Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 18

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10-24-17

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 18

Large shares: Acorn squash, red cipollini onions, winter kale, rapini, rosemary, fingerling potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sweet peppers, jalapenos   

Small shares: Acorn squash, red cipollini onions, winter kale, rapini, beets, parsnips, sweet peppers, jalapeno   

Greens share: baby lettuce, rainbow lacinato kale, Italian parsley   

Roots share: shallots, carrots, daikon radish   

Juicing share: carrot seconds, beet seconds, apples, lacinato rainbow kale, cilantro, rapini     

Dear CSA members,

Well, we have come through an intensely rainy and windy week and back into the gorgeous fall blue skies and sun. Our fall colors seem to be at their peak in the trees, cover crops are coming up and looking very green, salmon are running again and so it is a very beautiful time out here on the farm.

I think we got over 5 inches of rain over the last seven days here, and our Chehalis river is looking completely different than it did two weeks ago! This time of year we have to start watching the hydrologic forecast to be sure to be aware and ahead of any flooding that may be eminent. Often times in this valley we are disrupted by flooded roads and blocked access to some of our fields and our beautiful rivers and wetlands do their thing throughout the winter. Its something we have learned to live by and around.

I really can’t believe that the sweet peppers and jalapenos in the high tunnel are still doing so well and even came through a solid week of frozen nights! We have an abundance of them right now and so I wanted to make sure you got a good share. I expect you may see more peppers before the CSA is over!

This is the last week for one of our farm hands Trevor, who hails from Maine, and has been with us for just over a year. We had a really fun crew party last Saturday to celebrate and hit the bowling alley for some fun, beer and pizza. We all work really hard all summer and its nice to finally have some time and energy to relax and have a good time together!

New crops for you this week:

Acorn squash: this winter squash is a very familiar one to most of us. Acorn squash has a sweet, nutty flavor and is excellent baked, sautéed, or steamed. Acorn squash is also delicious made into soups. The seeds can be cleaned and roasted and make a tasty and nutritious snack. This and all the other squash will keep for quite some time in a cool dry place – in fact flavor will improve over time!

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

Parsnips: parsnips are a root vegetable member of the carrot and parsley family that has been eaten in Europe for centuries. These sweet white roots are excellent served mashed, baked, boiled, roasted, made into fries, and cooked into soups and stews. You can store them in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for quite some time to come if desired. We plant parsnips very early in the spring in order to have them ready for harvest when the cold weather sets in as they sweeten up with the cold and frosty weather.

Winter kale: This variety is the hardiest of kales, with finely curled, thick blue green leaves. Here are some great tips for success with kale. https://food-hacks.wonderhowto.com/how-to/tricks-making-delicious-tender-kale-salads-every-time-0157621/  

Have a great week,

Asha

Lentil and Vegetable Stew with Kale: Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add 1 large chopped onion, and 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped, 1 medium celery root, peeled and chopped, and 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and chopped; sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until beginning to soften and brown, 10 to 11 minutes. Stir in 1 lb brown lentils, rinsed and 1 Tbsp herbes de Provence. Add 8 cups vegetable broth and 1 large bunch kale, ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped. Bring to a boil, stirring to incorporate Kale. Reduce heat to med-low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Add more broth to thin, if desired. Season with salt and pepper. (From the March 2011 issue of Bon Appétit magazine).

Maple-Braised Acorn Squash with Fresh Thyme: Melt 6 tbsp butter in a heavy large deep skillet over high heat. Add 1 3 to 3 1/2 lb Acorn squash, halved lengthwise, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes, sauté 1 minute. Add 1 ¼ cups low-salt chicken broth, 1/3-cup pure maple syrup. 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme, 1 tsp coarse sea salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer, to cook squash until almost tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer squash to a large bowl. Boil liquid in skillet until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Return squash to skillet. Cook until tender, turning occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with more pepper, if desired. (From Bon appétit.)

Fusilli with Rapini, Garlic and Tomato Wine sauce: Fill a sauce pan with enough water to cover 1 bunch of Rapini that has been trimmed and cut into 1 inch peices. Sprinkle in some salt and bring the salted water to a boil, and add Rapini, cook until bright green and just starting to becoem tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and cool in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain well. Fill a pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling , stir in 1/2 cup uncooked fusilli pasta. Cook the pasta, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through but is still firm, about 12 minutes. Drain well. While the pasta is cooking heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 2 chopped cloves of garlic and cook and stir the garlic for about 2 minutes, sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and stir in 1 spring fresh rosemary, 1/2 tsp dried Italian herb mix, and 1/4 tsp crushes red pepper flakes. Stir in the blanched Rapini, 1/4 cup white wine, 1 can diced tomatoes; remove the rosemary sprig, and bring the mixture to a boil. Mix in the cooked pasta, 2 sliced green onions, 1 minced clove of garlic; simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Parsnip Puree: cover 2 c. peeled and chopped parsnips with water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until very tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and place in a food processor with ¼ cup milk, 1 tbsp butter and salt and black pepper to taste. Puree until smooth.

Baked acorn squash with brown sugar and butter: Preheat oven to 400. Cut 1 acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds and stringy pulp. Mix together 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp softened butter, 2 tbsp maple syrup, and salt and pepper to taste. Rub the inside of the squash with this mixture. Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet and bake the squash for about 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a fork.

Winter Squash Shepherd’s Pie: Preheat oven to 400 with rack in top third of oven. Put 2 ½ lbs cubed, peeled winter squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast squash, covered, until tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large, wide pot over high heat. Add 2 lbs lamb stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Cook, stirring as needed, until meat is browned on all sides. Add 1 medium onion, cut into wedges, and 3 chopped garlic cloves and cook until vegetables are starting to soften, about 2 minutes, transfer lamb mixture with juices to a bowl; add 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks and 8 oz medium mushrooms, stems removed. Reduce heat to medium low. Add ¼ cup flour to the same pot and cook, whisking continuously, until flour smells toasted, about 1 minute. Pour in ½ cup red wine and 1 cup beef or chicken broth and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Pour over the lamb mixture and stir to combine. Spoon the mixture into 6 individual ramekins. Mash the squash in a bowl with 1 tsp salt, and 1/3 cup cream, adding more cream if needed until mixture is consistency of mashed potatoes. Dollop over the lamb. Bake until browned and sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes; sprinkle with 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley. Serves 6. (from Sunset October 2012)

Roasted Winter Squash and Beet salad: Preheat oven to 400. Tightly wrap 1 lb small beets in aluminum foil bundles. Place on middle shelf of oven. Roast 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender when tested with a sharp knife. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Peel beets and set aside. Place the slices of 1 ¼ lb of winter squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Place on middle shelf in oven; roast 15 minutes. Drizzle 1/3 cup maple syrup over the squash, and roast another 10 minutes, or until tender; cool. To make the dressing: in a small bowl whisk 1 tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, and ¼ cup maple syrup together. Add 1/3 cup olive oil and whisk until smooth. Season to taste. To assemble, place 3 cups mixed salad greens in the middle of a large plate. Arrange beets and squash on the greens. Pour half of dressing over salad. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds. Pass remaining dressing. Serves 6 to 8.

Easy Rapini: wash and chop 1 large bunch rapini greens (discard stems). Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add 1 chopped shallot, 1 clove chopped garlic, and 1 tsp chopped cayenne pepper (or to taste) and sautee until tender. Add the washed and chopped turnip greens and cook down for 3 minutes. Season with pepper. Mix together 1 cup chicken stock and 2 tbsp Dijon mustard. Add to the turnip greens and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add 1/3 cup toasted pecans and serve immediately.

Grilled pepper and herb relish: heat a grill to medium-high ( 400 to 450 degrees). Grill 1 ½ lbs sweet frying peppers, covered and turning occasionally, until softened and lightly charred. 7 to 12 minutes then transfer to a medium bowl as done. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Pull off pepper skins that come off easily ( no need to remove all of them), pull off stems, and swipe out seeds with your hand, working in a strainer over a bowl to catch juices. Finely chop peppers, then return to bowl with juices. Stir in ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp wine vinegar, and 2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh marjoram, oregano or basil leaves. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  (from Sunset September 2017 issue)

Pepper, cucumber, and chickpea salad: toast 2 tsp ground cumin in a small frying pan over medium high heat, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 min. Pour from pan and into a large bowl. Stir in ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, zest of one large lemon, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp each minced garlic and kosher salt and ½ tsp black pepper. Seed 1 lb sweet peppers and cut into 1 inch pieces. Slice 1 large thin skinned cucumber into ¼ inch rounds and cut in half again if large. Add peppers, cucumber, and 1 can chickpeas that has been rinsed and drained to the salad and toss to blend well. Let stand about 1 hour, then stir in 1 cup loosely packed chopped Italian parsley.  (from Sunset September 2017 issue)

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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 box #8

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8-4-15

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #8

Large share: heirloom tomato, Italian plums, Walla Walla onions, lemon cucumber, slicing cucumber, summer squash, beets, carrots, butterhead lettuce, fresh dill, garlic, jalapeno or Czech black pepper, romano beans

 Small share: Romaine lettuce, cucumber, Walla Walla onion, summer squash, eggplant, bell pepper, cilantro, red or heirloom tomato.

 “To husband is to use with care, to keep, to save, to make last, to conserve. Old usage tells us that there is a husbandry also of the land, of the soil, of the domestic plants and animals – obviously because of the importance of these things to the household. And there have been times, one of which is now, when some people have tried to practice a proper human husbandry of the nondomestic creatures in recognition of the dependence of our households and domestic life upon the wild world. Husbandry is the name of all practices that sustain life by connecting us conservingly to our places and our world; it is the art of keeping tied all the strands in the living network that sustains us.

 And so it appears that most and perhaps all of industrial agriculture’s manifest failures are the result of an attempt to make the land produce without husbandry.”

Wendell Berry, Bringing it to the Table: Writings on Farming and Food

 

Dear CSA members,

Well, we survived the latest heat wave. I’m pretty sure we hit 100 here on Saturday. Yikes! Thankfully we now are back to some “normal” summer weather again this week. Some tree species up and down our valley are turning yellow and brown with the drought conditions in a way that is a bit alarming. Heirloom tomatoes are coming in en masse on harvest days, at least those that have survived the sunburn. When temperatures climb into the mid 90’s and higher exposed fruits of delicate tomatoes, peppers and eggplants will literally scorch and cook to the point we can no longer market them. Crazy but true, it is actually too hot for tomatoes in Western Washington this summer!

We also have an enormous abundance of cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, and summer squash happening. If you are interested in bulk quantities of pickling cucumbers we are taking orders now. You can order on our web store http://www.wobblycart.com or call Joe 208 512 3186 and we can deliver with your CSA share or you can pick up on the farm or at our market stands in Olympia and Chehalis.

I took a quick field walk after packing CSA with the intention if checking out our melon crop. This is the first time we have attempted to grow melons on any sizeable scale. And what a great year to do so! We have both a French cantaloupe and a baby size watermelon out there and both are looking amazing. The vines are loaded with sizeable fruit and I’m guessing in a few short weeks we will be enjoying them! I’m very excited about having new and interesting crops around. These melons are fulfilling that need right now!

Also, every year the amazing Italian plum tree that grows by our barn produces a ton of fruit. When the landowner has had her fill, we get to harvest them for our own use. Addison was able to procure enough plums this year for the large shares to get a taste of them! I have vivid fond memories as a child climbing up into large Italian plum trees on my parents’ property and eating myself sick each summer. You wont receive enough plums today to achieve that state, but I hope you enjoy them nonetheless.

Another new item for the large shares is the lemon cucumbers. These small, light yellow, lemon shaped (but not flavored) cucumbers are an heirloom variety. They are tender and thin- skinned and have a nice small serving size.

Some large shares received a jalapeno pepper, and some a Czech black pepper. The Czech blacks are black and red in color and have a sweet flavor that is similar in heat to the jalapeno.

Large shares also received fresh dill. This amazing dark green frondy herb is the same plant that we sell for pickling, just not in its flowering state. As a fresh leafy herb, dill has a mild licorice and parsley flavor and is delicious with egg, cheese, vegetable, potato and fish dishes.

A couple of tips for the best uses of abundant and large summer squash ( these came from the August 2015 issue of Sunset magazine)

– grate it, let it sit, drain it, and freeze in 2 cup portions for zucchini bread

-slice it lengthwise on a mandoline and layer into moussaka, or substitute for noodles in lasagna

-make salt and vinegar zucchini chips in the oven or dehydrator. Thinly slice on a mandoline, toss with salt and vinegar and a bit of olive oil. Layer in the food dehydrator and dehydrate for 8 to 14 hours. Or bake in a single layer at 200 degrees for 2 to 3 hours. I’m going to make these tonight!

Hope you enjoy this week’s box,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

 

 

Takeout style sesame noodles with cucumber: from the smittenkitchen.com

Serves 4, generously, and up to double that if served as shown, with lots of cucumber, peanuts and herbs

3/4 pound dried rice noodles (see notes up top)

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, plus a splash to loosen noodles

2 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste or tahini (see note up top)

1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter

3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar

1 tablespoon granulated or brown sugar

1 tablespoon finely grated ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic (from 1 medium-large clove)

Chili-garlic paste, to taste

1/2 pound cucumber, very thinly sliced

1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped

A handful of chopped fresh herbs, such as mint and cilantro, for garnish

Cook noodles according to package directions and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well. Drizzle with a tiny splash of toasted sesame oil to keep them from sticking until dressed.

Meanwhile, whisk sesame paste and peanut butter in the bottom of a small bowl, then whisk in soy sauce, rice vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil, sugar, ginger, garlic and chile-garlic paste to taste until smooth. Adjust flavors to taste. It might seem a bit salty from the bowl, but should be just right when tossed with noodles.

Toss sauce with cold noodles.

Place a medium-sized knot of dressed noodles in each bowl, followed by a pile of cucumber. Garnish generously with peanuts and herbs. Serve with extra chile-garlic paste on the side.

Butter lettuce and egg salad: from myrecipes.com

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 heads butter lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (about 6 qts.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill fronds
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Herb or edible flowers (optional)

Preparation

  1. Put eggs in a medium saucepan, cover with 1 in. water, and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and let sit 9 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard, and oil together.
  2. Transfer eggs to a bowl of cold water and let cool a minute. Crack gently all over, then return to water for 5 minutes. Peel and cut or break into quarters.
  3. Put lettuce in a large bowl and toss gently but thoroughly with dill, chives, and most of dressing. Add eggs and gently toss again. Top with flowers if you like.

 

Roasted Italian Plums: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve and pit 2 ¾ lbs of Italian plums. Toss in a bowl with 2 tbsp melted butter and ¼ cup brown sugar. Place cut side down on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until cooked through and slighty caramelized 15 to 20 minutes. From marthastewart.com

 

Braised eggplant and broccolini with fried ginger: in a bowl blend 2 tbsp packed light brown sugar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp sesame oil, ¼ tsp red chili flakes, ½ cup chicken broth, 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger; set sauce aside. Cut 1 lb eggplant into 1 ½ inch chunks and set aside. Bring 3 cups of water to boil in a 12 inch wok or frying pan over high heat. Add ¼ lb slender broccolini , cut in half crosswise. Cook, covered, until stems are just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water; when cool, drain and set aside. Drain and dry wok, ass 3 tbsp canola oil, and heat over high heat. Add 1/3 cup finely slivered ginger matchsticks, and cook, stirring, until golden, 2 minutes. Transfer ginger to a paper towel to drain. Pour oil into a bowl; return 1 tbsp to the wok. Add half of the eggplant to wok over high heat. Cook, turning often, until lightly browned, 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add remaining oil to the wok with remaining eggplant and ½ cup finely chopped shallots. Cook as before. Return eggplant to the wok with the sauce. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is soft when pressed, 8 to 15 minutes. Lay broccolini on eggplant, cover, and heat 2 minutes. If needed, cook, uncovered, over high heat until most of the liquid evaporates, 1 minute. Stir in 1 tbsp each of chopped cilantro and mint and top with the fried ginger. From August 2015 issue of Sunset magazine

 

Marinated plums over pound cake: mix sliced plums with equal splashes of pomegranate molasses and brandy and a sprinkle of sugar. Let steep for at least 10 minutes. Spoon onto grilled or toasted pound cake. Top with whipped cream and sliced almonds. From August 2015 issue of Sunset magazine

 

Wobbly Cart Farm Fall CSA box #2

10-28-14

Wobbly Cart Farm fall CSA box #2

Large share: parsnips, escarole, butternut squash, yellow onion, rainbow lacinato kale, rutabaga, sweet peppers, purple potatoes, jalapeno peppers, cilantro

 Small share: parsnips, escarole, butternut squash, yellow onion, rainbow lacinato kale, rutabaga, sweet pepper, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro

 

Dear CSA members,

Well, I would like to think that things are finally going to start slowing down around the farm this week, and they are in their way. Unfortunately, with the perceived reduction in workload comes a simultaneous reduction in crewmembers. Many of our loyal and hard working crew head off to greener pastures about this time of year, leaving those of us left with many more hours of tasks to complete. All with fewer daylight hours and more challenging conditions in which to complete them!

The good news is as of next week our markets will be scaled back to just Thursday –Sunday, as this will be the last Tuesday for the Chehalis farmers market. Also, Fall CSA will end on Tuesday November 11th. Visions of a much-needed rest are starting to look closer to a reality!

Once the harvest workload slows down, amazingly we will turn our attention to planning for next season. We will begin going over our crops successes and failures and make variety selections for next season. Seeds will be ordered, bookkeeping and paperwork of all kinds will be done, tractor maintenance will hopefully be performed, and by February we will be busy planting early crops in the greenhouse! It’s quite astonishing all that goes in to planning and succeeding on a small organic vegetable farm and more and more it seems that we have very little downtime in doing so!

On that note, I will leave you to enjoy your vegetables for this week. Amazingly, we still have sweet peppers this week, as well as a nice selection of hardy greens, root vegetables, and sweet winter squash. Here are also some notes about vegetables that you may not be familiar with.

Rutabaga: this cross between a cabbage and turnip is one of the many edible manifestations of the brassica family. Rutabagas have been eaten for centuries by humans and are excellent roasted and mashed. They are very high in nutrients and fiber and low in calories.

Escarole: these hardy and bitter greens are one of our fall and winter stars. Escarole is much like lettuce in texture but adds a very nice bitterness that pairs well with sweet flavors of fruit and balsamic vinegar. You can also grill or braise them and then dress with a vinaigrette. I have also heard that soaking the greens in water for a few hours will reduce some of the bitterness if so desired.

Parsnips: parsnips are a root vegetable member of the carrot and parsley family that has been eaten in Europe for centuries. These sweet white roots are excellent served mashed, baked, boiled, roasted, made into fries, and cooked into soups and stews. You can store them in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for quite some time to come if desired. We plant parsnips very early in the spring in order to have them ready for harvest when the cold weather sets in as they sweeten up with the cold and frosty weather.

Butternut squash: this large yellow bell shaped squash has a sweet and slightly nutty flavor. When ripe the flesh is deep orange in color. Butternut squash is best eaten roasted, grilled, or mashed to make soups, or desserts like pies and muffins. To roast: cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds (reserve them to roast in the oven with salt or soy sauce if desired) place cut side down on a oiled baking sheet, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until softened. Once cooked the flesh can be used in a variety of ways or just eaten as is with butter and brown sugar!

 

Thank you all,

 

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

 

Parsnip Puree: cover 2 c. peeled and chopped parsnips with water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until very tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and place in a food processor with ¼ cup milk, 1 tbsp butter and salt and black pepper to taste. Puree until smooth.

Butternut Squash Cheesecake with Chocolate crust and Salted Caramel: Make crust: Preheat oven to 350. Whirl 9oz of chocolate wafer cookies in a food processor until finely ground. Whirl in ½ cup melted unsalted butter just until incorporated. Pour crumbs into a 9-inch spring form pan and press over bottom and about 1inch up the sides of the pan. Bake 7 min, then let cool on a rack. Reduce heat to 300. Make filling: In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 3 8oz pkg cream cheese, at room temp, ¾ cup sugar, and ½ cup light brown sugar, and 1 tbsp flour until smooth. Beat in 4 large eggs, one at a time. Add in 1 cup of cooked, pureed, butternut squash, ¼ cup each heavy cream, sour cream, and maple syrup, the zest of 2 medium oranges, 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice. Beat until just blended. Wrap the bottom of your pan with foil, pressing it up the outside. Set the spring form pan in a roasting pan and pour filling into the crust. Pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come about halfway up the side of the ring pan. Bake until the cheesecake barely jiggles in the center when gently shaken, about 1-¼ hours. Let cheesecake cool on a rack 1 hour, then chill until cold, at least 5 hours. Whisk 6 tbsp store-bought caramel topping with 1/8 tsp table salt in a bowl and spoon over the cheesecake. Arrange ½ cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans around the rim and sprinkle flaked sea salt over pecans for garnish. (Adapted from a recipe in the November 2011 issue of Sunset Magazine.)

Rutabaga and Carrot Soup: In a large saucepan, sauté 1 medium onion in 1 tbsp butter for 5 minutes. Add 3 small carrots and 1 small rutabaga peeled and chopped. Add ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp ground ginger, and ¼ tsp nutmeg. Sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1-cup vegetable or chicken stock and cook covered, on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and tender. Puree the soup with 2 cups orange juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with unsweetened whipped cream and a dollop of cranberry sauce.

Maple-Braised Butternut Squash with Fresh Thyme: Melt 6 tbsp butter in a heavy large deep skillet over high heat. Add 1 3 to 3 1/2 lb butternut squash, halved lengthwise, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes, sauté 1 minute. Add 1 ¼ cups low-salt chicken broth, 1/3-cup pure maple syrup. 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme, 1 tsp coarse sea salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer, to cook squash until almost tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer squash to a large bowl. Boil liquid in skillet until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Return squash to skillet. Cook until tender, turning occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with more pepper, if desired. (From Bon appétit.)

Lentil and Vegetable Stew with Kale: Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add 1 large chopped onion, and 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped, 1 medium celery root, peeled and chopped, and 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and chopped; sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until beginning to soften and brown, 10 to 11 minutes. Stir in 1 lb brown lentils, rinsed and 1 Tbsp herbes de Provence. Add 8 cups vegetable broth and 1 large bunch kale, ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped. Bring to a boil, stirring to incorporate Kale. Reduce heat to med-low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Add more broth to thin, if desired. Season with salt and pepper. (From the March 2011 issue of Bon Appétit magazine).

Kale Cabbage Salad: Stem and chop one bunch of kale, finely shred ½ a red cabbage, finely chop ½ a red onion, and grate 1 large carrot and place in a large serving bowl. For the dressing combine ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/3 cup dark sesame oil, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 3 tsp freshly grated ginger, and sea salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and top with ½ cup toasted, chopped almonds.

Kale, White Bean and Escarole Soup: In a large soup pot over low heat, add 3 Tbsp olive oil and sauté 2 oz pancetta, finely chopped, 1 large yellow onion, chopped, 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 celery stalk, finely chopped, and 1 chopped carrot until tender and fragrant, 15-20 minutes. Add 2 cups kale, stems removed, leaves washed and chopped and 5 cups Escarole, stems removed, leaves washed and chopped. Cook until the greens are wilted and tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup chopped tomatoes and cook another 10 minutes. Pour in 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add 2 cans cannellini beans and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Just before serving, add the juice of ½ lemon, stirring to combine and salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #10

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8-19-14

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #10

Large share: 1 bunch spinach, 1 bunch arugula, 1 bunch red and orange carrots, fresh dill, Walla Walla onion, red onion, 1 lb Romano beans, sweet pepper, purple bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, lemon cucumber, 1 pint Italian plums, 2 pints cherry tomatoes

Small share: 1 bunch spinach, 1 bunch arugula, 1 bunch red and orange carrots, Walla Walla onion, 1 lb green beans, heirloom tomato, 1 pint Italian plums

 

Dear CSA members,

As I sit down to write after the busy activity at the barn this morning, I’m realizing what a nice crisp morning we are having today. It’s the kind of coolness that reminds me that fall will be here before we know it. I love having the sense of place that allows me to reference the subtle seasonal changes, and the sweetness of the shortening days. Just when we reach our peak in abundance, the pendulum swings us back to the colder and wetter days of fall. Actually, September and October is my favorite time of year on the farm. I enjoy the cooler days, and looking back with satisfaction at all the hard work already behind us. While at the same time enjoying the abundant produce in front of us!

 

I had a week vacation from the farm as well, and it’s nice to come back with a renewed sense of purpose and a little bit of a rested back. I visited the Salt Lake City Farmers Market and got to see what farmer’s there have to offer this time of year. While their market was nice, it made me appreciate the variety of produce we can grow here year round in the Pacific Northwest. While admittedly they grow a lot of nice peaches and cherries, we are lucky to have broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and spinach right now.

Thanks to everyone’s work on Monday, today’s box is extra pretty. Carrots are back and we have Italian plums from the uber abundant plum tree that resides near the barn! 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. These seem a little on the soft side and should be used up as soon as possible! 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. The sweet peppers are colorful and sweet tasting. We have several varieties of many colors but all are similar in sweetness and crunch. The large purple bell pepper is similar flavored to any green bell pepper but has an extra color punch. For Heirloom tomato descriptions reference a couple of newsletters back. Mild cracking and green shoulders are a normal feature for many of the heirloom tomatoes we grow. The flavor is what counts here!

I was pleased to find that we could skip lettuce this week and change it for arugula and spinach! The arugula has a less than perfect appearance, but the flavor is still nice for a change from lettuce. If you are not already familiar, 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. Also, I should mention the fresh dill. This frondy bundle of herb greens is delicious chopped in salads, pasta salads and added to fish, egg, cheese, and potato dishes. Store with the roots placed into a jar of water, and a plastic bag loosely tented over the top, then place in the refrigerator.

Enjoy your box,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

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.

 

Lemon Cucumber Spa Water: Slice a piece of fresh ginger, a lemon, and a couple of lemon cucumbers. Place in a pitcher and add water. The proportions can vary depending on your taste. Add a handful of mint leaves and place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or more to make a refreshing and tasty summertime drink.

 

Indian Vegetable and Fruit Salad: Combine 1 cup each chopped pineapple and cucumber (lemon cucumber), ½ cup each chopped tomato, red onion, and cilantro leaves, 1 tsp minced jalapeno chile, 1 tsp kosher salt, and 2 tbsp lime juice in a medium bowl. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a small frying pan until very hot, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add ¼ tsp mustard seeds and ½ tsp cumin seeds. When mustard seeds begin to pop, 1 to 2 minutes, pour over vegetable mixture and mix well. Serve as a side dish with shrimp. ( from Sunset magazine September 2012).

 

Tomato, Red onion, and Purple Pepper Salad with yogurt dressing: Thinnly slice 1 medium red onion, place in a salad bowl, sprinkle on 2 tbsp fresh lime juice and 1 tsp salt and mix well. Set aside for 30 minutes. Slice 1 hot chile into matchsticks and add to the onion, cut one medium purple bell pepper into ½ inch wide strips about 1 inch long and toss with the onions and chile. Just before serving add 2 to 3 tomatoes cut into ½ inch pieces and ¾ cup full fat yogurt and toss gently to mix. Taste for salt and adjust, if you wish, and add freshly ground black pepper to taste.

 

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)