Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 7

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7-24-18

Large shares: lettuce, chard, arugula, walla walla onions, cauliflower, eggplant, summer squash, cucumbers, basil

Small shares: chard, purplette onions, carrots, cauliflower, summer squash, cucumber, basil, garlic

Greens shares: 2 heads lettuce, lacinato kale, arugula

Roots shares: red carrots, gold beets, red beets, walla walla onions

Juicing shares: carrots 2nds, beet 2nds, green cabbage, lacinato kale, cilantro

 

Dear CSA members,

The week has really flown by as I find myself back at the computer writing this week’s letter. Our summer harvests are getting to be in full swing and the back room of the cooler is filling up with seemingly endless mountains of summer squash,cucumbers, basil, and the beginnings of the tomato harvests.

The last of the years plantings are pretty much behind us now. We have transplanted thousands of brassica seedlings ( brocoli, cabbage, cauliflower and more) that will be harvested in the late fall and early winter. We have also seeded the last of the carrots, beets, and beans and most of the winter root crops such as turnips, rutabagas, and winter radishes.

Soon we will be also transplanting the last of the lettuces, raddichios, and kale to wrap up the transplants within the next week or so.

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

Green beans: our first harvest of green beans was quite plentiful and so small shares will get 3/4 lb and large a full lb this week. The first pickings of the planting are always has the best, most tender beans. I hope you enjoy!

Some of the small share carrot bunches contained red carrots. Orange carrots are actually a relatively new breeding development in the history of the cultivation of carrots. Orange carrots were apparently developed in Holland in the 17thcentury, while carrots in general have been cultivated since around 900 and probably originated in the Middle East. Originally carrots were probably yellow, purple and red like these carrots. Red carrots are higher in vitamins and lycopene than orange carrots, are slightly less sweet and have stronger flavor than what we know as regular carrots. They are excellent roasted and cooked into stews as they are more robust and hold up very well to cooking.

Large shares received Arugula this week. Arugula is an aromatic salad green often found in Italian cuisine. It has a peppery and nutty flavor and is quite delicate, use it up as soon as possible!

Large shares also received Eggplant In Italian it is known as “Melanzana”, which originates from it’s Latin name which translates to “Apple of Madness”. Whoa! This terminology is believed to have originated with the poisonous nature of some members of the nightshade family – which also includes tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. I assure you none of what is in your box is poisonous however! Eggplant and and like have been eaten around the world for hundreds if not thousands of years. Believed to have first been cultivated and eaten in India or China, with written accounts of it dating to the 5th century,  Eggplant didn’t make it to Europe until the 1500’s and wasn’t recognized as an edible food until the 1600’s. I love learning about the histories of our different foods.

Store Eggplant at room temperature and use up as soon as possible. Salting and then draining the cubed, sliced or halved fruit will help it to absorb less oil in cooking. According to the Joy of Cooking Eggplant goes well with lamb, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers, cheese, cream sauces, oregano, marjoram, soy sauce and garlic.

Fresh basil: I recommend using the basil up asap and avoid putting it in the refrigerator as it has a tendency to turn black with the cold.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

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

 

Creamy Cauliflower Soup: In a soup pot saute in olive oil for 5 minutes: 1 chopped Walla Walla onion, 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 large head cauliflower that has been broken into florets, 3 to 4 medium potatoes, cubed, 3 chopped carrots, 1 tsp caraway seeds. Simmer the veggies in just enough water to cover them, and cook until soft.  Puree the mixture until smooth. Return to the soup pot and add 1 cup milk, 2 cups grated sharp cheddar, salt to taste, and several tbsp chopped fresh dill. simmer very gently for 5 to 10 min more. Serve with toasted sourdough rye. (adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook)

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.

 

Green (or Romano) Beans on the Grill: put 1 lb of green beans on a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to fold and seal. You may need to fold two sheets together. (you can also use one sheet of foil to set the pouch on. This way if any liquid seeps out or it pulls apart it dosen’t leave a mess.) drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over the beans. Add 2 – 3 minced garlic cloves and 1 tsp crushed red pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Toss beans with tongs until well coated. Add 1 to 2 tbsp water and fold aluminum foil together at the top and pinch the sides closed. Cook the green bean pouch on the grill until the beans are tender. (food.com)

Roasted Cauliflower: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Break 1 2 lb head of cauliflower into bite sized peices. Toss the cauliflower with 1/4 cup olive oil, 5 chopped cloves of garlic, and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 2 tsp kosher salt and 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves and toss again. Roast until golden and tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Ratatouille Provencal: Heat in a large skillet or Dutch oven over high heat; ¼ cup olive oil. Add and cook, stirring, until golden and just tender, 10 to 12 minutes: 1 medium Eggplant, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks, and 1 lb zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks. Remove the vegetables to a plate and reduce the heat to medium high. Add and cook, stirring, until the onions are slightly softened: 2 tbsp olive oil and 1-½ cups sliced onions. Add a cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender but not browned, 8 to 12 minutes: 2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch chunks, 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Add: 1 ½ cups peeled, seeded, chopped fresh tomatoes, or one 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained. 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme, and 1 bay leaf. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and zucchini and cook until everything is tender, about 20 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Stir in ¼ cup chopped fresh basil and chopped pitted black olives if desired. From the Joy of Cooking.

Arugula, Onion and Citrus Salad: wash and trim a large bunch of arugula. In a medium bowl drizzle the arugula with ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, gently toss to coat. Divide the salad among 4 salad plates and top with the divided segments to 2 oranges or grapefruits and thinly sliced red onion to taste. Season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of additional olive oil.

Arugula Pesto: in a food processor combine, ½ cup walnuts, 1 large garlic clove, 2 cups packed arugula leaves, ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1 cup olive oil and kosher salt to taste. Puree until smooth. You can also cut back the arugula and substitute in some basil leaves. From epicurious.com

 

Cucumbers Wedges with Chile and Lime: Wash 2 8 to 10 inch cucumbers and slice off the ends. Halve each crosswise and then slice each half lengthwise to make wedges. Place cucumbers in a large bowl. Halve a lime and discard any seeds. Squeeze lime juice over the cucumber wedges and toss gently to coat, dust with salt and a spicy flavorful chile powder such as Chimayo. Serve immediately.

 

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

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

 

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

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

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 9

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8-9-16

Large shares: Italian plums, lemon cucumbers, snap peas, shell peas, red potatoes, Walla Walla onion, red onion, Italian parsley, gold beets, carrots, cabbage

Small shares: Italian plums, cucumber, new potatoes, red onion, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, Italian parsley, jalapeno pepper, summer squash

Dear CSA members,

Brr! It feels like September around the farm. The weather has been quite cloudy and cool. We have even had a significant ammount of rainfall for August! This is a little bit more normal as I’ve said before, but is actually starting to feel quite a bit cooler than normal.We are all quite amazed at the contrast from the previous two hot and dry summers. All our hot weather loving crops (tomatoes, peppers, melons, eggplant and sweet corn) that we have been so spoiled with in the last couple of years are certainly feeling the lack of sun and cold nights of late. All the plants are loaded with fruit, but it is taking a long time to ripen it! I think this is what the old timers around here would call a “cabbage year” – because cabbage loves cool steady temperatures!

The forecast looks pretty good with warm temps and sun ahead so hopefully we have plenty of time to ripen up those heat loving crops. This time of year there is so much to do around the farm, the harvests are heavy, the weeds are ever growing, the irrigation must be kept flowing day and night… We also feel the pressure of time, time enough to complete all that must be done as well as the count down to the first frosts of the season ( which around here has been known to happen as early as Septemper 15th) and when the summer crops begin to shut down with with shortening days. We will keep up our end of the bargain, never know what nature is going to do!

This week we have Italian plums from the uber abundant plum tree that resides near our barn. Each year this tree produces enormous crops of these delicious plums and we get to share them with you! Italian plums are dark purple plums with a slight powdery blush to them. Their flavor is slightly sweet and sour and is excellent for fresh eating, baking, drying and canning. We tried to harvest a range of ripenesses so you wouldn’t have to immediately use them up. They do ripen off the tree so you may have a couple of days on the lighter colored plums. We also have lemon cucumbers for the large share. These yellow round cucumbers are an heirloom variety with a thin yellow skin and a mild flavor (they do not actually taste like lemon though!). Store and use them as you would a regular cucumber.

Large shares received gold beets. These are just like red beets but have a milder and sweeter flavor. They have an earthy nuttiness to them somewhat like a walnut and sweetness reminiscent of apples or apricots. The color is a phenomenal gold. The greens on these looked really nice and would be great to cook with as well.

Large shares also recieved snap peas – these can be eaten whole with out having to shell out the peas and make a great snack or addition to salads.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

Shaved Summer Squash with Pecorino Romano: In a large bowl whisk together 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt. Using a vegetable peeler or a mandoline, shave a large summer squash into paper thin ribbons, about 1/16 of an inch thick, to yield 3 to 4 cups. Toss the squash ribbons with the dressing and marinate at room temperature for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, shave 2 ounces of Pecorino Romano into thin strips with a vegetable peeler to yield ¾ of a cup. Add to the squash and toss gently. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more lemon juice if desired. Garnish with thinly sliced basil and freshly ground black pepper.

Tabbouleh: Place ½ cup bulgur in a large bowl. Pour in 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice over the bulgur. Set aside for 10 minutes. Combine 3 medium tomatoes, cubed, 1 ½ cups finely chopped Italian parsley, 6 to 8 mint leaves, finely chopped, 2 scallions finely chopped, ½ tsp sea salt, ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, ¼ cup cold water. Set aside for 2 hours or until the bulgur has softened to your preference. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt, pepper, lemon juice, or olive oil as desired. Serve at room temperature. Keeps refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.

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.

Cucumbers Wedges with Chile and Lime: Wash 2 8 to 10 inch cucumbers and slice off the ends. Halve each crosswise and then slice each half lengthwise to make wedges. Place cucumbers in a large bowl. Halve a lime and discard any seeds. Squeeze lime juice over the cucumber wedges and toss gently to coat, dust with salt and a spicy flavorful chile powder such as Chimayo. Serve immediately.

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

Fleur’s Summer Plum Cake: Preheat the oven to 350. Blend 2 eggs, ½ cup sugar, ½ tsp salt, ¼ lb sweet butter, softened, 1 tsp vanilla in a medium sized bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add 1 cup flour and 1 tsp baking powder and stir by hand until just combined. Transfer the batter to a greased square baking pan. Place 20 plums that have been split in half and pitted into the batter on their sides, sleeping close together in rows (our plums are kind of big, so I would recommend slicing into smaller pieces). Combine ¼ cup sugar and ½ to 1 tbsp cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the batter and plums. Bake for 40 minutes. Do not over bake. Serve warm with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream.

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #16

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #16

9/30/14

Large share: mixed red and gold beets, yellow finn potato, Czech black hot pepper, shallots, arugula, green cabbage, spaghetti squash, 1 pint cherry tomato, green leaf lettuce, garlic, rosemary

 Small share: mixed red and gold beets, fingerling potato, Czech black hot pepper, shallot, green beans, eggplant, spaghetti squash, garlic, rosemary

 

Dear CSA members,

Here we are at week 16. It’s amazing how the week’s fly by and suddenly the summer CSA is drawing to a close. I suppose it is the life of a vegetable farmer to have the summer blow by in a whirlwind of bountiful produce. It’s like go go go until the summer crops give out. Our fields are looking just like that after last week’s cold rains virtually shut down the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil and what is left of the pickling cucumbers. The high tunnel is still holding out with an abundance of red and cherry tomatoes as well as beautiful peppers and eggplant.

This week you will receive a bit of what is left of summery vegetables, as well as our first taste of winter squash and shallots. The eggplants are from the last of the field planting and do have some relatively minor blemishes. We were careful to limit it to those with only cosmetic flaws, and wanted to be sure the small share got eggplant one more time before the summer CSA is over.

Spaghetti Squash: this large yellow football shaped squash is an excellent grain free substitute for pasta. It is very low in calories and high in fiber and nutrients. Halve it and bake or steam it until tender. Then use a fork to tease out the long strands of flesh that can be used just like pasta. The squash itself will keep for many weeks if kept cool and dry.

Shallots: Shallots are like onions and garlic, but their flavor is richer, sweeter, and more potent. They add great depth of flavor to sauces, soups, sautes and stews. Shallots can be used interchangeably with onions in a quantity about half that of onion.

Rosemary: This fragrant evergreen herb is used for seasoning a wide variety of dishes, particularly those of Mediterranean or Italian origin. Rosemary is excellent for seasoning stuffings, sauces, and compliments roast meats such as chicken and lamb. for cooking you will want to remove the leaves from the woody stems before chopping. If not used right away you can allow your rosemary to dry and use it for seasoning later by just leaving it out in a dry place.

Czech black pepper: this pepper is an heirloom from Czechoslovakia. it is very similar to a jalapeño in heat, but quite a bit sweeter. store in the fridge until ready to use.

I hope you enjoy this week’s box. Also, as we are winding down the summer share please remember to send in final payments and also to return any and all CSA totes to the drop sites.

 

Thank you,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

 Blueberry, Beet, and Basil Summer Salad: cook about 4 cups halved gold and red beets in lightly salted boiling water 15 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool. Remove skins, cut into wedges. Finely shred the peel of one lemon; juice lemon. Set aside. In a large bowl combine the beets, 1 cup fresh blueberries, 1 cup arugula, 2 cups fresh basil leaves, 1 medium fennel bulb (trimmed, cored, and cut into wedges), 1 medium red onion sliced, and reserved lemon juice. For dressing: in a small bowl stir together 1 6oz carton plain greek yogurt, lemon peel, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, and 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper. Whisk in 1 tbsp olive oil. Serve dressing with the salad. Makes 6 servings.

 

Arugula Walnut Pesto: place in a food processor 3 to 4 cups fresh arugula, ½ cup walnuts, toasted, 1 clove garlic, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, ½ cu olive oil. Process until smooth. Season to taste with kosher salt.

 

Caramelized Shallots: Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium low. Thinly slice 6 to 8 oz of shallots and saute them in the oil for about 2 min. add 1 tsp salt and saute for 5 min more, or until soft. Reduce heat if necessary to prevent them from browning too quickly. Add 1 tsp sherry or apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp sherry or white wine, 2 tsp brown sugar, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, and freshly ground pepper to taste. Sautee for another 20 min, stirring occasionally. Add water as needed to prevent sticking and burning, about a tsp at a time. Remove sprigs of thyme before serving.

 

French Shallot Soup: Prepare 2 batches caramelized shallots and/or onions (see above). Melt 2 tsp unsalted butter over med-low heat in a deep pan or dutch oven. Add the caramelized shallots and stir to warm through. Add 1-quart beef stock, at room temperature and 1 cup red or white wine. Simmer at least 20 minutes and up to 40 minutes. Near the end of cooking preheat the oven broiler. Divide the soup into 4 oven-proof bowls, and stir in 1 to 2 tsp cognac into each bowl. Gently float a thick slice of day old baguette in each and top with 4 oz slices of Gruyere cheese. Broil until golden and bubbly about 3 to 5 minutes.

 

Rosemary Roasted Potaoes: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Quarter 1 ½ lbs potatoes and place in a bowl with 1/8 cup olive oil, 3 cloves minced garlic, ¾ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper, and 2 tbsp minced fresh rosemary. Mix to coat the potatoes. Dump into a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for at least one hour, or until browned and crisp. Flip twice with a spatula to promote even browning. Remove from oven and serve.

 

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Shallots, Parmesan and Herbs: halve a med/large spaghetti squash and scoop out the seeds. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place squash halves face down on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until the squash flesh is tender. In a large sauce pan melt 1 ½ tbsp butter over medium heat. Add 2 diced shallots and 2 diced garlic cloves. Cook until softened. Stir in 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, and ¾ tsp chopped fresh rosemary and cook until fragrant about 1 minute. Add in 6 cups spaghetti squash that has been scooped from the rind and toss to combine. Cook until warmed through. Stir in ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian Parsley and 2 tbsp grated parmesan and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 6.