Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 3

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7-11-17

Large shares: carrots, lettuce, snow peas, scallions, broccoli, mustard greens, Italian parsley, summer squash, radishes, French lavender  

Small shares: lettuce, cabbage, beets, Italian parsley, summer squash, shell peas, French lavender  

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. Join the Facebook group and share recipes and ideas! The idea here is for you all to share and inspire each other with how to best use your csa share. https://www.facebook.com/groups/558968384285129/

3. 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.

4. 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. 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.

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

6. 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.

Feel free to add to this list via email or on the facebook group if you have come up with other tips and solutions that work to your lifestyle.

With that, here are a few bits of information on new items this week:

French lavender: Both shares will receive a bunch of French lavender this week. You can keep the lavender as a flower arrangement, dry the blossoms 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!

Shell peas: For those who don’t know the shell peas are the large, long, thick pods. You break these open to reveal the tiny little peas inside. Shell them out with your thumb into a bowl. 1 lb will get you about 1 cup of fresh peas. They are excellent just lightly steamed with a sea salt and butter. Overcooking may turn them to mush!

Snow peas are also known as Chinese pea pods since they are often used in stir-fries. They are flat with very small peas inside; the whole pod is edible, although the tough “strings” along the edges are usually removed before eating. Snow peas are mildly flavored and can be served raw or cooked.

 Italian parsley (which is also known as flat parsley or flat-leaf parsley) has dark flat leaves and slender stems, with a bright and slightly bitter flavor. Amazingly, the stems have more flavor and aroma than the leaves! Parsley stems are one of the traditional ingredients in the bouquet garni and sachet d’epices, which are used for flavoring stocks, soups and sauces. Parsley is also very nutritious and is very high in, iron, calcium, folate, and vitamin K, C and A.

Mustard greens are delicate and peppery, but less bitter than kale and collards. You can use them sauteed, in fried rice, in soups , and as a minor addition to salads. See recipe below.

Have a great week,   Asha

 

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)

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.

Mustard Greens: In a large saute pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil and saute 1 1/2 cusp thinnly sliced onions, over medium heat until the onions start to caramelize and brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add 2 cloves minced fresh garlic and coook a minute more. Add in 1 lb mustard greens that have been washed and torn into large peices, and 2 to 3 tbsp chicken broth and cook until the greens are barely wilted. Toss with 1/4 tsp sesame oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Zuchinni Oven Chips: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp finely chopped green garlic, 1/8 tsp black pepper and mox together in a bowl. Place 1 cup milk in a shallow bowl. Slice 2 summer squash into 1/4 inch thick slices. Drip slices into milk and then coat with the crumb mixture. Place on an oiled baking rack that is set over a baking sheet. Bake for 30 min or unitl browned and crisp.

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. (daikon would work great). (from the November 2011 issue of SunsetMagazine).

Lavender and Honey Roasted Chicken: In a non-reactive bowl combine; 1 tbsp fresh thyme, 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, 1 tsp fresh lavender, ½ cup honey, 1 ½ tsp fresh marjoram, 1 minced garlic clove. 1 minced shallot, ¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar and stir thoroughly. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Season a whole roasting chicken with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Baste the chicken with the lavender honey mixture every 5 minutes or so for an additional 30 minutes or until completely cooked. The bird is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees. Do not overcook. Once finished you can brush additional marinade over the flesh and skin. (from food.com)

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)

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.

Quick sesame snow peas: Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a large skillet. Add in ½ lb snow peas that have been washed, stringed and patted dry and cook stirring and tossing for 1 ½ minutes until the snow peas are just barely cooked but warmed through. Remove from heat and toss the peas with 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice. Cover and let rest for several minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste and toasted sesame seeds.

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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 #6

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7-21-15

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #6

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Dear CSA members,

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm Fall CSA box #3

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Wobbly Cart Farm Fall CSA box #3

11-4-14

Large shares: Delicata squash, sunchokes, cabbage, rapini, carrots, red potato, daikon radish, yellow cipollini onion, rosemary

Small shares: Delicata squash, sunchokes, rapini, cabbage, carrots, purple potatoes, yellow cipollini, rosemary

 

Dear CSA members,

As our days darken and the year draws to a close, we at Wobbly Cart are finally feeling a reduction in the work load. Our Chehalis market is over for the year and our Olympia Farmers Market is down to just two days a week. After next week ( the last fall CSA box) we can really sit back and breathe a sigh of relief and satisfaction of another farm season almost done. We can celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday with a true sense of thanksgiving for the foods we have worked so hard to produce. There is nothing like sitting down to a meal of fresh, in season, and local produce. The taste and satisfaction just cannot be compared to commercially prepared, boxed, canned etc meals. We in our region are lucky to have access to locally and naturally raised meats, a huge array of fruits and vegetables (including cranberries) and more when it comes to planning our holiday celebrations. I love the relevancy of thanksgiving to those of us who care about local sustainable eating.

The fields are becoming so muddy and wet with the heavy rains of fall it really slows down harvest and access with tractors and vehicles. We are luck that the workload slows down along with the access issues and reduction in crew members! We get really used to sliding around in mud and carrying the weight of heavy raingear and mud laden boots. One benefit of the cool season and influx of rainwater is many of the root crops, carrots to name just one, become extra sweet and attain giant sizes. These crops are really at their best at this time of year. The same can be said for cabbages and kale as most insect pests are gone and flavor and crunch are at their peak.

I hope you enjoy this week’s box. Here is a rundown of a few of our crops this week:

Sunchokes aka. Jerusalem Artichokes: Sunchokes look like small, knobbly potatoes but crunchier, sweeter and do have a slight taste of artichoke. They practically contain no starch, but plenty of inulin (not insulin), which becomes fructose when spuds are stored in the ground or refrigerated. The humble sunchoke is considered gourmet fare by many. Raw, it’s an excellent substitute for water chestnuts in hot and spicy stir fries, or cooked in cream soups, broiled with sweet potatoes, or simply scrubbed and baked. Store them in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper.

Rapini is essentially the Italian equivalent to turnip greens. I read this article last night and thought is was quite a fitting summary as well as a nice recipe. Rapini will keep, wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for about a week.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zester-daily/rapini_b_4072299.html

Delicata is the queen of the winter squash in my opinion. They are a nice size, easy to cut and clean, have a thin, edible skin and excellent flavor. Delicata is excellent roasted, caramelized, made into soups or baked into a pie! Most people think they are even sweeter and creamier than butternut squash. This squash will also keep for a several weeks in a cool dry place or just out on the countertop to be admired.

Cipollini Onion: Another new addition to the boxes is the famous Cipollini onion. These round, flat, golden colored onions originate in Italian cuisine and are intense flavored but not as pungent as large storage onions. They are delicious roasted whole, caramelized, or used in kabobs and become very sweet when cooked.

 Purple potatoes: these beautiful tubers originate from heirloom varieties that have been cultivated for thousands of years in the Andes mountains of South America. Purple potatoes are beautiful in color and very high in an anti-oxidant called anthocyanin that is a known cancer fighting substance. Their flavor is slightly mealy and dry compared to a yellow finn or a fingerling but they are nonetheless excellent roasted, fried or used in soups and stews.

Daikon Radish: This long white carrot shaped radish is also a favorite in Japanese cuisine, though it is believed to have originated in continental Asia. It is used throughout China and India as well. The flavor is milder than many radishes, and makes an excellent quick pickle to garnish other dishes. It can also be cooked in stir fries and soups, grilled, or cut up as a vehicle for dip. Daikon is low in calories but high in fiber and vitamin C.

Thank you and have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

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.

Rosemary Potatoes with Cipollini Onions: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice 3 lbs potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Skin 2 cups worth of Cipollini 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.

Fried sunchoke chips with rosemary salt: fill a large bowl with cold water. Slice 2 lb of scrubbed sunchokes into thin rounds about 1/16th inch thick, immediately dropping them into the cold water to prevent browning. Rinse and drain 3 times, pat very dry with paper towels. In a large heavy skillet heat 1 inch of cooking oil to 375 degrees, and monitor with a thermometer. Mix 1 tbsp salt with 1 ½ tsp fresh rubbed rosemary leaves and set aside. Fry the sunchoke slices in small batches until golden brown and crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Using a skimmer remove the finished chips to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle chips with the rosemary salt and serve.

 Rapini and garlic: wash and chop 2 bunches of rapini, discarding the stems. Mince 4 cloves of garlic. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy skillet and sauté garlic until it sizzles. Add in the rapini and toss to coat with oil and allow the greens to wilt. Add in ½ cup chicken broth, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 10 to 12 minutes to reduce the bitterness of the greens.

 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. (daikon would work great). (from the November 2011 issue of Sunset Magazine).

Sunchoke and Sausage Soup: Dice 4 slices turkey bacon. Place the turkey bacon, 16 oz sausage, 1 lb sunchokes, washed, peeled, halved and cut into ½ inch slices, 6 yellow finn potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks, 3 stalks celery, diced, ½ large onion, diced, 1 leek white and light green parts only, chopped, 3 cups chopped fresh greens (rapini!) or spinach, and 2 cloves minced garlic into a large saucepan. Pour in 1 quart chicken stock and season with ½ cup chopped fresh parsely, 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, 1 pinch cayenne pepper, 1 pinch ground paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir ¼ cup flour into 1 cup water until no lumps remain. Stir into the simmering soup, and continue simmering, covered, 30 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. (adapted from a recipe found on allrecipes.com)