Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 8

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7-31-18

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

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

Greens share: romaine hearts, Italian parsley, nasturium greens

Roots share: red new potatoes, red onions, garlic

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

Dear CSA members,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great week,

Asha

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

 

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

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

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

Pesto Potato Salad 

4 pounds fingerling potatoes, quartered

1 pound green beans, cut into one-inch segments

1 to 2 small garlic cloves, peeled

2 bunches of basil (about one ounce each)

1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil

¨6 tablespoons (or more to taste)

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

1/4 cup chopped green scallions

1/2 cup pine nuts toasted

Parmesan cheese to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

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

 

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

NASTURTIUM LEAF SALAD (serves 2)

Ingredients

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

Method

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

 

 

 

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 3

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6-26-18

Large shares: 2 heads lettuce, mustard greens, fennel, turnip, sweet onions, scallions, beets, snow peas, garlic scapes, rosemary

Small shares: lettuce, carrots, beets, radishes or fennel, sweet onions, snow peas, garlic scapes, rosemary

Dear CSA members,

Here we are at week 3 of the csa and we are starting to get into the groove of how our summer weeks will pass. We hope you are getting into the groove of things as well!. Part of joining a CSA is making a commitment to support local agriculture as well as a commitment to yourself to cook and eat fresh and healthy food at home. So, I thought I would share a few tips on making the most of your csa membership this summer.

1. Read the newsletter and recipes: reading the newsletter will give you not only quick updates on what we are doing around the farm but also information about new and different vegetables, storage tips, as well as recipes to try.

2. The night before your pickup, take inventory. I recommend going through your fridge and making use of anything leftover from the previous week so you don’t end up with a ton of back stock clogging up your fridge. I like to make a soup stock or pesto (both freeze well) for later use or juice any leftovers for a quick nutrient dense snack.

3. When you get home with your share do some prep-work. Remove any greens from root crops that you won’t be using. Cutting off radish, beet and carrot tops helps the roots stay fresher longer. If you are going to use the greens pre soak them in cold water, drain, and pack in a separate bag. Soak your lettuces and then spin them dry in a salad spinner. They will also keep better when clean and dry. I like to keep my herbs in a jar of water with a plastic bag tented over it on the self in my fridge. Change the water every couple of days. (except for rosemary which can be left out to dry or stored as is in the fridge). Later in the season, onions, garlic, tomatoes will keep better when they are dried thoroughly and placed on a shelf in a cool dry location.

4.Try out pickling, freezing and canning. There are many great books and blogs out there that have amazing suggestions.

5. And last, enjoy eating more and different vegetables! The less processed foods you eat the better fresh fruits and vegetables taste – replace processed foods with whole foods. I like to add vegetables into breakfast scrambles, green juices, make oven roasted chips out of summer squash and kale… find ways to increase your intake of fresh produce, its good for you! Or, make a meal for someone in need of some good food and share the wealth.

A run down on new crops this week:

We were able to harvest some sweet onions that we overwintered from last fall for you. They are a bit small but should be delicious. We have snow peas again this week. They are really tasty but I hope to have some shell peas next week to change things up a bit.

The long frondy herb with the large flat white bulb on the end is fennel. (This is in the large share box only this week). It is one many may be unfamiliar with but is very delicious if you give it a try. Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet with a licorice or anise flavor. It is often used in Mediterranean cuisine, especially in Italy and France. Store your fennel in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use as soon as possible as it rapidly begins to loose its flavor once harvested.

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.

Fresh rosemary: Rosemary is a Mediterranean herb with a bright woodsy-citrusy scent. The fresh herb is more subtle that dried and is great for roasted meats and vegetables, in soups, or infused in oil to use for dressings. To make your own rosemary-infused oil, place a sprig or two of completely dry rosemary leaves into a glass jar, top with olive oil, replace the lid, and shake lightly. Store in a warm, dark place for two weeks, strain, and then simply pour back into the glass jar. Use ¼ cup for a fragrant bath or blend with balsamic vinegar to drizzle all over a salad for a delicious dressing. You can dry the rosemary by just leaving out on the counter until competely dehydrated.

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.

Caramelized Fennel: Wash and trim a large bulb of fennel, removing the root and stems. Slice diagonally as you would an onion into thin slices. Discard any tough core if present. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add fennel and ¼ cup chopped onion. Reduce heat to medium low and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until fennel softens. Add 1 tsp sugar and ½ tsp kosher salt and continue to cook until fennel is caramelized and tender about 7 to 10 more minutes.

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).

Roasted Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens: trim one bunch medium beets with tops to 1 inch. Wash and chop greens and stems. Scrub beets and wrap tightly in heavy duty foil. Roast in the 400 degree oven until tender, 50 minutes. Cool, peel and cut into wedges. Sauté greens, stems and 2 tsp minced garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium heat until tender, 6 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, 2 tbsp each pistachios and goat cheese. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. ( from Prevention magazine June 2012)

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)

Rosemary Potatoes with Sweet Onions: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice 3 lbs potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Skin 2 cups worth of sweet onions, cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss onions and potatoes with 3 tbsp olive oil in a large bowl. Add 2 tbp crushed fresh rosemary and sea salt and pepper to taste. Roast the potatoes until they are brown and crispy.

Nori Radish Toasts: Slice a 12 in. section of baguette in half length-wise, cut into 2-in. pieces, and toast in a 350 degree oven until golden brown on edges. Using scissors, snip 1 large sheet toasted nori into bits, then pulverize in a spice grinder. Mix nori powder with about 5 tbsp butter; smear thickly onto toasts. Top with thinly sliced radishes and radish greens.  (from the November 2011 issue of Sunset Magazine).

Bacon wrapped garlic scapes: cut 12 6 to 8 inch long peices of garlic scape.tightly wrap each scape with a peice of thin cut bacon. When all the scapes are wrapped heat a heavy skillet over medium heat.Cook until the bacon browns on one side, then turn them. Cover the pan with a lid and cook turning occasionally until the bacon is brown and the scapes tender. Remove from the pan, drain on paper towels and serve immediately.

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.

Sauteed Snow Peas with Scallions and Radishes: Trim ¾ lb Snow Peas. Slice 8 scallions(white and pale green parts only) into 2- inch lengths. Trim and quarter 8 radishes. In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt 1 tbsp butter. Add the snow peas; cook stirring frequently, until just beginning to soften (do not brown), 3 to 4 minutes. Add the scallions and radishes; season with coarse sea salt and pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until scallions soften and snow peas are crisp-tender. 1 to 2 minutes more. (From Everyday Food, June 2004)

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #4

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7-5-16

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #4

Large shares: Tokyo turnips, Purplette onions, 2 heads fresh garlic, green cabbage, romaine lettuce, Italian parsley, kohlrabi, beets, French lavender

Small shares; Tokyo turnips, Purplette onions, fresh garlic, butterhead lettuce, mustard greens, Italian parsley, summer squash, French lavender

Dear CSA members,

I hope you have all had a nice holiday weekend and are ready to get back into the CSA routine. We have several new items to introduce 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.

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

French lavender: Both shares will receive a bunch of French lavender this week. You can keep the lavender as a flower arrangement, dry it and use it for teas and sachets, or cook with it. I have used lavender to make cookies, ice cream, and even for a honey lavender glaze for roast chicken. You can toss the stalks on the grill to add flavor and aroma to grilled meats. Lavender is a known medicinal herb with soothing and relaxing properties as well. I love this variety for its long full flower spikes and heady fragrance. Enjoy!

Next week we should have peas!

Have a great week,

Asha

 

Spicy Cabbage Slaw: combine the zest and juice of one lime, 1 tsp cider vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, ½ tsp salt, 1/3 cup canola oil, 2 hot chilies (stemmed and seeded), 1 plump garlic clove, chopped, ½ cup packed cilantro leaves in a food processor and process until well combined. Mix 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage, 1 cup shredded carrots, ½ cup thinly sliced red onion, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight before serving.

Lavender Herb Butter This herb butter is good for toasted cheese sandwiches, veggies, boiled potatoes, or noodles.1 stick softened butter,1 tsp. Chopped chives, 2 tsp. dried lavender. (I pulse a batch ahead in my coffee grinder), 1tsp. chopped parsley. Mix together.

Lavender Coffee Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Make the topping: 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 tsp. cinnamon. Mix together and set aside. Make the batter: 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tbs. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, mix and set aside. Cream ¾ cup butter,  add in 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp dried lavender buds (pulse this in blender with ½ cup of the above sugar), ½ cup brown sugar, 3 eggs, 1 ½ cups buttermilk or sour cream or thin yogurt, and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Put in pan. (See below) Put half of the batter into your pan, top with 1/2 of the topping. Swirl it in gently with a fork so it is just lightly blended. Repeat.

Pan sizes and baking times.
One 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan 50 to 60 minutes.
One 9-inch spring form pan for 60 to 70 minutes.
Two 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch loaf pans for 40 to 50 minutes.
Two 8-inch round or square cake pans for 30 to 35 minutes.

Bake until done. The top will spring back when pressed gently in middle or use toothpick or knife in center of cake, if it comes out clean, remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes before you remove it from your pan.

Italian Style Salsa Verde: In a small bowl, combine ½ cup coarsely chopped Italian Parsley, ¼ cup each coarsely chopped chives, fennel fronds, or dill, mint leaves, tarragon and shallots; 2 tbsp finely chopped capers; 2 tsp coarsely chopped sage leaves, and ¾ tsp kosher salt. Whisk in 1 ¼ cups fruity extra virgin olive oil. Taste and adjust salt. Chill overnight if possible, so flavors can marry. Makes 1 ¾ cups.

Quick Sauerkraut: Thinly slice 1 head of cabbage and place in a large microwave safe bowl with 1 ¼ cups apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup apple cider, 1 tbsp crushed toasted caraway seeds, and 2 tbsp kosher salt. Cover with a large piece of plastic wrap and seal edges. Microwave on high, 4 to 5 minutes. Let sit, still covered, until cabbage has absorbed its brine and bowl is cool to the touch, about 15 minutes. (from Sunset magazine May 2012)

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #2

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6-21-16

Large shares: carrots, beets, butterhead lettuce, garlic scapes, summer squash, scallions, cilantro, 2 pints strawberries

Small shares: carrots, chard, baby lettuce, garlic scapes, summer squash, cilantro

 

Dear CSA members,

Happy summer solstice! We enjoyed our longest day of the year and the full strawberry moon on the farm yesterday. It is fitting that we still have strawberries to give our large shares this week! The summer solstice and our 16 1/2 hour long days mark the peak of vegetative growth for most plants for the season, from here on out the shortening days will initiate flowering, fruiting and reproduction.

For us farmers, June is also an incredibly busy time, days are so long that it is easy to just keep working and suddenly we realize its like 930 pm! We must balance growing Spring crops, weeding, sowing summer crop successions (beans, corn, lettuce etc) , watering, trellising tomatoes and beginning to seed all our fall brassicas (kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower etc), chicories (raddicchio etc) and root crops (carrots, parsnips, storage beets etc) so that we have them in October, November and December. Not to mention our CSA deliveries begin and markets start up so we can sell all this gorgeous food.

We’ve had a few set backs this week. Last Tuesday’s hail storm has cause some damage to crops and you may notice some pock marks on the summer squash and greens. Looking everything over we have decided that the damage is mostly cosmetic and shouldn’t effect the flavor or storageability of the food. So we are sorry that things aren’t 100% up to our quality standards, but again, we felt like it is all still good food and can be utilized.

Also, our big tractor the David Brown 996 ( 1970’s era) needs a rebuilt engine this week! Joseph was able to do a last round of tilling to get some beds ready for transplants before it completely went kaput last night. We are also down our old Ford 8n due to a steering column rebuild. We’re not sure how long they will be out of commission but we will certainly be hoping for the best.

If you would like to join our Wobbly Cart Farm CSA facebook group email me at info@wobblycart.com and I will send you the link.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

Strawberry and Cornmeal Crostatas: Whirl 2 1/4 cups of flour, 2 tbsp medium grind cornmeal, 5 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 3/4 tsp kosher salt in a food processor to blend. Add 1 cup plus 2 1/2 tbsp cold unsalted butter to bowl and freeze 20 minutes. Pulse until butter is a little smaller than pea size. Add 1/4 cup ice water and pulse until evenly distributed; the mixture will look dry. Pour ingredients onto a work surface. Press and squeeze with hands untl dough holds together. Flatten into a 6 in disk , wrap in plastic, and chill in the refrigerator 1 hour. Set out 12 4 in. flan molds or tart pans, preferably nonstick. Butter and flour pans if they are not non stick. Preheat oven to 375. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough a bit bigger than a 12 x 16 in rectangle, lifting and reflouring as needed to prevent sticking. Cut 12 even 4 in squares. Gently set each square onto a flan or tart pan. Set pans on 2 rimmed baking sheets. If needed, chill until dough is cool but still flexible, 5 min. In a medium bowl gently combine 3 pints hulled and halved lengthwise strawberries and 1/2 cup sugar. Let stand until sugar looks wet but before syrup starts to pool, stirring occasionally, 5 min. Scoop 1/3 cup strawberries onto each dough square. Fold dough corners over berries by 1/2 to 1 in. Brush corners with milk and sprinkle lighty with sugar. Bake crostatas until pastry is deep golden brown and crisp, about 35 minutes, switching pans halfway through. Set baking sheets on a rack and let crostatas stand until just cool enough to touch, 10 min. Loosen crusts from pans with a knife. Carefully invert each pastry onto your hand, then set right side up on a plate. Serve warm or cool with whipped cream. ( from July 2016 issue of Sunset)

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

Garlic Scape Pesto: Place 8 10 inch long garlic scapes in a food processor and chop into small peices. Sdd 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup shelled walnuts, zest and juice of one large lemon. Process into a rough paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the blade running, slowly drizzle in 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil. Process unil the oil is thoroughly incorporated and the pesto is fairly smooth, about 30 seconds. Season with seas salt to taste.

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week #18

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10-13-15

Day in Autumn

by Ranier Maria Rilke

After the summer’s yield, Lord, it is time 

to let your shadow lengthen on the sundials 

and in the pastures let the rough winds fly. 

As for the final fruits, coax them to roundness. 

Direct on them two days of warmer light

to hale them golden toward their term, and harry 

the last few drops of sweetness through the wine. 

Whoever’s homeless now, will build no shelter; 

who lives alone will live indefinitely so, 

waking up to read a little, draft long letters, 

and, along the city’s venues, 

fitfully wander, when the wild leaves loosen.

Large shares: Delicata squash, red fingerling potatoes, yellow onions, Korean red garlic, mizuna, rapini, eggplant, watermelon radishes, cherry tomatoes, butterhead lettuce, rosemary

Small shares: Delicata squash, red fingerling potatoes, cabbage, vitamin green, yellow onion, Korean red garlic, sweet pepper, green beans, rosemary

Dear CSA members,

We have, at long last, arrived at our 18th and last delivery for the summer CSA. It has been an amazing journey from the delicate lettuces and strawberries of early summer to the heavy cabbages and winter squash of this last box. It all seems to have gone by so fast, and yet mid June seems so long ago at the same time. We, as a farm crew, are all ready for a bit of respite. But we will also be sad to see the season end, as many of our long time crew members will be moving on to bigger and better after this season.

This, being our 11th season as a small organic farm, in some ways blends together with the many seasons we have behind us. A few things stand out in my mind however.  It was the hottest, driest spring/summer that I can ever remember. In years past, we have always worried that we could get enough warm, sunny dry weather for our heat loving crops to mature. In fact too much water has always been a bit of a problem around here (big floods of 2007 ring a bell?) This year we had the opposite, with crop failures/yield reductions due to the hot dry conditions. Beans dropped blossoms during the hottest part of the summer, tomatoes experienced sunburn, sections of the potato and winter squash didn’t get the water they needed and had a smaller yield or in the case of the potatoes that did get water, grew so fast they developed hollow centers. Overall though, these crops as well as most of the fall greens and root crops experienced a nice comeback once we got that big rainstorm in late August and things cooled down a bit.

Second: we have some serious disease challenges that weren’t around when we started farming in this area 15 years ago. We have experienced an upswing in major diseases such as downy mildew in the onions, leaf rust fungus in the garlic, and clubroot in the brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage etc.). We trialed some new onions varieties with the help of High Mowing Seeds that are possibly disease resistant and are working on solutions for the club root as well as other pests such as flea and cucumber beetles that are continuous challenges for us. One thing that I know will be a positive for us is leasing 5 new acres for next year! Good crop rotation/fallow cycles are of the utmost importance when it comes to pests and diseases, as well as fertility management of our soil.

Third; thanks to you, our CSA had its most sucessful year ever! Our membership increased to the largest yet, and we had a higher percentage of folks pay in full, which really helps out our finances in the early season. We also had a higher percentage of returning members than ever, which is always a great feeling. Despite the challenges of the hot, dry season, and Joseph breaking his ankle, we were still able to deliver 18 weeks of gorgeous produce, with the large share receiving 15% more than they paid for in produce.

We are certainly appreciative of the support you have given us by becoming members of our CSA, and hope that you have been satistifed with your experience and the produce that you have received. We will be continuing on for four more weeks with our fall CSA option if you are interested in joining us and haven’t already done so. The majority of the crops that we produce in the fall can be stored for several weeks if not longer, so it is a great way to stock up on local produce for the winter months.

Wobbly Cart will also continue to be at the Olympia Farmers Market  through October Thursday through Sunday. November and December Saturday and Sundays. We offer 15% off for all our CSA customers at the market stand so come on down and see us this fall and winter!

I also thought I would go over a couple of crops that may be unfamiliar to you:

Mizuna is a Japanese green that has a mild earthy, peppery taste. It is very tender and makes excellent salads and stir-fries. It will keep for 3 to 4 days loosely wrapped in plastic and stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

Delicata Squash: These are, in my humble opinion, the best winter squash there is. Delicata have excellent sweet flavor, tender skins, and a very manageable size that make them easy to transport and process. Kept cool and dry, these squash will keep for several weeks and possibly months. Their flavor will improve over time if you can hold off from eating them tonight!

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

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

Thank you all and we hope to see you in the Fall CSA as well as in the 2016 Summer CSA!

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Delicata squash with rosemary, sage and cider glaze: Peel 2 medium delicata squash, cut lengthwise in half, scoop out the seeds. Cut each half lengthwise again, and then into 1 1/2 inch slices. Melt 3 tbsp butter in a large heavy skillet over low heat, add in 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage, 1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary and cook 3 to 5 minutes, just until the butter begins to brown. Do not brown the herbs. Add the squash to the skillet, then add 1 1 /2 cups fresh apple cider, 1 cup water, 2 tsp sherry vinegar, and 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the glaze is reduced and the squash is tender about 20 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet Pickled Onion Watermelon Radish Salad: Slice 1 small sweet onion into thin rounds, slice 1 large watermelon radish into thin rounds, Add 1/3 cup orange juice, 2 Tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp pepper, 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, and a splash of rice wine vinegar. Toss well. Place in fridge to chill overnight. Serve!

Rapini and garlic: Chop 3 cloves garlic. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet add the garlic and then the bunch of rapini that has the bottom of the stems removed and then been chopped. Turn the greens to wilt them and coat with the oil. Add 1 cup chicken broth, cover the pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve.

Watermelon Radish Chips with Cumin Salt: Peel 4 to 6 Watermelon Radishes and thinly slice. If you have a mandolin, this is ideal for getting the most uniformly thin slices. Heat 2 cups of vegetable oil in a small pot. When hot, toss a handful of radish, making sure you don’t crowd the pot. Fry for about 8 t 10 minutes until really brown. You’ll be tempted to take them out earlier, but you need them to crisp up. They do take longer than potato chips. Continue until done. Season each batch separately and set aside. To make cumin salt – add one tsp salt and ½ tsp cumin and mix in a small bowl, season the radish chip with this. Makes a great appetizer. (From janespice.com.)

Delicata Squash Rings: Preheat oven to 375. Take a whole delicata squash and slice it across sideways. This will make ring shapes out of it. Scoop the seeds out of the middles of your squash rings. Lightly oil a large cast iron skillet with olive oil. Lay the rings out in a single layer across the skillet. Place in the hot oven. Bake for about 10 minutes. Then flip the rings with a spatula. Bake the other side until both sides are lightly browned and the squash is tender. Remove from oven and serve.

Mustard Greens turnovers (could use rapini, vitamin green, or mizuna here): prehat oven to 400. place 1 lb mustard greens (stems removed) in a colander, rinse with cool water, and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped onion and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add 1 garlic clove, minced, and cook 1 minute more, add the chopped greens and cook unitl they wilt and are tender, about 5 minutes. transfer the green back to the colander and press to extract any extra liquid. place them in a large mixing bowl and stir in 5 oil-cured black olives that have been chopped, 8 slow-roasted tomato halves that have been finely chopped, and 1/4 cup feta cheese. You should have about 1 1/2 cups filling.

Unfold 2 sheets frozen puff pastry that has been defrosted onto a lighty floured surface. depending on pastry size, cut each sheet into four 4 inch squares. Divide the filling amongst 8 pastry squares, leaving a 1 inch border. Fold each square into a triangle, enclosing the filling, and seal the pastry by firmly pressing fork tines along the open edges. Use a sharp knife to make 2 1/2 inch long vents in the top of each turnover. Place the turnovers on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and brush their tops with beaten egg. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

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 #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.