Wobbly Cart Farm Fall CSA box # 2
Large Shares: Beets, Carrots, Broccoli, Escarole, Potatoes, Cippollini Onion, Garlic, Pie Pumpkin, Rutabaga, Leeks, Winter Kale
Small Shares: Beets, Broccoli, Winter Kale, Escarole, Leeks, Pie Pumpkin, Potatoes, Garlic
Dear CSA Members,
I awoke this morning to a cold and frosty 26 degrees, put on my warmest sweater and boots and headed down to the barn, just as the sun began to rise. We unloaded the CSA produce from the cooler, which is actually warmer than the outside air temperature, and began setting out the small shares. It was so cold the boxes were all frozen together! It actually seemed more like winter than fall.
Having been away from the farm for a week, I felt freshly impressed by the beauty of the produce and the bounty of our fall season. In fact, many of these hardy crops are my favorites of the season. The last broccoli and cauliflower plantings have come on just in time, the winter squash is a the perfect age for maximum flavor, and the kales and cabbages will be extra sweet with our frosty nights. Enjoy!
Our work- load around the farm will start to drop off from here on out as well. The Chehalis market is over as of today, Olympia will soon drop off to 2 days a week. Once CSA is over on November 12th we can breathe a much- needed sigh of relief!
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. A 5 to 6 lb pumpkin will yield 4 cups of puree.
Great Batavian 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 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.
Leeks: This long and lovely member of the Allium family (onions, garlic and the like) is one of our star winter performers. They will stay alive through most winters here as long as the temperature dosen’t go below 10 degrees or so. They are much prized by chefs for their mild and tender flavor. To use them, first slice the whole thing vertically. Then fan out the many layers under running water to remove any trapped sediments. Slice off the tougher deep green tops, and use the white and light green parts in your recipes. Leeks will also keep for many weeks in your fridge crisper drawer. By peeling away outer layers, you can remove any discolored parts if you do decide to keep them for an extended time.
Have a great week,
Asha, Joe and the Crew at Wobbly Cart
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).
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.
Broccoli with Green Herb Sauce: Break 1 large head of broccoli into florets, peel the stalk and chop into chunks. Steam in a steamer basket over simmering water, covered, until tender to the core when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Put in a serving dish. Meanwhile mix ½ cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley leaves, 1 tsp each fresh thyme and oregano leaves, zest of 1 large lemon, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp brined capers, rinsed and chopped, 2 tbsp finely diced shallot, 1 small garlic clove minced, ½ cup olive oil, and sea salt and pepper to taste. Spoon about half the green herb sauce over the broccoli and turn gently to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature, with extra sauce on the side.
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
Kale, White Bean and Escarole Soup: In a large soup pot over low heat, add 3 Tbsp olive oil and sauté 2 oz pancetta, finely chopped, 1 large yellow onion, chopped, 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 celery stalk, finely chopped, and 1 chopped carrot until tender and fragrant, 15-20 minutes. Add 2 cups kale, stems removed, leaves washed and chopped and 5 cups Escarole, stems removed, leaves washed and chopped. Cook until the greens are wilted and tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup chopped tomatoes and cook another 10 minutes. Pour in 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add 2 cans cannellini beans and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Just before serving, add the juice of ½ lemon, stirring to combine and salt and pepper to taste.