.
Heat a 10-inch skillet at medium-high. Add oil. Sear pork chops until brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add garlic to pan, then sear the fatty edges of the chops, using tongs to hold them up, for about 30 seconds to 1 minute each. (Flip the garlic after it browns on one side.) If the pan starts to smoke at any point, lower the heat. Transfer the pork to a plate, and spoon off all but a thin layer of fat from pan. (Leave garlic in the pan.)
Add brandy to pan, let it simmer until the alcohol burns off (about 30 seconds), then add cherries, thyme and 2 tablespoons water. Let simmer for 1 minute.
Move cherries to the sides of the pan and return pork chops to the center so they can make contact with the metal. Cover pan and cook over low heat for about 7 minutes, until meat reaches 130 to 135 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (Its temperature will rise as it rests.) Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, add butter and vinegar or honey to the pan, stirring until butter melts and coats the cherries. Taste and add more honey or vinegar, and salt as needed. Serve pork with cherries and more thyme on top.


Sunday, July 1, 2018

Week 3 Newsletter 2018

Hi CSAers,

I hope you all have been enjoying the warm weather and have found some extra special ways to stay cool! Not only does the 4th of July mark our nation's birthday, it is also the kick-off to Northern Michigan's cherry harvest. Tomorrow will be the the trial run for hand picking cherries on our farm. Big news, our new cherry packing line arrived last week and the final assembly is being done in our packing shed. Anticipation is the theme of the week!


The main delivery day for Week 3 falls on the 4th of July. Due to the holiday there will not be a delivery to the the Governmental Center or Mark's House this week. There will be 2 options for everyone who normally pick up their bin/bucket at these locations. You will be able to pick up your bin/bucket at the Wunsch Farmhouse (17017 Peninsula Dr) on July 4th from 6:00 - 8:00 PM  or on July 5th at the Senior Center from 7:30 - 9:30 AM. Please send me an email note to let me know where you would like me to direct your bin /bucket by Tuesday evening.

Here we are with the Cherry Festival underway, it is time to celebrate cherries, our community and the beautiful place in which we are so lucky to live! Have a great week!



What expect to find in your bin this week:

Strawberries
Lettuce
Sugar Snap or Snow Peas
White Turnips
Radishes
Tarragon
Peppers
Garlic Scape

Strawberries
Lettuce
Honey
Tarragon

Recipes of the week:

Sheet-Pan Tarragon Chicken With Sherry Vinegar Onions

MELISSA CLARK
YIELD  6 servings
TIME 1 hour, plus 6 hours marinating

INGREDIENTS

½ cup finely chopped tarragon (leaves and tender stems), plus 4 whole sprigs
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
½ teaspoon ground black pepper, more as needed
3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (skin on)
2 large onions, peeled and sliced (about 4 cups)
4 thyme sprigs
Sherry vinegar, to taste

PREPARATION

In a large bowl, stir together tarragon, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Add chicken thighs and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 6 hours, and up to overnight.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread onions out on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss well. Clear spaces on the baking pan, then place chicken pieces in the cleared spaces so the onions surround the chicken. Strew thyme and tarragon sprigs over onions and chicken.
Roast, tossing the onions after 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and the onions tender, 25 to 35 minutes. If the chicken skin or onions are not as brown as you’d like, run pan under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes at the end of cooking.
Place chicken on a platter. Drizzle onions with sherry vinegar and more salt and pepper if needed. Spoon onions around the chicken and serve.




Green Sugar Snap Peas With Tarragon



PIERRE FRANEY
YIELD 4 servings
TIME 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

¾ cup sugar snap peas, trimmed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon or parsley
⅛ teaspoon ground cumin

PREPARATION

In a saucepan, bring to a boil enough water to cover the peas. Add the peas and salt to taste. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until they are crisp-tender. Drain immediately.
Return the peas to the saucepan and add the butter, tarragon, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir until the peas are well coated. Serve immediately.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Week 2 Newsletter 2018

Hello Everyone,


I hope you connected with your bin or bucket last week and that you are making room in your refrigerator for Week 2! The full shares are packed in a 1/2 bushel black plastic bin and we use an 8 quart sapphire blue bucket for the small share. The strawberry plants are continuing to produce berries and the garden enjoyed the gentle rain last night.

Below you will find information about green garlic and garlic scape:

Green garlic looks like a scallion with a fat white bulb and dark green stem. It’s an immature garlic plant that farmers remove when thinning out their garlic crop. It has a subtle garlic flavor and the entire green can be used. It may be used in salads, vinaigrettes, sprinkled on pasta, pizza, sauces, and in marinades for grilled foods.

Garlic scapes are the curled flower stalks of hard-necked garlic varieties. They are a seasonal treat, cut off to encourage better bulb growth underneath and are available through early summer. Scapes are crunchy, have a mild garlic flavor, and can be used like green garlic or mature garlic. The whole scape, the flower head as well as the green stalk, can be chopped and used raw or cooked.

This week's list:

Week 2 Bin:

Garlic Scape
Strawberries
Rhubarb
Mixed Greens
Lettuce
Sugar Snap Peas or Shallots
Garlic Scape
Maple Syrup
Radishes

Small Share:

Strawberries
Lettuce or Arugula
White Turnips
Green Garlic



Green Garlic
The tender baby turnips of late spring and summer, the smallest bulbs of this root vegetable yield delicate, sweet flavor. Turnips are great candidates for a variety of cooking methods: roasting, braising, sautéing, and steaming. You can also thinly shave or julienne them to use raw in salads. This is a great recipe that incorporates both bulb and greens in one dish.

Last week one member wrote me a note and explained how she prepared her radishes and radish greens with wonderful results. This recipe could easily be adapted to use radishes.





Braised Turnips with Greens

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: about 1/2 cup)

CHERYL SLOCUM January 2017 Cooking Light


Ingredients

6 small turnips with greens
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup unsalted vegetable stock
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons cold butter
1 teaspoon honey

How to Make It

Trim and peel turnips; reserve and chop the greens. Halve turnips. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add turnips, cut side down; cook 4 minutes or until golden. Turn and add vegetable stock, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until turnips are crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and add greens; cook until liquid reduces by three-fourths and thickens, about 6 minutes. Swirl in butter and honey.



Strawberries, Sour Cream And Brown Sugar

Prep 5 mins
Total 5 mins

Yield 2 -3 servings

Ingredients

1 quart strawberries, leaves attached
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup brown sugar

Instructions

Rinse strawberries and put the whole strawberries in a bowl with the leaves attached, a bowl of brown sugar and a bowl of sour cream. Let the dipping begin!


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Week 1 Newsletter 2018

Welcome to the 2018 season of the Peak Season CSA!


The first delivery of the season is here and is always exhilarating. It is also the time of planting, planting and more planting. Then taking a step back to see what is ready to put into the Week 1 bins. It is just the beginning of the season and the early boxes are a gradual build-up to the bountiful bins that come together in deep summer and the hefty crops that arrive in the fall.
Eating with the seasons, as well as eating locally, may be new to some of you. It can be frustrating, intimidating and overwhelming when you are just starting out with bins of fresh produce.
Hopefully, the weekly newsletter will provide you with information to make it easier and to inspire you to try some new things that will work for you and fit into your lifestyle.
We welcome your ideas and recipes so that we can share them with other members of the CSA.



Here are details about picking up your bins including location addresses and pick up times:

Wednesday
Mark’s House:  4:00 - 7:00 pm     -   7177 Center Rd.- The bins & buckets will be located in the large wooden shed behind Mark’s house and close to the circle driveway.


Govt. Center:  4:30 - 5:00 pm     -    400 Boardman Ave - The pick-up locations is to the left of the main building. Joe will be parked in the Delivery Only area and the bins & buckets will be in his gray pick-up truck.


Wunsch Farmhouse 6:00 -7:00 pm   -   17017 Peninsula Drive -  The bins & buckets will be in the trunk of my light blue car.


Thursday
Grand Traverse Senior Center   7:30 - 9:30 am  - 93801 East Front Street  - The bins & buckets will be inside the Senior Center Building on the right side of the main entrance. 


Please be respectful of the pick - up times. If you are not able to pick up at the location during the set pick - up time, call me ahead by 24 hours and you can pick up your bin at the farm. 

(231-313-1471)

   
Here are the items to expect to find in the Week 1 bin:

Standard Share:

Strawberries
Rhubarb
Radishes
Chives
Mixed greens
Baby kale
Honey
Assorted fresh herbs plants

Small Share:

Strawberries
Rhubarb
Chives
Radishes

We hope you enjoy this culinary adventure with us as we celebrate another season. Thanks for joining us. Here are couple of recipes that include items that you will find in your bins & buckets this week.


Classic Deviled Eggs


ALEX WITCHEL
YIELD
 12 halves
TIME 
45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

6 large eggs
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 to 2 dashes Tabasco sauce, to taste
Salt, to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
Paprika, for garnish
Whole fresh chives, for garnish

PREPARATION

Rinse eggs with warm water, and place in a small saucepan. Cover with cold water, place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover and let sit for 10-12 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water and peel. Cool in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for 15 minutes.
Halve eggs lengthwise, and carefully scoop out yolks. Place yolks in a bowl, and mash with a fork. Add mustard, Tabasco, salt, pepper and snipped chives. Stir in mayonnaise.
Fill each egg white with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the egg-yolk mixture and dust the top with paprika. Arrange in a spoke design on a platter; garnish with whole chives.






Rhubarb Crisp

MARK BITTMAN
YIELD 
6 to 8 servings
TIME
 1 hour

INGREDIENTS
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for greasing pan
2 ½ to 3 pounds rhubarb, trimmed, tough strings removed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 to 6 cups)
¼ cup white sugar
1 tablespoon orange or lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
Pinch salt
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup pecans
PREPARATION
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking or gratin dish with a little butter. Toss rhubarb with white sugar, orange or lemon juice and zest, and spread in baking dish.
Put the 6 tablespoons butter in a food processor along with brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt, and pulse for about 20 or 30 seconds, until it looks like small peas and just begins to clump together. Add oats and pecans and pulse just a few times to combine.
Crumble the topping over rhubarb and bake until golden and beginning to brown, 45 to 50 minutes.




Sunday, October 1, 2017

Week 16 Newsletter 2017

Hello Everyone,    


You are invited to come to the farm and fill your last bin of the season with the items below plus extra produce. We will be meeting in the Peak Season CSA garden on Wednesday. (10/4/16) between 4:30 - 6:30 pm.


 The easiest way to get to the garden is to head north on Center Rd (M37) and go about 12 miles, then turn left on Kroupa Rd. In 1/2 mile you will come to a stop sign, turn right on Peninsula Drive, drive another 1/2 mile,  then turn left on Phelps Rd. Drive about a quarter of a mile and you will see the hoophouse on the left hand side of the road. There are rows of large apple trees on both sides of the hoophouse.

* Reminder* - the Peak Season CSA address will take you to my house rather than to the garden. Be sure to pack the directions to the garden along with you for this adventure.

Also, confirm with me by email if you are planning to come to the farm this week by Tuesday afternoon.  I will be in the garden to assist with the bin assembly between 4:30 - 6:30 pm on Wednesday. There will be plastic produce bags and brown paper bags available in the hoophouse. Of course, your own cardboard box/ tote bag would be ideal for this pick-up.

For those members who are unable to come to the farm I will put bins and buckets together in cardboard boxes and Joe will be delivering the boxes to the regular locations on Wednesday. I will also be delivering to the other locations on Thursday morning.

* Big Reminder*  -  Please return all black plastic bins and blue buckets this week.

 If you sign up for next year by November 1, 2018 and include your $ 50.00 deposit you will receive a FREE 1/2 bushel of Honey Crisp apples for a full share or a FREE 1/2 peck of Honey Crisp apples for a small share. I have posted the 2018 sign-up sheet on the csafarm.org site and will have sign-up sheets and complimentary apples in the hoophouse on Wednesday. 

What to expect to find in your bins this week:


Variety Pack of Apples
Asian Pears
Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Sweet Peppers                                                                                            
Red Onions
Cabbage
Winter Squash
Beets
Garlic

and in your bucket:


Variety Pack of Apples
Tomatoes
Onions
Sweet Peppers
Carrots
Garlic



Roasted Winter Vegetable Medley

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  YIELD Serves 6  TIME About 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 medium butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeds and membranes scraped away, and cut into 3/4 to 1-inch dice
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (quarter at the fat ends, cut in half at the thin ends, then cut in thick slices)
1 large parsnip, quartered, cored, and cut in 3/4-inch pieces
1 medium-size fennel bulb, quartered, cored and cut in 3/4 inch pieces
1 medium or large red onion, cut in large dice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
 Optional: Chopped fresh rosemary, thyme or sage, about 2 teaspoons

Spaghetti With Cauliflower, Almonds, Tomatoes and Chickpeas

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  YIELD4 servings  TIMEAbout 30 minutes Save To Recipe Box 

INGREDIENTS

24 raw almonds (about 3 tablespoons), blanched, skinned* and chopped
1 small or 1/2 large head cauliflower, broken into florets
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
 1-14 1/2-ounce can chopped tomatoes in juice
¼ teaspoon sugar
 Pinch of cinnamon
 Salt to taste
½ to 1 teaspoon dried oregano (to taste)
 Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup cooked chickpeas (canned or freshly cooked)
¾ pound spaghetti
 Crumbled feta or freshly grated Parmesan for serving

PREPARATION

Fill a large pasta pot with water and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste and cauliflower. Boil 5 minutes, then using a Chinese skimmer, a strainer or a slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower to a bowl of cold water (do not drain the pot; you’ll use the water for the pasta). Drain the cauliflower and chop medium-fine. Set aside.
(You can do this step while you are waiting for the water to come to a boil for the cauliflower). Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet or a wide saucepan and add garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds, and stir in tomatoes with liquid, sugar, cinnamon, salt and oregano. Turn up heat to medium-high and stir often as tomatoes come to a brisk boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook, stirring often, until tomatoes have cooked down and taste very fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add pepper to taste.
Add cauliflower and almonds to the tomato sauce, along with 1/4 cup cooking water from the cauliflower, and stir together. Stir in chickpeas.
Bring water in the pot back to a boil and add spaghetti. Cook al dente, following timing instructions on the package but checking for doneness a minute before indicated time on the package. Set aside 1/2 cup of the cooking water from the pasta, in case you want to moisten the sauce more, drain pasta and toss with the tomato and cauliflower sauce and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add water from pasta only if you think the mixture seems dry. Serve, passing crumbled feta or grated Parmesan at the table for sprinkling.

Tips

To blanch and skin almonds, bring a small pot of water to a boil and drop in almonds. Boil 30 seconds and transfer to a bowl of cold water. Drain and slip off skins, then chop.

Advance preparation: The cauliflower and tomato sauce can be prepared through Step 3 up to 3 days ahead.