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 6

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8-1-17

 

Large share: beets, carrots, lettuce, new potatoes, Tokyo turnips, purplette onions, cucumber, cilantro, green beans, ruby streaks mustard greens

 

Small share: beets, carrots, lettuce, snow peas, new potatoes, Tokyo turnips, purplette onions, basil

 

Greens share: chard, lettuce, cilantro, ruby streaks mustard greens

 

Roots share: carrots, Tokyo turnips, new potatoes, yellow onion

 

Juicing share: 5lb carrot seconds, beets, green cabbage, lacinato kale, cucumbers, cilantro

 

Dear CSA members,

 

We are finally facing a bit of a heat wave this week! With temperatures projected to reach the 100’s Wednesday and Thursday we are trying to work a 5 am to 12 noon schedule, and only do the essentials until things cool down. When temperatures get this hot not only is it a challenge for us physically, it can be very challenging on the crops as well. Our tomatoes tend to get sunburned and must be covered with row cover or shade cloth, lettuces start to get tip burn, other greens bolt ( try to go to flower) , and keeping up with irrigation – especially in the green houses- is very challenging. Temperatures in the greenhouses will easily soar into the 110’s to 120 at times even with the shade cloths on.

 

Harvest becomes very challenging as we must cut crops and get them moved to the cooler as quickly as possible. Our fields are a couple of miles from the cooler so regular truck runs are essential! Otherwise product quality will suffer greatly. We can’t even think about transplanting new seedlings either, it must wait until next week. Hopefully, our shares going out today will weather the heat in their tote boxes – not a great week to get to the drop site late!

New crops this week:

 

Tokyo turnips are a mild, tender and juicy variety of turnip. They taste like a cross between a radish and a turnip and you can enjoy both the greens and the roots. Most if not all root vegetables will store better if you separate the roots from the greens before wrapping and placing in the crisper drawer. Tokyo turnips are delicious raw in salads, sliced to eat with dips as well as cooked in miso soups, stir fries, and marinated in vinegar and salt for quick pickles. The greens are tender and spicy and can be prepared as other cooking greens.

 

We have harvested our first Yellow Finn 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.

 

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.

 

Mustard greens: These Ruby streaks mustard greens are very young and tender and can add a wonderful peppery dimension to many dishes. You can temper the pungency of mustard greens use a combination of heat, salt and fat to cook them. Mustard greens are found in Southern American, Indian, Japanese, Chinese and African cuisines. The link below has an in depth write up on the many health benefits of eating mustard greens.

 

Enjoy and have a great week,

 

Asha

 

 

 

Wilted greens: Cook in a large skillet until crisp 4 to 5 slices bacon. Drain on paper towels, cool and crumble. Pour all but 2 tbsp of the bacon drippings out of the pan. Reheat and add ¼ cup cider vinegar, 2 to 3 tsp sugar, the bacon and 2 tsp mustard seeds and 1 tsp minced onion. Mean while place in a salad bowl al large bunch turnip or mustard greens, coarsely chopped. Pour the hot dressing over the greens and toss. Serve at once garnised with 2 sliced hard boiled eggs.

 

Quick Pickled Beets: Combine 4 medium beets, scrubbed, trimmed, halved, and cut into ¼ inch slices. 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced. ¾ cup apple juice or water, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 1/8 tsp ground allspice, and a pinch of sea salt in a pressure cooker. Lock the lid into place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 4 minutes. Reduce the heat by running cold water over the cooker in your sink. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape. To serve, lift the beets out of the liquid with a slotted spoon. Serve warm or chilled. (from Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen by Lorna Sass).

 

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.

 

Braised pearl onions: remove tops from pearl onion bunch and drop into boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and cool slightly, then trim off ends and slip off skins.

Heat 2 tbsp butter in a large heavy saucepan and sautee the onions in one layer until slightly browned. Then add chicken or vegetable stock , until it comes halfway up the onions in the pan, add salt to taste and 1 tsp sugar. Cover and simmer slowly for 25 minutes, or until tender. Uncover and boil off excess liquid, add 1 more tbsp butter if desired.

 

Late Summer Vegetables with Aioli: Preheat oven to 450. Blanch ½ lb green beans in a large pot of salted boiling water until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, plunge into a bowl of ice and water, then drain again and pat dry on a kitchen towel. Toss 1 lb of new potatoes, halved lengthwise, and 3 small summer squash, sliced diagonally, separately with 2 tbsp olive oil each, some sea salt, and about 5 or 6 sprigs of fresh thyme. Roast separately in a single layer on rimmed baking sheets until just tender, 7 to 10 minutes for zucchini and 20 to 25 for potatoes. Make aioli: in a bowl whisk egg with a pinch of fine sea salt and 2 tsp champagne vinegar or fresh lemon juice until thick. Whisk in 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil gradually, drop by drop for the first ¼ cup or so (until the mixture is emulsified) and then in a thin stream until aioli is nice and thick; you may not need all the oil. Sprinkle 2 to 4 garlic cloves with ½ tsp fine sea salt. Mince with a chef’s knife, then use the side of the blade to crush garlic into a paste. Stir garlic paste into the mayonnaise. Taste and add more salt or vinegar if you like. Arrange cooked vegetables as well as lettuce leaves, thin wedges of fennel, and halved cherry tomatoes on a large platter or ling board, top with more fresh thyme sprigs, and serve with aioli. (from August 2013 issue of Sunset Magzine).

 

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.

Basil Vinaigrette: Mash to a paste 1 small peeled garlic clove and 2 to 3 pinches of sea salt. In a small bowl add 1/8 tsp black pepper, ¼ cup red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp minced fresh shallot, ¼ to ½ tsp Dijon mustard. Whisk until blended and then add gradually and whisk constantly after each addition ¾ cup olive or walnut oil. Then add in 12 cup thinly sliced basil and whisk again.

Three pea salad: Prepare the dressing: whisk together 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil, 2 ½ tsp sugar, 4 tsp white wine vinegar or rice vinegar, 4 tsp soy sauce, and 4 tsp toasted sesame seeds. Cook in a large pot of boiling salted water 1 cup sugar snap peas, add: ½ cup snow peas and ½ cup fresh or frozen shell peas. Cook 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold water. Pat dry. Toss the peas in a a bowl with the dressing and 6 cups pea shoots or bean sprouts. (both recipes from the Joy of Cooking)

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 8

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8-2-16

Large shares: cucumbers, summer squash, Yukon Gem new potatoes, Purplette onions, cherry tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, shell peas, fresh basil

Small shares: cucumber, beets, carrots, shell peas, purplette onion, garlic, kohlrabi, fresh basil

 

Dear CSA members,

August is here!

Here we are in the time of the season when the boxes and crates just seem to get heavier and heavier. As farmers, our bodies begin to feel the weight of all the work as well around this time of year. I have learned the importance of self preservation in this profession as heavy lifing and repetitive motions start to take their toll on the finite resource of the body. Anything we can do to make our work more efficient and reduce lifting and moving things by hand really makes a difference over the long run.

As our days shorten in length plants all around prepare for the cold to come (despite summer temperatures) by going into overdrive to complete their lifecycle. Winter squash ripening in the field are seemingly huge all of a sudden, tomatoes come off the vine over a pound each at times, and pepper plants start collapsing under their own weight. I have also noticed that as the surrounding natural landscape gets more and more dry, pressure from insect and mammalian pests increases as they loose natural food sources. I can see the beetles, deer and voles attraction to our lush irrigated produce fields! They do look awfully tasty!

We have also recently participated in a bird survey called WSU Avian Biodiversity: Impacts, Risks And Descriptive Survey. The ornitoligists that came out were really impressed with the diversity of species found in our fields as well as the grassland habitat the fallow areas of the farm provided. She said “This survey I observed very high densities of birds in the crop areas including song sparrows, American robins, killdeer, American goldfinches, barn swallows, violet-green swallows (my favorite swallows!), Wilson’s warblers, Western bluebirds, and Savannah sparrows. I’m not sure I’ve observed such a wide range of species in the row crops in one field.” It’s nice to know we are able to provide habitat/refuge for bird species that may have increasing difficulty finding food sources as our area becomes more densly populated.

This week we have several new crops for you to enjoy, cucumbers, fresh basil, and cherry tomatoes and Yukon gem potatoes for the large share. I reccommend using the basil up asap and avoid putting it in the refrigerator as it has a tendenc to turn black with the cold. Yukon gem is a new variety of potato for us, it was actually shipped to us by mistake. The Yukon gem is very similar to it’s parent Yukon Gold with smooth tan skin and dense, buttery yellow flesh for baking, boiling and frying. But it has the added bonus of having pretty pink splashes of color around the eyes!

A couple of tips for the best uses of abundant and large summer squash ( these came from the August 2015 issue of Sunset magazine)
– grate it, let it sit, drain it, and freeze in 2 cup portions for zucchini bread
-slice it lengthwise on a mandoline and layer into moussaka, or substitute for noodles in lasagna
-make salt and vinegar zucchini chips in the oven or dehydrator. Thinly slice on a mandoline, toss with salt and vinegar and a bit of olive oil. Layer in the food dehydrator and dehydrate for 8 to 14 hours. Or bake in a single layer at 200 degrees for 2 to 3 hours. I’m going to make these tonight!

I also wanted to let you know: our neighbors at August Farm have pork shares available for their August harvest. Order a half or whole pig now before they’re gone and stock your freezer with delicious, pasture raised pork. Their pigs are hand raised on pasture and fed locally grown, Non-GMO grains. You can find out more information and place an order at www.august-farm.com.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

 

Algerian Carrot Salad: Thinly slice 2 lbs fresh carrots. Put the carrots and enough water to cover by 2 inches in a 2 to 3 quart saucepan and bring to a boil over mediums-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and reserve until ready to use. Heat 2 tbsp of walnut oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 medium choppedonion, 3 cloves of crushed garlic and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the reserved carrots and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring often. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing in a small bowl; whisk together ¼ cup walnut oil, 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp light brown sugar, 1 tbsp ground cumin, 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper, 1/8 cup minced fresh cilantro, 1/8 cup minced fresh parsley until well blended. Combine the carrot mixture, dressing and 1 cup finely chopped pitted dates in a serving bowl, toss until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at once or let cool to room temperature and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings. From Cooking in Cast Iron.

New Potato Salad: Place 2 ½ lbs new potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water by 1 inch and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Run under cold water to cool slightly, and then drain. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, 3 tbsp Dijon Mustard, 2 tbsp sherry vinegar, 1 small minced shallot, 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley, and 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme; season with salt and pepper. Add potatoes and ¼ of a sliced red onion and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature. (To store, refrigerate, up to overnight.) Makes 6 servings. From Everyday Food.

 

Vegetable Kebabs with Mustard Basting Sauce: ( from Gourmet July 1995)

Prepare the Veggies: In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook 1 bunch of topped carrots for 1 minute. Add 1 ½ lb of whole summer squash and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer vegetables with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water to stop cooking and then drain well in a colander. Slice the cooled summer squash and carrots into ¾ inch slices. In boiling water that remains in the pan cook ¾ inch chunks of purplette onion or about 4 minutes. Transfer them into a bowl of ice water to cool and then drain well in a colander. Do the same for 2 sweet peppers cut in to ¾ inch chunks. These veggies may be boiled 1 day ahead and chilled in bags in the fridge.

For the sauce: In a small bowl whisk together 11/2 Tbsp of white-wine vinegar, 11/2 Tbsp of Dijon mustard, 2 tsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. The basting sauce may also be made 1 day ahead and chilled covered in the fridge.

Heat your grill to medium-high: Thread the vegetables, alternating them, onto skewers. Brush one side with about half the sauce and grill, coated side down on an oiled rack 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals 5 minutes. Brush kebabs with the remaining sauce and turn. Grill kebabs 5 minutes more, or until squash is tender.

Serves 4.

 

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

Cucumber Lime Guacamole: chop 1 ½ cups seeded cucumbers. Place cucumbers in a colander, sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt, toss to coat. Let stand for 1 hour. Pat cucumbers dry with paper towels. Transfer to a medium bowl. Chop 2 medium pitted and peeled avocados, and mash 2 more. Add the avocado, 2 thinly sliced scallion, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, and 3 tbsp lime juice to cucumbers; stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 3 cups Rose’ Cucumber Cooler: combine 1 bottle dry rose’ wine, 1 cup St Germain elderflower liqueur , ½ cup lemon juice, 1 thinly sliced lemon, and about 6 inches of a cucumber also thinly sliced.

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #12

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9-1-15

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #12

Large share: Charentais melon, beets, purple potatoes, green beans, lemon cucumbers, red Russian kale, cabbage, sweet pepper, purple bell pepper, red onion, ¼ lb basil, garlic

 Small share: Red Russian kale, arugula, green beans, basil, eggplant, red onion, cherry tomatoes

 

By all these lovely tokens

September days are here,

With summer’s best of

Weather and autumn’s best

of cheer.

 

Helen Hunt Jackson

 

Dear CSA members,

It’s hard to believe we are already into September and on week 12 of the summer CSA! It is amazing how fast the season flies by when you are so busy. It feels freakishly like fall all of the sudden and I am on a mission to keep the summer crops on the harvest list as long as possible. We will have plenty of time in the fall CSA to hand out root crops, leeks, kale and winter squash! Though a field walk on Sunday revealed gorgeous leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi and kale as well as the ripest looking winter squash I have ever seen in late August. I would like to hold on to tomatoes and basil just a little longer thank you very much!

We are all so grateful for the rain that has fallen since Friday. I think we have received 3 inches in total so far, with rain falling steadily as I type. Our river is looking so much better, and the soil and plants have been just soaking it up. It has been so dry for so long we are all sort of unaccustomed to dealing with mud at this point. It is funny and comes as sort of a shock to look down at your boots after you have already walked into your kitchen and see several pounds of mud clinging to them. After weeks of being able to get away with this when heading in for a quick snack, it is going to take a while to relearn bad habits.

Speaking of rain and mud I spent part of Monday harvesting our first round of Charentais melons! I am really excited to be able to offer these this year. I used to grow them for myself back when there is was time for such things, and have always loved them. The extra moisture we have received caused some of them to crack a bit around the stem end, but I assure you that extensive taste testing has revealed that these cracked ones are at the height of sweet, luscious flavor. This variety is known for slight cracking at maturity and it just goes with the territory of eating foods that are bred for flavor and not convienient packability for grocery stores. However, I would encourage you to refrigerate or eat them right away!

I can’t resist quoting this description directly from the Seed Savers Exchange catalogue:

Charentais melon (Cucumis melo) A true French cantaloupe that originated in the Poitou-Charentes region circa 1920. Considered by many to be the most divine and flavorful melon in the world. Smooth round melons mature to a creamy gray with faint ribs. Sweet, juicy, orange flesh with a heavenly fragrance. Typically the size of a grapefruit and weighing 2 pounds—perfect for two people. 75-90 days.

Ours are mostly quite a bit larger than 2 pounds! I also, want the small shares to know we hope to have them for you next week.

Large shares also received a ¼ lb of basil. This will make a nice batch of pesto or pistou to keep in your refrigerator or freeze. I will also just puree basil with olive oil and freeze it in ice cube trays. Then break it out and store in a sealed bag or jar in the freezer so I can grab a chunk easily when needed in the winter. Hope you enjoy!

Have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the Crew at Wobbly Cart

 

 

Charentais Melon Salad: In a small bowl combine 3 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine. Halve and seed a large Charentais melon, then slice into 1 inch thick wedges. Arrange the melon slices over 6 salad plates. Top melon slices with a slice of Prosciutto di San Daniele, scatter basil leaves on top and dress with the balsamic vinaigrette and freshly ground black pepper. From thecooksatelier.com

 

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

 

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

 

Red Curry with Eggplant and Sweet Peppers:

2 cans unsweetened Coconut Milk

2 to 3 Tbsp Red Curry Paste (see recipe below)

1 lb Eggplant (cut into bite sized pieces)

12 lime leaves

2 Cups vegetable stock

1 Tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp soy sauce

1 ½ tsp salt

1 lb firm tofu cut into chunks

1 sweet bell pepper cut into 2 inch strips

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves

Shake the coconut milk can well. Spoon out 1/3 cup into a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and releases its sweet fragrance, about 3 minutes.

Add the curry paste and cook for about 3 more minutes, mashing, scraping and stirring often to soften the paste and combine it with the coconut milk. Add the eggplant and stir gently to coat it with the curry paste. Add the remaining coconut milk, half the lime leaves, the vegetable stock, sugar, soy sauce, and salt and stir well. Bring to an active boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, just until the eggplant is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the tofu, the sweet peppers, the remaining lime leaves to the curry and stir gently. Let the curry return to the boil and then remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with the cilantro leaves, and serve hot or warm over rice.

 

Home-made Red Curry Paste:

20 Ring of Fire chilies

1 Tbsp whole coriander seeds

1 tsp whole cumin seeds

10 white or black pepper corns

3 stalks lemongrass

¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup coarsely chopped shallots

2 Tbsp coarsely chopped garlic

1 tbsp coarsely chopped, peeled fresh ginger

1 tsp grated lime zest

1 tsp salt

Stem the chilies and shake out and discard a lot of the seeds. Break into large pieces. In a small skillet over medium heat, dry fry the coriander sees, until they darken a shade or two, shaking the pan often, 2 to 3 minutes. Tip out into a saucer. Toast the cumin seeds in the same way, until they darkens and release their rich aroma, 1 to 2 minutes. Add to the saucer along with the peppercorns and then grind the spices to a fine powder in a mini-processor or a mortar and pestle. Set aside. To prepare the lemongrass, trim away and discard any root section below the bulb base, cut away the top portion, leaving a stalk about 6 inches long, including the base. Finely chop the stalk. Combine the chilies with the lemongrass and the toasted spices and the remaining ingredients in a blender. Grind everything to a smooth puree’, stopping often to scrape down the sides and adding a few tbsp of water as needed. Makes one cup.

 

Pickled Cabbage:

Fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Core a cabbage and chop into large pieces, you will need about 4 cups. Add the cabbage to the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds, then drain in a colander. Let cool to room temperature. When cool enough to handle squeeze leaves to soften them and release some water. Meanwhile, combine3/4 cup vinegar, ½ cup sugar, and 2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil to dissolve sugar, and pour into a bowl to cool. When cool, add the cabbage and toss to coat well. Pour all of this into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate for 2 days, turning the jar occasionally to coat all the leaves with the brine. Serve cold.

 

Smoky Eggplant Raita:

Heat your grill t o 450 to 550 degrees with an area left clear or turned off for indirect heat. Peirce 1 lb of eggplant in several places with a knife. Grill Eggplant over indirect heat, covered, until very tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to touch. Meanwhile, toast about ½ tsp of cumin in a small dry frying pan over med. Heat until fragrant and beginning to darken, 2 to 3 minutes. Pound fine with a motar and pestle. Warm 1 tbsp olive oil in pan over medium heat. Saute ¼ large onion for 3 minutes. Add 1 lg minced garlic clove and continue to sauté until both are softened, about 2 min more. Let cool slightly. Slit the eggplant lengthwise and scrape flesh from the skin. Chop flesh coarsely and set aside. Combine 1 cup whole milk yogurt, the onion mixture, 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, ¼ tsp sugar. Add eggplant and stir gently. Season to taste with coarse sea salt and cayenne pepper. Garnish with a little more cilantro. From the September 2010 issue of Sunset

 

 

Peach and Tomato pasta:

Prepare 12oz of spaghetti or linguine according to package directions. Reserve ¼ cup of the spaghetti cooking liquid. Drain spaghetti and return to pot. Keep warm. Meanwhile, in a 12 inch skillet cook 3 cloves of thinly sliced garlic in 1 tbsp hot oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add 1 pint cherry tomatoes. Cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Add 2 lbs of pitted and sliced peaches. Cook for 4 minutes or more until peaches are just soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in ½ cup halved, pitted kalamata olives, 1/3 cup chopped basil leaves, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp crushed red pepper, 1/8 tsp black pepper; heat through. Add Peach mixture to cooked spaghetti along with reserved spaghetti cooking water. Toss to combine, season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperatiure garnished with slivered toasted almonds. From Better Homes and Gardens August 2010 issue.

 

 

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #9

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #9

 8-11-15

Large shares: carrots, green cabbage, red new potatoes, lettuce, yellow onion, red onion, salad cucumber, lemon cucumbers, red tomatoes, red cherry tomatoes, basil, garlic

 Small shares: Mixed red and gold beets, lettuce, red onion, salad cucumbers, sun gold or red cherry tomatoes, Romano beans, red new potatoes, garlic

 

“In his view we were already a success, because we were doing something hard, something that mattered to us, you don’t measure with words like success or failure, he said. Satisfaction comes from trying hard things and going on to the next hard thing, regardless of the outcome. What mattered was whether or not you were moving in a direction you thought was right.” -Kristin Kimball The Dirty Life: Memoirs of Farming, Food and Love

 

Dear CSA members,

It’s been and interesting week for us at Wobbly Cart. Unfortunately, Joseph managed to break an ankle last Thursday evening while out riding motor cross bikes around the field. He is going to have to be off his foot for the next 6 weeks or so, right in the peak of our season. What a bummer! Joe does so much around the farm that to have him out of commission is kind of a major blow. Our back –up field bosses and tractor operators from years past have all moved on to different jobs. So we are in a bind where Joe is training Caleb to do tractor work, and supervising the crew from the cab of his truck and via text message from the porch of his house. We will all be helping out where we can to fill the void, but it’s going to be hard to make up for Joe’s expertise and efficiency in running the fields, and at Sunday market in Olympia.

Despite it all, and thanks to our awesome crew, we have a fantastic CSA box this week! We are now coming into the heavy time of the season. Endless crates of potatoes, onions, tomatoes, beans, corn, carrots zucchini, and cucumbers are making our backs sore each day. You may notice your CSA box feels a bit heavier this week, multiply that by 200 and you’ll get a feel for the weight of the produce we moved just this morning alone. It’s a good reminder to have Joe injured, just how careful we need to be in this line of work (though he did not get injured on the job) to protect our bodies from injuries. Especially over the course of many years of heavy lifting, being around machinery, and doing a lot of repetitive motions.

Sometimes I wonder about it being a very sustainable profession body wise, but I think we still get a great sense of satisfaction at the end of a day, that you just cant find in other lines of work. It is an amazing feeling to provide fresh, locally grown, high quality organic produce to 1000’s of people throughout our region, and hopefully doing something to make our place on this Earth a little bit better. That’s the kind of thoughts that keep my head in the game.

 

Have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Fried Romano Beans: In a medium saucepan whisk ½ cup Dijon Mustard, ¼ cup honey, 2 tsp hot sauce, 1 ½ tsp soy sauce and a pinch of dried mustard, cook over low heat until warmed. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. In a medium Dutch oven fitted with a thermometer over medium high heat, heat 4 cups canola oil to 350. In a medium bowl, whisk 2 large egg whites to soft peaks; add in 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, and 1 ½ cups club soda. Working in batches, dip 1 lb Romano beans with ends trimmed, one at a time into batter, and then drop into hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Serve with dipping sauce.

 

Algerian Carrot Salad: Thinly slice 2 lbs fresh carrots. Put the carrots and enough water to cover by 2 inches in a 2 to 3 quart saucepan and bring to a boil over mediums-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and reserve until ready to use. Heat 2 tbsp of walnut oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 medium chopped yellow onion, 3 cloves of crushed garlic and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the reserved carrots and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring often. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing in a small bowl; whisk together ¼ cup walnut oil, 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp light brown sugar, 1 tbsp ground cumin, 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper, 1/8 cup minced fresh cilantro, 1/8 cup minced fresh parsley until well blended. Combine the carrot mixture, dressing and 1 cup finely chopped pitted dates in a serving bowl, toss until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at once or let cool to room temperature and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings. From Cooking in Cast Iron.

 

Red New Potato Salad: Place 2 ½ lbs red new potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water by 1 inch and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Run under cold water to cool slightly, and then drain. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, 3 tbsp Dijon Mustard, 2 tbsp sherry vinegar, 1 small minced shallot, 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley, and 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme; season with salt and pepper. Add potatoes and ¼ of a sliced red onion and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature. (To store, refrigerate, up to overnight.) Makes 6 servings. From Everyday Food.

 

Marinated Tomato Salad: Combine 3 tomatoes, cut into wedges, 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 to 3 leaves fresh basil, minced, 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

 

Creamy Cucumber Salad with Fresh Dill: Peel 1 large cucumber (several small lemon cucumbers would work just great). Slice very thin, sprinkle with a ½ tsp salt, and set in a colander to drain for at least 20 minutes. In a separate bowl combine 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar, 4 oz sour cream, 2 tsp oil, 1 tsp sugar, 2 Tbsp fresh chopped dill, or to taste. Combine with the cucumbers and serve chilled.

 

Garlicky Roasted Romano Beans: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Trim 1 lb Romano Beans and toss whole with ¼ cup olive oil, 3 cloves smashed garlic, 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until the beans are browned and tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Tangy Coleslaw: Combine: 1 cup mayonnaise, 4 scallions, chopped, 2 tsp cider vinegar, 1/8 tsp Worcestershire sauce, ¼ tsp salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper, ¼ tsp sugar. Place in a large bowl, dress and toss tightly: 3 cups shredded Cabbage, 3 cups shredded Arugula, 1 carrot, grated, and ½ of a green bell pepper cut into strips. Makes 6 servings. (From the Joy of Cooking.)

 

Golden Beet Slaw: Whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp orange zest, 1 Tbsp orange juice, ¾ tsp coarse sea salt, ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper. Peel 1 ½ lb Golden Beets, and cut into matchsticks. Toss the beets with 3 sliced scallions, and ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, and the dressing. Serves 6. (From Martha Stewart Living April 2011).

 

 

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #6

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7-21-15

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #6

 

Large shares: lettuce, cauliflower, green cabbage, carrots, fresh basil, summer squash, Walla Walla onions, cucumber, 1 pint sungold or red cherry tomatoes, garlic

 

Small shares: lettuce, Walla Walla onion, green cabbage,  cucumber, green beans or romano beans, garlic, fresh basil

 

“True stability results when presumed order and presumed disorder are balanced. A truly stable system expects the unexpected, is prepared to be disrupted, waits to be transformed.”   -Tom Robbins

 

Dear CSA members,

This weeks’ box represents the beginning of some of our favorite summer offerings. We have the first Walla Walla sweet onions, fresh basil, pints of cherry tomatoes for the large shares, as well as green or romano beans for the small share. The onions are fresh and uncured and must be kept in the refrigerator. They will be excellent freshly sliced on a burger or in a salad. The basil won’t take the cold of your refrigerator and should be used as soon as possible!

Most of the small shares got green beans, but we came up a little short on poundage and had to substitute some romano beans as well. The romano beans are large and flat podded. They are used often in Italian cooking and are delicious and robust, similar to green beans. I think they are excellent marinated and then roasted!

While out in the field after packing CSA this morning my eye kept falling to various problems that were obvious to me; diseases that were present, weeds, and pests. It seemed to me that it is too easy to fixate on the negative. Stepping back to take a broader view, looking over the expanse of acreage that is in production at Wobbly Cart, the tomato plants loaded with fruit, sweet corn putting on good growth, the crew diligently weeding a bed of cilantro, bumble bees busily pollinating melons, cucumbers, peppers and eggplants. I was amazed by the abundance of excellent food that we do produce, despite the difficulties and imperfections. I was also amazed by the diversity of crops out there in a relatively small space, when thinking on the scale of farmland that is.

I believe that is one of our strong points as a small organic farm. Our diversity, experience and adaptability allow us to remain successful. When one area/ crop dosen’t produce as desired, another will pick up and shine for us. For example, while the heat and drought we have been having may wreak havoc on our lettuce beds, in the meantime we have watermelon and cantaloupe for the first time ever, and our earliest eggplant harvest of all time! When our brassica plantings look like crap due to flea beetle damage, we can beef up later plantings of chicory and radicchio to fill that space.

Further, as a farm we don’t rely necessarily on any one market for our produce each year. We are diversified by farmers’ market sales, CSA and wholesale accounts. While there may be difficulties and conflicts every once and a while over what will go where after harvest, by and large, the three balance each other out when one isn’t providing the sales that are expected and needed. So far, this philosophy has worked for us and will hopefully carry us into the coming years with the ability to persevere and adapt to the inevitable changes we will encounter.

Have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Pesto: place 3 cups fresh basil leaves, 3 to 4 cloves garlic in a blender or food processor and mince well. Add 1/3 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts and continue to blend until the nuts are ground. Drizzle in 1/3 cup olive oil as you keep the machine running. When you have a smooth paste transfer to a bowl and stir in 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Summer squash and 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.

Lemony pasta with cherry tomatoes: in a large bowl, whisk together the zest and juice of one large lemon, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, ¼ tsp sea salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold in ¼ cup finely chopped basil leaves, ¼ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley, 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, and 4 cups halved cherry tomatoes, and set aside. Cook 1 lb penne pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and immediately place the pasta in the bowl on top of the tomato mixture. Let sit for 1 minute to soften the tomatoes, then toss until well combined. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp red pepper flakes and a pinch of sea salt. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

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.

Basil-Blackberry Crumble: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 2-3 apples, chopped, 2 pints blackberries, 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 large handful of chopped basil leaves, ¼ cup of honey, or more depending on the tartness of the berries. Put all of this in an oven-proof dish, mix and set aside. Cut 1 stick of cold butter into 5 Tbsp flour and 3 heaping Tbsp brown sugar, then rub with your fingers to make a chunky, crumbly mixture. Sprinkle it over the top of the fruit, bake 30 minutes until golden and bubbly. (from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.)

Sesame ginger romano beans: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, in a small pan over medium high heat, heat 1 cup vegetable oil. Add 3 small shallots, thinly sliced, and fry, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet, toss 1 lb fresh romano beans (stem ends trimmed), with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger, and 1 tsp salt to coat. Roast beans until tender but still green, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer beans to a serving dish and toss with sesame seeds. Top with reserved shallots.

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 box #8

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #8

8/5/14

In this week’s box:

Large Shares: eggplant, 2 slicing cucumbers, 2 Walla Walla onions, lacinato Kale, romaine lettuce, summer squash, jalapeno pepper, 3/4lb heirloom tomato, 2 oz fresh basil, garlic, 1 lb romano beans.

Small Shares: romaine lettuce, cauliflower, 1 Walla Walla onion, lacinato kale, summer squash, ¾ lb romano beans, 1 pint cherry tomatoes, fresh basil

 

Dear CSA members,

We have such a nice box this week! The first pickings of lacinato kale, heirloom tomatoes already in early August, huge Walla Walla onions and the first fresh basil harvested for CSA. When the boxes get like this I know we are in the peak of summer! There is so much to choose from when making the harvest lists and the cooler is stacked to the ceiling on Monday harvest day.

This is also the time of year when we can start thinking about canning and freezing things for winter as the abundance is so great! If you are interested in getting bulk quantities of produce such as pickling cucumbers, beets, green beans, tomatoes and basil keep an eye on our web store. When you go to our website you will see the button just below “become a member” there you can place orders for many of these things, pay online and have the produce delivered with your CSA share.

This time of year I like to go over some of the varieties of heriloom tomato that we grow to give folks some background on their wonderfulness. Heirloom tomatoes are something we have done since the beginning of Wobbly Cart Farm and have put much time into selecting varieties that have exceptional color and flavor as well as grow well in our climate.

Aunt Ruby’s German Green: the large 12 to 16 oz , green to greenish yellow , sometimes rose tinted tomato. This heirloom has an outstanding flavor is sweet, tart, rich and spicy. I, and many others rate it as one of the best. It might look a little strange, but the taste is worth it! Introduced from Ruby Arnold’s German immigrant grandfather. Introduced in the 1993 Seed Saver’s exchange Yearbook. Also recently nominated to the Slow Food’s Ark of Taste.

Cherokee Purple: My favorite! I will quote from the Fedco catalog: “ No list of the best-tasting heirloom tomatoes would be compete without Cherokee Purple, an unusual variety from Tennesse, said to have originated with the Cherokee Indians. Fruits are globes to slightly oblate, averaging 10 to 13 oz, with dusky brownish-purple skin, dark green shoulders and brick red flesh, which has been described as “sweet, rich, juicy, winey,” “delicious sweet”, and “rich Brandywine flavor” by aficionados maintaining it in the Seed Savers Exchange.”

Cosmonaut Volkov: This red tomato has 2 to 3 inch slightly squat, deep crimson fruit with green tinged shoulders, and bright red interiors. The flavor is rich, deep, balanced, sweet and tangy. Delivers the “true” tomato taste. Another of my favorites, this one produces a lot of blemish free fruit that tastes awesome. Comes from the Ukraine.

Persimmon: This rose-gold beefsteak type is said by many to date back to cultivation by Thomas Jefferson. It is creamy, meaty and has a near perfect acid- to sweetness balance. I love it for the gorgeous color.

Paul Robeson: Another Russian heirloom that was named in honor of Paul Robeson (1898-1976), who befriended the Soviet Union. Robeson was a multitalented and outspoken crusader for racial equality and social justice. His namesake tomato has developed an almost cult following amongst seed savers. The maroon-brick colored fruit are 6 to 12 oz, oblate in shape and have green shoulders. This one has a distinctive sweet and smoky taste. From the Fedco catalog again: “A sandwich tomato with a tang, and extraordinary tomato for an extraordinary man.”

Rutgers: Not technically an heirloom, this famous New Jersey tomato was developed by the Campbells Soup co. in 1928. It was “refined” by Rutgers University in 1943. Long considered an outstanding slicing, cooking, and canning tomato, the medium sized 4 to 6 oz fruits are very uniform, with rich red interior and great old-time flavor.

Copia: This unique finely striped in yellow and orange heirloom is a cross between Green Zebra and Marvel Stripe. It’s new to us this year. I have found it both tasty and beautiful so far.

I hope you enjoy your box this week! One last note, it is best to use up your fresh basil as soon as possible. If you must store it, just leave it out on the counter. It will turn black in the cold of the refrigerator!

Thank you and have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

 Halibut with Persimmon Tomato and Dill Relish: Prepare your grill. Combine 2 cups diced Persimmon tomato, 3 tbsp finely chopped red onion, 1 tbsp finely chopped seeded Jalapeno pepper, 1 tsp fresh dill, 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, and ¼ tsp salt in a medium bowl and add ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper. Toss gently to coat. Brush 6 6oz halibut filets with 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle evenly with ¼ tsp more salt and pepper. Place fish on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with tomato mixture; garnish with dill sprigs, if desired.

 

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)

 

Garlicky Roasted Romano Beans: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Trim 1 lb Romano Beans and toss whole with ¼ cup olive oil, 3 cloves smashed garlic, 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until the beans are browned and tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Seashells with Basil, Tomatoes, and Garlic: combine 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped, and ¾ tsp salt in a large bowl. Chop 1 cup of 1 ¼ lbs cherry tomatoes and add to the bowl. Cut remaining tomatoes in half and stir into mixture; let stand about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook ¾ lb medium seashell pasta as package directs in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain pasta, saving 1 cup of water. Toss pasta with tomato mixture, then with ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese, and all but 1 tbsp of ½ cup thinly sliced basil leaves. Mix in a little pasta water if needed for a looser texture. Sprinkle remaining basil on top and season with salt. (from same source as above)