Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 8

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 8

 

8-15-17

 

Large shares: beets, carrots, purple new potatoes, Walla Walla onions, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, red cabbage, lettuce, garlic, green beans, Italian parsley

 

Small shares: carrots, lemon cucumbers, cucumber, Walla Walla onion, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, eggplant, purple new potatoes, Italian parsley

 

Greens share: lacinato kale, turnip greens, cilantro, Italian dandelion greens

 

Roots share: gold beets, carrots, red onions

 

Juicing share: 5 lb carrot seconds, beets, fennel, cucumbers, kohlrabi, Italian parsley

 

We have such nice boxes this week! We are finally entering the time of year when the abundance of produce available on the farm starts to make designing the CSA list for the week a lot of fun. It’s great to be able to pick and choose between lovely heirloom tomatoes, different types of beans and potatoes, generous quantities of so many crops. When it all looks this good it makes our jobs extra easy and satisfying.

 

August is the time of year when the hundreds of pounds of produce are stacked to the ceiling in the cooler on Tuesday mornings. 10’s of crates of tomatoes, summer squash, and beans threaten to topple as we weave our way through the maze to organize wholesale orders and CSA harvests. Out in the field the crew starts to feel the weight of the harvest as crops get heavier with the shortening days. This is the time of year people start to get a bit tired as the harvests, orders, length, and complexity of our days increases. The next couple of months or so will be like this for us!

This is also the time of year for canning and preserving. We will soon have cases of tomatoes and tomato seconds available for delivery with your CSA box. You can place orders on our web store and we will deliver with your share when available. Mention your drop site location in the comments section.

 

http://wobblycart.smallfarmcentral.com/store/wobbly-cart-farm

 

 

 

Here’s what is new this week:

 

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 drier compared to a yellow finn or a fingerling but they are nonetheless excellent roasted, fried or used in soups and stews.

 

Walla Walla sweet onions: these sweet juicy and crunchy onions are actually the state vegetable of Washington! Technically they are only allowed to be called “Walla Walla sweets” when grown in a certain area of the state. These fresh onions must be kept refrigerated and are excellent fresh in salads, lightly grilled, caramelized or raw on burgers and sandwiches. They also make delicious onion rings if you are ambitious.

 

Heirloom tomatoes: Soon we will be harvesting hundreds of pounds of tomatoes weekly and may actually get tired of them, but for now it is pretty exciting stuff. For best flavor store your heirloom tomato at room temperature and use up within 2 to 3 days. We grow about 12 varieties! I will describe more of the varieties next week.

 

Eggplant: In Italian it is known as “Melanzana”, which originates from it’s Latin name which translates to “Apple of Madness”. Whoa! This terminology is believed to have originated with the poisonous nature of some members of the nightshade family – which also includes tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. I assure you none of what is in your box is poisonous however! Eggplant and and like have been eaten around the world for hundreds if not thousands of years. Believed to have first been cultivated and eaten in India or China, with written accounts of it dating to the 5th century,  Eggplant didn’t make it to Europe until the 1500’s and wasn’t recognized as an edible food until the 1600’s. I love learning about the histories of our different foods.

 

Store Eggplant at room temperature and use up as soon as possible. Salting and then draining the cubed, sliced or halved fruit will help it to absorb less oil in cooking. According to the Joy of Cooking Eggplant goes well with lamb, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers, cheese, cream sauces, oregano, marjoram, soy sauce and garlic.

 

For greens shares Italian dandelion greens: This is not your back yard weed but an Italian heirloom chicory (same family as escarole and raddichio). These bitter greens are great braised, or to add texture and bite to salads. Dandelion is high in fiber, calcium, potassium, beta carotene, and protein.  Pair with strong flavors like bacon, chilies, garlic and lemon.  Steam before sautéing to help mellow the bitter flavor.

 

Have a great week,

 

Asha

 

 

Parsley and potato omelet: In a medium bowl whisk 8 large eggs, 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves, 2 tbsp water, and ½ tsp salt until smooth and well combined. Let stand at room temperature at least 15 minutes and up to 30. Heat ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 lb potatoes peeled and cut into matchsticks in an even layer, cover and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Gently stir in 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, 1 tsp freshly ground pepper, and another ½ tsp salt. Turn onto a plate and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp butter in same pan until bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add half of the egg mixture. Let cook undisturbed until sides are set . With a rubber spatula, drag cooked sides in toward middle, letting uncooked egg run out to reform a circle. Repeat until top is set but still slightly moist, then scatter half of potatoes over half of the omelet. Flip other half of omelet over the potatoes. Cook until potatoes are warm, about 2 min. Cut in half, then lift onto two plates and sprinkle with more chopped parsley leaves. Repeat process with remaining egg and potato mixture to make 4 servings.

 

Chicken with green olives, capers and tomatoes: make marinade: stir together 1 ½ cups loosely packed , chopped flat leaf parsley, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 2 anchovy filets, finely chopped, ½ tsp each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, ¼ tsp red chile flakes, 1 tsp lemon zest, and ½ cup extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Pour ½ cup of this into a large resealable plastic bag. Add 4 6 oz boned, skinned chicken breasts and seal the bag and turn over several times to coat the chicken. Chill at least 8 hours. Chill remaining marinade in a covered container. At 30 to 45 minutes before serving stir together 1 cup each pitted green olives and halved cherry tomatoes, 2 tbsp chopped, drained capers, 1 tbsp lemon juice and reserved marinade in a medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature until ready to serve. Preheat grill to 400 degrees. Drain chicken well and pat dry (discard marinade). Grill chicken until deep golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a rimmed cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Cut chicken into thick slices and top with accumulated juices and olive mixture. (above 2 recipes from Sunset Magazine August 2017)

 

Heirloom Tomato and Romano bean salad: bring a small pot of salted water to the boil, then blanch ¼ lb romano beans, tops trimmed, for 3 to 4 minutes, until just tender. Transfer with tongs to a baking sheet to cool. Make balsamic vinaigrette: using a mortar and pestle pound 1 tbsp fresh oregano, ½ clove fresh garlic and a scant ¼ tsp salt to a paste. Transfer to a small bowl and pour in 2 ¼ tsp red wine vinegar, 1 ½ tsp balsamic vinegar. Whisk in 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and taste for balance and seasoning. Whisk 3 tbsp roasted hazelnut oil, ½ tsp lemon zest, and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Finely chop 1/8th cup skinned, toasted hazelnuts and stir into dressing; coarsely chop another 1/8th cup and stir in. drizzle hazelnut dressing over romano beans, season with salt and pepper, and toss together. Hold 1¼ lbs of heirloom tomatoes on their sides and slice into ¼ inch slices. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange slices on a large round platter, overlapping them, and spoon on about half of the balsamic vinaigrette. Scatter with ½ bunch baby arugula leaves. Stir1 cup of cherry tomatoes, stemmed and cut in half, with remaining vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Pile in center of platter, then top with romano beans. Spoon on a few dollops of crème fraiche and sprinkle about a third of pistou (recipe follows) onto and around salad. Serve the rest alongside.

 

Tomato, Red onion, and Purple Pepper Salad with yogurt dressing: Thinnly slice 1 medium red onion, place in a salad bowl, sprinkle on 2 tbsp fresh lime juice and 1 tsp salt and mix well. Set aside for 30 minutes. Slice 1 hot chile into matchsticks and add to the onion, cut one medium purple bell pepper into ½ inch wide strips about 1 inch long and toss with the onions and chile. Just before serving add 2 to 3 tomatoes cut into ½ inch pieces and ¾ cup full fat yogurt and toss gently to mix. Taste for salt and adjust, if you wish, and add freshly ground black pepper to taste.

 

Ham and Cheese Tartines with Cherokee Purple Tomato Salad: preheat broiler, to prepare tartines, place 4 1 ½ oz slices of ciabatta bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Arrange 1 of four Serrano ham slices and 1 or four thin slices of Manchego cheese on each bread slice. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tsp oregano. To prepare salad: combine 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, 1 tbsp finely chopped shallots, 1 tsbp sherry vinegar, 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 garlic clove, minced in a bowl and stir well with a whisk. Arrange 1 cup torn boston lettuce on each of four plates. Top each with ¾ cup honeydew melon and ½ cup Cherokee purple tomato slices. Drizzle each with about 1 tbsp dressing. Place 1 tartine on each plate. (both from Cooking Light Magazine)

 

Heirloom Tomato and Eggplant Gratin: Preheat oven to 425. Brush a large oval baking dish with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Arrange 1 ½ lbs of Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick and 1 lb eggplant peeled and sliced into rounds ¼ to 1/3 inch thick, in overlapping concentric circles. Scatter with fresh thyme sprigs on top and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 3 tbsp olive oil over the top. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the eggplant is barely tender and the tomatoes have exuded their juices. Uncover and bake for 25 minutes longer, or until juices have evaporated and vegetables are very tender. Sprinkle with ¼ lb coarsely crumbled goat cheese and bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm. (I have made a similar recipe but made the addition of lots of minced garlic and thinly sliced summer squash and potato. The kids and family loved it!) (from foodandwine.com)

 

Limonata Scozzese (Cucumber Cocktail):

Muddle 2 1 inch pieces of cucmber w/ peel in a mixing glass. Add a 16 oz glass of ice, along with 1 ½ oz of gin, the juice of one lemon, and ¼ oz cucumber infused simple syrup (recipe to follow) and shake well. Strain into a highball glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

 

Cucumber simple syrup: cut ¼ to 1/3 of a medium sized cucumber into large chunks. Boil 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of sugar and the cucumber chunks in a pot over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, and liquid becomes syrupy, about 30 seconds after it comes to a boil. Strain out the cucumber and chill.

 

Eggplant and Zucchini Fries with Roasted Tomato Dip: Heat oven to 375. Toss 1 cup chopped heirloom tomato in 1 tsp olive oil and roast on a sheet pan for 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree with 1 cup greek yogurt, 2 tsp cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and chill. Place 5 large egg whites in a bowl and beat, then place in a separate bowl and mix  2 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs and and additional 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Cut 1 medium yellow squash, 1 medium zuchinni, and 1 small eggplant into 1/2 inch fries. Dip in egg whites, roll in bread crumbs, and place on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve with Roasted Tomato Dip.

 

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.

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 7

 

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8-8-17

 

Large shares: Arugula, lacinato kale, red onion, yellow onion, new potatoes, summer squash, shell peas, lemon cucumbers, jalapeno pepper, garlic, sungold cherry tomatoes, basil

 

Small shares: Arugula, lacinato kale, green cabbage, yellow onion, cucumber, shell peas, new potatoes, summer squash, garlic

 

Greens shares: Arugula, romaine lettuce, mustard greens

 

Roots shares: carrots, turnips, Walla Walla onion, beets

 

Juicing shares: red cabbages, cucumbers, beet seconds, red carrot seconds, Italian parsley

 

Dear CSA members,

 

Hope you are all weathering these hot smoky conditions well enough. I work outside all day and I must say I have developed some mild throat and lung irritation due to the smoke. We are certainly hoping for a nice westerly wind sometime soon to clear things out a bit, and of course that the fires are over soon for the forests of British Columbia.

 

Though things have been pretty hot temperature wise it thankfully didn’t reach the 105 to 107 that was originally forecast for last Thursday. I have been continually amazed by the extreme weather fluctuations we now seem to experience with regularity. This year we went from the wettest rainy season in 60 years to one of the longest stretches with out precipitation ever recorded for the area. We have also had consistent high temperatures above 80 degrees for 15 days or so… also unusually warm for us. I guess we can just expect the unexpected when it comes to climate conditions.

 

Out in our fields the crew has been working super hard as our harvest volumes increase by the week. They have been doing a great job getting the produce harvested, washed and to the cooler in the extra hot and dry conditions. We have a picking of the last of the shell peas for the year, tomatoes beginning to ripen, fresh onions being harvested, and even a jalapeno pepper for the large shares. The Heirloom tomato plants that are so loaded with fruit are starting to get color, so it won’t be long until we have enough for CSA. We managed to find enough Sungolds for the large share this week as well as a generous portion of fresh basil.

 

Sungold cherry tomatoes are bright tangerine orange cherry tomatoes that are citrusy and sweet with floral and grape notes. Considered by many to be the best cherry tomato, Sungolds are delicious raw in salads, grilled on skewers with other vegetables, or cooked into a relish or jam. Store cherry tomatoes at room temperature and use up within 3 or 4 days. Sungolds have a tendency to crack when ripe so watch out for that.

 

Another new item for the large shares is the lemon cucumbers. These small, light yellow, lemon shaped (but not flavored) cucumbers are an heirloom variety. They are tender and thin- skinned and have a nice small serving size.

 

Large shares also received a jalapeno pepper. The jalapeno is considered the most popular hot pepper in the world and is considered mild to medium in hot pepper terms. About 2500 to 8000 in the Scoville heat units classification. By contrast a Cayenne pepper has about 25,000 to 30,000 SHU! You can use a jalapeno to spice up salsas, pickles, marinades, dressings, a quesadilla or meats and beans for burritos. Not using the seeds will reduce the heat.

 

Everyone received Arugula this week. Arugula is an aromatic salad green often found in Italian cuisine. It has a peppery and nutty flavor and is quite delicate, use it up as soon as possible!

 

Have a great week,

 

Asha

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sungold Tomato Caprese Salad: Combine 3 cups halved Sungold cherry tomatoes, 1 cup chopped Cherokee Purple tomato, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 3 oz. fresh mozzarella balls, ½ tsp kosher salt, ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper. Mix gently and top with 1/3 cup torn fresh basil leaves.

 

Arugula, Onion and Citrus Salad: wash and trim a large bunch of arugula. In a medium bowl drizzle the arugula with ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, gently toss to coat. Divide the salad among 4 salad plates and top with the divided segments to 2 oranges or grapefruits and thinly sliced red onion to taste. Season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of additional olive oil.

 

 

Kale Caesar Salad: Preheat oven to 300. For croutons, mince 2 garlic cloves, in a medium saucepan warm ¼ cup olive oil and the minced garlic over low heat; remove. Add 4 cups bread cubed into 1 inch pieces. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt. Stir to coat. Spread bread pieces in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Bake 20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown, stirring once. Cool completely. Meanwhile, for the dressing, in a blender combine 4 cloves garlic, ½ cup olive oil, 6 anchovy filets, ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, and 2 egg yolks. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Remove stems from 3 large bunches of lacinato kale and thinly slice the leaves. Add the dressing, and using your hands work the dressing into the kale. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. To serve, sprinkle with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese and top with croutons.

 

Arugula Pesto: in a food processor combine, ½ cup walnuts, 1 large garlic clove, 2 cups packed arugula leaves, ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1 cup olive oil and kosher salt to taste. Puree until smooth. You can also cut back the arugula and substitute in some basil leaves. From epicurious.com

 

Cucumbers Wedges with Chile and Lime: Wash 2 8 to 10 inch cucumbers and slice off the ends. Halve each crosswise and then slice each half lengthwise to make wedges. Place cucumbers in a large bowl. Halve a lime and discard any seeds. Squeeze lime juice over the cucumber wedges and toss gently to coat, dust with salt and a spicy flavorful chile powder such as Chimayo. Serve immediately.

 

Summer Squash and Arugula Pesto Pasta: boil water for pasta and make a batch of pesto (see above). Saute I medium chopped onion and 3 + cloves of chopped garlic. Add 3 cups cubed summer squash and sauté until tender. When pasta is done, pile a generous helping on your plate and mix with the vegetable sauté and pesto.

 

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.

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 4

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7-18-17

 

Large shares: beets, carrots, red cabbage, purplette onions, summer squash, shell peas, kale, lettuce, garlic, basil

Small shares: carrots, fennel, purplette onions, lettuce, summer squash, snow peas, garlic

 

Dear CSA members,

Busy times for us here on the farm. Our harvest lists and deliveries are ramping up this week! We are all tired from long days, but it all pays off when there is so much delicious food for us to enjoy. We suddenly have a plethora of peas and summer squash, we harvested the entire garlic crop last week and have it drying in the barn. We are also beginning to harvest the basil and purplette onions. Large shares will get a taste of basil this week.

Walking around the fields, I noticed that cherry tomatoes, green beans and new potatoes are not far behind! Once these crops come on we know we are approaching the peak of summer harvests.

Next week add-on shares for greens share, roots share and juicing shares will begin. Look for those next week at your drop site if you have ordered them.

A quick run down on new crops this week:

Purplette onions: are a yummy and cute spring onion that is a nice change from scallions this time of year. You can cook them just like regular onions, roast them whole with your beets and garlic, add fresh to salads, or pickle them. The tops can be used like scallions but are a bit stronger in flavor.

Bulb fennel is the large white bulb with abundant green fronds. From the same family as the herb and seed of the same name. Often likened in taste to licorice, fennel is actually far more subtle with a texture like celery. Raw, fennel is cool and crunchy. Cooked, fennel turns mellow and the flesh softens; it is wonderful alongside fish or chicken or tossed with pasta. The fronds can be used in salads and as a garnish.

Fresh basil: I recommend using the basil up asap and avoid putting it in the refrigerator as it has a tendency to turn black with the cold.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

Kale Mignonette: remove the stalk ends of one bunch of kale, then chop into ¼ inch strips. Place in a large serving bowl. Add 2 diced purplette onions to a small mixing bowl and cover with ¼ cup olive oil, 3 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper and ¼ tsp ground cloves. Stir to combine and allow the dressing to marinate for about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour over the kale. Massage the salad with your hands until all the surfaces of the kale are covered and begin to deepen in color.

 

Beet salad: Scrub 2 to 3 large beets, place in a large pot and cover with water; boil until fork tender, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, add 2 thinly sliced purplette onions to a medium sized bowl. Combine together in a saucepan ½ tsp ground cardamom, ½ cup red wine vinegar, 3 tbsp agave nectar, and 3 tsp salt; bring to a boil and pour over the onions. When the beets are cooked, strain them and allow to cool. Slice off the tops and tails and use your hands to slide off the peels and discard. Slice the whole beets into rounds, sticks or cubes, and place in a large serving bowl. Add the pickled onions, ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds, a handful of golden raisins, and a handful of arugula or dandelion greens. Drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste, toss and serve. (above recipes from the Olympia Food Co-op)

 

Fresh Pea Salad: Combine ¾ cup fresh shell peas (shelled), ½ cup diced carrots, ¼ cup diced red bell pepper, ¼ finely chopped fresh cilantro, 2 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 2 Tbsp flax oil (you could also use extra-virgin olive oil) and ½ tsp sea salt in a large mixing bowl and mix well.

 

Blueberry, Beet, and Basil Summer Salad: cook about 4 cups beets in lightly salted boiling water 15 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool. Remove skins, cut into wedges. Finely shred the peel of one lemon; juice lemon. Set aside. In a large bowl combine the beets, 1 cup fresh blueberries, 1 cup arugula, 2 cups fresh basil leaves, 1 medium fennel bulb (trimmed, cored, and cut into wedges), 1 medium red onion sliced, and reserved lemon juice. For dressing: in a small bowl stir together 1 6oz carton plain greek yogurt, lemon peel, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, and 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper. Whisk in 1 tbsp olive oil. Serve dressing with the salad. Makes 6 servings.

 

Lemony Fennel and Radish Salad: Wash 1 bunch of radishes and remove the green. Zest ½ of a lemon, and juice the whole thing. Put the zest in a salad bowl and toss with 3 thinly sliced scallions. Trim a fennel bulb and slice as thinly as possible. Quarter the radishes, and toss both with the lemon zest and scallions. Add the lemon juice and 5 tbsp olive oil and toss with salt and pepper to taste.

Peas with Prosciutto and Onions: heat in a large skillet over medium heat: 3 tbsp olive oil, add and brown slightly 1 cup thinly sliced purplette onion,  Add 3 tbsp water, cover and cook over low heat until the onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in: 2 cups fresh shell peas, shelled, 4 oz prosciutto or ham, finely diced, 1 to 2 tsp water. Cover and cook until tender, 5 to 8 minutes.

Shaved Summer Squash with Pecorino Romano: In a large bowl whisk together 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt. Using a vegetable peeler or a mandoline, shave a large summer squash into paper thin ribbons, about 1/16 of an inch thick, to yield 3 to 4 cups. Toss the squash ribbons with the dressing and marinate at room temperature for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, shave 2 ounces of Pecorino Romano into thin strips with a vegetable peeler to yield ¾ of  a cup. Add to the squash and toss gently. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more lemon juice if desired. Garnish with thinly sliced basil and freshly ground black pepper.

Roasted fennel with Parmesan: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 9 x 13 inch pan. Chop 2 large fennel bulbs into 1/3 inch slices and reserve some of the fronds. Place fennel bulb slices into the pan and cover with salt and pepper to taste, 4 tbsp olive oil, and 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Roast until tender and golden brown about 45 minutes. Chop enough fennel fronds to make about 2 tbsp and sprinkle over the roasted fennel. Serve.

Pistou: 

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

3 garlic cloves

sea salt

2 cups basil leaves

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

To make the pistou, pound the pine nuts and garlic with a pinch of salt in a mortar. Add a few basil leaves and continue to pound. Alternating basil and olive oil, continue pounding until a smoothing past is achieved. Stir in any remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Makes about one cup. From thecooksatelier.com

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 2

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7-5-17

Large shares: broccoli, chard, carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, fresh garlic bunch, butterhead lettuce, greenleaf or romaine lettuce, scallions, cilantro

Small shares: broccoli, chard, carrots, fresh garlic bunch, greenleaf lettuce, scallions, cilantro

Dear CSA members,

We hope you all had a lovely 4th of July holiday. It was certainly nice for us to have the extra day to prepare for CSA this week! Mondays are our busiest harvest day and it was nice to spread out the workload a bit. Our Chehalis market was also cancelled this week which made things even mellower. The fireworks out here are not mellow though! I am slightly sleep deprived as we are very near the Chehalis tribe casino that does an rather loud and large fireworks show, that with the neighbors and it seemed to go on forever last night.

June and July are such busy months on the farm. We are still busy seeding and transplanting, our new crew members are still getting trained, CSA and markets start up and there are so many details to work out, there is so much weeding and irrigating to do, ground must be worked up for fall plantings and fertilized and amended, tomatoes need to be trellised and pruned, harvest needs to be done, the mowing never ends… You get the idea. With the long hours of day light we often find ourselves working 14 hours a day or more!

We look forward to a few weeks from now when things settle into a bit more manageable routine… But by then orders and harvest lists ramp up in a big way as we reach our peak in August and September. Our crew is doing awesome though and things have been relatively smooth for a transition year where we have quite a few new folks on the farm. So it should be no problem when we get to those weeks.

We have some pretty gorgeous broccoli this week. I am always happy when the early broccoli plantings work out nicely. Once you chop up the florets, I reccommend peeling the stems and chopping them too. I think they are the most delicious part of the broccoli.

Fairly soon we will be harvesting our garlic crop. This week we have bundles of freshly harvested garlic for you. Fresh garlic is not dried and cured like you may be used to buying at the store, but it is sought after by chefs for its milder flavor when raw. You can peel the cloves and use just like any garlic but I would reccommend storing in the refrigerator and using up sooner than later.

The rainbow colored green is Swiss chard. This member of the beet family is bred for its greens, not roots. It is tender, delicious and nutritious. Chard is high in vitamin C, A and B’s as well as iron, calcium and phosphorus. I reccomend it stirfried, steamed, or added to soups and stews. You can store chard in the crisper drawer for about 1 week. Finely chopped, the stems are good and add pretty color to a dish.

Cilantro is an herb that has been used in cuisine from Asia to the new world and has been cultivated for 3000 years or more. The seeds, known as coriander are also used as a spice. Apparently, coriander seeds have even been found in Egyptian tombs! Cilantro is great in salsas, dressings, to season beans, as topping for chili and burritos, or in Indian and Thai dishes. Store by placing the roots in a small jar of water and tenting a plastic bag on top, then place in the refrigerator. It will keep a long time like this.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

Honey roasted carrots: preheat oven to 425. Twist the tops of 16 carrots, leaving a 2 inch nub; wash and scrub the roots. Place the carrots on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tsps olive oil. Roll the carrots back and forth to coat before placing them in the oven. Melt 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp honey together in a small saucepan and keep warm. Shake the carrots occasionally as they roast. Remove from the oven when they are browned in spots and a sharp knife easily pierces them ( 15 to 20 minutes). Drizzle with honey butter over the carrots, roll them around to coat and place them back in the oven. Shake the baking sheet frequently and remove the carrots when their skin begins to caramelize and a knife easily slides through them, about 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Swiss Chard Quesadillas: Wash but do not dry 1 bunch of chard. Cut off the stems and slice them 1/4 inch thick; cut the leaves into 1/4 inch ribbons. Set aside. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup finely chopped scallion and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 3 min. Add the chard stems and cook, stirring often, until they are tender but retain a slight bite, 6 to 8 min. Add the leaves and cook, stirring, until they wilt and become quite tender, 3 to 5 min. For each quesadilla, spread 1 tbsp sour cream on a flour tortilla. Top with 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup pepper jack cheese, 1/4 of the chard mixture, and 1/4 cup Cotija. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp ground coriander, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, and a dash of hot sauce. Squeeze lime juice over the top. Fold the tortilla in half to enclose the filling. Brush a large skillet with vegetabl oil and placeover medium heat. Place the quesadilla in the pan and cook, turning once, until the tortilla is golden on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes total. Repeat with the remaining quesadillas.

Oriental Cilantro Slaw: Shred 1 medium cabbage (6 cups). Place the cabbge in a large serving bowl. Mix in 1 large shredded carrot, 1 cup tightly packed minced fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup thinnnly sliced scallions. In a jar combine, 3 tbsp canola oil, 3 to 4 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp tamari, 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and finely chopped and sea salt to taste. Shake well to blend, pour dressing over the salad and toss well. Add more lime juice and tamari as needed.  Garnish with 1/2 cup chopped toasted and salted peanuts.

Cilantro Pesto: In a food processor or blender combine. 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 cup tightly packed minced fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts, finely chopped, 2 large cloves roasted garlic, or 1 small clove raw garlic peeled and minced, 1 tsp mild chili powder, 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds, 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, 3/4 tsp sea salt.  Great served over beans and grains, bean and grain salads, this pesto is delicious brushed onto grilled corn on the cob or tossed with cooked corn kernels.
Coleslaw: julienne 4 cups green cabbage, grate 1 cup of carrots, add in 2 tsp peeled and minced fresh ginger. Place in a large bowl and mix well. In a small bowl whisk 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp stone ground mustard, 1 tsp minced fresh dill, 1 tsp celery seed, ¼ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp black pepper, pinch of cayenne pepper and 2 tbsp tamari. Combine all ingredients, toss well and enjoy.
Easy Roasted garlic: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel outer skin off a head of garlic, leaving the cloves exposed in their wrappers. Chop the top off the garlic, leaving the cloves open at the top. Place the garlic head in the middle of a foil square and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap in the foil. Roast for 40-45 min.  Remove from the oven and cool. The roasted garlic will be caramelized and soft.
Garlicky Roasted Broccoli: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a blender or food processor, puree 6 cloves roasted garlic with 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/4 tsp soy sauce. Add more garlic to taste. Chop up one large head of broccoli ( 4 cups) and drizzle with 3 tbsp of the garlic oil. Toss to coat in a bowl. Spread the broccoli onto a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with red pepper and salt to taste. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is fork tender and quite brown and crispy in spots. 15 to 18 min.

Spring at Wobbly Cart Farm and CSA start date

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5-24-17

 

Hello to you all! I am excited to be finding the time to sit down and write a spring newsletter today. As you know, it has been a long, cold, and wet spring. In fact, the coldest and wettest that we can ever remember! We are at least a couple of weeks behind where we normally are at this date, but things are definitely looking up.

Weather like this can certainly pose a challenge to us as farmers. Our particular soil type (clay based loam) cannot be plowed, tilled or even driven on when it is too wet. Essentially when you disturb the structure of the soil when it is wet, soil particles get squeezed together and compacted and as the soil dries, they stay that way, forming something like bricks or adobe. Therefore, to avoid irrevocable damage to the health of our soil we must wait to cultivate until our soil dries out properly. It takes patience, but it is worth it for the long -term health of our soil.

In the greenhouses, I have been working since January to start seedlings such as onions, leeks, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, broccoli, squashes and more. Our greenhouses are low tech and unheated so the cold cloudy weather has resulted in seemingly slow growth. Despite all that, the weather has broken at last and we are moving acres of transplants out to the fields and have begun direct seeding many crops. We are basically working overtime to get caught back up! We have transplanted lettuces, fennel, parsley, cabbage, broccoli, onions, leeks, winter squash, scallions, and more. And have direct seeded peas, beets, spring turnips, radishes, and carrots. Today we are putting in the years’ potato plantings and tomorrow will be the field tomatoes.

Amazingly, we have been waiting for months for it to dry out and when it does there comes a new stress, getting irrigation running. We need to purchase more irrigation pipe asap and also do some serious plumbing to get water running on the new field we are leasing. I guess that is a farmers life, at the mercy of nature and conditions that are out of our control.

With that we are excited to announce that we will begin CSA deliveries on Tuesday June 27th. This will be the latest we have ever started CSA delivery but with the late start to the season, we wanted to make sure we are able to have full value boxes from the beginning. We will still have a 22-week season, which puts us ending on Tuesday November 21st.

I will be sending out more detailed information on the start of pick-ups as we get closer to that date. In the mean time, thank you all so much for supporting small, local, organic agriculture. Your CSA memberships keep us afloat during tough seasons like this. Can’t wait to start eating the gorgeous produce we have been working to grow all spring!

 

Have a great day and thank you,

 

Asha McElfresh

 

 

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm Fall CSA week 3

11-1-16

 

My November Guest 

 

My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,

Thinks these dark days of autumn rain

Are beautiful as days can be;

She loves the bare, the withered tree;

She walked the sodden pasture lane.

 

Her pleasure will not let me stay.

She talks and I am fain to list:

She’s glad the birds are gone away,

She’s glad her simple worsted gray

Is silver now with clinging mist.

 

The desolate, deserted trees,

The faded earth, the heavy sky,

The beauties she so truly sees,

She thinks I have no eye for these,

And vexes me for reason why.

 

Not yesterday I learned to know

The love of bare November days

Before the coming of the snow,

But it were vain to tell her so,

And they are better for her praise.

 

Robert Frost

 

 

Large shares: Butternut squash, rutabaga, beets, purple potatoes, red cipollini onions, chard, vitamin green, Italian parsley, carrots

Small shares: Butternut squash, beets, purple potatoes, red cipollini onions, vitamin green, Italian parsley, red cabbage, carrots

 

Dear CSA members,

We have made it through October, and it has been the wettest ever recorded in Western Washington! Amazingly more than 10 inches of rainfall was recorded for our area, and it temperatures were very warm, though I am not sure about any temperature records. It seems extremes in weather patterns are occuring with ever more frequency these days. Our hot dry summers are record setting temperature and drought, while our wet periods are extreme rainfall records, flood events, and wind and hail storms.

Our recent wind storm wasn’t nearly what was predicted, but we have experienced first hand what extreme weather can and will do to our river valley! The big floods of 2007 and ’09 as well as several major wind events and a significant ice storm in the last 10 years have taught us to continue to be prepared.

As farmers we are naturally constantly adapting our operation to deal with climate and weather fluctuations, but it seems inevitable that we will suffer losses to our crops, equipment and materials with increasing frequency in the years to come. We will need to adapt and be ready for heat and drought stress in the summer, increased pest pressure,  and very wet soils, floods, wind and hail storms in the spring, fall and winter. This will mean fine tuning our planting and harvesting schedules and variety selections to meet the changing conditions, as well as learning to conserve water in the summer months and preparing/planning for flooding in the winter months.

We have spent part of this week preparing for winter flooding by moving materials that are no longer essential on a daily basis into the barn loft and moving tractors and equipment that is not in immediate use up to a non floodplain storage barn that we rent. We are also thinking about increasing drainage around barns where we do most of the washing/packing to reduce mud situations and ponding of water. In the future we would also like to build barn doors to reduce the wind tunnel effect in our barn and install more lighting and heat for comfort and saftey.

Here is a quick run down of some of this week’s harvest:

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! Will keep for many weeks if kept cool and dry.

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. Will keep for many weeks in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Red Cipollini onions are Italian varieties that are small and flat. They have high residual sugars that make them excellent for roasting and caramelizing. The red variety seems to be an excellent keeper and in my mind, lends itself to warming, sustaining, meals during cold weather.

Vitamin Green: White stalks and very glossy green leaves. Mild-flavored for salad, steamed, or stir-fry. Easy to grow, unfazed by heat, very cold-hardy. Good choice for winter and early spring salads. Eat stalks, leaves, and flowers! Very tender, use up a.s.a.p.
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 texture is slightly dry compared to a yellow finn or a fingerling but they are nonetheless excellent roasted, fried or used in soups and stews.

If you are interested in purchasing bulk quantities of potatoes, beets, winter squash and more for winter storage you may place orders on our webstore and we can deliver the produce with your next CSA share. Next week will be our last delivery so this if your last week to order. Please indicate in the comments area of check out what drop site you would like the produce delivered to and place orders by 10 am on Monday for Tuesday delivery.

http://wobblycart.smallfarmcentral.com/store/wobbly-cart-farm

 

Thank you and have a great week,

Asha

 

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.)

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 intp a 9-inch springform 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 springform 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 sringform 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. Saute 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.

Honey Balsamic Beet Salad: place 2 lbs trimmed and scrubbed baby beets in a baking pan. Combine ½ cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp honey, and 1 tbsp olive oil; pour over the beets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until tender. On a platter combine ½ cups cooked quinoa, 2 cups watercress or arugula, and the beets and roasting juices. Top with chopped fresh tarragon.(from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine November 2012)

Caramelized Onions: Heat 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil over med-high heat until the butter is melted. Add 3 lbs yellow onions, thinly sliced. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Cook stirring constantly, 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and brown, about 40 minutes. Add ½ cup dry white wine or water. Stir and scrape the pan to dissolve the browned bits. Remove from heat and season well with salt, black pepper and grated Parmesan cheese.

Red chard and Rice: heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a saucepot over medium heat. Add 4 slices bacon, finely chopped. Cook 2 minutes. Add 2 cloves garlic and stir 1 minute. Add 1 small bunch red chard, stemmed and chopped, season with a little nutmeg, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and paprika. When the chard is wilted add 1 cup white rice and stir 1 minute more. Add 1 ¾ cups chicken stock or water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover the pot. Cook 15 to 18 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Fluff with a fork and serve

Wobbly Cart Farm Fall CSA week 2

 

10-25-16

Large share: Orange kabocha squash, leeks, red potatoes, turnips, red cabbage, raddichio, kale, heirloom pears, sage

Small shares: Orange kabocha squash, leek, red potatoes, turnips, raddichio, kale, heirloom pears, sage

 

Dear CSA members,

 

Gorgeous fall day today on the farm, but of late it has been rather wet and sloppy out there in the fields! We have had a ton of rain in October which has quickly turned our farm roads into muddy messes. This time of year our harvest activities are slowed by stuck trucks and the extra weight of mud clinging to our crops as we haul them from the field for washing. We have at least one improvement up our sleeve this season with the addition of a four wheel drive tractor. This should make our winter root digging activities so much easier – with less downtime stuck in the mud.

It seems like all we do in the fall and winter is dig and wash tons of root crops. We still have huge quantities of carrots, turnips, radishes, rutabagas, sunchokes and more in the ground and will dig them for many weeks to come now. As we have fewer and fewer crew members this late in the year we often have large digging and washing days in which we can stockplie root crops in the cooler for later in the week. It is a nice way to space our workload throughout the week.

This time of year we must also keep a closer watch on weather, temperature, and hydrograph predictions. We live in an active flood plain of the Chehalis river and often loose crops and have access cut off by flood waters. If we are ready for floods and deep freeze events we can pre-harvest and save crops from being lost! We also need to keep an eye on windstorm events so we can save materials and greenhouses from damages. All part of our transition into the winter months.

Soon, as field workloads slow down a bit, we can begin to put time and energy into planning for next season. We will be spending time going over succeses and failures with crops for the year, inventorying seeds and supplies, and ordering for the 2017 season. I will start planting again in the greenhouses in January and will need to be ready to go again in about 8 weeks. Such are the cycles of the farming year! As for what we harvested this week, here is a quick rundown on some of the crops you will be enjoying:

Orange kabocha squash: These squat orange winter squash are popular in Asia and are also known as Japanese pumpkin. The flesh is an intense yellow-orange color with a sweet velvety and slightly dry texture. Great for making sauces, soups, sauteeing, and baking with. Before eating make sure the stem is very corky and dry which shows maturity. The squash itself will keep for many weeks if kept in a cool, dry location.

Heirloom Pears: These pretty little pears are similar in size and flavor to commercially produced Seckel Pears. They will ripen slowly at room temperature or could be held in the refrigerator for longer periods of time. These pears will be delicious eaten fresh, in baked goods, or as a garnish to a salad or cheese plate.

Turnips: The turnips turned out unexpectedly jumbo this week. They are not as aesthetically pleasing as I would like, but are large and damaged areas are easily trimed off leaving alot of delicious usable turnip. Turnips are great boiled, steamed, mashed, stir-fried, pickled and grated or sliced raw. Turnips will also keep for several weeks in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Leeks: Leeks are a member of the allium family of onions, garlic, scallions etc. They are milder, sweeter, and more delicate in flavor than onions are are often used in soups and broths. To clean, cut the leek in half vertically, and fan out the sheaves under running water to get out any dirt that may be hiding there. The white part is the desirable portion, as the green leaves tend to be tougher and stronger flavored. You can store leeks in the crisper of the refrigerator for several weeks if they are left untrimmed.

Raddichio: This hardy winter green is in the chicory family, it has a bitter taste that mellows with the onset of cold weather and also when you grill or roast it. Raddichio is an excellent addition to salads particularly when paired with cheese, fruits and toasted nuts. I liked this article from the New York Times  http://www.nytimes.com/1988/12/21/garden/radicchio-tasty-but-so-misunderstood.html?pagewanted=all

Sage: This herb has been revered for centuries for both it’s medicinal and culinary qualities. It has a savory, murky, peppery flavor and pairs well with cheeses, meats and fish and is excellent in stuffing for poultry. You can save this fresh herb for several days wrapped in plastic in the crisper drawer of your fridge. If you wish to save it for later I would recommend hanging it to dry in a cool dark place. Once dry the leaves may be used for many months.

If you are interested in purchasing bulk quantities of potatoes, beets, winter squash and more to supplement your CSA share and carry you through the winter months you may place orders on our webstore and we can deliver the produce with your next CSA share. Please indicate in the comments area of check out what drop site you would like the produce delivered to. Thank you! http://wobblycart.smallfarmcentral.com/store/wobbly-cart-farm

This week I have also included a flier from our friends at August Farm. They still have pasture raised pork shares available for this fall. Now is a great time to stock your freezer with delicious pasture raised pork. You can order a custom cut half or whole pig. Their heritage breed pigs are raised outside where they can graze, root and sun in the sunshine. They are fed locally grown, GMO free grain and dairy, fruits and vegetables from local farms. You can find out more information and place an order at http://www.august-farm.com.

Thank you and have a great week,

Asha

 

Roasted Kabocha squash with pancetta and sage: Preheat oven to 400 degress. Halve and seed 1 4 lb kabocha squash. Roast squash cut side down, in an oiled roasting pan in the middle of the oven until tender, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle scrape flesh from the skin. heat 1 cup vegetable oil in a small deep sauce pan until it registers 365 on a deep -fat thermometer. Fry 20 whole fresh sage leaves in 3 batches until crisp, 3 to 5 seconds. transfer leaves with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Cool 1/4 lb sliced pancetta that has been coarsely chopped in a heavy 4 quart pot over moderate heat, stirring until browned. Transfer pancetta with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to pancetta fat remaining in pot, then cook 1 large chopped onion, until softened. Stir in 2 minced cloves of garlic and 1 1/2 tbsp of chopped fresh sage and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add squash, 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 3 1/2 cups water and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors. Stir in 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled wiht pancetta and fried sage leaves.

Frizzled Leeks: Cut 2 leeks (white and very light green parts only) into 2 inch lengths and then cut lengthwise into very fine shreds. Rinse the shreds thoroughly, using your fingers to separate the pieces and remove any grit hiding there. Drain thoroughly and blot dry with a clean towel. While the leeks dry, heat 2 to 4 cups canola oil in a deep pan. The pan should hold about 1 ½ inches deep of the oil. When the oil surface is shivering, add a few leek shreds and fry for 10 to 15 seconds. Remove the leeks to a paper towel lined platter to drain and cool. The oil should be hot enough to crisp the leeks golden brown in about 10 to 15 seconds, adjust temperature as needed. Fry the leeks in small batches until all are golden and crisp. Lightly season them with salt and use for snacking or to top salads and creamy soups. They will keep in an airtight container for 3 days at room temp.

Parmesan Potato Gratin: preheat oven to 325. Brush the bottom of a 3 quart baking dish with 1 tbsp olive oil; set aside. Shave 4 cups parmesan cheese into thin strips; set aside. In a small bowl combine 4 slices of crisp cooked and crumbled bacon, 2 thinly sliced green onions, 2 tbsp snipped fresh chives. In the prepared baking dish place 2 lbs peeled and finely sliced potatoes. Sprinkle with ½ tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper, half the bacon mixture and ½ tbsp snipped fresh rosemary and ½ tbsp snipped fresh thyme. Top with half the parmesan (2 cups). Dot with 2 tbsp unsalted butter. Repeat layers using 2 more lbs potatoes, and additional fresh herbs, and 2 additional tbsp butter. In a small bowl whisk together ¾ cup whole milk, ¾ cup heavy cream, and 3 tbsp all purpose flour; pour evenly over potatoes. Bake, covered, for 1 ½ hours. Increase temperature to 400. Bake, uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes more or until potatoes are tender and top is golden brown.

Grilled Radicchio: heat grill to high heat. Slice your radicchio vertically, and discard any bruised leaves. Brush the greens with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with good sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Turn grill down to med-low. Place the greens on the grill and cook turning every 1 to 2 minutes until the leaves turn a rich crusty brown on both sides. 5 to 10 minutes. Cut the greens into 4 to 6 servings and serve warm or at room temperature with additional vinaigrette.

Radicchio salad with pear, goat cheese and hazelnuts: In a large bowl whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, 3 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 ½ tsp sugar and season with salt and pepper. Tear up about 1 pound radicchio into bite sized pieces, add 1/3 cup blanched and toasted hazelnuts (almond and walnuts would work too) chopped. Serve salad topped with 1-cup goat cheese and diced pear.

SWEET AND SPICY ROASTED KABOCHA SQUASH: 1/2 small to medium sized kabocha squash, 3 Tbs light brown, natural cane, plus a bit more for sprinkling, 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper or hot chili powder, more or less to taste, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 Tbs soy sauce Oil for drizzling – pumpkin seed oil is preferred, or use toasted sesame oil, argan oil, or walnut oil.  Preheat the oven to  400°F. Line a baking sheet or two with silicon baking liner or parchment paper. De-seed and cut the squash into slices about 1/2 cm or 1/4 inch thick. (Use a sturdy knife for cutting squash or pumpkin, on a stable surface, and be careful!) Combine all the dry ingredients. Toss the squash slices in this until coated thoroughly. Add the soy sauce and toss well again. Spread the slices in a singler layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle over them with the oil, and optionally sprinkle more sugar on them. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then turn over, drizzle with more oil and sprinkle more sugar, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Buttered Turnip Puree: peel and chop 3 large turnips. Combine with 1 quart milk, 3 fresh thyme sprigs, and 1 clove of smashed garlic in a saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the turnips are tender. 20 to 30 minutes. Drain, discarding the thyme but reserving the liquid. In a food processor, puree the turnips with 1 stick butter and 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.