Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 11
Large share: beets, fennel, carrots, Yellow Finn potatoes, Yellow onions, green beans, Italian parsley, Purple Bell pepper, Shishito peppers, cherry tomatoes, Heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, arugula
Small shares: beets, fennel, Yellow Finn potatoes, Purple bell pepper, Italian parsley, Heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, eggplant, arugula
Greens shares: Arugula, mustard greens, red Russian kale
Roots shares: carrots, gold beets, shallots
Juicing shares: carrots, beets, green cabbage, Italian parsley, tomato seconds
Dear CSA members,
September is here and we have had some productive time on the farm. Our entire onion crop has been harvested and spread out to cure in the barn, tomatoes are finally ramping up production, we purchased our garlic seed for next years crop and we are finally done with seeding and transplanting for the season.
Now that we have plenty of tomatoes I thought I would go over some of the varieties that we grow as well as a bit about their characteristics. Many of these varieties are among the originals that we chose when starting Wobbly Cart Farm and a few are new to us in recent years.
Cherokee Purple: Dates to 1890 or before. Dusky purple pink in color. Superb sweet smoky flavor.
Persimmon: Dates to 1781 or before. Supposedly grown by Thomas Jefferson. Bright orange gold large in size. Creamy low acid flavor, few seeds.
Aunt Ruby’s German Green: Large beefsteak size with excellent citrus, melon and old fashioned tomato flavor.
Green Zebra: small but beautiful chartreuse with lime green stripes. Very rich flavor, sweet with an acid bite.
Cosmonaut Volkov: Originally from the Ukraine this large red tomato is sweet, tangy, balanced and complex in flavor. Often has green shoulders.
Pork Chop: True yellow tomato with light green stripes that ripen to gold. Citrusy flavor.
Japanese Black Trifele: smaller pear shaped fruit, dark chocolatey brown to brick red when ripe. Almost never cracks. Flavor is rich and chocolately
Prudens Purple: Pruden’s is early for its size and makes a great sandwich tomato. Irregular pink 1 lb fruit with very few seeds, a silken texture and rich tomato taste, nicely tart with a balanced undertone of sweetness neither insipid nor cloying.
There are literally thousands of tomato varieties from around the word. Tomatoes are actually native to South and Central America. In Mesoamerica, the fruit was used in cooking and by 500 BC being cultivated in Mexico. In the early 1500’s, Spanish conquistadors starting exporting tomatoes, beginning the global exploration of the tomato as food.
The Latin name for tomato is Solanum lycopersicum. Interestingly, the scientific epithet lycopersicum means “wolf peach”. The German werewolf legends said that deadly nightshades were used by witches and sorcerers in potions to transform into werewolves, so the tomato’s similar, but much larger, fruit was called the “wolf peach” when it arrived in Europe, which may be one of the reasons why tomatoes were used only ornamentally in Europe until the 1700’s.
Heirloom refers to the seeds being true bred and open pollinated. Traditionally, it refers to seeds that get handed down from generation to generation. These seeds saved from these fruit will produce fruit alike to their parent’s plant year after year. In contrast, Hybrid seeds which are more commonly used today are seeds that are cross pollinated to create characteristics best representative of two different parent plants. The seeds from these fruit cannot be used to grow plants that will express the same characteristics year after year. Whereas with an open pollinated or heirloom variety you can save the seeds and expect it to grow out like its parent.
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin A, C, B2, folate, chromium, potassium and are high in fiber. The vitamins act as anti-oxidants and the minerals help our bodies function well. Tomatoes have a variety of carotenoids which are thought to help chronic disease prevention. Lycopene is more readily absorbed by cooking the tomatoes! Store your tomatoes out on the counter for several days. Some more firm tomatoes may benefit from a bit of ripening time.
If you are interested in getting some boxes of #2 heirloom tomatoes, we have them priced at $20 lb for $20. We can deliver them with your CSA share or you can pick up at the farm. It’s a great deal if you are into making sauce or salsa. You can order on our webstore. http://wobblycart.smallfarmcentral.com/store/wobbly-cart-farm
Have a great week and enjoy,
Heirloom Tomato Salad
Cut 3 lbs of tomatoes into large chunks, a variety of colors will make for a pretty salad.
Add coarse sea salt to taste.
Stir in 1 Tbsp of good olive oil.
It’s ready to eat or let marinate in its juices for awhile and it will be even better.
Cream of Roasted Tomato Soup
4 lbs Heirloom Tomatoes or Roma Tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 c olive oil
1 sprig rosemary
6 tbsp heavy cream
- Black Pepper, coarsely ground 4 sliced of rustic bread toasted with olive oil for serving Heat the oven to 375 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lay the tomatoes cut-side up. Add the garlic cloves (with skins on). Sprinkle with olive oil and season with salt. Roast until the tomatoes are soft and caramelized, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool. Add the ¼ cup olive oil, the rosemary and thyme to a small saucepan and place over low heat. Let warm until you begin smelling the herbs, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Peel the tomatoes and add the pulp and juices to a soup pan. Squeeze the garlic from its skin and add it to the pan. Place the pan over medium heat, and begin mashing the tomatoes with a potato masher until it’s pulpy, but not chunky (if you prefer to use a food processor, go ahead – just make sure you leave it pulpy). When the mixture is hot but not boiling, stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt. Add a pinch of sugar, if needed. Ladle into bowls and season with pepper. Sprinkle a little herb oil on top of the soup. Pass the toasts at the table.
Roasted Tomato Jam
makes about 3 cups
2 cups sugar
3 lbs tomatoes, sliced thinly 1/4″
large pinch of salt
grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
2 cayenne peppers or chiles
- Pour 1/3 of the sugar over the base of a 12-inch braising pan or other baking dish. Layer half the tomatoes, overlapping the slices, in the pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar, and top with the lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, and chiles. Top with the remaining tomatoes, followed by the rest of the sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the pan, uncovered in the oven and let cook for 1 hour. The tomato juices should simmer actively. Check every 20 minutes, spooning the juices over the top tomatoes, and removing the chiles if they char.
- Continue roasting and checking every 20 minutes — the tomato juices should begin to gel at 2 hours, but it could happen a little sooner or later. Test the juices by spooning a little onto a plate, letting it cool, and running your finger though it. If it holds the line, the jam is ready. Remove the jam from the oven and let cool. I eat this jam fresh so I put it into jars and keep it in the fridge.
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
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.
Eggplant and Zucchini Fries with Roasted Tomato Dip: Heat oven to 375. Toss 1 cup chopped heirloom tomato in 1 tsp olive oil and roast on a sheet pan for 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree with 1 cup greek yogurt, 2 tsp cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and chill. Place 5 large egg whites in a bowl and beat, then place in a separate bowl and mix 2 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs and and additional 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Cut 1 medium yellow squash, 1 medium zuchinni, and 1 small eggplant into 1/2 inch fries. Dip in egg whites, roll in bread crumbs, and place on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve with Roasted Tomato Dip.
Roasted Golden 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)
Fall Salad with Apple Dressing: prepare the dressing: combine 2 small apples, peeled and chopped, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup good cider vinegar, and ½ cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until apples are translucent, 25 minutes. Puree in a blender, slowly adding 1 ½ tbsp St-Germain elderflower liqueur. Adjust with more vinegar or liqueur to taste. Chill. For the salad: toss 4 cups loosely packed fall greens (arugula, escarole, kale, frisee, lettuce) with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and ½ tsp kosher salt. Spoon dressing onto plates, divide salad among plates and top with 1 large apple that has been cut into thin wedges, 6 tbsp shelled pecans and 1 ½ oz shaved Pecorino cheese (divide amongst the plates). Serves 8
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.
Eggplant Caponata: peel and cut into cubes 1 medium (1 lb) eggplant. Sprinkle generously with salt, place in a colander, and let stand for 30 to 60 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped celery and cook, stirring often, until softened, about four minutes. Add 1 medium onion, finely chopped, 1 garlic clove, minced, and cook, stirring often until onion is soft and lightly colored, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables to a bowl; add to the skillet 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the eggplant cubes and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the celery mixture, along with 1 ½ cups canned plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped, 12 green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped, 1 ½ tsp drained capers, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp minced fresh oregano or ¼ tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp salt, and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings with additional salt, pepper, and or vinegar if needed. Remove to a serving bowl, let cool and garnish with 2 tbsp minced parsley.