Wobbly Cart Farm CSA newsletter #11
Large Shares: sweet pepper, bell pepper, 2 red onions, chard, cauliflower, fingerling potatoes, summer squash, carrots, garlic, cilantro, red slicing or heirloom tomatoes, 1 lb glacier salad tomatoes, 2 jalapeno peppers, lemon cucumbers
Small Shares: carrots, lettuce, sweet pepper or bell pepper, 1 jalapeno pepper, red slicing or heirloom tomato, cilantro, summer squash, garlic, lemon cucumbers, cauiflower
Dear CSA members,
I am sitting at the kitchen table with the windows open listening to the sound of a gentle summer rainfall outside. There are literally hundreds of swallows of several species swooping and chirping over the fields around my house. They seem to be gathering to feed and discuss the phenomenon of rain, after so many dry days. In an increasingly hectic and sometimes discouraging world I find moments like this a welcome respite. It’s encouraging to see other creatures surviving and thriving on the farm land and open-space that still exists where we live. We, as farmers, are all too often too busy and overworked to take in the beauty and gifts our lives on the land afford us. For example, there are many hundreds of pounds of onions out in the field right now. Most are in partial states of curing and need to be moved under cover if this rain is to continue, so rather than quit when the harvest is done today, the crew will soon arrive with truckloads of onions to spread out in the small high tunnel to protect them. There really isn’t time to reflect and enjoy tonight. Regardless, for now, I am feeling great full for this life.
I hope you, too, can appreciate the abundance that our land can provide in late summer. The cooler is packed to the ceiling several times a week for restaurant and grocery store orders, markets and CSA. I am constantly in awe of the beautiful colors and flavors of the vegetables. In your box you will find a gorgeous selection of our finest late summer crops. We have some new sweet pepper varieties in our large high tunnel that are coming on right now. There are several colors and shapes; red, orange and yellow. They are sweet and delicious and I am really happy we planted them. We always have a lot of bell peppers, but I must say I prefer these! You will also get a Jalapeno pepper or 2. They are the little green guys and they are HOT! You should have the makings of some salsa with the tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro this week! You will also receive some very fine looking and tasting cauliflower, perhaps the nicest I’ve seen at Wobbly Cart. Large shares will receive 1 lb of Fingerling potatoes. I am not sure which variety we will do, but fingerlings are long narrow potatoes that often have a firm and waxy texture. They are very popular with restaurants and are my favorite kind of potato. You can use them just like any other potato, but I will have suggestions on the recipe page. Both the summer squash and tomatoes are becoming super-abundant. Both share sizes will get a healthy portion this week! IF you receive a green heirloom tomato, don’t worry it’s just Aunt Rubys German Green. It is a green/yellow when ripe. You can tell when the flesh gives a little under finger pressure. It has a divine flavor!The little yellow cucumbers are called “lemon cucumbers”. They are a heirloom variety that has a nice mild, slightly lemony flavor. Use as you would any other cuke.
That’s all for this week. Enjoy!
Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart
Grilled Vegetable Salad: mix some summer squashes and peppers with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Then grill them until softened and streaked with grill marks. Cut them into large chunks and toss them with lettuces, a little crumbled goat cheese, and a white balsamic vinaigrette seasoned with fresh basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
Ginger and Chile Pickled Green Beans: gather canning equipment and heat water in canner as directed by a reputable canning guide. Heat 4 ¾ cups white vinegar, 3 ½ cups water, ½ cup kosher salt, 2 tbsp sugar together in a medium pot until boiling. Put a ginger slice, garlic clove, and a small hot chile or jalapeno slice in each of 6 pint size canning jars. Pack the jars with 3 lbs of green beans, stem ends trimmed and very long beans cut in half. Pour hot vinegar mixture over beans leaving a ½ inch head space at the top. Put lids on top and screw on rings firmly- but don’t force. Process jars 10 minutes. Check that the jars have sealed and store in a cool dark place for up to 2 years. Or chill any that don’t seal; they’ll keep up to 1 month. Makes 6 pints. (from Sunset Magzine September 2013)
Salsa Fresca: combine in a medium bowl: ½ a small red onion, finely chopped, rinsed and drained, 2 tbsp fresh lime juice, 2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded if desired and finely diced, ¼ to ½ cup chopped cilantro (leaves and tender stems), 3 to 5 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (or to taste) 1 medium garlic clove, finely minced. Stir together well with ¼ tsp salt, or to taste. Serve immediately.
Yellow Tomato Lime Sorbet: cut 3 ½ lbs ripe, sweet, orange-yellow tomatoes into chunks, then puree in batches in a food processor. Rub through a fine strainer set over a large saucepan; discard seeds and skins. Stir 1 ½ cups sugar into tomato puree. Bring to simmering over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 4 cups, about 30 minutes. Nest pan in a bowl of ice water and stir occasionally until tomato mixture is cold. Stir in 1/3 cup lime juice. Add more if needed so you taste both sweet tomatoes and lime. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturers directions. Transfer to a bowl and freeze until firm enough to scoop, about 3 hours. (from Sunset Magazine August 2013 issue)
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.
Lemon Cucumber Spa Water: Slice a piece of fresh ginger, a lemon, and a couple of lemon cucumbers. Place in a pitcher and add water. The proportions can vary depending on your taste. Add a handful of mint leaves and place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or more to make a refreshing and tasty summertime drink.
Fingerling Potato, Carrot, Fennel, and Bacon Side dish: Chop up 5 big strips of bacon into 1-inch chunks. Cook the bacon in a pan until done. Remove them from the pan and set aside. Meanwhile chop the leafy parts off of a bulb of fennel, chop up the bulb part into small bite-sized pieces. Saute them in the bacon fat with a dash of salt for about 7-10 minutes to soften. Then transfer the sautéed fennel into a casserole dish, add a small splash of white wine, and transfer to a 375 degree oven for 30 min. While the fennel braises in the oven, take your pan of bacon fat and add some fennel seeds to it, fry them for a minute, then, add 1 lb of fingerling potatoes that have been coarsely chopped, and 4 coarsely chopped carrots. Add a dash of salt and pepper, sautéing until cooked through. This could take 15 to 20 minutes. Once the potatoes are complete, empty the pot into the fennel casserole. Add the cooked bacon from earlier and toss well. Adjust the seasoning as needed and let the casserole finish its time in the oven if need be. Garnish with chopped chives or scallions.