Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 16
Large shares: Shallots, sweet pepper, 2 pints shishito peppers, escarole, purple potatoes, red carrots, pie pumpkin, Italian parsley, green cabbage, fennel
Small shares: Sweet pepper, escarole, purple potatoes, red carrots, pie pumpkin, Italian parsley, garlic, green cabbage
Greens share: Winter kale, chard or raddichio, mizuna
Roots share: red fingerling potatoes, carrots, watermelon radish
Juicing share: carrot seconds, tomato seconds, green cabbage, fennel, Italian parsley
Dear CSA members,
The last week has brought us a beautiful full harvest moon and almost nightly frosts are really changing our farm-scape and outlook as we begin to transition into late fall/winter mode around here. We still have peppers and even red tomatoes in the high tunnels, but out in the fields almost all the summer crops have been tilled in. Our fall and winter greens, brassicas and root crops are all looking at their best right now that we have had some rainfall, cool nights, and warm sunny days.
All around us on the farm rouge fruit trees are loaded with apples and pears which attract the resident deer. They come at all hours to feed on the abundant crop which mostly falls to the ground. I have even sighted a buck or two in the last couple of days. Many trees’ leaves along the river bank are turning lovely colors of gold, rust, and orange and fluttering across the road in the breeze.
We are prepping and planting next years garlic crop basically as I speak. It’s always a great feeling to get the garlic in the ground and growing for next season! Sort of a nice way of bringing it all full circle each year.
Many of our hand working crew are about now starting to think about moving on for the winter months to other jobs and life goals. Starting in a couple of weeks we will need less help getting all the work for the week done and we can space it out over more days with many of the crops being in storage already. The hardier crops also hold up better to being harvested ahead of time so we can do some stockpiling too.
Speaking of stockpiling for winter I wanted to mention some friends of mine that live in Oakville, WA David and Gloria Edwards of Five Star Farms Beef. They are a Certified Organic grass fed and finished beef operation that has been in business for around 40 years in this area. If you are interested in putting some excellent grass fed beef in your freezer this fall give them a call 360 273 7313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out their website www.fivestarfarmbeef.com
New this week:
Escarole: An escarole is a cold hearty member of the chicory family. This broad leaved green looks like lettuce and can be used like lettuce but has a stronger, slightly bitter flavor. Escarole is related to Endive (the curly greens often found in commercial salad mixes) but is more versatile and less bitter. Escarole can be cooked in soups, stews, stir-fries, or eaten fresh in salads. Escarole is much like lettuce in texture but adds a very nice bitterness that pairs well with sweet flavors of fruit and balsamic vinegar. You can also grill or braise them and then dress with a vinaigrette. I have also heard that soaking the greens in water for a few hours will reduce some of the bitterness if so desired. Escarole is rich in many vitamins and minerals including vitamins A and K, and folate. To store, keep loosely wrapped in plastic in the crisper drawer of your fridge for 4 days to a week.
Red carrots: I wrote about these for the roots share at some point this season, I know. Red carrots are closer to the ancestors of the orange carrots we know today and are stronger flavored and have more vitamin and antioxidant content than orange carrots. Red carrots flavor and color is improved by cooking and stands up very well to long cooking applications such as roasting and stewing.
The Pumpkin is for pies, an extra sweet and non-stringy variety that can also be used for soups or curries. To bake your pumpkin: Preheat oven to 325. Break off the stem. Chop it in half. Scoop out the seeds and strings. Place the halves in a large baking pan. Cover with foil. Bake for 35 to 60 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Scoop the flesh from the rinds and puree in a food processor. Expect about 1 cup of pumpkin puree per lb of pumpkin. The seeds are also excellent roasted with salt and olive oil. You can store the pie pumpkin at room temperature until you are ready to use it.
Shallots are in the same family as onions and garlic, but have a generally milder, sweeter and less pungent flavor than either onions or garlic. Thought to have originated from an ancient Palestinian city, shallots are now widely used in French cuisine. Shallots resemble garlic bulbs more than onions because each head is made up of several cloves and is covered with a thin, paper-like skin.
Here is a link to an article with great ideas for how to use shishito peppers http://earthydelightsblog.com/shishito-peppers/
Have a great week,
Pumpkin Pie: First prepare the pastry (makes enough for 2 single crust pies): sift together 2-½ cups flour and 1 ¼ tsp salt. Add: half of ¾ cups chilled lard or vegetable shortening with a pastry blender until it has the consistency of cornmeal. Cut the remaining half into the dough until it is pea-sized. Sprinkle the dough with 6 tbsp ice water. Blend the water with the dough until it just holds together. Divide the dough in half, shape each into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. For the filling: Preheat the oven to 425. Line a 9-inch pie pan with ½ of your pie dough. Glaze the crust with 1 large egg yolk. Prick the dough generously with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes covered in foil. Remove foil and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer until golden. Decrease the oven to 375. Whisk thoroughly in a large bowl: 3 large eggs. Whisk in thoroughly; 2 cups cooked pumpkin puree*, 1 ½ cups heavy cream, ½ cup sugar, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, ½ tsp ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp ground cloves or allspice, and ½ tsp salt. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the crust and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until firm. Cool completely on a rack. Pie can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Serve cold or at room temperature. Accompanied with whipped cream or hot brandy sauce. (From the Joy of Cooking).
Wilted Escarole salad: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss 1/2 loaf of country style bread, crust removed, torn into 1 ” peices ( about 5 cups) with 3 tbsp olive oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. sqeezing bread so it absorbs oil evenly; season with salt and pepper. Spread out bread peices in a even layer and bake, tossing occasionally, until crisp on the outside but still chewey in the center, 10-15 minutes. Let croutons cool. Meanwhile, heat 4 tbsp oliveoil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add 2 chopped garlic cloves, and cook stirring often, until golden, about 2 min. add 1 -2 anchovy fillets and using a spoon smash them into to oil. Add 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes and remove skillet from heat. Add 2 tbsp white wine vinegar, scraping up any bits, and season with salt and pepper. Just before serving toss 1 large head escarole, outer leaves removed, inner leaves torn into large pieces with croutons, and warm vinaigrette in a large bowl until escarole is slightly wilted. Season with salt, pepper and more vinegar if desired.
Escarole and bean soup: heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add 2 chopped cloves garlic and saute until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add 1lb chopped escarole and saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt. Add 4 cups chicken broth, 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, and 1 1-ounce piece of Parmesan cheese. Cover and simmer until the beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into 6 bowls. Drizzle each with 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil and serve with crusty bread.
Simple seared fillet of beef with winter leaves: refresh 5 to 6 large handfuls of escarole, or raddichio in cold water then dry. For the marinade combine 1 ¼ cups soy sauce, 1 red chili, 3 chopped cloves of garlic, and ½ cup olive oil. Marinade 1 3lb fillet of beef overnight, or at least for several hours turning occasionally. Preheat oven to 425. Sear the beef until brown on each side in a griddle of frying pan, then roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until desired doneness. Prepare a dressing of 6 tbsp soy sauce, 6 tbsp olive oil, 1 chopped clove garlic, 1 red chili, and 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger. Thinly slice the fillet and arrange it on a bed of greens, drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro.
Pumpkin, Parsley Root, and Thyme Soup: Clean and peel 1 small Pie Pumpkin or Delicata Squash, cut into cubes. Combine the squash with 1.5 L chicken stock, 1 chopped onion, 5 cubed parsley roots (or Celaria), 1 cubed potato, ½ tsp salt, 1 clove minced garlic, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed, and bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer without the lid on and cook for 30 minutes. Puree the soup and add ½ tsp chili flakes. Simmer for 20 minutes more. Garnish with ½ tsp more chili flakes, more fresh thyme and black pepper. Serve with homemade croutons. (honestcooking.com)
Lemon Garlic Mashed Potatoes: in a large saucepan cook 3 lbs potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks and 4 cloves of garlic halved in lightly salted boiling water, covered, 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Drain potatoes, reserving 1 cup water. Mash potatoes with a potato masher until smooth. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp butter, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper and enough of the reserved liquid to reach the desired consistency. Stir to combine. Transfer potatoes to serving dish. Top with 2 tbsp capers, drained, 1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley, 2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over before serving.
Escarole Salad with Blue Cheese: Combine 2 tbsp finely diced shallot, ¼ tsp sea salt, 1 tbsp aged sherry vinegar in a bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Whisk in 1 tsp Dijon mustard and 3 tbsp roasted walnut oil or olive oil and taste. If the vinaigrette is too sharp, whisk in more oil. Quarter 1 large head of escarole and slice very thinly crosswise. Toss the greens gently with the vinaigrette and 1 to2 tbsp snipped chives. Arrange leaves in a large bowl and sprinkle with about ½ cup crumbled blue cheese as you go so it is evenly distributed.
Winter Squash Soup with Red Chile and Mint: Halve 1 2 lb winter squash (pie pumpkin), scoop out strings and seeds, and peel. Then cut into 1 inch cubes. Heat 2 tbsp light sesame oil or olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add squash, 1 onion chopped, 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, and 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add cinnamon stick, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tbsp ground chiles, followed by 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock and a cheese cloth sachet containing 12 coriander seeds, 12 black peppercorns, and 4 cloves. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook, partly covered, until squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove spice sachet and cinnamon stick. Using a stick blender, puree the soup, and season to taste with salt. Ladle soup into bowls. Swirl 1 tsp or so of heavy cream into each, leaving it streaky. Finish with a pinch of ground chiles. ( first 3 recipes adapted from those that appear in the November 2013 Sunset magazine
Oriental Cilantro Slaw: Shred 1 medium cabbage (6 cups). Place the cabbge in a large serving bowl. Mix in 1 large shredded carrot, 1 cup tightly packed minced fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup thinnnly sliced scallions. In a jar combine, 3 tbsp canola oil, 3 to 4 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp tamari, 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and finely chopped and sea salt to taste. Shake well to blend, pour dressing over the salad and toss well. Add more lime juice and tamari as needed. Garnish with 1/2 cup chopped toasted and salted peanuts.
Italian Style Salsa Verde: In a small bowl, combine ½ cup coarsely chopped Italian Parsley, ¼ cup each coarsely chopped chives, fennel fronds, or dill, mint leaves, tarragon and shallots; 2 tbsp finely chopped capers; 2 tsp coarsely chopped sage leaves, and ¾ tsp kosher salt. Whisk in 1 ¼ cups fruity extra virgin olive oil. Taste and adjust salt. Chill overnight if possible, so flavors can marry. Makes 1 ¾ cups.
Quick Sauerkraut: Thinly slice 1 head of cabbage and place in a large microwave safe bowl with 1 ¼ cups apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup apple cider, 1 tbsp crushed toasted caraway seeds, and 2 tbsp kosher salt. Cover with a large piece of plastic wrap and seal edges. Microwave on high, 4 to 5 minutes. Let sit, still covered, until cabbage has absorbed its brine and bowl is cool to the touch, about 15 minutes. (from Sunset magazine May 2012)
Caramelized Shallots: Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium low. Thinly slice 6 to 8 oz of shallots and saute them in the oil for about 2 min. add 1 tsp salt and saute for 5 min more, or until soft. Reduce heat if necessary to prevent them from browning too quickly. Add 1 tsp sherry or apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp sherry or white wine, 2 tsp brown sugar, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, and freshly ground pepper to taste. Sautee for another 20 min, stirring occasionally. Add water as needed to prevent sticking and burning, about a tsp at a time. Remove sprigs of thyme before serving. French Shallot Soup: Prepare 2 batches caramelized shallots and/or onions (see above). Melt 2 tsp unsalted butter over med-low heat in a deep pan or dutch oven. Add the caramelized shallots and stir to warm through. Add 1-quart beef stock, at room temperature and 1 cup red or white wine. Simmer at least 20 minutes and up to 40 minutes. Near the end of cooking preheat the oven broiler. Divide the soup into 4 oven-proof bowls, and stir in 1 to 2 tsp cognac into each bowl. Gently float a thick slice of day old baguette in each and top with 4 oz slices of Gruyere cheese. Broil until golden and bubbly about 3 to 5 minutes.
French Shallot Soup: Prepare 2 batches caramelized shallots and/or onions (see above). Melt 2 tsp unsalted butter over med-low heat in a deep pan or dutch oven. Add the caramelized shallots and stir to warm through. Add 1-quart beef stock, at room temperature and 1 cup red or white wine. Simmer at least 20 minutes and up to 40 minutes. Near the end of cooking preheat the oven broiler. Divide the soup into 4 oven-proof bowls, and stir in 1 to 2 tsp cognac into each bowl. Gently float a thick slice of day old baguette in each and top with 4 oz slices of Gruyere cheese. Broil until golden and bubbly about 3 to 5 minutes.