Wobbly Cart Farm CSA Box #5

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA Box #5 7-19-11

In this weeks’ box:

Carrots Radish (last week!) Spanish Roja garlic
Cauliflower Red Romaine Lettuce Basil
Snow Peas Green Leaf Lettuce Desiree New Potatoes
Purplette Onion Wild Garden Kale

Hello to all,

It’s looking like an awesome box again this week. We have quite a few new Veggies to offer you including Wild Garden Kale, Desiree New Potatoes, Spanish Roja Garlic, Fresh Basil, and Cauliflower. Your carrot bunches might also contain Purple Dragon Carrots! Many of you got these last week, but I didn’t have an explanation in the newsletter. They are a tasty and beautiful carrot that seems to be irresistible with kids! Last week I was trying to make a Thai-style curry with peas and carrots and my kids were gobbling them up before they ever made it to the pan. Children seem naturally attracted to the color, and as an added bonus are super-high in vitamins and antioxidants with all that gorgeous pigment.
Also, new this week is the Desiree Potato. These are a variety introduced from Holland in 1962. They have red skins but deep golden flesh inside. They have a moist creamy texture and a delicate flavor that is great for a general-purpose potato. Try them steamed just until tender with a little butter and salt to take advantage of their new potato tenderness. New potatoes can be stored at room temperature, in a dark place. Because they are not cured they will last for days in instead of weeks like regular potatoes. If you keep them in the fridge their starches will begin to convert to sugar. Stored that way for long, they will begin to taste sweet. Some how I doubt they will be around that long! I plan to use mine for dinner tonight.
The Cauliflower is a variety called “Amazing”! I think it’s pretty amazing too. It is tender and mild and is delicious cooked up in soups, stir- fries, roasted, or in salads. Cauliflower is one of the brassica, or cruciferous vegetable family. These veggies (including broccoli, kale, cabbage, and kohlrabi) are a nutritional powerhouse, loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Many experts recommend consuming cruciferous vegetables 4 to 5 times a week for maximum health and disease prevention. As always, I’ll have ideas for preparation on the recipe page. Store cauliflower wrapped in plastic in the crisper drawer of your fridge until you are ready to use it. It should last about a week.
Basil is an aromatic herb of the mint family. Originally native to India, Asia, and Africa the variety we grow is commonly used in Mediterranean cooking. It is normally added to cooked dishes near the end of cooking to preserve delicate flavor, with the added benefit of preserving its high vitamin and antioxidant properties. Basil is high in vitamin K, magnesium, iron and calcium. This basil may need a quick rinse as the recent heavy rains have splashed silt from the soil up onto the leaves. We didn’t want to wash it for you because the delicate leaves will probably appreciate a wash just before use. You can store basil in your refrigerator wrapped in a damp paper towel, then placed in a bag in the crisper drawer, but I have found it really does better at room temperature in a loosely closed bag. It’s delicate so try to use it up as soon as possible!
Also new this week is Wild Garden Kale. We have been growing this variety bred by Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seeds in Philomath, OR for many years now. It has a robust flavor that is excellent in hot potato salads, wilted with sea salt and marinated in a fresh salad or cooked into soups and stir –fries. Kale is another of the brassica family that we can count as our nutritional super heroes. This green is really at its best after the first frosts of the season, usually in late September around here, when it develops and exceptional sweetness. But I’ll take it however I can get it! Store it wrapped in plastic in the crisper drawer of you fridge for up to a week.
Last but not least is Spanish Roja Garlic. These smallish bulbs are not fully cured and should be used up soon. They pack a little more heat than the variety you got the last couple of weeks, a flavor that will only enrich as the garlic completes it’s curing process. It would be great blended up into a pesto with that fresh basil.

Enjoy! Asha , Joe and the Crew

Recipe Page #5

Warm Kale and Potato Salad: Strip the leaves from the stems of one 3/4lb bunch of kale, but holding the stem in one hand, folding each leaf together lengthwise, and pulling gently but firmly. Reserve the stems to make a soup stock if desired. Chop the leaves into 2 inch square pieces. Set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the chopped kale and cook until it is tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, transfer to a strainer, and refresh under cold running water. Place in serving bowl in a warm place. Return the water to the boil and add 1 1/4 lbs whole Desiree potatoes, well scrubbed. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and, when cool enough to handle slice into 1/8 inch slices. Set the potatoes into the bowl with the kale. In a large skillet heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil and sauté 2 medium purplette onions, coarsely chopped, and 3 cloves of Spanish roja garlic, peeled and finely chopped, sauté for 4 minutes. Add to the potato kale mixture. Stir together 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Gently fold this into the potato kale salad. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more vinegar and salt as desired.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup: Cut one 1 1/2lb head of cauliflower into medium-sized florets and set aside. In a large soup pot combine 2 cups water, 2 cups vegetable stock, ¾ lb of carrots scrubbed and coarsely chopped, 1 medium potato, coarsely chopped, an 1 tsp dried tarragon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are very soft, about 20 to 30 minutes. Puree the soup in two batches in a blender, or using a stick blender. Add 1 to 2 Tbsp light miso, or sea salt. Good served cold as well as hot.

Basil-Blackberry Crumble: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 2-3 apples, chopped, 2 pints blackberries, 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 large handful of chopped basil leaves, ¼ cup of honey, or more depending on the tartness of the berries. Put all of this in an oven-proof dish, mix and set aside. Cut 1 stick of cold butter into 5 Tbsp flour and 3 heaping Tbsp brown sugar, then rub with your fingers to make a chunky, crumbly mixture. Sprinkle it over the top of the fruit, bake 30 minutes until golden and bubbly. (from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.)

Simple Basil Pesto: Combine in a food processor or blender 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, 2 cloves peeled Spanish roja garlic, and ¼ cup pine nuts and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add ½ cup olive oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper. If using immediately add another ¼ cup olive oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a large serving bowl and mix in ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese. You can also freeze this by transferring to an air-tight container and drizzling the ¼ cup olive oil over it. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw it and then stir in the cheese. Serve over hot pasta, on bread, as a dip, on pizza. There are many possibilities.

Oven Fries:
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Peel 1 lb of potatoes and slice them lengthwise into french fry like sticks. Pour 4 Tbsp of Canola oil on a rimmed baking sheet and then toss the potatoes with oil to coat. Turn with a spatula when brown on top and continue cooking until the potatoes become crispy on the outside and soft inside, about 30 min. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve hot.

Kale Avocado Salad:
Remove part of the stems and finely chop one bunch of kale into a bowl. Add 1 tsp Celtic sea salt and massage well with clean hands until kale wilts. Add 2 tsp lemon juice and massage again. Add 1 sliced tomato or a handful of halved cherry tomatoes and ¼ cup chopped kalamata olives. Then, in a blender blend up; 1 pitted avocado, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and 1 stalk celery to a creamy texture and pour over salad. Mix well to completely coat the kale leaves. The order in which you add the ingredients is crucial; if you add the oil to early the kale will not wilt as well. You can also top with shredded carrots or other veggies and toasted pine nuts.

Braised Carrots:
Place in a skillet or saute pan that is wide enough to hold the carrots in a single layer: 1 lb carrots, quartered lengthwise, ½ cup water or chicken stock, 1 ½ tbsp butter, 1 tsp brown sugar, ½ tsp salt. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the carrots are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and cook for a few minutes more, then season with: 1 tbsp chopped parsley, chervil, or tarragon, black pepper to taste or grated Gruyere cheese.

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