Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 20

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11-7-17

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 20

 

Large share: Black Futsu winter squash, January King cabbage, arugula, Italian parsley or cilantro, red cipollini onions, red carrots, purple potatoes, turnips

 

Small share: Black Futsu winter squash, January King cabbage, arugula, Italian parsley, red carrots, purple potatoes, turnips

 

Greens share: red Russian kale, rapini, chard

 

Roots share: beets, purple daikon, red cipollini onion

 

Jucing share: Beet seconds, red carrot seconds, red Russian kale, Italian parsley, cilantro, celariac

 

 

Dear CSA members,

 

I’m finding it hard to believe that we are already in November! Where exactly did the last couple of months go? The rhythm of our farming year propels us rapidly into the winter season and the last couple of boxes of the CSA. We are going extra late this year with the late start to the season this spring. But, before we know it it will be holiday time and we the farmers will get a bit of a much needed break!

 

Last week we saw some pretty chilly temperatures and even a bit of snow! Those of us that remain on the crew at this point in the year have had to work extra hard to get everything done this week and deserve extra props for doing it during a very cold and wet week. The days are pretty short now and we have to start later and work fast to get our days work done before we lose the light. Challenging to say the least.

 

As I have mentioned before most of what we do during the later part of the season is harvest and wash enormous amounts of root vegetables. We dig, grade and sort thousands of pounds each week. I really enjoy taking crates of mud-covered roots and running them through our root washing machine and seeing how beautiful they come out on the other side. It is quite a transformation.

 

I also love how hearty all the winter crops, even the cabbages, herbs and greens are to withstand freezing temperatures, driving rain and wind and come out looking so beautiful by the time they make it to the pack shed and into your CSA shares. All tese crops ( aside from arugula which is quite delicate and tender) will keep exceptionally well for you either in the pantry (squashes and onions) or in the crisper drawer (everything else) should you need to delay eating any of them.

I think it is extra important to eat local nutrient dense foods and lots of greens to stay healthy during the winter months. Not only are they extremely rich in nutrients and antioxidants its almost as if they impart some of their inherent hardiness to us.

 

Storage of hearty crops reminds me that next week we will be delivering the storage shares to those that have ordered them. Look for two waxed cardboard boxes each storage share labeled with your name at your drop sites next week. Each storage share will be about 50lbs worth of crops divided into 2 25lb boxes so be ready for that!

 

New crops this week,

 

Black Futsu winter squash: This amazing squash, also known as Japanese black pumpkin, is a rare Japanese heirloom variety. Unusual deeply ribbed and warty surface with a powdery blue/orange rind color. This squash starts out a deep green almost black color and then gradually matures to the powdery blue/orange color. Flavor has compared to chestnuts or hazelnuts. Stores well, edible & highly ornamental. These squash are amazing keepers and will keep up to 8 months. The flavor will continue to improve over the next several weeks.

 

January King cabbage: This variety, developed in northern Europe, is one of the most winter hardy of all cabbages. It is a semi-savoy type with a slightly flattened head that is blushed with purple. January King cabbages are known for their excellent flavor and crisp texture.

 

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.

 

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)

 

Braised Turnips: Cook in boiling water, uncovered, over high heat for about 6 minutes: 1 ½ lbs turnips. Peeled, left whole if small, quartered if large. Drain. Melt in a large, heavy skillet over high heat 3 tbsp butter. Add the turnips and cook, stirring, until coated with butter, about 5 minutes. Add 1-cup chicken stock, ½ tsp salt, and black pepper to taste. The stock should come to bout ¾ inch up the side of the turnips; add more stock or water if needed. Reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and simmer until the turnips are tender but still slightly resistant to the tip of a sharp knife, 10 to 20 minutes. Remove the turnips to a serving dish. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until reduced to a thin, syrupy glaze. Pour it over the turnips and serve immediately.

 

Caramelized Onions: Heat 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil over med-high heat until the butter is melted. Add 3 lbs yellow onions, thinly sliced. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Cook stirring constantly, 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and brown, about 40 minutes. Add ½ cup dry white wine or water. Stir and scrape the pan to dissolve the browned bits. Remove from heat and season well with salt, black pepper and grated Parmesan cheese.

 

Mashed Potatoes with Cabbage and Scallions (Colcannon):

Place in a large saucepan or Dutch oven: 2 lbs fingerling potatoes peeled and cut into 1 ½ inch chunks. Add cold water just to cover, pile on top of the potatoes: 2 bunches scallions, white part only, sliced and 1 small green cabbage ( about 1 lb) cored and chopped into 1 inch pieces. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle boil, and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes, cabbage and scallions to the pot. Mash the mixture over low heat adding: ½ cup milk or half and half, warmed. ¼ cup butter, softened, ¾ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper. When the mixture is coarsely mashed, taste and adjust the seasonings.

 

Black Futsu squash with Jasmine-Kale Rice: Preheat oven to 400 degrees and quarter and clean seeds (reserve the seeds) from a Black Futsu squash, then slice into thin slices. Arrange the squash pieces (skin on) in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper, ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp cinnamon, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Transfer to the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the squash has softened and easily peels away from the skin, rotating halfway through. Meanwhile cook 1 cup brown Jasmine rice or other fragrant variety according to package directions, but add in 2 to 3 whole cloves, 2 tbsp fennel seeds, salt and pepper to taste and a touch of olive oil. In a small skillet over low heat, add your rinsed and dried pumpkin seeds. These will toast up quickly and can burn if you don’t watch them closely. Stir them often until just barely browned, then remove from pan and set aside. When rice is just about done, stir in 1 ½ cups finely chopped kale. You just want to wilt it down, not cook it, so wait until you’re just about ready to serve. Toss is ¼ cup golden raisins. Serve along side the slices of black futsu and top with the toasted pumpkin seeds.

 

Italian Parsley Pesto: In a food processor place 2 cloves peeled garlic, 2 cups packed, stemmed Italian parsley, a pinch of sea salt, ¼ cup walnuts, ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese. Process until they form a paste. Gradually drizzle in 2/3 cup olive oil while blending. Adjust seasoning as necessary. Great with pasta, poultry, vegetables and rice.

 

 

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 11

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9-5-17

 

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,

Asha

 

 

 

 

 

Heirloom Tomato Salad

serves 4

 

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

serves 4 

 

4 lbs Heirloom Tomatoes or Roma Tomatoes

4 cloves of garlic

1/4 c olive oil

salt

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

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 9

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 9

 

8-21-17

 

Large shares: cauliflower, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, Walla Walla onions, summer squash, Yellow Finn potatoes, Romano beans, lettuce, carrots, cilantro

 

Small shares: cauliflower, red tomatoes, Walla Walla onion, jalapeno pepper, summer squash, Yellow Finn potatoes, beets, Romano beans, garlic or extra jalapeno pepper, cilantro

 

Greens share: lettuce, Italian parsley, bulk chard

 

Roots share: red carrots, yellow onions, red potatoes

 

Juicing share: carrots, beets, green cabbage, cilantro, tomato seconds

 

Dear CSA members,

 

What a gorgeous late summer day to be packing your CSA shares. The fields are looking really nice right now with ripening melons, tons of tomatoes on the vines and tasseled sweet corn standing tall. Our pepper plants are also super loaded with fruits and we are excited to start harvesting more of those.

 

We have begun pulling our onion crop to dry down in the field. It’s kind of nice to live in a climate where are summers are so dry that we can often field cure our onions right where they lay. It is still a huge job to haul them out of the field and into the barn for further processing though! I expect we will begin that process in a week or two. We were worried this spring that we were getting our onion transplants in really late due to the wet weather, and we are completing the harvest pretty late but they seemed to have sized up and we have plenty of dry weather for curing so it all worked out well after all.

 

We’re also planning our purchases for next years’ garlic seed and layout for building a new insulated storage facility for root crops over the winter in our big barn down the road at the Scatter Creek Farm and Conservancy. If you haven’t heard of the South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust they have purchased this large farm property on James Rd near us and are doing great work to preserve farmland in Thurston County and make it accessible to small farms that are providing local food to our area. Here is the link to their website so you can read more if you are interested. http://www.communityfarmlandtrust.org/scatter-creek-farm–conservancy.html

 

New crop this week is Romano beans: Romano beans are broad and flattened in shape, averaging about five inches in length at maturity. The beans have a stringless seam that opens rather easily while still young. The pods cling loosely to a series of about six tiny lime green to white colored peas. The beans are crisp and fleshy in texture, extremely succulent, offering a subtlety sweet and grassy flavor. They are great both raw and cooked but hold up longer to cooking than regular green beans. Here is a nice article about them from the New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/05/dining/romano-beans-arent-just-any-green-beans.html

 

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 17th century, 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.

 

Have a great week,

 

Asha

 

 

Garlicky Roasted Romano Beans: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Trim 1 lb Romano Beans and toss whole with ¼ cup olive oil, 3 cloves smashed garlic, 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until the beans are browned and tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

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.

 

Heirloom Tomato and Romano bean salad: bring a small pot of salted water to the boil, then blanch ¼ lb romano beans, tops trimmed, for 3 to 4 minutes, until just tender. Transfer with tongs to a baking sheet to cool. Make balsamic vinaigrette: using a mortar and pestle pound 1 tbsp fresh oregano, ½ clove fresh garlic and a scant ¼ tsp salt to a paste. Transfer to a small bowl and pour in 2 ¼ tsp red wine vinegar, 1 ½ tsp balsamic vinegar. Whisk in 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and taste for balance and seasoning. Whisk 3 tbsp roasted hazelnut oil, ½ tsp lemon zest, and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Finely chop 1/8th cup skinned, toasted hazelnuts and stir into dressing; coarsely chop another 1/8th cup and stir in. drizzle hazelnut dressing over romano beans, season with salt and pepper, and toss together. Hold 1¼ lbs of heirloom tomatoes on their sides and slice into ¼ inch slices. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange slices on a large round platter, overlapping them, and spoon on about half of the balsamic vinaigrette. Scatter with ½ bunch baby arugula leaves. Stir1 cup of cherry tomatoes, stemmed and cut in half, with remaining vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Pile in center of platter, then top with romano beans. Spoon on a few dollops of crème fraiche and sprinkle about a 1/3 cup pesto onto and around salad.

 

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 (or green) 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.

 

Lemon Ricotta Summer Squash Galette: thinly slice 2 medium zucchini ( about 2 ½ cups) and sprinkle lightly with salt. Transfer to a colander; drain for 15 minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, on a large piece of lightly floured parchment, roll ½ of a 15oz package of refrigerated unbaked dough to a 12 inch circle. Transfer parchment and dough to a large baking sheet; set aside. For ricotta filling; in a medium bowl whisk together ¾ cup ricotta cheese, ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 tsp olive oil, 2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel, 1 tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Using a spatula spread the ricotta filling over dough, leaving a 1 ½ inch border. Top with squash rounds. Drizzle with more olive oil. Gently fold over pastry edges, pleating as necessary. In a small bowl whisk together 1 egg yolk and 1 tsp water. Lightly brush pastry edges with egg mixture. Transfer galette to oven. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Sprinkle with fresh dill weed, if desired. Serve warmor ar room temperature. Makes 6 servings.

 

Cilantro Pesto: In a food processor or blender combine. 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 cup tightly packed minced fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts, finely chopped, 2 large cloves roasted garlic, or 1 small clove raw garlic peeled and minced, 1 tsp mild chili powder, 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds, 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, 3/4 tsp sea salt.  Great served over beans and grains, bean and grain salads, this pesto is delicious brushed onto grilled corn on the cob or tossed with cooked corn kernels.

 

Quick Pickled Beets: Combine 4 medium beets, scrubbed, trimmed, halved, and cut into ¼ inch slices. 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced. ¾ cup apple juice or water, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 1/8 tsp ground allspice, and a pinch of sea salt in a pressure cooker. Lock the lid into place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 4 minutes. Reduce the heat by running cold water over the cooker in your sink. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape. To serve, lift the beets out of the liquid with a slotted spoon. Serve warm or chilled. (from Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen by Lorna Sass).

 

Grilled Potatoes with Fresh Dill: preheat grill to 350 degrees. Slice thinly 2 lbs potatoes. Toss with ½ tsp salt, 4 tbsp olive oil, and pepper to taste. Lay out 2 large sheets of foil 12x 26 inches. Oil the foil and arrange the potatoes in a single layer over one side of the foil. Fold the foil over and crimp the edges forming a packet. Grill the packets, covered, rotating once, for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and browned. Open packets and transfer potatoes into a serving bowl. Toss with 2 tbsp butter and ¼ cup chopped fresh dill. Sprinkle with coarse salt and serve.

 

Zuchinni and Tomato Frittata: preheat broiler. In a medium bowl whisk together 8 eggs, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp crushed red pepper. In a 10 inch oven going skillet heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat, layer in sliced of 1 small summer squash evenly over the bottom of the skillet. Cook 3 minutes, turning once. Top with ½ cup cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced lengthwise. Pour egg mixture over the vegetables in the skillet. Top with 2 oz bite sized fresh mozzarella balls and 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until sides begin to set, lifting with a spatula to allow the uncooked portion to run underneath. Transfer to a broiler. Broil 4 inches from the heat 2 to 3 minutes or until set. Cut into wedges to serve. Serve with fresh tomato slices, basil, and a drizzle of olive oil.

 

Cauliflower and Potato Curry: Cook 1 cauliflower cut into florets, for 5 minutes in a saucepan of boiling water. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Add to the boiling water 2 medium potatoes (or equivalent) that have been peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks, cook for 5 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain well again; transfer to the bowl of cauliflower. Meanwhile, combine in a food processor; 1 large tart apple, peeled, cored, and sliced, 3 large garlic cloves, 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced, and optionally; 2 hot chile peppers such as jalapeno or Serrano, seeded and diced. Process until minced but not pureed. Heat in a dutch oven over medium heat; ¼ cup vegetable oil, clarified butter, or ghee. Add 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped, and the apple mixture and cook, stirring, until the onions are softened ands starting to color, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 2 tbsp curry powder and 1 tbsp all purpose flour. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes to lightly brown the curry powder and flour. Then add 1 14 oz can of coconut milk, ½ cup water or chicken stock, and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring, then add the reserved cauliflower and potatoes and 1 16 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in, cover and cook until tender 10 oz fresh shell peas. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve the curry over cooked rice and garnish with golden raisins and chopped cashews if desired.

 

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.

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 17

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10-4-16

Large shares: Delicata squash, red onions, beets, watermelon radish, Purple mustard greens, Italian parsley, sweet peppers, cauliflower or broccoli, red potatoes, summer squash

Small shares: Delicata squash, red or yellow onions, watermelon radish, beets, green or romano beans, cauliflower, cucumbers

 

Dear CSA members,

It’s hard to believe we are at week 17 and next week will be the last delivery for the summer share! There are a couple of things I wanted to go over from the last couple of weeks. I received quite a few comments about the corn earworm damage to the sweet corn and wanted to let you know that we are really sorry about that! We have never had an infestation quite like that before and there is no way to tell unless you open up each ear one by one! We generally try to minimize any type of organically approved insecticide spraying due to their impacts on our pollinators and other beneficial insects, but will have to consider one for this pest next year.

Also, some mold issues with onions and shallots. Our alliums have not been keeping well this year due to alot of humidity and moisture during certain parts of this summer and the curing time of the onions ( the joys of farming in the maritime northwest!). Often times it is extremely difficult to tell if there is mold starting under the skin of an onion or shallot – so we may miss a few here and there.

I wanted to be sure to assure you all that the dollar value of the produce you receive over the course of the season is generally 15% more than what we have accounted for in the share price. Not that we are happy with the quality issues with the corn and onions  – but just to assure you that you are not losing out in dollar value!

Part of the journey of choosing a farm to support through a community supported agriculture progarm is to share in the successes and failures of each season. Each year brings up new challenges as an small organic farm with different pests, diseases, weather and climate challenges. We work to adapt to the problems and highlight our sucesses, and try to create a well balanced and delicious selection of vegetables for you each week.

New this week we have:

Watermelon radishes: This large turnip looking thing is green and white on the outside, but when you slice it watch out! The center is a gorgeous watermelon shade of pinkish red. This heirloom type of the Chinese Daikon radish (called shinreimei in China) is at its best in fall when the weather starts to cool down. Unlike many radishes the intensity of the flavor decreases as it matures. It is mild and delicious served raw, and its color is best preserved when it is served uncooked. Though they are also good sautéed or roasted.

Purple mustard greens: 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!

I have enclosed our flyer for sign up for our fall CSA share that will continue immediately after our 18th week of summer share as well as a brochure for locally raised Icelandic lamb from our friend and neighbor Selma. Selma is a long time farmer here in our valley, who raises mostly Icelandic sheep. This spring her ewes gave birth to more lambs than ever before. Many ewes had triplets. Selma thinks this had to do with the very nice pastures they grazed on in last summer and fall. As a result she has many more lambs to sell. If you are into lamb, Icelandic lamb is considered one of the best in the world because of its fine texture and mild flavor. Here is a link to her meat brochures on her website.  If you are interested you can contact her by email Selma@bonedryridge.com or give her a call 360 273 1045 or just send in the order form.

Also, now is the time to finish up any payments still due on your account and return any boxes that you may still have. Next week will be the last delivery for the summer share!

Thanks and have a great week,

 

Asha

 

 

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!

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.

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

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.

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).

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 12

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8-30-16

Large shares: carrots, red potatoes, red onions, summer squash, Italian parsley, beets, cauliflower, tomatoes, sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic

Small shares: carrots, red onion, summer squash, Italian parsley, cauliflower, 1/2 pint sungolds and 1 heirloom tomato, or 1 pint heirloom tomatoes, arugula

Dear CSA members,

The final week of August already! As I have iterated in the last couple of weeks  – the bounty of the harvest season is here. We are starting to have mature sweet and hot peppers as well as more quantities of eggplant and tomatoes. We eagerly await the arrival of sweet corn and watermelons in the next couple of weeks to come. We are a little later on those crops this year as there were early on  problems with mice eating the seeds as well as cooler overall temperatures.

Fruit trees around the farm are loaded with apples, pears, grapes and plums in an amazing way that I can’t say I have seen before. Trying to imagine attempting to process it all makes my head spin!  It seems every year I wait non-chalantly until the excitement to preserve sets in, and then I cant seem to stop myself! Interestingly, my canning and preserving fervor seems to set in just as my kids head back to school and I have a little more free space in my brain.

Fall is certianly in the air and we have gorgeous cauliflower and broccoli again. Last year we had very little of either of these crops with the excessive hot and dry conditions so we are glad to have them back in abundance.

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.

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.

Hopefully, small shares will get sweet pepper and eggplant next week!

Have a great week,

Asha

 

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.

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

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.

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).

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.
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, Beet and Avocado Salad with Goat Cheese: Preheat oven to 375. In a small baking dish rub 1½ lbs medium beets all over with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour, until the beets are tender. Uncover the dish and let the beets cool slightly. Peel the beets and cut them into 1-inch wedges. Meanwhile, spread ¼ cup pine nuts in a small baking dish and bake for about 7 minutes, until golden. Let cool completely. For the dressing: with a sharp paring knife peel 1 whole lemon, removing all the bitter white pith. Cut in between the membranes to release the sections; cut the sections into small pieces. In a small bowl, whisk the ½ tsp lemon zest and juice of the lemon with 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the lemon pieces. In a large bowl toss 2 Hass avocados, cut into 1-inch pieces, and 4 cups lightly packed baby arugula. Toss with half of the lemon dressing and season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer to plates. In the same bowl, toss the beets with remaining dressing. Spoon the beets over the salad, top with the toasted pine nuts and 4 oz shaved semi-firm aged goat cheese and serve.

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.