Wobbly Cart Farm fall CSA box #2
Large share: parsnips, escarole, butternut squash, yellow onion, rainbow lacinato kale, rutabaga, sweet peppers, purple potatoes, jalapeno peppers, cilantro
Small share: parsnips, escarole, butternut squash, yellow onion, rainbow lacinato kale, rutabaga, sweet pepper, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro
Dear CSA members,
Well, I would like to think that things are finally going to start slowing down around the farm this week, and they are in their way. Unfortunately, with the perceived reduction in workload comes a simultaneous reduction in crewmembers. Many of our loyal and hard working crew head off to greener pastures about this time of year, leaving those of us left with many more hours of tasks to complete. All with fewer daylight hours and more challenging conditions in which to complete them!
The good news is as of next week our markets will be scaled back to just Thursday –Sunday, as this will be the last Tuesday for the Chehalis farmers market. Also, Fall CSA will end on Tuesday November 11th. Visions of a much-needed rest are starting to look closer to a reality!
Once the harvest workload slows down, amazingly we will turn our attention to planning for next season. We will begin going over our crops successes and failures and make variety selections for next season. Seeds will be ordered, bookkeeping and paperwork of all kinds will be done, tractor maintenance will hopefully be performed, and by February we will be busy planting early crops in the greenhouse! It’s quite astonishing all that goes in to planning and succeeding on a small organic vegetable farm and more and more it seems that we have very little downtime in doing so!
On that note, I will leave you to enjoy your vegetables for this week. Amazingly, we still have sweet peppers this week, as well as a nice selection of hardy greens, root vegetables, and sweet winter squash. Here are also some notes about vegetables that you may not be familiar with.
Rutabaga: this cross between a cabbage and turnip is one of the many edible manifestations of the brassica family. Rutabagas have been eaten for centuries by humans and are excellent roasted and mashed. They are very high in nutrients and fiber and low in calories.
Escarole: these hardy and bitter greens are one of our fall and winter stars. Escarole is much like lettuce in texture but adds a very nice bitterness that pairs well with sweet flavors of fruit and balsamic vinegar. You can also grill or braise them and then dress with a vinaigrette. I have also heard that soaking the greens in water for a few hours will reduce some of the bitterness if so desired.
Parsnips: parsnips are a root vegetable member of the carrot and parsley family that has been eaten in Europe for centuries. These sweet white roots are excellent served mashed, baked, boiled, roasted, made into fries, and cooked into soups and stews. You can store them in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for quite some time to come if desired. We plant parsnips very early in the spring in order to have them ready for harvest when the cold weather sets in as they sweeten up with the cold and frosty weather.
Butternut squash: this large yellow bell shaped squash has a sweet and slightly nutty flavor. When ripe the flesh is deep orange in color. Butternut squash is best eaten roasted, grilled, or mashed to make soups, or desserts like pies and muffins. To roast: cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds (reserve them to roast in the oven with salt or soy sauce if desired) place cut side down on a oiled baking sheet, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until softened. Once cooked the flesh can be used in a variety of ways or just eaten as is with butter and brown sugar!
Thank you all,
Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart
Parsnip Puree: cover 2 c. peeled and chopped parsnips with water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until very tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and place in a food processor with ¼ cup milk, 1 tbsp butter and salt and black pepper to taste. Puree until smooth.
Butternut Squash Cheesecake with Chocolate crust and Salted Caramel: Make crust: Preheat oven to 350. Whirl 9oz of chocolate wafer cookies in a food processor until finely ground. Whirl in ½ cup melted unsalted butter just until incorporated. Pour crumbs into a 9-inch spring form pan and press over bottom and about 1inch up the sides of the pan. Bake 7 min, then let cool on a rack. Reduce heat to 300. Make filling: In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 3 8oz pkg cream cheese, at room temp, ¾ cup sugar, and ½ cup light brown sugar, and 1 tbsp flour until smooth. Beat in 4 large eggs, one at a time. Add in 1 cup of cooked, pureed, butternut squash, ¼ cup each heavy cream, sour cream, and maple syrup, the zest of 2 medium oranges, 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice. Beat until just blended. Wrap the bottom of your pan with foil, pressing it up the outside. Set the spring form pan in a roasting pan and pour filling into the crust. Pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come about halfway up the side of the ring pan. Bake until the cheesecake barely jiggles in the center when gently shaken, about 1-¼ hours. Let cheesecake cool on a rack 1 hour, then chill until cold, at least 5 hours. Whisk 6 tbsp store-bought caramel topping with 1/8 tsp table salt in a bowl and spoon over the cheesecake. Arrange ½ cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans around the rim and sprinkle flaked sea salt over pecans for garnish. (Adapted from a recipe in the November 2011 issue of Sunset Magazine.)
Rutabaga and Carrot Soup: In a large saucepan, sauté 1 medium onion in 1 tbsp butter for 5 minutes. Add 3 small carrots and 1 small rutabaga peeled and chopped. Add ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp ground ginger, and ¼ tsp nutmeg. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1-cup vegetable or chicken stock and cook covered, on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and tender. Puree the soup with 2 cups orange juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with unsweetened whipped cream and a dollop of cranberry sauce.
Maple-Braised Butternut Squash with Fresh Thyme: Melt 6 tbsp butter in a heavy large deep skillet over high heat. Add 1 3 to 3 1/2 lb butternut squash, halved lengthwise, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes, sauté 1 minute. Add 1 ¼ cups low-salt chicken broth, 1/3-cup pure maple syrup. 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme, 1 tsp coarse sea salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer, to cook squash until almost tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer squash to a large bowl. Boil liquid in skillet until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Return squash to skillet. Cook until tender, turning occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with more pepper, if desired. (From Bon appétit.)
Lentil and Vegetable Stew with Kale: Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add 1 large chopped onion, and 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped, 1 medium celery root, peeled and chopped, and 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and chopped; sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until beginning to soften and brown, 10 to 11 minutes. Stir in 1 lb brown lentils, rinsed and 1 Tbsp herbes de Provence. Add 8 cups vegetable broth and 1 large bunch kale, ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped. Bring to a boil, stirring to incorporate Kale. Reduce heat to med-low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Add more broth to thin, if desired. Season with salt and pepper. (From the March 2011 issue of Bon Appétit magazine).
Kale Cabbage Salad: Stem and chop one bunch of kale, finely shred ½ a red cabbage, finely chop ½ a red onion, and grate 1 large carrot and place in a large serving bowl. For the dressing combine ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/3 cup dark sesame oil, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 3 tsp freshly grated ginger, and sea salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and top with ½ cup toasted, chopped almonds.
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.