Wobbly Cart CSA Box # 14 September 20th 2011
In this week’s box:
Sweet Corn Carrot Cilantro
Cauliflower Beet Eggplant
Chard Potatoes Garlic
Watermelon Radish Bell Peppers
Romaine Lettuce Lemon Cucumbers
Cherry Tomatoes Walla Walla Onion
Heirloom Tomatoes Red Marble Cippolini Onion
What a gorgeous day. After a few days of rain, the sun is back and the skies looking freshly cleansed. The parched earth is soaking up all that delicious rainwater and saying thank you! The crops in the fields are enjoying the fresh influx of moisture too. I have read that we are a few inches shy of normal rainfall this year and noticed it in the forest and wild plants, how they were drying up this year. This is the kind of weather that makes me love the month of September, though. The kids are back in school and getting settled into their new routine, there is more to eat than ever, the skies are gorgeous, while the grasses are a beautiful shade of golden waving in the breeze. It is a season of abundance, and time to freeze and can and preserve all that you can. Evenings and mornings are cozy enough that you want a sweater and a hot cup of tea, while you sit and admire all your hard work of the summer.
Lucky for us, all the dry beans and onions and our first ever garlic crop are under cover and protected from freezes and rains that are inevitably to come. While there is much more work to do before the farm can rest, some of it is behind us for now. The hoop-house crops are still going strong with many of the 1000 row feet of tomatoes coming to maturity now. The peppers are literally falling over from their own weight, and the recently planted basil is putting on leaves by the minute. It’s encouraging to see the seasons extended in this way. I’m so glad we have the hoop houses installed up here out of the flood plain. New ground for the next year’s garlic crop is getting cultivated and prepared for planting this October as well … and this is just here at my place. The new fields at Joe’s are also filled to bursting with fall crops. See pictures on our blog and facebook page!
As for this week’s CSA box, seems as if it will be filled to bursting yet again! The only really new vegetable I want to talk about is the Watermelon Radish. This large turnip looking thing, is green and white on the outside, but when you slice it watch out! The center is a gorgeous watermelon shade of pinkish red. This heirloom type of the Chinese Daikon radish (called shinreimei in China) is at its best in fall when the weather starts to cool down. Unlike many radishes the intensity of the flavor decreases as it matures. It is mild and delicious served raw, and its color is best preserved when it is served uncooked. Though they are also good sautéed or roasted. See the recipe page for more ideas!
Have a great week,
Asha, Joe and the Crew
Sweet Pickled Onion Watermelon Radish Salad: Slice 1 small sweet onion into thin rounds, slice 1 large watermelon radish into thin rounds, Add 1/3 cup orange juice, 2 Tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp pepper, 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, and a splash of rice wine vinegar. Toss well. Place in fridge to chill overnight. Serve!
Watermelon Radish Chips with Cumin Salt: Peel 4 to 6 Watermelon Radishes and thinly slice. If you have a mandolin, this is ideal for getting the most uniformly thin slices. Heat 2 cups of vegetable oil in a small pot. When hot, toss a handful of radish, making sure you don’t crowd the pot. Fry for about 8 t 10 minutes until really brown. You’ll be tempted to take them out earlier, but you need them to crisp up. They do take longer than potato chips. Continue until done. Season each batch separately and set aside. To make cumin salt – add one tsp salt and ½ tsp cumin and mix in a small bowl, season the radish chip with this. Makes a great appetizer. (From janespice.com.)
Salvadoran Grilled Corn: Prepare grill to medium-hot. Stir together ¼ cup Dijon mustard, ¼ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup ketchup. Pull back the husk from 12 ears of corn, leaving it attached like a handle, and tie back with a strip of husk. Arrange the corn on the grill with cobs over the coals and husks over the area with no coals. Grill in batches if necessary, covered only if using a gas grill, turning occasionally, until ears are well-browned and tender, about 10 minutes. Serve corn brushed with the mustard mixture and sprinkled with cheese. (From the June 2009 issue of Gourmet Magazine)
Sweet Corn Pudding: Preheat oven to 425. In a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, melt 1 stick unsalted butter. Add 1 medium onion, chopped and 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for 3 minutes. Add kernels from 12 ears of corn (about 9 cups) and cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes more. Add ¼ cup all purpose flour and stir for 1 minute, then stir in 1 quart heavy cream. Continue to stir until cream comes to a boil, about 15 minutes. Add 1 cup cooked grits (6 tbsp uncooked) and remove pot from heat. Stir in 3 tbsp minced canned jalapeno peppers and season with salt and pepper to taste. With a handheld immersion blender in pot, puree corn mixture while slowly adding 9 beaten eggs until thoroughly incorporated. Pour into a 9 by 13 inch baking dish and sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded white cheddar cheese. Bake until center puffs and top turns golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. ( from October 2011 issue of Country Living 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)
Fresh Salsa: Chop 6 tomatoes, mince 4 garlic cloves, seed and mince 2 fresh Jalapeno peppers, plus 2 roasted, skinned and chopped jalapenos, dice 1 bell pepper, chop ½ red onion, 1 tbsp olive oil, juice of 1 lime, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste, fresh scallions and cilantro to taste, and 2 dry ancho chilies, seeded, cut into short strips and snipped into pieces. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Place in the fridge for up to 12 hours for flavor infusion. Serve with chips.