Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 14

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9-26-17

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 17

Large share: beets, carrots, cipollini onions, garlic, yellow finn potatoes, lettuce, radicchio, sweet peppers, sweet corn, rosemary, heirloom tomatoes, bell pepper

Small share: beets, carrots, cipollini onions, garlic, yellow finn potatoes, lettuce, bell pepper, rosemary, heirloom tomatoes

Greens share: lettuce, lacinato rainbow kale, chard

Roots share: parsnips, red carrots, shallots

Dear CSA members,

This is going to be a quick letter this week. Our big potato harvest is in full swing on this gorgeous fall day! Joseph is digging the rows with the potato digger attached to the tractor and the crew is out picking them up and bagging them. We will place them in temperature-controlled storage for the rest of the year so they won’t rot or start sprouting again. Last week we harvested all 6 tons of our winter squash and placed it in storage at our big barn!

This is likely to be our last round of heirloom tomatoes for the year. Large shares got sweet corn, and smalls should get it next week! New this week we have sweet peppers, cipollini onions, radicchio, and parsnips for the roots share

Radicchio: 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

Cipollini onions:  Pronounced chip-oh-LEE-nee, this is a smaller, flat, pale onion. The flesh is a slight yellowish color and the skins are thin and papery. The color of the skin ranges from pale yellow to the light brown color of Spanish onions. These are sweeter onions, having more residual sugar than garden-variety white or yellow onions, but not as much as shallots.

The advantage to cipollinis is that they are small and flat and the shape lends them well to roasting. This combined with their sweetness makes for a lovely addition to recipes where you might want to use whole caramelized onions.

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.

Have a great week,

Asha

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).

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.

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.

Pepper, Cucumber, and Chickpea salad: Toast 2 tsp cumin seeds in a small frying pan over medium-high heat, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour from pan into a large bowl. Stir in ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice, zest from one large lemon, 1tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp kosher sea salt, and black pepper to taste. Seed 1 lb bell peppers and or sweet thin skinned frying peppers and cut into ¼ inch rounds. Slice 4oz of peeled cucumber into ¼ inch rounds and cut in half again if large. Add peppers, cucumbers, and 1 can rinsed and drained chickpeas to the salad dressing and toss to blend well. Let stand about 1 hour, then stir in 1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley. ( from Sunset Magazine September 2017 issue)

Grilled pepper and herb relish: Heat grill to medium-high. Grill 1 ½ lbs bell, sweet frying or pimento peppers, covered and turning occasionally, until softened and lightly charred, 7 to 12 minutes, transferring to a medium bowl as done. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Pull skins off the peppers, pull off stems and swipe out seed with your hand, working in a strainer over a bowl to catch juices. Finely chop peppers, then return to the bowl with the juices. Stir in ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp sherry or wine vinegar, and 2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh marjoram, oregano, or basil leaves. Smear this spread over bread with goat cheese, as a topping for grilled fish, chicken or steak; even pasta sauce. (from Sunset Magazine September 2017 issue)

Corn Chowder with Wild Rice: remove the kernels from 4 ears fresh sweet corn, reserve. In a stock pot over medium heat, combine the halved cobs of the corn and 7 cups of water, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove cobs with tongs and discard; reserve stock. In a stockpot over medium heat, cook 6 slices diced thick cut bacon, stirring often, until cooked through but not crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Add 1 peeled and diced large carrot, 1 large red onion, diced. And 3 tbsp butter. Season with ½ tsp salt and cook until carrot and onion soften, about 15 minutes. Add 4 minced cloves of garlic and 2 tsp fresh minced rosemary, and cook for 1 minute. Add corn kernels, 5 cups of reserved corn stock, ¼ tsp pepper,  and 1 tsp salt and bring to a simmer. Transfer half a cup of soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Using a fine mesh sieve, transfer pureed soup back into stock pot. Stir in 3 cups cooked wild rice and reserved bacon into soup. Serve immediately.

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.

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.

 

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 10

 

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8-29-17

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 10

 

Large shares: Yellow doll watermelon, sweet corn, heirloom tomatoes, red onions, cucumber, lemon cucumber, kohlrabi, kale, basil, shishito peppers, bell peppers, eggplant

 

Small shares: Cherry tomatoes, green beans, carrots, shishito peppers, red onion, basil, cucumber, kale

 

Greens share: Chard, dandelion, green cabbage

 

Roots share: Purple potatoes, Cipollini onions, beets

 

Juicing share: 5lb carrot seconds, 5 lb beet seconds, fennel, kale, cucumbers, tomato seconds

 

Dear CSA members,

 

The heat and smoke have returned to our region this week. Many of you may have heard about the brush fire in Rochester last Tuesday that burned several hundred acres and several homes and structures. The fire was actually near one of the fields in the Grand Mound area that we are leasing. Thankfully we aren’t growing any crops there at the moment and have suffered no losses due to this burn.

 

Though I will be excited for cooler weather to return, the warm temps are making harvest for CSA pretty fun. I was surprised to find during our weekly planning that we would have watermelon and sweet corn for the large shares as well as a plethora of shishito peppers.

 

Shishito peppers are a Japanese frying pepper that is iconic to izakaya (Japanese tapas/appetizers/bar food). They are mild, and prized because they are thin, delicate and thin-skinned and thus blister and char easily in the pan. Occasionally one of the peppers may be spicy instead of mild, but there is no way to tell until you taste it. For many, this is part of the enjoyment, but you may want to taste carefully before you dig in. Usually, a small hole is poked to keep the pepper from bursting and then pan-fried whole in oil until wilted and slightly charred. Shishitos are often served as an appetizer with a dipping sauce. I think these would be great pickled as well.

 

The watermelon is a variety called Yellow Doll and has a bright lemon yellow flesh with a sweet, dense and crisp flavor and mouth-feel. This variety is good for our climate because they are small in size and mature quickly. I would store this melon in the refrigerator until ready to consume. Later in the season it looks like we will have tons of Charentais melons as well.

 

Sweet corn is best eaten asap! You can store it in the fridge but the flavor will diminish over time. This stuff looks really nice and we hope to have some for small shares next week.

 

Heirloom tomatoes for the large share this week. Again, we hope to have enough for the smalls next week. Store heirloom tomatoes out on the counter, they don’t have a huge shelf life so plan to use them up quickly.

 

Cipollini onions: The root share received these this week. These slightly flattened, disc like onions originate in the Reggio Emilia province of Italy, an area also known for “Prosciutto of Parma” ham and “Parmigiano Reggiano”. They are exceptionally sweet are great for roasting or caramelizing.

 

Thank you and have a great week,

 

Asha

 

 

 

Blistered Shishito peppers with lemon, garlic and salt: Heat a cast iron pan over med-high heat with a couple tbsp olive oil. Add a big handful of whole shishito peppers and pan roast them for a couple of minutes then add some lemon slices, a pinch of coarse sea salt and some crushed garlic. Roast the mixture until the peppers are blistered and mildly charred. Serve immediately.

 

 

Watermelon, Cucumber and Lime Salad

 

Watermelon, cut into small slices

Cucumber, sliced

Salad greens

Feta

Lime, zest and juice

Olive oil

Agave syrup

Salt and pepper

Thinnly sliced basil leaves

 

Toss watermelon slices, cucumber slices, salad greens and diced feta with lime zest, juice, olive oil, agave syrup, basil, salt and pepper to taste. Correct seasoning.

 

Watermelon Margaritas: bring ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water and 3 strips of orange zest to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved about 3 min. remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Place 2 cups peeled and seeded watermelon in a blender and pulse until pureed. Stir watermelon puree into a large pitcher with ¾ cup white tequila, the simple syrup and ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice. Place a small amount of salt or sugar on a saucer. Moisten glass rim with lime juice and press into the salt or sugar to coat the rime. Fill glasses with ice cubes and pour margarita mix over the ice. Serve with additional lime wedges.

 

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

 

Fried Squash Blossoms with Corn and Mozzarella: mix ¼ lb fresh mozzarella cut into ¼ inch dice, kernels from 1 ear fresh corn, 1 tbsp minced red onion, 1 tsp minced fresh garlic and ¼ tsp each sea salt and pepper. Gently stuff 18 zucchini or butternut squash blossoms with about 1 ½ tsp of the filling and twist ends of the petals closed. Pour canola oil into a medium, heavy pot or saucepan about 3 in deep. Heat over med-high heat until a deep fry thermometer registers 360 to 375. Put a ½ cup each buttermilk and rice flour in separate containers (loaf pans work well). One at a time dip each stuffed blossom into buttermild and let excess drip off. Dip in flour, coating lightly but evenly. Shake off excess flour and fry blossoms in small batches until golden brown, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Gently submerge blossoms with a slotted spoon to cook tops. Drain on paper towels. Season with salt, sprinkle with chives, parsley or basil and serve with lemon wedges if you like.  ( From Sunset August 2013)

 

Corn Chowder with Wild Rice: remove the kernels from 4 ears fresh sweet corn, reserve. In a stock pot over medium heat, combine the halved cobs of the corn and 7 cups of water, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove cobs with tongs and discard; reserve stock. In a stockpot over medium heat, cook 6 slices diced thick cut bacon, stirring often, until cooked through but not crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Add 1 peeled and diced large carrot, 1 large red onion, diced. And 3 tbsp butter. Season with ½ tsp salt and cook until carrot and onion soften, about 15 minutes. Add 4 minced cloves of garlic and 2 tsp fresh minced rosemary, and cook for 1 minute. Add corn kernels, 5 cups of reserved corn stock, ¼ tsp pepper,  and 1 tsp salt and bring to a simmer. Transfer half a cup of soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Using a fine mesh sieve, transfer pureed soup back into stock pot. Stir in 3 cups cooked wild rice and reserved bacon into soup. Serve immediately.

 

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.

 

 

Baked Eggplant Sandwiches: Slice 2 eggplants into ½ inch thick rounds and lightly salt them. Set aside for at least 20 minutes. Mix together; 1-cup bread crumbs, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsely, and black pepper to taste. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set up a work station with a plate of ½ lb sliced provolone or mozzarella, a plate with the eggplant slices, a bowl of flour, a bowl of beaten eggs, and a bowl with the bread crumb mixture, and an oiled baking sheet. For each sandwich, place a slice of cheese between two slices of eggplant. Hold the sandwich firmly and coat the sides with flour. Dip the sandwich first into the eggs and then into the bread-crumbs to coat both sides. Place the finished sandwich on the baking sheet. Continue assembling the sandwiches until you have used all the eggplant slices. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork. These are best served bubbly hot.

 

Roasted Tomatoes and Cipollini: Preheat oven to 375. Boil a small pot of water and blanche 1 lb whole cipollini for 10 seconds, then plunge them into cold water. Use paring knife to make a small slit in each, and slide them out of their skins and outer layer. Spread peeled onions and 1 lb chopped tomatoes in a roasting pan. Drizzle with ¼ cup olive oil and a few good pinches of coarse salt. Toss everything together until well coated and roast in oven for 45 minutes, reaching in every 15 minutes with a spatula to roll the tomatoes and onions around to ensure all sides get blistered. Just before you take the tomatoes and onions out, place 4 1-inch thick slices of country or ciabatta bread on the oven rack and let them toast lightly. You can rub the toasts with a halved garlic clove, if you like, while still hot. Use tongs to arrange the toast in one layer on a serving platter. Dump 1½ cups cooked white beans over the bread. You can also use 1 15 oz can of white beans rinsed and drained. Scrape the entire contents of the tomato- and -onion roasting pan, still hot, over the beans. Do not skimp on the juices that have collected, all of them – don’t leave any in the pan. Sprinkle the dish with a few slivered basil leaves and eat at once. Serves 4 as a small dish, 2 as a main. (From smittenkitchen.com)

 

Tomato, Red onion, and Purple Pepper Salad with yogurt dressing: Thinly 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.

 

Kolhrabi Carrot Fritters with Avocado Cream Sauce

by: a Couple Cooks

Serves: 8 fritters

What You Need

  • 2 kohlrabi
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil (enough for ¼-inch depth in a large skillet)
  • ½ avocado
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Green onions (for garnish)

 

Cut the leaves off the kohlrabi and peel the bulb. Peel 1 carrot. Shred the vegetables in a food processor, or by hand using a grater. Squeeze the shredded vegetables in a tea cloth (or with your hands) to remove moisture, then add to a medium bowl with 1 egg, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne. Mix to combine.

Place ½ cup oil in a large skillet (enough for ¼-inch depth). Heat the oil over medium high heat, then place small patties of the fritter mixture into the oil. Fry on one side until browned, then fry on the other side. Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil.

In a small bowl, mix ½ avocado, ¼ cup plain yogurt, juice from ½ lemon, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt to make the avocado cream (or blend the ingredients together in a food processor). Serve fritters with avocado cream and sliced green onions.

These fritters are best eaten warm the day of making; they don’t save well. Like anything made with avocado, the avocado cream sauce will become brown after exposure to air. Make sure to cover the surface with plastic wrap when storing.

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm week 16

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9-29-15

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 16

Large shares: Jonagold apples, purple potatoes, red cipollini onions, garlic, arugula, beets, cherry or roma tomatoes, purple beauty bell pepper, shishito peppers, rosemary, green beans.

Small shares: Jonagold or Liberty apples, purple potatoes, red cipollini onions, beets, sweet pepper, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, romano beans or summer squash.

 

After Apple-Picking

 

By Robert Frost

 

My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree

Toward heaven still,

And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill

Beside it, and there may be two or three

Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.

But I am done with apple-picking now.

Essence of winter sleep is on the night,

The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.

I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight

I got from looking through a pane of glass

I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough

And held against the world of hoary grass.

It melted, and I let it fall and break.

But I was well

Upon my way to sleep before it fell,

And I could tell

What form my dreaming was about to take.

Magnified apples appear and disappear,

Stem end and blossom end,

And every fleck of russet showing clear.

My instep arch not only keeps the ache,

It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.

I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.

And I keep hearing from the cellar bin

The rumbling sound

Of load on load of apples coming in.

For I have had too much

Of apple-picking: I am overtired

Of the great harvest I myself desired.

There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,

Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.

For all

That struck the earth,

No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,

Went surely to the cider-apple heap

As of no worth.

One can see what will trouble

This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.

Were he not gone,

The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his

Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,

Or just some human sleep.

 

 

Dear CSA members:

Week 16 brings another busy week on the farm! We’re loving these crisp cool nights and warm gorgeous days that’s for sure. The eclipse of the full blood moon was something else on Sunday night if you got a chance to see it. The whole Wobbly Cart crew was together for the Chehalis Farmers Market Harvest dinner during the eclipse, which was pretty cool, since I believe it was a harvest moon as well!

Despite some very chilly nights, we haven’t had a substantial frost in the fields yet and so our summer crops are still giving it their last hurrah. I wanted to get tomatoes, peppers, beans and summer squash into the share at least one more time, as this time of year they could be gone literally overnight!

I spent a good amount of the weekend harvesting apples for CSA. I was lucky enough to inherit a small orchard of Jonagold apples, and a few other varieties, with the property I live on. So, every year I prune and care for the trees in the winter and harvest and sort the apples for CSA in the fall. They are ready extra early this year and haven’t been quite as prolific due to the drought. The large gold and red apples are Jonagold. It is a very crisp, sweet tart balanced apple that is excellent in flavor when ripe and fresh. The smaller red apples are Liberty which is firm but not as crisp with sweet /sharp flavors. Both are great eaten fresh, in a pie, or in a salad. Hope you enjoy! All the apples that didn’t make the cut for CSA will be pressed for cider, made into apple butter or dried for my family.

Large shares got a taste of our shishito peppers. These are a Japanese frying pepper that are often used as appetizers and snacks. I like to fix them like the below recipe, and wonder how they would be pickled like a peperoncini. This is our first year growing these and we find them to be tasty and prolific!

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. I find that my palette starts to shift during mid September away from sweet fruits and light salads towards nourishing fare such as root vegetables, hearty greens, cabbages and the like. It makes sense to me that when you are connected to the seasons, to a piece of land that provides your food, that your needs/tastes would shift naturally along with the changes the land undergoes throughout the year.

Have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart.

 

 

 

Fall Salad with Apple Dressing: prepare the dressing: combine 2 small apples, peeled and chopped, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup good cider vinegar, and ½ cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until apples are translucent, 25 minutes. Puree in a blender, slowly adding 1 ½ tbsp St-Germain elderflower liqueur. Adjust with more vinegar or liqueur to taste. Chill. For the salad: toss 4 cups loosely packed fall greens (arugula, escarole, kale, frisee, lettuce) with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and ½ tsp kosher salt. Spoon dressing onto plates, divide salad among plates and top with 1 large apple that has been cut into thin wedges, 6 tbsp shelled pecans and 1 ½ oz shaved Pecorino cheese (divide amongst the plates). Serves 8

 

Apple Pie: For the crust: place 1 cup all purpose flour in a large bowl. Grate in ½ cup frozen unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt. Gradually drizzle in up to 1/3 cup ice water, and mix gently just until the dough comes together to form a ball. To much mixing will make the crust tough. Wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator. Heat oven to 425 degrees. For the filling: peel, core and slice into thin slices enough apples to make 6 cups. Gently stir into the sliced apples, 1/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg, a dash of salt. Divide your pastry in half and roll out one half. Place in a 9 inch pie pan. Turn the filling into the pie pan. Either dot with additional butter and over with the other half of the pastry, or prepare this topping by mixing ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup cold butter, and 1 cup flour. Cover the pie with this crumble. Bake until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in the crust, 40 to 50 minutes. You may need to cover the pie with foil to prevent excessive browning during baking.

 

Celariac and Apple Slaw: Trim, peel, and cut into 1 inch matchsticks, 1 12oz Celery root. Cut 1 large 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.

 

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.

 

Fall Green Salad with Apples, Nuts, and Pain d’epice Dressing:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put ¾ cup walnut halves in a pie pan. In another pie pan, toss 2 cups cubes of rustic multigrain bread with crusts removed with 1 tbsp walnut oil. Bake walnuts and bread, stirring occasionally, until walnuts are golden and croutons are golden and crisp, 12 to 25 minutes. Let cool. Coarsely chop nuts. Whisk together, 3 tbsp walnut oil, 1 tsp orange zest, 1/3 cup orange juice, ½ tsp each cinnamon and ground cloves and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss gently with 2 qts lightly packed small lettuce leaves or pieces, 2 cups lightly packed escarole, 1 thinly sliced tart-sweet apple, the nuts and croutons. Add more salt and pepper to taste if you like. (from October 2011 issue of Sunset Magazine)

 

Roasted Tomatoes and Cipollini: Preheat oven to 375. Boil a small pot of water and blanche 1 lb whole cipollini for 10 seconds, then plunge them into cold water. Use paring knife to make a small slit in each, and slide them out of their skins and outer layer. Spread peeled onions and 1 lb chopped tomatoes in a roasting pan. Drizzle with ¼ cup olive oil and a few good pinches of coarse salt. Toss everything together until well coated and roast in oven for 45 minutes, reaching in every 15 minutes with a spatula to roll the tomatoes and onions around to ensure all sides get blistered. Just before you take the tomatoes and onions out, place 4 1-inch thick slices of country or ciabatta bread on the oven rack and let them toast lightly. You can rub the toasts with a halved garlic clove, if you like, while still hot. Use tongs to arrange the toast in one layer on a serving platter. Dump 1½ cups cooked white beans over the bread. You can also use 1 15 oz can of white beans rinsed and drained. Scrape the entire contents of the tomato- and -onion roasting pan, still hot, over the beans. Do not skimp on the juices that have collected, all of them – don’t leave any in the pan. Sprinkle the dish with a few slivered basil leaves and eat at once. Serves 4 as a small dish, 2 as a main. (From

smittenkitchen.com)

 

Blistered Shishito peppers: heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Cook peppers, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister on all sides. Add a bit of chopped garlic, sautee for a minute more. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediately.

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 #8

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8-4-15

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #8

Large share: heirloom tomato, Italian plums, Walla Walla onions, lemon cucumber, slicing cucumber, summer squash, beets, carrots, butterhead lettuce, fresh dill, garlic, jalapeno or Czech black pepper, romano beans

 Small share: Romaine lettuce, cucumber, Walla Walla onion, summer squash, eggplant, bell pepper, cilantro, red or heirloom tomato.

 “To husband is to use with care, to keep, to save, to make last, to conserve. Old usage tells us that there is a husbandry also of the land, of the soil, of the domestic plants and animals – obviously because of the importance of these things to the household. And there have been times, one of which is now, when some people have tried to practice a proper human husbandry of the nondomestic creatures in recognition of the dependence of our households and domestic life upon the wild world. Husbandry is the name of all practices that sustain life by connecting us conservingly to our places and our world; it is the art of keeping tied all the strands in the living network that sustains us.

 And so it appears that most and perhaps all of industrial agriculture’s manifest failures are the result of an attempt to make the land produce without husbandry.”

Wendell Berry, Bringing it to the Table: Writings on Farming and Food

 

Dear CSA members,

Well, we survived the latest heat wave. I’m pretty sure we hit 100 here on Saturday. Yikes! Thankfully we now are back to some “normal” summer weather again this week. Some tree species up and down our valley are turning yellow and brown with the drought conditions in a way that is a bit alarming. Heirloom tomatoes are coming in en masse on harvest days, at least those that have survived the sunburn. When temperatures climb into the mid 90’s and higher exposed fruits of delicate tomatoes, peppers and eggplants will literally scorch and cook to the point we can no longer market them. Crazy but true, it is actually too hot for tomatoes in Western Washington this summer!

We also have an enormous abundance of cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, and summer squash happening. If you are interested in bulk quantities of pickling cucumbers we are taking orders now. You can order on our web store http://www.wobblycart.com or call Joe 208 512 3186 and we can deliver with your CSA share or you can pick up on the farm or at our market stands in Olympia and Chehalis.

I took a quick field walk after packing CSA with the intention if checking out our melon crop. This is the first time we have attempted to grow melons on any sizeable scale. And what a great year to do so! We have both a French cantaloupe and a baby size watermelon out there and both are looking amazing. The vines are loaded with sizeable fruit and I’m guessing in a few short weeks we will be enjoying them! I’m very excited about having new and interesting crops around. These melons are fulfilling that need right now!

Also, every year the amazing Italian plum tree that grows by our barn produces a ton of fruit. When the landowner has had her fill, we get to harvest them for our own use. Addison was able to procure enough plums this year for the large shares to get a taste of them! I have vivid fond memories as a child climbing up into large Italian plum trees on my parents’ property and eating myself sick each summer. You wont receive enough plums today to achieve that state, but I hope you enjoy them nonetheless.

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.

Some large shares received a jalapeno pepper, and some a Czech black pepper. The Czech blacks are black and red in color and have a sweet flavor that is similar in heat to the jalapeno.

Large shares also received fresh dill. This amazing dark green frondy herb is the same plant that we sell for pickling, just not in its flowering state. As a fresh leafy herb, dill has a mild licorice and parsley flavor and is delicious with egg, cheese, vegetable, potato and fish dishes.

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!

Hope you enjoy this week’s box,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

 

 

Takeout style sesame noodles with cucumber: from the smittenkitchen.com

Serves 4, generously, and up to double that if served as shown, with lots of cucumber, peanuts and herbs

3/4 pound dried rice noodles (see notes up top)

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, plus a splash to loosen noodles

2 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste or tahini (see note up top)

1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter

3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar

1 tablespoon granulated or brown sugar

1 tablespoon finely grated ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic (from 1 medium-large clove)

Chili-garlic paste, to taste

1/2 pound cucumber, very thinly sliced

1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped

A handful of chopped fresh herbs, such as mint and cilantro, for garnish

Cook noodles according to package directions and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well. Drizzle with a tiny splash of toasted sesame oil to keep them from sticking until dressed.

Meanwhile, whisk sesame paste and peanut butter in the bottom of a small bowl, then whisk in soy sauce, rice vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil, sugar, ginger, garlic and chile-garlic paste to taste until smooth. Adjust flavors to taste. It might seem a bit salty from the bowl, but should be just right when tossed with noodles.

Toss sauce with cold noodles.

Place a medium-sized knot of dressed noodles in each bowl, followed by a pile of cucumber. Garnish generously with peanuts and herbs. Serve with extra chile-garlic paste on the side.

Butter lettuce and egg salad: from myrecipes.com

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 heads butter lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (about 6 qts.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill fronds
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Herb or edible flowers (optional)

Preparation

  1. Put eggs in a medium saucepan, cover with 1 in. water, and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and let sit 9 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard, and oil together.
  2. Transfer eggs to a bowl of cold water and let cool a minute. Crack gently all over, then return to water for 5 minutes. Peel and cut or break into quarters.
  3. Put lettuce in a large bowl and toss gently but thoroughly with dill, chives, and most of dressing. Add eggs and gently toss again. Top with flowers if you like.

 

Roasted Italian Plums: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve and pit 2 ¾ lbs of Italian plums. Toss in a bowl with 2 tbsp melted butter and ¼ cup brown sugar. Place cut side down on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until cooked through and slighty caramelized 15 to 20 minutes. From marthastewart.com

 

Braised eggplant and broccolini with fried ginger: in a bowl blend 2 tbsp packed light brown sugar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp sesame oil, ¼ tsp red chili flakes, ½ cup chicken broth, 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger; set sauce aside. Cut 1 lb eggplant into 1 ½ inch chunks and set aside. Bring 3 cups of water to boil in a 12 inch wok or frying pan over high heat. Add ¼ lb slender broccolini , cut in half crosswise. Cook, covered, until stems are just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water; when cool, drain and set aside. Drain and dry wok, ass 3 tbsp canola oil, and heat over high heat. Add 1/3 cup finely slivered ginger matchsticks, and cook, stirring, until golden, 2 minutes. Transfer ginger to a paper towel to drain. Pour oil into a bowl; return 1 tbsp to the wok. Add half of the eggplant to wok over high heat. Cook, turning often, until lightly browned, 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add remaining oil to the wok with remaining eggplant and ½ cup finely chopped shallots. Cook as before. Return eggplant to the wok with the sauce. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is soft when pressed, 8 to 15 minutes. Lay broccolini on eggplant, cover, and heat 2 minutes. If needed, cook, uncovered, over high heat until most of the liquid evaporates, 1 minute. Stir in 1 tbsp each of chopped cilantro and mint and top with the fried ginger. From August 2015 issue of Sunset magazine

 

Marinated plums over pound cake: mix sliced plums with equal splashes of pomegranate molasses and brandy and a sprinkle of sugar. Let steep for at least 10 minutes. Spoon onto grilled or toasted pound cake. Top with whipped cream and sliced almonds. From August 2015 issue of Sunset magazine

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #7

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7-28-15

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #7

Large shares: chard, new potatoes, salad cucumbers, purplette onion, cilantro, purple bell pepper, snow peas, red tomato, eggplant, garlic, oak leaf lettuce

Small shares: chard, carrots, new potatoes, purplette onions, Italian parsley, ½ pint sungold cherry tomatoes, garlic, shishito peppers

 

Bread and beauty grow best together. Their harmonious integration can make farming not only a business but an art; the land not only a food-factory but an instrument for self-expression, on which each can play music to his own choosing.

Aldo Leopold A Sand County Almanac

 

Dear CSA members,

The week has seemingly flown by as I find myself sitting down to write this weeks’ newsletter! We have certainly enjoyed some cooler temperatures, and crystal clear blue skies this week. The way the grasses and landscape have dried out in the drought I keep thinking this is September… The seasonal fast forward has been a perpetual problem for me this whole season with the unusual weather patterns.

A lot of fall planting got done this last week. We have been transplanting thousands of brassica starts such as cabbage, kale and kohlrabi, as well as seeding the final successions of carrots, beets, turnips and other root crops. I have also seeded a lot of raddichio and endive in the greenhouse, and will continue to seed successions of lettuce for a while yet. It has been nice to bust out all this work in the more reasonable temperatures we have been experiencing.

If you are interested in continuing your CSA share to enjoy these abundant fall harvests we have a fall CSA option available for sign up if you haven’t already done so. The fall share will begin Tuesday October 20th and last for four weeks. The large share is #115 and the small $80. The fall share is great because most of the produce is hardy and will keep for some time so you can enjoy it for several weeks after the deliveries end. Think root crops, leeks, hardy greens, and winter squash.

In the years when we first began farming, our season was essentially over by late October. We didn’t have the land, nor did we plant crops that would last us through the winter months. These days, we are farming and going to market year round, barring a flood or a long stretch of super cold (single digit temperatures) weather! It is kind of awesome to be out in the field harvesting carrots in the dead of winter with just a few folks, often with supplemental light from tractor mounted LED’s and a lot of slippery mud! But it is just so great to be able to produce crops year round.

Meanwhile, the summer harvests are coming on strong as the weather looks like it is going to heat up again this week. The tomato, pepper and eggplant crops are starting to fill up the back room of the cooler. As well as seemingly endless mountains of summer squash and cucumbers! Large shares will get their first tastes of cilantro this week. Normally, we would have plenty of cilantro in the early season, but we had a mix up with old, poorly germinating seed this year so the early plantings were a failure. We also have eggplant, red tomato and bell pepper for the first time.

Small shares will get Sungold cherry tomato and Shihito peppers as new items this week. Shisito peppers are a Japanese frying pepper that is iconic to izakaya (Japanese tapas/appetizers/bar food). They are mild, and prized because they are thin, delicate and thin-skinned and thus blister and char easily in the pan. Occasionally one of the peppers may be spicy instead of mild, but there is no way to tell until you taste it. For many, this is part of the enjoyment, but you may want to taste carefully before you dig in. Usually, a small hole is poked to keep the pepper from bursting and then pan fried whole in oil until wilted and slightly charred. Shisitos are often served as an appetizer with a dipping sauce. I just had some for lunch and they were delicious!

That’s all for this week, enjoy!

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Blistered Shishito peppers: heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Cook peppers, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister on all sides. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediately.

Eggplant Caponata: peel and cut into cubes 1 medium (1 lb) eggplant. Sprinkle generously with salt, place in a colander, and let stand for 30 to 60 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped celery and cook, stirring often, until softened, about four minutes. Add 1 medium onion, finely chopped, 1 garlic clove, minced, and cook, stirring often until onion is soft and lightly colored, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables to a bowl; add to the skillet 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the eggplant cubes and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the celery mixture, along with 1 ½ cups canned plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped, 12 green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped, 1 ½ tsp drained capers, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp minced fresh oregano or ¼ tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp salt, and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings with additional salt, pepper, and or vinegar if needed. Remove to a serving bowl, let cool and garnish with 2 tbsp minced parsley.

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.

Moroccan Carrot Dressing: In a blender, process 2 cups carrots, chopped, 2 tomatoes, 1/3 cup flax oil, 1 peeled orange, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp allspice, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp black pepper until smooth and creamy

Tabbouleh: Cook 4 cups coarse bulgur or quinoa, and cool slightly. Combine bulgur or quinoa, 1 large grated carrot, 2 cups tightly packed fresh Italian parsley leaves and 2 tbsp dried currants. In a jar combine, 3 tbsp olive oil, 4 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 large clove roasted garlic, 1/3 cup fresh mint, minced, 1 tbsp lemon zest, and ½ tsp sea salt. Shake well to blend. Pour the dressing over the bulgur mixture and toss to thoroughly coat the grains. Taste and add more olive oil, lemon juice, mint or salt as needed.

Swiss chard with lentils and feta cheese: heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Add 2 cloves chopped garlic, and 2 purplette onions chopped. Sauté until tender. Add in 1 cup brown or green lentils and stir. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 min. meanwhile, wash 1 bunch of chard and trim off the stem ends. Chop the stems into ¼ inch pieces, and the leaves into bite sized pieces. In another sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil, add the chard stems and salt and pepper to taste and sauté until tender, about 5 min. add the chard leaves and cook until wilted, about 2 min. stir in 4 tsp red wine vinegar and the reserved lentil mixture. Sprinkle with about ½ cup feta and more salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #15

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9-23-14

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #15

 

large shares: cilantro, butter head lettuce, kale, bulk carrots, sweet onions, garlic, green bean, fennel, bell peppers, kohlrabi, red tomato

 

small shares: cilantro, lettuce, kale, bulk carrots, sweet or red onion, fennel, bell pepper, kohlrabi, ½ pint sun gold or mixed cherry tomatoes

 

Dear CSA members,

 

Happy Autumnal equinox! Today with the darkness at 7 am and the rain falling down on us, it certainly seemed as if summer has come to its end. Trees are rapidly turning red, orange and gold, while the grasses will be starting to green back up with the moisture. In the last weeks we have brought in the onion crop, all the winter squash, and a good portion of the potatoes to the big barn we are renting up the road. It’s good to have them under cover and out of the frosts and rain and ready for market and CSA.

 

This week we have bulk carrots, instead of bunches, and the last of the sweet onions. We still have tomatoes for you, but we’ll see after the next few days of rain! Also this we have bulb fennel. With its wispy fronds and bulbous base, fennel looks like a feather-topped, potbellied cousin to celery. But its flavor is remarkably different. The white bulb and bright green fronds have a gentle, slightly sweet anise flavor. The stalks of fennel are tough and usually not eaten. Fennel can be used chopped or sliced for stir fries, salads and cooked vegetable medleys. It is also excellent roasted or baked in gratins. The fronds can also be added to salads or used as a garnish.

 

As we transition into fall you may find a selection or hardier vegetables in your box. Things like fennel, leeks, winter squash, cabbage, kale, and root vegetables of all kinds. We are lucky in our climate to be able to continue to grow and provide you with delicious local vegetables for such a long season! There is so much more to come. We have just three more weeks of the summer season, but four more fall season weeks if you care to continue on! We left some fliers at the drop sites so please feel free to fill out the form and mail it in, or sign up on the website http://www.wobblycart.com

 

 

Fennel Gratin with Pecorino and Lemon: lightly oil a shallow 2 quart glass or ceramic baking dish. Heat 5 tbsp oil in a large wide pot over medium heat. Add 1 sliced onion and 3 cloves minced garlic; sauté until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add 5 large fresh fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored, and cut into ¼ inch slices. Increase heat to medium high and saute until fennel is slightly softened and beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 18 minutes. Stir in ½ cup chicken broth, 2 tbsp minced fresh Italian parsley, and 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme. Reduce heat to medium low; simmer until most of the broth is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the baking dish. Make the crumb topping: melt 3 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ¾ cup panko bread crumbs and sauté until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Stir in 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, 1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley, and 1 ½ tsp finely grated lemon peel. Preheat oven to 425. Sprinkle panko mixture over fennel. Bake until gratin is heated through and topping is deep golden, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

 

Roasted carrots: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss together 1 ½ lbs carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks, olive oil to coat, several sprigs fresh thyme, and salt and black pepper to taste. Spread the carrots in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until golden and tender, about 1 hour.

 

Spanish omelet: heat ½ cup olive oil in a 8 to 10 inch skillet. Add 1 cup peeled thinly sliced potatoes. Turn them constantly until well coated with the oil. Reduce the heat and turn them occasionally, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat in a large heavy skillet: 2 tbsp olive oil, add and cook about 5 minutes ½ cup thinly sliced onion and ½ cup julienned strips bell pepper. Add 1 minced garlic clove, 1/3 cup chopped peeled , seeded, and drained tomato, and salt and black pepper to taste. Continue to cook about 15 minutes. Add the potatoes to the onion mixture and keep hot. Beat 8 eggs with a fork, add ½ tsp salt and a pinch of black pepper. Melt 1 tbsp butter in an 8 to 10 inch skillet over medium high heat. For each omelet pour in ½ cup of the egg mixture. Add about 2 tbsp of the vegetable filling for each one. Also top each omelet with 2 additonal tbsp of the vegetable filling. Serves 4.

 

Salsa Fresca: combine in a medium bowl: ½ small sweet or red onion finely chopped, rinsed and drained, 2 tsbp fresh lime juice, 2 large ripe tomatoes seeded and finely chopped, ¼ to ½ cup chopped cilantro, 3 to 5 jalapeno peppers (or to taste) seeded and minced, also optional 6 radishes, finely minced and 1 medium garlic clove finely minced. Stir together well and season with ¼ tsp salt or to taste.