Wobbly Cart Farm Fall CSA box #3
Large shares: Delicata squash, sunchokes, cabbage, rapini, carrots, red potato, daikon radish, yellow cipollini onion, rosemary
Small shares: Delicata squash, sunchokes, rapini, cabbage, carrots, purple potatoes, yellow cipollini, rosemary
Dear CSA members,
As our days darken and the year draws to a close, we at Wobbly Cart are finally feeling a reduction in the work load. Our Chehalis market is over for the year and our Olympia Farmers Market is down to just two days a week. After next week ( the last fall CSA box) we can really sit back and breathe a sigh of relief and satisfaction of another farm season almost done. We can celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday with a true sense of thanksgiving for the foods we have worked so hard to produce. There is nothing like sitting down to a meal of fresh, in season, and local produce. The taste and satisfaction just cannot be compared to commercially prepared, boxed, canned etc meals. We in our region are lucky to have access to locally and naturally raised meats, a huge array of fruits and vegetables (including cranberries) and more when it comes to planning our holiday celebrations. I love the relevancy of thanksgiving to those of us who care about local sustainable eating.
The fields are becoming so muddy and wet with the heavy rains of fall it really slows down harvest and access with tractors and vehicles. We are luck that the workload slows down along with the access issues and reduction in crew members! We get really used to sliding around in mud and carrying the weight of heavy raingear and mud laden boots. One benefit of the cool season and influx of rainwater is many of the root crops, carrots to name just one, become extra sweet and attain giant sizes. These crops are really at their best at this time of year. The same can be said for cabbages and kale as most insect pests are gone and flavor and crunch are at their peak.
I hope you enjoy this week’s box. Here is a rundown of a few of our crops this week:
Sunchokes aka. Jerusalem Artichokes: Sunchokes look like small, knobbly potatoes but crunchier, sweeter and do have a slight taste of artichoke. They practically contain no starch, but plenty of inulin (not insulin), which becomes fructose when spuds are stored in the ground or refrigerated. The humble sunchoke is considered gourmet fare by many. Raw, it’s an excellent substitute for water chestnuts in hot and spicy stir fries, or cooked in cream soups, broiled with sweet potatoes, or simply scrubbed and baked. Store them in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper.
Rapini is essentially the Italian equivalent to turnip greens. I read this article last night and thought is was quite a fitting summary as well as a nice recipe. Rapini will keep, wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for about a week.
Delicata is the queen of the winter squash in my opinion. They are a nice size, easy to cut and clean, have a thin, edible skin and excellent flavor. Delicata is excellent roasted, caramelized, made into soups or baked into a pie! Most people think they are even sweeter and creamier than butternut squash. This squash will also keep for a several weeks in a cool dry place or just out on the countertop to be admired.
Cipollini Onion: Another new addition to the boxes is the famous Cipollini onion. These round, flat, golden colored onions originate in Italian cuisine and are intense flavored but not as pungent as large storage onions. They are delicious roasted whole, caramelized, or used in kabobs and become very sweet when cooked.
Purple potatoes: these beautiful tubers originate from heirloom varieties that have been cultivated for thousands of years in the Andes mountains of South America. Purple potatoes are beautiful in color and very high in an anti-oxidant called anthocyanin that is a known cancer fighting substance. Their flavor is slightly mealy and dry compared to a yellow finn or a fingerling but they are nonetheless excellent roasted, fried or used in soups and stews.
Daikon Radish: This long white carrot shaped radish is also a favorite in Japanese cuisine, though it is believed to have originated in continental Asia. It is used throughout China and India as well. The flavor is milder than many radishes, and makes an excellent quick pickle to garnish other dishes. It can also be cooked in stir fries and soups, grilled, or cut up as a vehicle for dip. Daikon is low in calories but high in fiber and vitamin C.
Thank you and have a great week,
Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart
Delicata Squash Rings: Preheat oven to 375. Take a whole delicata squash and slice it across sideways. This will make ring shapes out of it. Scoop the seeds out of the middles of your squash rings. Lightly oil a large cast iron skillet with olive oil. Lay the rings out in a single layer across the skillet. Place in the hot oven. Bake for about 10 minutes. Then flip the rings with a spatula. Bake the other side until both sides are lightly browned and the squash is tender. Remove from oven and serve.
Rosemary Potatoes with Cipollini Onions: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice 3 lbs potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Skin 2 cups worth of Cipollini onions, cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss onions and potatoes with 3 tbsp olive oil in a large bowl. Add 2 tbp crushed fresh rosemary and sea salt and pepper to taste. Roast the potatoes until they are brown and crispy.
Fried sunchoke chips with rosemary salt: fill a large bowl with cold water. Slice 2 lb of scrubbed sunchokes into thin rounds about 1/16th inch thick, immediately dropping them into the cold water to prevent browning. Rinse and drain 3 times, pat very dry with paper towels. In a large heavy skillet heat 1 inch of cooking oil to 375 degrees, and monitor with a thermometer. Mix 1 tbsp salt with 1 ½ tsp fresh rubbed rosemary leaves and set aside. Fry the sunchoke slices in small batches until golden brown and crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Using a skimmer remove the finished chips to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle chips with the rosemary salt and serve.
Rapini and garlic: wash and chop 2 bunches of rapini, discarding the stems. Mince 4 cloves of garlic. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy skillet and sauté garlic until it sizzles. Add in the rapini and toss to coat with oil and allow the greens to wilt. Add in ½ cup chicken broth, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 10 to 12 minutes to reduce the bitterness of the greens.
Nori Radish Toasts: Slice a 12 in. section of baguette in half length-wise, cut into 2-in. pieces, and toast in a 350 degree oven until golden brown on edges. Using scissors, snip 1 large sheet toasted nori into bits, then pulverize in a spice grinder. Mix nori powder with about 5 tbsp butter; smear thickly onto toasts. Top with thinly sliced radishes and radish greens. (daikon would work great). (from the November 2011 issue of Sunset Magazine).
Sunchoke and Sausage Soup: Dice 4 slices turkey bacon. Place the turkey bacon, 16 oz sausage, 1 lb sunchokes, washed, peeled, halved and cut into ½ inch slices, 6 yellow finn potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks, 3 stalks celery, diced, ½ large onion, diced, 1 leek white and light green parts only, chopped, 3 cups chopped fresh greens (rapini!) or spinach, and 2 cloves minced garlic into a large saucepan. Pour in 1 quart chicken stock and season with ½ cup chopped fresh parsely, 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, 1 pinch cayenne pepper, 1 pinch ground paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir ¼ cup flour into 1 cup water until no lumps remain. Stir into the simmering soup, and continue simmering, covered, 30 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. (adapted from a recipe found on allrecipes.com)