Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 18

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10-24-17

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 18

Large shares: Acorn squash, red cipollini onions, winter kale, rapini, rosemary, fingerling potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sweet peppers, jalapenos   

Small shares: Acorn squash, red cipollini onions, winter kale, rapini, beets, parsnips, sweet peppers, jalapeno   

Greens share: baby lettuce, rainbow lacinato kale, Italian parsley   

Roots share: shallots, carrots, daikon radish   

Juicing share: carrot seconds, beet seconds, apples, lacinato rainbow kale, cilantro, rapini     

Dear CSA members,

Well, we have come through an intensely rainy and windy week and back into the gorgeous fall blue skies and sun. Our fall colors seem to be at their peak in the trees, cover crops are coming up and looking very green, salmon are running again and so it is a very beautiful time out here on the farm.

I think we got over 5 inches of rain over the last seven days here, and our Chehalis river is looking completely different than it did two weeks ago! This time of year we have to start watching the hydrologic forecast to be sure to be aware and ahead of any flooding that may be eminent. Often times in this valley we are disrupted by flooded roads and blocked access to some of our fields and our beautiful rivers and wetlands do their thing throughout the winter. Its something we have learned to live by and around.

I really can’t believe that the sweet peppers and jalapenos in the high tunnel are still doing so well and even came through a solid week of frozen nights! We have an abundance of them right now and so I wanted to make sure you got a good share. I expect you may see more peppers before the CSA is over!

This is the last week for one of our farm hands Trevor, who hails from Maine, and has been with us for just over a year. We had a really fun crew party last Saturday to celebrate and hit the bowling alley for some fun, beer and pizza. We all work really hard all summer and its nice to finally have some time and energy to relax and have a good time together!

New crops for you this week:

Acorn squash: this winter squash is a very familiar one to most of us. Acorn squash has a sweet, nutty flavor and is excellent baked, sautéed, or steamed. Acorn squash is also delicious made into soups. The seeds can be cleaned and roasted and make a tasty and nutritious snack. This and all the other squash will keep for quite some time in a cool dry place – in fact flavor will improve over time!

Rapini is essentially the Italian equivalent to turnip greens. Used extensively in Italian and Chinese cooking, it is not as popular in the United States but is gaining popularity. The stems are generally uniform in size (hence cook evenly) and need not be peeled. Clean it as you would other greens, removing the bottom portion of the stems, which appear tough (sometimes the stems are tougher than other times depending on the age of the rapini). They stems can be removed up to where the leaves begin, and sautéed before adding the leaves to the pan. This vegetable is a source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium.  To maintain crispness, refrigerate, unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag or wrap for up to 3 days.

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.

Winter kale: This variety is the hardiest of kales, with finely curled, thick blue green leaves. Here are some great tips for success with kale. https://food-hacks.wonderhowto.com/how-to/tricks-making-delicious-tender-kale-salads-every-time-0157621/  

Have a great week,

Asha

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).

Maple-Braised Acorn 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 Acorn 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.)

Fusilli with Rapini, Garlic and Tomato Wine sauce: Fill a sauce pan with enough water to cover 1 bunch of Rapini that has been trimmed and cut into 1 inch peices. Sprinkle in some salt and bring the salted water to a boil, and add Rapini, cook until bright green and just starting to becoem tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and cool in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain well. Fill a pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling , stir in 1/2 cup uncooked fusilli pasta. Cook the pasta, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through but is still firm, about 12 minutes. Drain well. While the pasta is cooking heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 2 chopped cloves of garlic and cook and stir the garlic for about 2 minutes, sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and stir in 1 spring fresh rosemary, 1/2 tsp dried Italian herb mix, and 1/4 tsp crushes red pepper flakes. Stir in the blanched Rapini, 1/4 cup white wine, 1 can diced tomatoes; remove the rosemary sprig, and bring the mixture to a boil. Mix in the cooked pasta, 2 sliced green onions, 1 minced clove of garlic; simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

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.

Baked acorn squash with brown sugar and butter: Preheat oven to 400. Cut 1 acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds and stringy pulp. Mix together 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp softened butter, 2 tbsp maple syrup, and salt and pepper to taste. Rub the inside of the squash with this mixture. Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet and bake the squash for about 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a fork.

Winter Squash Shepherd’s Pie: Preheat oven to 400 with rack in top third of oven. Put 2 ½ lbs cubed, peeled winter squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast squash, covered, until tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large, wide pot over high heat. Add 2 lbs lamb stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Cook, stirring as needed, until meat is browned on all sides. Add 1 medium onion, cut into wedges, and 3 chopped garlic cloves and cook until vegetables are starting to soften, about 2 minutes, transfer lamb mixture with juices to a bowl; add 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks and 8 oz medium mushrooms, stems removed. Reduce heat to medium low. Add ¼ cup flour to the same pot and cook, whisking continuously, until flour smells toasted, about 1 minute. Pour in ½ cup red wine and 1 cup beef or chicken broth and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Pour over the lamb mixture and stir to combine. Spoon the mixture into 6 individual ramekins. Mash the squash in a bowl with 1 tsp salt, and 1/3 cup cream, adding more cream if needed until mixture is consistency of mashed potatoes. Dollop over the lamb. Bake until browned and sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes; sprinkle with 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley. Serves 6. (from Sunset October 2012)

Roasted Winter Squash and Beet salad: Preheat oven to 400. Tightly wrap 1 lb small beets in aluminum foil bundles. Place on middle shelf of oven. Roast 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender when tested with a sharp knife. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Peel beets and set aside. Place the slices of 1 ¼ lb of winter squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Place on middle shelf in oven; roast 15 minutes. Drizzle 1/3 cup maple syrup over the squash, and roast another 10 minutes, or until tender; cool. To make the dressing: in a small bowl whisk 1 tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, and ¼ cup maple syrup together. Add 1/3 cup olive oil and whisk until smooth. Season to taste. To assemble, place 3 cups mixed salad greens in the middle of a large plate. Arrange beets and squash on the greens. Pour half of dressing over salad. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds. Pass remaining dressing. Serves 6 to 8.

Easy Rapini: wash and chop 1 large bunch rapini greens (discard stems). Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add 1 chopped shallot, 1 clove chopped garlic, and 1 tsp chopped cayenne pepper (or to taste) and sautee until tender. Add the washed and chopped turnip greens and cook down for 3 minutes. Season with pepper. Mix together 1 cup chicken stock and 2 tbsp Dijon mustard. Add to the turnip greens and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add 1/3 cup toasted pecans and serve immediately.

Grilled pepper and herb relish: heat a grill to medium-high ( 400 to 450 degrees). Grill 1 ½ lbs sweet frying peppers, covered and turning occasionally, until softened and lightly charred. 7 to 12 minutes then transfer to a medium bowl as done. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Pull off pepper skins that come off easily ( no need to remove all of them), pull off stems, and swipe out seeds with your hand, working in a strainer over a bowl to catch juices. Finely chop peppers, then return to bowl with juices. Stir in ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp wine vinegar, and 2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh marjoram, oregano or basil leaves. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  (from Sunset September 2017 issue)

Pepper, cucumber, and chickpea salad: toast 2 tsp ground cumin in a small frying pan over medium high heat, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 min. Pour from pan and into a large bowl. Stir in ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, zest of one large lemon, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp each minced garlic and kosher salt and ½ tsp black pepper. Seed 1 lb sweet peppers and cut into 1 inch pieces. Slice 1 large thin skinned cucumber into ¼ inch rounds and cut in half again if large. Add peppers, cucumber, and 1 can chickpeas that has been rinsed and drained to the salad and toss to blend well. Let stand about 1 hour, then stir in 1 cup loosely packed chopped Italian parsley.  (from Sunset September 2017 issue)

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Wobbly Cart Farm fall CSA box #1

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10-21-14

Wobbly Cart Farm Fall CSA box #1

Large share: Acorn squash, leeks, fingerling potatoes, celeriac, vitamin green, carrots, butterhead lettuce, cherry tomatoes, shallots, thyme

 Small: Acorn squash, leeks, carrot, vitamin green, celeriac, mixed potatoes, cherry tomatoes, thyme

 

Dear CSA members,

 

Welcome to the first box of the fall season! We are so happy you have joined us/ continued on from the summer season with us. We have so much delicious produce available in our pacific-northwest fall/winter and it’s exciting to be able to share it with you!

When we first started Wobbly Cart Farm 10 years ago we were for the most part done with our season by mid November. Winter was a time of rest and recuperation. These days, through planning, infrastructure, and having a market for the produce we now continue on virtually year round. Most of our fall and winter crops get deeded and transplanted in the month of August, which gives them ample growing time before the short wet days of late October come along. The moisture and lack of light dosen’t allow for much growth past late September, so we must get the crops in early to size up before that time. We also have 2 high tunnels (greenhouses where we grow in the ground) that have further extended our season and crop options. We also have a lot of produce such as winter squash, potatoes, and onions in storage that we rely on for the weeks to come.

What you see in your box this week is a great example of the crops that we do have available this time of year!

 Acorn squash: this winter squash is a very familiar one to most of us. Acorn squash has a sweet, nutty flavor and is excellent baked, sautéed, or steamed. Acorn squash is also delicious made into soups. The seeds can be cleaned and roasted and make a tasty and nutritious snack. This squash will keep for quite some time in a cool dry place.

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.

 Vitamin green: this asian green is similar to bok choy but more delicate in texture. I noticed that this batch is extra tender and likely to get slightly bruised. I would attribute this to the warm growing conditons we have been having this October. That said, you should probably use these up very soon! Vitamin green is also very sweet and delicious so that shouldn’t be a problem. They are great sautéed, or eaten fresh.

 Celariac: the large and unusual knobby root with celery-like tops is celeriac. When the root is scrubbed and peeled, inside is a firm ivory flesh. The celeriac roots is very low in starch and is a nice alternative to potatoes and other starchier root vegetables. It tastes like a subtle blend of celery and parsley. You can use it in soups, grated into salads, roasted in a pan of other root vegetables, or even French fried instead of potatoes.

Thyme: is an herb from a low growing woody perennial plant. This aromatic herb can be used for cooking, medicine, and aromatic purposes and stands up very well to our robust fall and winter vegetables. The leaves are excellent fresh added to your dishes near the end of cooking to preserve the delicate flavor. Also, you could easily dry your thyme for later use by spreading the sprigs out in a warm dry location for a few days, then stripping the dry leaves off into a storage container.

 Shallot: large shares received 2 shallots. Shallots are another member of the onion family, and are used similarly to onions and garlic, but are generally milder and sweeter in nature. Shallots also incorporate themselves into dishes more fully than onions and leave a greater depth of flavor. Shallots are prized in many cuisines around the world and are excellent caramelized, fried crisp as a topping, pickled, and cooked with meats.

I hope you enjoy this week’s box and thank you all for joining us!

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

 Fall Potato Salad: Toss 2 lbs cubed potatoes with salt and olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast in a 450 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Combine with various fall vegetables of your choice; onion, shallot, garlic, carrots, roasted winter squash,celariac or parsnips for example. Toss with fresh tomato wedges, basil, thyme or other herbs of your choice. Dress with ¼ cup olive oil whipped with 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar.

Leek and Potato Gratin: Preheat oven to 375. In a large pot of salted boiling water, parboil 3 lbs red potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick, for 5 minutes. Drain potatoes well and set aside. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp unsalted butter over medium heat. Saute 10 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1 inch pieces (washed thoroughly), and 4 chopped garlic cloves until leeks are tender about 7 minutes. Set aside. In a buttered 9 x 13 inch baking dish, arrange half of reserved potatoes in an overlapping pattern. Pour 1 cup cream and ½ cup milk over the top and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Top with reserved leeks and arrange remaining potatoes. Pour another cup of heavy cream and ½ cup milk and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt. Bake until potatoes are tender, top of gratin is golden brown, and most of the cream and milk have been absorbed, about 45 minutes. Garnish with parsely. Serves 12. From November 2011 issue of Country Living magazine).

Celariac and Apple Slaw: Trim, peel, and cut into 1 inch matchsticks, 1 12oz Celery root. Cut 1 large Johnagold apple into matchsticks (2 cups). Combine together with 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp fresh cider, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp dijon mustard, and 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

Celeriac Mash: Peel and dice 3 ½ cups of celeriac. Cook celeriac in a large saucepan of boiling slated water for 15 minutes. Add 1 12 oz potato that has been peeled, and cut into 1 ½ inch chunks, and boil until celeriac and potato are very tender, about 15 minutes longer. Drain. Return to same saucepan; stir over medium-high heat until any excess liquid in pan evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup heavy cream and 2 Tbsp butter; mash until mixture is almost smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 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.

 Baked acorn squash with brown sugar and butter: Preheat oven to 400. Cut 1 acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds and stringy pulp. Mix together 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp softened butter, 2 tbsp maple syrup, and salt and pepper to taste. Rub the inside of the squash with this mixture. Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet and bake the squash for about 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a fork.