Wobbly Cart Farm CSA newsletter #15

In this week’s box:

Large share: lettuce, bulk carrots, potato, cauliflower, sweet onion, red slicing tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, Ring of fire cayenne pepper, garlic, Wild Garden kale, Romano beans, cilantro.

Small share: lettuce, cauliflower, bulk carrots, jalapeno pepper, Ring of Fire Cayenne pepper, Wild Garden Kale, red tomato, heirloom tomato, sweet onion.

Dear CSA members,

Tomatoes are finally here en masse! This gorgeous dry fall, and our large hoop-house is bringing on crates and crates of tomatoes. We grow many varieties, the vast majority we select for flavor and color rather than pack-ability or uniformity. We may have to wait a little longer for ours but we feel we more than make up for that with superior flavor! I wanted to go through some of the many varieties we grow to give you some background on them, the heirlooms in particular.

Aunt Ruby’s German Green: the large 12 to 16 oz , green to greenish yellow , sometimes rose tinted tomato. This heirloom has an outstanding flavor is sweet, tart, rich and spicy. I, and many others rate it as one of the best. It might look a little strange, but the taste is worth it! Introduced from Ruby Arnold’s German immigrant grandfather. Introduced in the 1993 Seed Saver’s exchange Yearbook. Also recently nominated to the Slow Food’s Ark of Taste.

Cherokee Purple: My favorite! I will quote from the Fedco catalog: “ No list of the best-tasting heirloom tomatoes would be compete without Cherokee Purple, an unusual variety from Tennesse, said to have originated with the Cherokee Indians. Fruits are globes to slightly oblate, averaging 10 to 13 oz, with dusky brownish-purple skin, dark green shoulders and brick red flesh, which has been described as “sweet, rich, juicy, winey,” “delicious sweet”, and “rich Brandywine flavor” by aficionados maintaining it in the Seed Savers Exchange.”

Cosmonaut Volkov: This red tomato has 2 to 3 inch slightly squat, deep crimson fruit with green tinged shoulders, and bright red interiors. The flavor is rich, deep, balanced, sweet and tangy. Delivers the “true” tomato taste. Another of my favorites, this one produces a lot of blemish free fruit that tastes awesome. Comes from the Ukraine.

Persimmon: This rose-gold beefsteak type is said by many to date back to cultivation by Thomas Jefferson. It is creamy, meaty and has a near perfect acid- to sweetness balance. I love it for the gorgeous color.

Paul Robeson: Another Russian heirloom that was named in honor of Paul Robeson (1898-1976), who befriended the Soviet Union. Robeson was a multitalented and outspoken crusader for racial equality and social justice. His namesake tomato has developed an almost cult following amongst seed savers. The maroon-brick colored fruit are 6 to 12 oz, oblate in shape and have green shoulders. This one has a distinctive sweet and smoky taste. From the Fedco catalog again: “A sandwich tomato with a tang, and extraordinary tomato for an extraordinary man.”

Rutgers: Not technically an heirloom, this famous New Jersey tomato was developed by the Campbells Soup co. in 1928. It was “refined” by Rutgers University in 1943. Long considered an outstanding slicing, cooking, and canning tomato, the medium sized 4 to 6 oz fruits are very uniform, with rich red interior and great old-time flavor.

Glacier: Ultra-early this little bite-sized tomato performs in even the dreariest and cold of Northwest summers. It is originally from Sweden. Has a great rich tomato flavor, much better than other ultra-earlies.

Ida-Gold: Nice, orange bite size fruits pair nicely with Glacier. They are low-acid, as many of the yellow and gold tomatoes are, but are early and prolific! Our first year growing this one.

We’re including a Ring-of-Fire Cayenne pepper this week. It’s very hot!!! You may want to wear gloves when chopping it to avoid burning your skin. Awesome for Thai, Mexican, and Indian cuisines!!!!!

Have a great week and enjoy! Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart.

Halibut with Persimmon Tomato and Dill Relish: Prepare your grill. Combine 2 cups diced Persimmon tomato, 3 tbsp finely chopped red onion, 1 tbsp finely chopped seeded Jalapeno pepper, 1 tsp fresh dill, 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, and ¼ tsp salt in a medium bowl and add ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper. Toss gently to coat. Brush 6 6oz halibut filets with 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle evenly with ¼ tsp more salt and pepper. Place fish on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with tomato mixture; garnish with dill sprigs, if desired.

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)

Mexican Tomato Salsa: Combine in a large bowl and mix well: 6 tomatoes, diced, ½ turnip, finely chopped, 1 c. chopped cilantro, 1/3 cup finely chopped parsely, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1 tsp Celtic sea salt, 1 tsp chili powder, and ½ tsp chopped chili pepper.

Black Olive Salsa: Stir all ingredients together by hand. Chill and serve. 3 tomatoes, chopped, 1 cucumber, chopped, 1 c. Moroccan olives, pitted and chopped, ½ cup fresh fennel, ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped, 2 tsp cayenne pepper, chopped, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp lime juice, 1 ½ tsp celtic sea salt. (both recipes from Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine by Gabriel Cousens)

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.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a large casserole dish. Place 3 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp minced garlic in a large resealable plastic bag. Add 1 large head of cauliflower, separated into florets. Shake to mix. Pour into the casserole dish, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with parmesan cheese and 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown

Baked Kale Chips: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a non -insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems of one bunch of kale and tear into bite sized pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry the kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle the leaves with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. Spread out on the cookie sheet in a single layer and bake until the edges are brown but not burnt, about 10 to 15 minutes. ( Like potato chips but way healthier!)

Heirloom Tomato Salad:
4 large Multicolored Heirloom Tomatoes
2 cloves minced garlic
¼ cup diced onion
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp extra- virgin olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp pepper
Remove cores from the tomatoes, and slice into 8 to 10 wedges each. Combine with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss to blend well. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Serve over salad greens if desired.

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