Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 8

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7-31-18

Large share: green beans, lacinato kale, butter head lettuce, green leaf lettuce, Walla Walla sweet onions, carrots, cucumbers, purple new potatoes, beets, cilantro, cherry tomatoes

Small share: green beans, lacinato kale, butter head lettuce, Walla Walla onion, cucumbers, purple new potato, beets, cilantro

Greens share: romaine hearts, Italian parsley, nasturium greens

Roots share: red new potatoes, red onions, garlic

Juicing share: carrot seconds, chard, Italian parsley, cucumbers, romaine hearts

Dear CSA members,

Another very hot week on the farm! We did some harvesting last Friday to try to beat the super hot days this weekend that we feared might toast our lettuce and greens in the field. I think the lettuce was better off chilling in the cooler all weekend than out there. We hit 98 degrees on Sunday!

I was very pleased with our fresh onion harvest this week. The Walla Wallas have sized up to gargantuan proportions this year. In fact, all the onions in the field are looking huge. One thing hot dry and windy weather is good for is curing onions in the field. As long as the bulbs are somewhat protected from sunburn we should be good to go.

We have harvested our first new potatoes this week! New potatoes have thin, wispy skins and a crisp, waxy texture. They are young potatoes and unlike their fully-grown counterparts, they keep their shape once cooked and cut. They are also sweeter because their sugar has not yet converted into starch, and are therefore particularly suited to salads. We have purple potatoes ready first this year.

You don’t need to peel new potatoes; just rinse to remove any dirt and cook whole. To boil, place potatoes into a pan of lightly salted water, bring to the boil, simmer until tender (about 10 minutes) and drain. Dress new potatoes as soon as they are cooked to help them absorb the flavor of the butter or oil. This would be an excellent week for a cold potato salad with green beans! Store new potatoes in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use up within a few days.

Greens shares received a bunch of nasturtium greens. This is the first year I have grown these as a crop. Both the flowers and leaves are edible. Nasturtium leaves are best suited for raw preparations and add a spicy or peppery flavor to dishes. They can be chopped and shredded into salads, used as the base for pesto, or chopped and combined with softened cheeses for spreads. The leaves can also be used as garnish atop savory muffins, mixed with chives in potato salads and omelets, and stuffed with rice and herbs for a take on Greek dolmas. Nasturtium leaves and blossoms can be added to a vinegar solution with a clove of garlic and left for four to five weeks to create a hot, pungent vinegar for salad dressings. They are also commonly boiled and used in tea. Nasturtium leaves pair well with aromatics such as garlic, chives, and onions, pine nuts, Dijon, dill, parsley, tarragon, capers, lemons, beets, microgreens, spinach, potatoes, and parmesan cheese. Nasturtium leaves will keep up to five days when stored fresh in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Thanks to everyone who ordered bulk basil and garlic this week! If you didn’t get your order in on time don’t worry, I’ll let you know next time we have basil available!

Have a great week,

Asha

Lemon Potato Soup with Feta: in a 4 quart dutch oven heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat, add 1 cup chopped onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in 4 cups chicken broth and 4 cups chopped potatoes. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in 2 cups chopped kale or spinach and 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until kale is wilted. Remove from heat. Stir in the juice and zest of one lemon and an additional tbsp of olive oil. Let stand for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with 2 oz crumbled feta cheese and additional lemon zest if desired. Serves 4.

 

Mediterranean Tuna Salad with Olive Dressing: Place 1 lb tiny new potatoes (halved or quartered if large) in a 4 qt dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add 1 lb thin green beans, stem ends trimmed. Cover, simmer 5 minutes or more or until potatoes and beans are just tender. Drain well. Meanwhile for Olive dressing; place ½ cup pimento stuffed green olives, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp sugar, and ½ tsp pepper in a blender. Blend until smooth. Drizzle dressing over potatoes, green beans, and 1 12oz can solid white Albacore tuna, drained and broken into large chunks. Sprinkle with a bit of fresh thyme, and additional olives. Serve with lemon wedges.

Refrigerator Dilly Beans: place 2 pint sized canning jars and their lids in a pot of boiling water and heat for 1 minute. Lift out, drain and place on the counter. Divide 1 bunch fresh dill, 2 garlic cloves, peeled, 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds, 1 tsp dill seeds, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, and 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed between the 2 jars, packing beans in lengthwise. In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/3 cup cider vinegar, 1 1/3 cup water, 2 tbsp kosher salt, and 1 tbsp sugar and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour boiling liquid over the green beans and seal. Cool on a wire rack and refrigerate for 2 days before serving.

Thai Cucumber Salad: in a strainer, allow 3 thinly sliced cucumbers and 1 tsp Celtic sea salt to sit for 1 hour while water drains. Combine ½ cup finely chopped onion, ½ cup sesame oil, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 2 T fresh basil, finely chopped, and ½ tbsp fresh ginger, minced with the cucumbers in a mixing bowl and mix well.

Pesto Potato Salad 

4 pounds fingerling potatoes, quartered

1 pound green beans, cut into one-inch segments

1 to 2 small garlic cloves, peeled

2 bunches of basil (about one ounce each)

1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil

¨6 tablespoons (or more to taste)

mild vinegar, such as champagne, white wine or a white balsamic

1/4 cup chopped green scallions

1/2 cup pine nuts toasted

Parmesan cheese to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add beans; cook four minutes longer. Drain well and let cool, then transfer potatoes and beans to a large bowl. Wash and dry the basil. Puree in a food processor with garlic, drizzling in enough olive oil that it gets saucy. Season the pesto with salt and pepper. Toss the beans and potatoes with pesto. Stir in vinegar, green onions, pine nuts and season with salt, pepper and/or additional vinegar to taste. Finally, shave some parmesan over the salad. Serve immediately, or make this up to two hours in advance. It can be stored at room temperature.

 

Cucumber Salad with caramelized onions and herbs: slice onions into ¼ inch thick slices (enough to yield 1 cup) and toss to separate into rings. Have a slotted spoon and double layer of paper towels ready. Heat 2 cups vegetable oil to 275 in a small, deep heavy saucepan and drop in onion rings. Cook onions, stirring often, until they turn a uniform light brown, about 8 to 12 minutes. They’ll brown faster toward the end, so be careful. Lift onions from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tsp onion oil for vinaigrette; let cool. For the vinaigrette: whisk together 1 tbsp each champagne and rice vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tp salt, and ½ tsp pepper together in a bowl until salt and vinegar dissolve. Add reserved onion oil and 1 tbsp minced onion and whisk well to blend. Season to taste with more salt, pepper and lemon juice. Slice several fresh cucumbers into ¼ inch thick slices with a knife. Toss cucumbers and 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes with vinaigrette. Add 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint, 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, and 1 tbsp roughly chopped red or green shiso (optional). Arrange salad on a platter and top with finely diced mild cucumber pickles and fried onions.

NASTURTIUM LEAF SALAD (serves 2)

Ingredients

Cos lettuce, washed and torn
Cherry tomatoes, halved
2 sticks celery, sliced
5cm of a cucumber, thinly sliced
spring onions, chopped
a handful of fresh nasturtium leaves
1 Tbsp capers (optional)

Method

Toss the salad ingredients together and dress with a lemony vinagrette dressing.  Delicious with pizza.

 

 

 

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