Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 8
Large shares: beets, carrots, purple new potatoes, Walla Walla onions, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, red cabbage, lettuce, garlic, green beans, Italian parsley
Small shares: carrots, lemon cucumbers, cucumber, Walla Walla onion, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, eggplant, purple new potatoes, Italian parsley
Greens share: lacinato kale, turnip greens, cilantro, Italian dandelion greens
Roots share: gold beets, carrots, red onions
Juicing share: 5 lb carrot seconds, beets, fennel, cucumbers, kohlrabi, Italian parsley
We have such nice boxes this week! We are finally entering the time of year when the abundance of produce available on the farm starts to make designing the CSA list for the week a lot of fun. It’s great to be able to pick and choose between lovely heirloom tomatoes, different types of beans and potatoes, generous quantities of so many crops. When it all looks this good it makes our jobs extra easy and satisfying.
August is the time of year when the hundreds of pounds of produce are stacked to the ceiling in the cooler on Tuesday mornings. 10’s of crates of tomatoes, summer squash, and beans threaten to topple as we weave our way through the maze to organize wholesale orders and CSA harvests. Out in the field the crew starts to feel the weight of the harvest as crops get heavier with the shortening days. This is the time of year people start to get a bit tired as the harvests, orders, length, and complexity of our days increases. The next couple of months or so will be like this for us!
This is also the time of year for canning and preserving. We will soon have cases of tomatoes and tomato seconds available for delivery with your CSA box. You can place orders on our web store and we will deliver with your share when available. Mention your drop site location in the comments section.
Here’s what is new this week:
Purple potatoes: these beautiful tubers originate from heirloom varieties that have been cultivated for thousands of years in the Andes mountains of South America. Purple potatoes are beautiful in color and very high in an anti-oxidant called anthocyanin that is a known cancer fighting substance. Their flavor is slightly drier compared to a yellow finn or a fingerling but they are nonetheless excellent roasted, fried or used in soups and stews.
Walla Walla sweet onions: these sweet juicy and crunchy onions are actually the state vegetable of Washington! Technically they are only allowed to be called “Walla Walla sweets” when grown in a certain area of the state. These fresh onions must be kept refrigerated and are excellent fresh in salads, lightly grilled, caramelized or raw on burgers and sandwiches. They also make delicious onion rings if you are ambitious.
Heirloom tomatoes: Soon we will be harvesting hundreds of pounds of tomatoes weekly and may actually get tired of them, but for now it is pretty exciting stuff. For best flavor store your heirloom tomato at room temperature and use up within 2 to 3 days. We grow about 12 varieties! I will describe more of the varieties next week.
Eggplant: In Italian it is known as “Melanzana”, which originates from it’s Latin name which translates to “Apple of Madness”. Whoa! This terminology is believed to have originated with the poisonous nature of some members of the nightshade family – which also includes tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. I assure you none of what is in your box is poisonous however! Eggplant and and like have been eaten around the world for hundreds if not thousands of years. Believed to have first been cultivated and eaten in India or China, with written accounts of it dating to the 5th century, Eggplant didn’t make it to Europe until the 1500’s and wasn’t recognized as an edible food until the 1600’s. I love learning about the histories of our different foods.
Store Eggplant at room temperature and use up as soon as possible. Salting and then draining the cubed, sliced or halved fruit will help it to absorb less oil in cooking. According to the Joy of Cooking Eggplant goes well with lamb, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers, cheese, cream sauces, oregano, marjoram, soy sauce and garlic.
For greens shares Italian dandelion greens: This is not your back yard weed but an Italian heirloom chicory (same family as escarole and raddichio). These bitter greens are great braised, or to add texture and bite to salads. Dandelion is high in fiber, calcium, potassium, beta carotene, and protein. Pair with strong flavors like bacon, chilies, garlic and lemon. Steam before sautéing to help mellow the bitter flavor.
Have a great week,
Parsley and potato omelet: In a medium bowl whisk 8 large eggs, 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves, 2 tbsp water, and ½ tsp salt until smooth and well combined. Let stand at room temperature at least 15 minutes and up to 30. Heat ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 lb potatoes peeled and cut into matchsticks in an even layer, cover and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Gently stir in 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, 1 tsp freshly ground pepper, and another ½ tsp salt. Turn onto a plate and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp butter in same pan until bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add half of the egg mixture. Let cook undisturbed until sides are set . With a rubber spatula, drag cooked sides in toward middle, letting uncooked egg run out to reform a circle. Repeat until top is set but still slightly moist, then scatter half of potatoes over half of the omelet. Flip other half of omelet over the potatoes. Cook until potatoes are warm, about 2 min. Cut in half, then lift onto two plates and sprinkle with more chopped parsley leaves. Repeat process with remaining egg and potato mixture to make 4 servings.
Chicken with green olives, capers and tomatoes: make marinade: stir together 1 ½ cups loosely packed , chopped flat leaf parsley, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 2 anchovy filets, finely chopped, ½ tsp each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, ¼ tsp red chile flakes, 1 tsp lemon zest, and ½ cup extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Pour ½ cup of this into a large resealable plastic bag. Add 4 6 oz boned, skinned chicken breasts and seal the bag and turn over several times to coat the chicken. Chill at least 8 hours. Chill remaining marinade in a covered container. At 30 to 45 minutes before serving stir together 1 cup each pitted green olives and halved cherry tomatoes, 2 tbsp chopped, drained capers, 1 tbsp lemon juice and reserved marinade in a medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature until ready to serve. Preheat grill to 400 degrees. Drain chicken well and pat dry (discard marinade). Grill chicken until deep golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a rimmed cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Cut chicken into thick slices and top with accumulated juices and olive mixture. (above 2 recipes from Sunset Magazine August 2017)
Heirloom Tomato and Romano bean salad: bring a small pot of salted water to the boil, then blanch ¼ lb romano beans, tops trimmed, for 3 to 4 minutes, until just tender. Transfer with tongs to a baking sheet to cool. Make balsamic vinaigrette: using a mortar and pestle pound 1 tbsp fresh oregano, ½ clove fresh garlic and a scant ¼ tsp salt to a paste. Transfer to a small bowl and pour in 2 ¼ tsp red wine vinegar, 1 ½ tsp balsamic vinegar. Whisk in 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and taste for balance and seasoning. Whisk 3 tbsp roasted hazelnut oil, ½ tsp lemon zest, and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Finely chop 1/8th cup skinned, toasted hazelnuts and stir into dressing; coarsely chop another 1/8th cup and stir in. drizzle hazelnut dressing over romano beans, season with salt and pepper, and toss together. Hold 1¼ lbs of heirloom tomatoes on their sides and slice into ¼ inch slices. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange slices on a large round platter, overlapping them, and spoon on about half of the balsamic vinaigrette. Scatter with ½ bunch baby arugula leaves. Stir1 cup of cherry tomatoes, stemmed and cut in half, with remaining vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Pile in center of platter, then top with romano beans. Spoon on a few dollops of crème fraiche and sprinkle about a third of pistou (recipe follows) onto and around salad. Serve the rest alongside.
Tomato, Red onion, and Purple Pepper Salad with yogurt dressing: Thinnly slice 1 medium red onion, place in a salad bowl, sprinkle on 2 tbsp fresh lime juice and 1 tsp salt and mix well. Set aside for 30 minutes. Slice 1 hot chile into matchsticks and add to the onion, cut one medium purple bell pepper into ½ inch wide strips about 1 inch long and toss with the onions and chile. Just before serving add 2 to 3 tomatoes cut into ½ inch pieces and ¾ cup full fat yogurt and toss gently to mix. Taste for salt and adjust, if you wish, and add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Ham and Cheese Tartines with Cherokee Purple Tomato Salad: preheat broiler, to prepare tartines, place 4 1 ½ oz slices of ciabatta bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Arrange 1 of four Serrano ham slices and 1 or four thin slices of Manchego cheese on each bread slice. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tsp oregano. To prepare salad: combine 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, 1 tbsp finely chopped shallots, 1 tsbp sherry vinegar, 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 garlic clove, minced in a bowl and stir well with a whisk. Arrange 1 cup torn boston lettuce on each of four plates. Top each with ¾ cup honeydew melon and ½ cup Cherokee purple tomato slices. Drizzle each with about 1 tbsp dressing. Place 1 tartine on each plate. (both from Cooking Light Magazine)
Heirloom Tomato and Eggplant Gratin: Preheat oven to 425. Brush a large oval baking dish with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Arrange 1 ½ lbs of Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick and 1 lb eggplant peeled and sliced into rounds ¼ to 1/3 inch thick, in overlapping concentric circles. Scatter with fresh thyme sprigs on top and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 3 tbsp olive oil over the top. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the eggplant is barely tender and the tomatoes have exuded their juices. Uncover and bake for 25 minutes longer, or until juices have evaporated and vegetables are very tender. Sprinkle with ¼ lb coarsely crumbled goat cheese and bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm. (I have made a similar recipe but made the addition of lots of minced garlic and thinly sliced summer squash and potato. The kids and family loved it!) (from foodandwine.com)
Limonata Scozzese (Cucumber Cocktail):
Muddle 2 1 inch pieces of cucmber w/ peel in a mixing glass. Add a 16 oz glass of ice, along with 1 ½ oz of gin, the juice of one lemon, and ¼ oz cucumber infused simple syrup (recipe to follow) and shake well. Strain into a highball glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice.
Cucumber simple syrup: cut ¼ to 1/3 of a medium sized cucumber into large chunks. Boil 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of sugar and the cucumber chunks in a pot over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, and liquid becomes syrupy, about 30 seconds after it comes to a boil. Strain out the cucumber and chill.
Eggplant and Zucchini Fries with Roasted Tomato Dip: Heat oven to 375. Toss 1 cup chopped heirloom tomato in 1 tsp olive oil and roast on a sheet pan for 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree with 1 cup greek yogurt, 2 tsp cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and chill. Place 5 large egg whites in a bowl and beat, then place in a separate bowl and mix 2 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs and and additional 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Cut 1 medium yellow squash, 1 medium zuchinni, and 1 small eggplant into 1/2 inch fries. Dip in egg whites, roll in bread crumbs, and place on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve with Roasted Tomato Dip.
Cucumber Salad with caramelized onions and herbs: slice onions into ¼ inch thick slices (enough to yield 1 cup) and toss to separate into rings. Have a slotted spoon and double layer of paper towels ready. Heat 2 cups vegetable oil to 275 in a small, deep heavy saucepan and drop in onion rings. Cook onions, stirring often, until they turn a uniform light brown, about 8 to 12 minutes. They’ll brown faster toward the end, so be careful. Lift onions from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tsp onion oil for vinaigrette; let cool. For the vinaigrette: whisk together 1 tbsp each champagne and rice vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tp salt, and ½ tsp pepper together in a bowl until salt and vinegar dissolve. Add reserved onion oil and 1 tbsp minced onion and whisk well to blend. Season to taste with more salt, pepper and lemon juice. Slice several fresh cucumbers into ¼ inch thick slices with a knife. Toss cucumbers and 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes with vinaigrette. Add 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint, 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, and 1 tbsp roughly chopped red or green shiso (optional). Arrange salad on a platter and top with finely diced mild cucumber pickles and fried onions.