Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 14

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9-11-18

Large shares: Diana watermelon, carrots cipollini onions, lettuce, red kale, cucumbers, sweet peppers, jalapenos, green or romano beans, basil, heirloom tomatoes

Small shares: Diana watermelon, carrots, cipollini onions, lettuce, cucumber, green beans, sweet pepper, jalapeno pepper, basil, red and or heirloom tomatoes

Greens share: radicchio, red kale, mustard greens

Roots share: beets, Austrian crescent fingerling potato, parsley root

Juicing share: carrot seconds, beet seconds, chard, cilantro, apples

 

Dear CSA members,

Hello from a very fall-like day. We are finally getting some rain and there has certainly been a not so subtle shift into fall. I am already seeing quite a bit of color in the deciduous trees, some of which I attribute to the drought conditions this year.

We are busy doing alot of fall related tasks around the farm right now. We have begun the winter squash harvest, are prepping alot of ground that no longer has crops for cover crops. We plant rye and vetch seeds on ground we are finished using for the season to grow through the winter and hold the soil in place through the winter floods and rains. When spring comes we can till in these crops to add organic matter and nitrogen to the soil.  We are also prepping ground for next year’s garlic planting.

I feel like this box is a last tribute to summer crops for the year. We have lovely new watermelon variety this year called Diana. This oblong watermelon is unusual for its lovely golden rind and sweet complex flavor. They seem to have a pink colored flesh and few light colored seeds. Another nice thing about them is their shape and smallish size makes them more packable for our CSA boxes. You can store your watermelon in the refigerator for 2 to 3 weeks. If you cut into it, wrap the cut side in plastic to prevent it from drying out or absorbing other flavors from the refrigerator.

I wanted to give you a last taste of basil, heirloom tomatoes, and possibly green beans depending on what the weather does in the next couple of weeks. The basil doesn’t look super pretty as it dosen’t like the cold night we have had recently, but should still taste great.

Next week we will have Charentais cantaloupe melons!

Radicchio: This hardy winter green is in the chicory family, it has a bitter taste that mellows with the onset of cold weather and also when you grill or roast it. Raddichio is an excellent addition to salads particularly when paired with cheese, fruits and toasted nuts. I liked this article from the New York Times  http://www.nytimes.com/1988/12/21/garden/radicchio-tasty-but-so-misunderstood.html?pagewanted=all

Cipollini onions:  Pronounced chip-oh-LEE-nee, this is a smaller, flat, pale onion. The flesh is a slight yellowish color and the skins are thin and papery. The color of the skin ranges from pale yellow to the light brown color of Spanish onions. These are sweeter onions, having more residual sugar than garden-variety white or yellow onions, but not as much as shallots.

The advantage to cipollinis is that they are small and flat and the shape lends them well to roasting. This combined with their sweetness makes for a lovely addition to recipes where you might want to use whole caramelized onions.

The jalapeno is considered the most popular hot pepper in the world and is considered mild to medium in hot pepper terms. About 2500 to 8000 in the Scoville heat units classification. By contrast a Cayenne pepper has about 25,000 to 30,000 SHU! You can use a jalapeno to spice up salsas, pickles, marinades, dressings, a quesadilla or meats and beans for burritos. Not using the seeds will reduce the heat.

Parsley root: Parsley root is a member of the carrot family that also include celery, fennel, anise, and dill. Parsley root is light beige, shaped like a carrot, but more slender.  The flavor is described as a taste between celery and carrots with a little parsley leaf and turnip. Parsley root has a more delicate, sweeter and more herbal taste than a parsnip. Parsley root is usually eaten cooked but can be served raw, and varieties of parsley root with large fleshy tap roots are used for cooking in Central and Eastern Europe.

Both the root and the leaves of parsley root, also called turnip-rooted parsley, are edible. Parsley roots can be sliced or cubed and prepared as a cooked vegetable in the same way as carrots, celery roots, parsnips and turnips. The roots become tender in about five minutes, but the flavor is not reduced by lengthy cooking. Use parsley root in soups or stews, combined with carrots, potatoes, turnips, onions or meat. It can be roasted or baked with beef or poultry, sautéed or fried with tofu and added to lentil dishes. Parsley root can be steamed, creamed or puréed, or you can boil parsley root and potatoes to create a flavorful variation on traditional mashed potatoes. Roots also can be dried and used for flavoring.

Hope you have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the Crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Grilled Radicchio: heat grill to high heat. Slice your radicchio vertically, and discard any bruised leaves. Brush the greens with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with good sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Turn grill down to med-low. Place the greens on the grill and cook turning every 1 to 2 minutes until the leaves turn a rich crusty brown on both sides. 5 to 10 minutes. Cut the greens into 4 to 6 servings and serve warm or at room temperature with additional vinaigrette.

Radicchio salad with pear, goat cheese and hazelnuts: In a large bowl whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, 3 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 ½ tsp sugar and season with salt and pepper. Tear up about 1 pound radicchio into bite sized pieces, add 1/3 cup blanched and toasted hazelnuts (almond and walnuts would work too) chopped. Serve salad topped with 1-cup goat cheese and diced pear.

Pepper, Cucumber, and Chickpea salad: Toast 2 tsp cumin seeds in a small frying pan over medium-high heat, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour from pan into a large bowl. Stir in ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice, zest from one large lemon, 1tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp kosher sea salt, and black pepper to taste. Seed 1 lb bell peppers and or sweet thin skinned frying peppers and cut into ¼ inch rounds. Slice 4oz of peeled cucumber into ¼ inch rounds and cut in half again if large. Add peppers, cucumbers, and 1 can rinsed and drained chickpeas to the salad dressing and toss to blend well. Let stand about 1 hour, then stir in 1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley. ( from Sunset Magazine September 2017 issue)

Grilled pepper and herb relish: Heat grill to medium-high. Grill 1 ½ lbs bell, sweet frying or pimento peppers, covered and turning occasionally, until softened and lightly charred, 7 to 12 minutes, transferring to a medium bowl as done. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Pull skins off the peppers, pull off stems and swipe out seed with your hand, working in a strainer over a bowl to catch juices. Finely chop peppers, then return to the bowl with the juices. Stir in ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp sherry or wine vinegar, and 2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh marjoram, oregano, or basil leaves. Smear this spread over bread with goat cheese, as a topping for grilled fish, chicken or steak; even pasta sauce. (from Sunset Magazine September 2017 issue)

Watermelon, Cucumber and Lime Salad

Watermelon, cut into small slices

Cucumber, sliced

Salad greens

Feta

Lime, zest and juice

Olive oil

Agave syrup

Salt and pepper

Thinnly sliced basil leaves

 

Toss watermelon slices, cucumber slices, salad greens and diced feta with lime zest, juice, olive oil, agave syrup, basil, salt and pepper to taste. Correct seasoning.

Watermelon Margaritas: bring ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water and 3 strips of orange zest to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved about 3 min. remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Place 2 cups peeled and seeded watermelon in a blender and pulse until pureed. Stir watermelon puree into a large pitcher with ¾ cup white tequila, the simple syrup and ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice. Place a small amount of salt or sugar on a saucer. Moisten glass rim with lime juice and press into the salt or sugar to coat the rime. Fill glasses with ice cubes and pour margarita mix over the ice. Serve with additional lime wedges.

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 2

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6-19-18

Small shares: green leaf lettuce, lacinato kale, carrots, scallions, snow peas, garlic scapes, cilantro

Large shares: 2 heads green leaf lettuce, lacinato kale, carrots, scallions, garlic scapes, radishes, salad turnips, cilantro

 

Dear CSA members.

We are rapidly approaching the summer solstice, our longest day of the year, and everything in nature, the greenhouses and fields is growing like crazy. The days are super long and with the recent moisture from rains and the warm temperatures you can virtually watch the plants grow before your eyes! That would be fun and easier if we could actually sit still for a minute! There is so much work to do this time of year we often feel like hamsters running on one of those little wheels. Going and going and seemingly never getting anywhere.

I know it will get better once we settle into a summer routine, but at the moment we are still planting our fall crops while trying to keep up with weeding (guess what,  the weeds grow faster than anything this time of year), irrigating, and getting into the harvesting and delivering routine. We’re working out some early season kinks but as I said, I know we will get into a good routine soon.

We have an abundance of beautiful lettuce and greens like kale this time of the year and they are very crisp and delicious in the early season. Sometimes during the heat of the summer lettuce can be in short supply… so we must enjoy it while we can.

We also have our first bunches of carrots this week! They are super tender and delicious this time of year. These are going to be excellent raw or cooked. You an also use the tops in stir-fries and pesto (several people shared recipes with me last year).

Lacinato Kale: This kale variety, also known as Tuscan Kale, has a long tradition in Italian cuisine. It is often used in soups such as Minestrone, blanched and sauteed in olive oil, or wilted with sea salt and used raw in salads.  All types of kale are extremely high in nutrients and is known as one of the worlds healthiest foods!

Cilantro is an herb that has been used in cuisine from Asia to the new world and has been cultivated for 3000 years or more. The seeds, known as coriander are also used as a spice. Apparently, coriander seeds have even been found in Egyptian tombs! Cilantro is great in salsas, dressings, to season beans, as topping for chili and burritos, or in Indian and Thai dishes. Store by placing the roots in a small jar of water and tenting a plastic bag on top, then place in the refrigerator. It will keep a long time like this.

Have a great week,
Asha

 

Baked Kale Chips: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a non -insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems of one bunch of kale and tear into bite sized pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry the kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle the leaves with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. Spread out on the cookie sheet in a single layer and bake until the edges are brown but not burnt, about 10 to 15 minutes. ( Like potato chips but way healthier!)

Ginger Scallion Sauce: 2 1/2 cups thinnly sliced scallions (greens and tops), 1/2 cup finely minced fresh ginger, 1/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil, 1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce, 3/4 tp sherry vinegar or mirin, 3/4 tsp kosher salt. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Add additional salt if needed. Excellent with soba noodles, in miso soup, with chicken etc.

Oriental Cilantro Slaw: Shred 1 medium cabbage (6 cups). Place the cabbge in a large serving bowl. Mix in 1 large shredded carrot, 1 cup tightly packed minced fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup thinnnly sliced scallions. In a jar combine, 3 tbsp canola oil, 3 to 4 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp tamari, 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and finely chopped and sea salt to taste. Shake well to blend, pour dressing over the salad and toss well. Add more lime juice and tamari as needed.  Garnish with 1/2 cup chopped toasted and salted peanuts.

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.
Honey roasted carrots: preheat oven to 425. Twist the tops of 16 carrots, leaving a 2 inch nub; wash and scrub the roots. Place the carrots on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tsps olive oil. Roll the carrots back and forth to coat before placing them in the oven. Melt 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp honey together in a small saucepan and keep warm. Shake the carrots occasionally as they roast. Remove from the oven when they are browned in spots and a sharp knife easily pierces them ( 15 to 20 minutes). Drizzle with honey butter over the carrots, roll them around to coat and place them back in the oven. Shake the baking sheet frequently and remove the carrots when their skin begins to caramelize and a knife easily slides through them, about 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Tartines with Gruyere and Radish Greens: Preheat oven to 375 and place rack in the top position. In a medium bowl, use a fork to mix 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese and 3 tbsp softened unsalted butter. Stir in 1/2 tsp dijon mustard, 1/4 cup finely chopped radishes, 1 tbsp finely chopped Italian parsley, 1 tbsp snipped chives, and 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper. Divide the mixture evenly among 4 1/2 inch thick slices of good bread, pressing it down slightly. Place bread on a baking sheet and toast until the cheese puffs up and is lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp olove oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 4 cups packed radish greens, with some water still clinging to their leaves, to the sillet. Cook, stirring frequestly, until just barely wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread the wilted greens evenly over cheesey toasts and serve immediately. ( From Grow Cook eat by Wili Galloway)

Kale Caesar Salad: Preheat oven to 300. For croutons, mince 2 garlic cloves, in a medium saucepan warm ¼ cup olive oil and the minced garlic over low heat; remove. Add 4 cups bread cubed into 1 inch pieces. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt. Stir to coat. Spread bread pieces in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Bake 20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown, stirring once. Cool completely. Meanwhile, for the dressing, in a blender combine 4 cloves garlic, ½ cup olive oil, 6 anchovy filets, ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, and 2 egg yolks. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Remove stems from 3 large bunches of lacinato kale and thinly slice the leaves. Add the dressing, and using your hands work the dressing into the kale. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. To serve, sprinkle with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese and top with croutons.

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 13

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 13

9-19-17

Large shares: Charentais melon, romaine lettuce, summer squash, carrots, mixed fingerling potatoes, Romano beans, red onions, garlic, basil, cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, bell peppers  

Small shares: Charentais melon, Red Russian kale, cucumber,green beans, eggplant, red onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, heirloom tomatoes  

Greens share: Daikon radish bunch, kale, mustard greens  

Roots share: beets, carrots, Yellow Finn potatoes  

Juicing share: carrots seconds, beet seconds, tomato seconds, fennel, perpetual spinach, cucumbers

Dear CSA members,

We are really taking a turn towards fall this week! It’s finally raining again and we even had a very light frost last Thursday. Weather like this wreaks havoc on our tomatoes, melons, and peppers but will start to bring out the sweetness in the root crops and hardier greens. I’m still hoping to see more fully colored sweet peppers before we lose them to a frost! With our late start to the planting this year it seems we are running up against the clock to ripen peppers!

We’re loading you up with heirloom tomatoes again this week. Just by the lateness of the season and weather factors these tomatoes may not hold as long. It’s the time of the year to savor these while we still can. This is likely the last week to order tomato 2nds for delivery with your CSA box. web store Despite any cultural practices we may implement, eventually all our tomato vines face the dreaded late blight.

Late blight of potatoes and tomatoes, the disease that was responsible for the Irish potato famine in the mid-nineteenth century, is caused by the fungus-like oomycete pathogen Phytophthora infestans. It can infect and destroy the leaves, stems, fruits, and tubers of potato and tomato plants. Before the disease appeared in Ireland it caused a devastating epidemic in the early 1840s in the northeastern United States.  

P. infestans was probably introduced to the United States from central Mexico, which is its center of origin. After appearing in North America and Europe during the 1840s, the disease spread throughout most of the rest of the world during subsequent decades and had a worldwide distribution by the beginning of the twentieth century.

Late blight is favored during moderate (60 degree) wet weather and the spores can travel on the wind for several miles. It reproduces rapidly and can completely devastate potato and tomato crops relatively quickly if conditions are right. It’s always sad to see a crop that has been tended for months mercilessly and quickly taken down by disease. It is one of the difficult inevitabilities of farming.

Any small black specks you may see on fruit are likely the aforementioned late blight. The flavor of the tomato won’t be compromised at this point, I would just prioritize the use of these tomatoes.

Later this week we plan to harvest all our winter squash and potatoes and get them into storage. We’re talking about several tons of each! Winter squash and potato harvest is kind of a fun event where everyone works together to get a big job done. It can be hard work but satisfying once complete to have all this great food harvested for the fall and winter.

New this week:

Charentais Melon: A true French cantaloupe that originated in the Poitou-Charentes region circa 1920. Considered by many to be the most divine and flavorful melon in the world. Smooth round melons mature to a creamy gray or golden with faint ribs. Sweet, juicy, orange flesh with a heavenly fragrance. Store dry on the countertop until ready to eat, they don’t hold for long and so asap is best. . Small cracks are ok and just represent true ripeness. These are heirlooms that have been bred for flavor and not convenient pack ability for grocery stores.

Fingerling potatoes:   Fingerlings are potato varieties that naturally grow long and narrow, they often have a firm, waxy texture and a rich, distinctive flavor.

Thank you and have a great week,

Asha

Charentais Melon Salad: In a small bowl combine 3 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine. Halve and seed a large Charentais melon, then slice into 1-inch thick wedges. Arrange the melon slices over 6 salad plates. Top melon slices with a slice of Prosciutto di San Daniele, scatter basil leaves on top and dress with the balsamic vinaigrette and freshly ground black pepper. From thecooksatelier.com

Melon smoothie:     1 (1-1/4 pound) Charentais melon 1-cup low fat vanilla yogurt 1 teaspoon lemon juice ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom (or cinnamon or nutmeg) Peel and seed melon. Chop into large chunks. Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes (don’t freeze completely). Place the yogurt in a blender. Place the chilled melon chunks on top of the yogurt. Add lemon juice and cardamom. Blend until frothy. Chill until ready to serve.

Spicy Cantaloupe Salad adapted from The Splendid Table’s How to Eat   1 medium and very ripe cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into strips 2 limes, zested and juiced 1-2 tablespoons sugar 2 drops Asian fish sauce Dash of cayenne pepper, or 2 dashes if you’re serious Salt and pepper to taste. Put everything in a bowl. Stir! Refrigerate for an hour or so to let the flavors meld.

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 temperature garnished with slivered toasted almonds. From Better Homes and Gardens August 2010 issue.  

Sautéed Daikon Greens with Onion, Garlic and Lemon 2 tsp sesame oil 1/2 onion, cut in thin half-moons pinch of sea salt 1-2 garlic cloves, chopped small 3 bunches daikon greens (1 bunch is the amount from 1 radish), washed and chopped a few slices of fresh lemon 1.  Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the oil. Add the onion and sea salt as soon as a little piece gently sizzles in the oil. Sauté, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until onion starts getting translucent.   2.  Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. 3.  Add the daikon greens and stir until the greens get coated with the oil and onions. Add a Tbsp or two of water. Cover and let cook until tender, 3-4 minutes. 4.  Remove from heat. Add squeezes of lemon juice when serving.

Parmesan Potato Gratin: preheat oven to 325. Brush the bottom of a 3-quart baking dish with 1 tbsp olive oil; set aside. Shave 4 cups Parmesan cheese into thin strips; set aside. In a small bowl combine 4 slices of crisp cooked and crumbled bacon, 2 thinly sliced green onions, 2 tbsp snipped fresh chives. In the prepared baking dish place 2 lbs peeled and finely sliced potatoes. Sprinkle with ½ tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper, half the bacon mixture and ½ tbsp snipped fresh rosemary and ½ tbsp snipped fresh thyme. Top with half the parmesan (2 cups). Dot with 2 tbsp unsalted butter. Repeat layers using 2 more lbs potatoes, and additional fresh herbs, and 2 additional tbsp butter. In a small bowl whisk together ¾ cup whole milk, ¾ cup heavy cream, and 3 tbsp all-purpose flour; pour evenly over potatoes. Bake, covered, for 1-½ hours. Increase temperature to 400. Bake, uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes more or until potatoes are tender and top is golden brown.

Holiday Kale Salad: Preheat oven to 375. Line a 15x10x1 inch baking pan with foil or parchment. Place 2 cups fresh cranberries and 4 to 5 cloves unpeeled garlic cloves on a pan. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil; sprinkle with ¼ tsp , each salt and ground black pepper. Roast, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes or until garlic is browned at the edges and wrinkled. Cool slightly. Remove garlic peels; finely chop garlic cloves. For dressing, in a screw top jar combine garlic, remaining 3 tbsp olive oil, ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp Dijon-style mustard, and 2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel. Cover and shake well. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper. In a large bowl combine cranberries, 4 cups chopped kale, 2 cups cooked wild rice, 1 small bulb fennel, cored and shaved into thin wedges, 1 cup chopped walnuts, ½ thinly sliced red pepper, and ½ thinly sliced onion. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat. Makes 9 cups (about 12 servings).

Ginger, Carrot, Daikon radish salad: Use a mandoline shredder to shred 1 lb daikon radish and 2 large carrots into 4 cups total. Mix together 1 clove shredded garlic and 1 tbsp shredded ginger with the grated vegetables in a medium size bowl. Meanwhile, whisk together 1 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp rice vinegar and 1/2 tsp Sriracha or chili sauce or diced Czech black pepper. Toss the dressing with the salad and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Spanish omelet: heat ½ cup olive oil in a 8 to 10 inch skillet. Add 1 cup peeled thinly sliced potatoes. Turn them constantly until well coated with the oil. Reduce the heat and turn them occasionally, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat in a large heavy skillet: 2 tbsp olive oil, add and cook about 5 minutes ½ cup thinly sliced onion and ½ cup julienned strips bell pepper. Add 1 minced garlic clove, 1/3 cup chopped peeled , seeded, and drained tomato, and salt and black pepper to taste. Continue to cook about 15 minutes. Add the potatoes to the onion mixture and keep hot. Beat 8 eggs with a fork, add ½ tsp salt and a pinch of black pepper. Melt 1 tbsp butter in an 8 to 10 inch skillet over medium high heat. For each omelet pour in ½ cup of the egg mixture. Add about 2 tbsp of the vegetable filling for each one. Also top each omelet with 2 additonal tbsp of the vegetable filling. Serves 4.

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 10

 

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8-29-17

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 10

 

Large shares: Yellow doll watermelon, sweet corn, heirloom tomatoes, red onions, cucumber, lemon cucumber, kohlrabi, kale, basil, shishito peppers, bell peppers, eggplant

 

Small shares: Cherry tomatoes, green beans, carrots, shishito peppers, red onion, basil, cucumber, kale

 

Greens share: Chard, dandelion, green cabbage

 

Roots share: Purple potatoes, Cipollini onions, beets

 

Juicing share: 5lb carrot seconds, 5 lb beet seconds, fennel, kale, cucumbers, tomato seconds

 

Dear CSA members,

 

The heat and smoke have returned to our region this week. Many of you may have heard about the brush fire in Rochester last Tuesday that burned several hundred acres and several homes and structures. The fire was actually near one of the fields in the Grand Mound area that we are leasing. Thankfully we aren’t growing any crops there at the moment and have suffered no losses due to this burn.

 

Though I will be excited for cooler weather to return, the warm temps are making harvest for CSA pretty fun. I was surprised to find during our weekly planning that we would have watermelon and sweet corn for the large shares as well as a plethora of shishito peppers.

 

Shishito peppers are a Japanese frying pepper that is iconic to izakaya (Japanese tapas/appetizers/bar food). They are mild, and prized because they are thin, delicate and thin-skinned and thus blister and char easily in the pan. Occasionally one of the peppers may be spicy instead of mild, but there is no way to tell until you taste it. For many, this is part of the enjoyment, but you may want to taste carefully before you dig in. Usually, a small hole is poked to keep the pepper from bursting and then pan-fried whole in oil until wilted and slightly charred. Shishitos are often served as an appetizer with a dipping sauce. I think these would be great pickled as well.

 

The watermelon is a variety called Yellow Doll and has a bright lemon yellow flesh with a sweet, dense and crisp flavor and mouth-feel. This variety is good for our climate because they are small in size and mature quickly. I would store this melon in the refrigerator until ready to consume. Later in the season it looks like we will have tons of Charentais melons as well.

 

Sweet corn is best eaten asap! You can store it in the fridge but the flavor will diminish over time. This stuff looks really nice and we hope to have some for small shares next week.

 

Heirloom tomatoes for the large share this week. Again, we hope to have enough for the smalls next week. Store heirloom tomatoes out on the counter, they don’t have a huge shelf life so plan to use them up quickly.

 

Cipollini onions: The root share received these this week. These slightly flattened, disc like onions originate in the Reggio Emilia province of Italy, an area also known for “Prosciutto of Parma” ham and “Parmigiano Reggiano”. They are exceptionally sweet are great for roasting or caramelizing.

 

Thank you and have a great week,

 

Asha

 

 

 

Blistered Shishito peppers with lemon, garlic and salt: Heat a cast iron pan over med-high heat with a couple tbsp olive oil. Add a big handful of whole shishito peppers and pan roast them for a couple of minutes then add some lemon slices, a pinch of coarse sea salt and some crushed garlic. Roast the mixture until the peppers are blistered and mildly charred. Serve immediately.

 

 

Watermelon, Cucumber and Lime Salad

 

Watermelon, cut into small slices

Cucumber, sliced

Salad greens

Feta

Lime, zest and juice

Olive oil

Agave syrup

Salt and pepper

Thinnly sliced basil leaves

 

Toss watermelon slices, cucumber slices, salad greens and diced feta with lime zest, juice, olive oil, agave syrup, basil, salt and pepper to taste. Correct seasoning.

 

Watermelon Margaritas: bring ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water and 3 strips of orange zest to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved about 3 min. remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Place 2 cups peeled and seeded watermelon in a blender and pulse until pureed. Stir watermelon puree into a large pitcher with ¾ cup white tequila, the simple syrup and ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice. Place a small amount of salt or sugar on a saucer. Moisten glass rim with lime juice and press into the salt or sugar to coat the rime. Fill glasses with ice cubes and pour margarita mix over the ice. Serve with additional lime wedges.

 

Red chard and Rice: heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a saucepot over medium heat. Add 4 slices bacon, finely chopped. Cook 2 minutes. Add 2 cloves garlic and stir 1 minute. Add 1 small bunch red chard, stemmed and chopped, season with a little nutmeg, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and paprika. When the chard is wilted add 1 cup white rice and stir 1 minute more. Add 1 ¾ cups chicken stock or water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover the pot. Cook 15 to 18 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Fluff with a fork and serve

 

Fried Squash Blossoms with Corn and Mozzarella: mix ¼ lb fresh mozzarella cut into ¼ inch dice, kernels from 1 ear fresh corn, 1 tbsp minced red onion, 1 tsp minced fresh garlic and ¼ tsp each sea salt and pepper. Gently stuff 18 zucchini or butternut squash blossoms with about 1 ½ tsp of the filling and twist ends of the petals closed. Pour canola oil into a medium, heavy pot or saucepan about 3 in deep. Heat over med-high heat until a deep fry thermometer registers 360 to 375. Put a ½ cup each buttermilk and rice flour in separate containers (loaf pans work well). One at a time dip each stuffed blossom into buttermild and let excess drip off. Dip in flour, coating lightly but evenly. Shake off excess flour and fry blossoms in small batches until golden brown, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Gently submerge blossoms with a slotted spoon to cook tops. Drain on paper towels. Season with salt, sprinkle with chives, parsley or basil and serve with lemon wedges if you like.  ( From Sunset August 2013)

 

Corn Chowder with Wild Rice: remove the kernels from 4 ears fresh sweet corn, reserve. In a stock pot over medium heat, combine the halved cobs of the corn and 7 cups of water, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove cobs with tongs and discard; reserve stock. In a stockpot over medium heat, cook 6 slices diced thick cut bacon, stirring often, until cooked through but not crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Add 1 peeled and diced large carrot, 1 large red onion, diced. And 3 tbsp butter. Season with ½ tsp salt and cook until carrot and onion soften, about 15 minutes. Add 4 minced cloves of garlic and 2 tsp fresh minced rosemary, and cook for 1 minute. Add corn kernels, 5 cups of reserved corn stock, ¼ tsp pepper,  and 1 tsp salt and bring to a simmer. Transfer half a cup of soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Using a fine mesh sieve, transfer pureed soup back into stock pot. Stir in 3 cups cooked wild rice and reserved bacon into soup. Serve immediately.

 

Kale Caesar Salad: Preheat oven to 300. For croutons, mince 2 garlic cloves, in a medium saucepan warm ¼ cup olive oil and the minced garlic over low heat; remove. Add 4 cups bread cubed into 1 inch pieces. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt. Stir to coat. Spread bread pieces in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Bake 20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown, stirring once. Cool completely. Meanwhile, for the dressing, in a blender combine 4 cloves garlic, ½ cup olive oil, 6 anchovy filets, ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, and 2 egg yolks. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Remove stems from 3 large bunches of lacinato kale and thinly slice the leaves. Add the dressing, and using your hands work the dressing into the kale. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. To serve, sprinkle with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese and top with croutons.

 

 

Baked Eggplant Sandwiches: Slice 2 eggplants into ½ inch thick rounds and lightly salt them. Set aside for at least 20 minutes. Mix together; 1-cup bread crumbs, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsely, and black pepper to taste. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set up a work station with a plate of ½ lb sliced provolone or mozzarella, a plate with the eggplant slices, a bowl of flour, a bowl of beaten eggs, and a bowl with the bread crumb mixture, and an oiled baking sheet. For each sandwich, place a slice of cheese between two slices of eggplant. Hold the sandwich firmly and coat the sides with flour. Dip the sandwich first into the eggs and then into the bread-crumbs to coat both sides. Place the finished sandwich on the baking sheet. Continue assembling the sandwiches until you have used all the eggplant slices. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork. These are best served bubbly hot.

 

Roasted Tomatoes and Cipollini: Preheat oven to 375. Boil a small pot of water and blanche 1 lb whole cipollini for 10 seconds, then plunge them into cold water. Use paring knife to make a small slit in each, and slide them out of their skins and outer layer. Spread peeled onions and 1 lb chopped tomatoes in a roasting pan. Drizzle with ¼ cup olive oil and a few good pinches of coarse salt. Toss everything together until well coated and roast in oven for 45 minutes, reaching in every 15 minutes with a spatula to roll the tomatoes and onions around to ensure all sides get blistered. Just before you take the tomatoes and onions out, place 4 1-inch thick slices of country or ciabatta bread on the oven rack and let them toast lightly. You can rub the toasts with a halved garlic clove, if you like, while still hot. Use tongs to arrange the toast in one layer on a serving platter. Dump 1½ cups cooked white beans over the bread. You can also use 1 15 oz can of white beans rinsed and drained. Scrape the entire contents of the tomato- and -onion roasting pan, still hot, over the beans. Do not skimp on the juices that have collected, all of them – don’t leave any in the pan. Sprinkle the dish with a few slivered basil leaves and eat at once. Serves 4 as a small dish, 2 as a main. (From smittenkitchen.com)

 

Tomato, Red onion, and Purple Pepper Salad with yogurt dressing: Thinly 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.

 

Kolhrabi Carrot Fritters with Avocado Cream Sauce

by: a Couple Cooks

Serves: 8 fritters

What You Need

  • 2 kohlrabi
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil (enough for ¼-inch depth in a large skillet)
  • ½ avocado
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Green onions (for garnish)

 

Cut the leaves off the kohlrabi and peel the bulb. Peel 1 carrot. Shred the vegetables in a food processor, or by hand using a grater. Squeeze the shredded vegetables in a tea cloth (or with your hands) to remove moisture, then add to a medium bowl with 1 egg, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne. Mix to combine.

Place ½ cup oil in a large skillet (enough for ¼-inch depth). Heat the oil over medium high heat, then place small patties of the fritter mixture into the oil. Fry on one side until browned, then fry on the other side. Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil.

In a small bowl, mix ½ avocado, ¼ cup plain yogurt, juice from ½ lemon, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt to make the avocado cream (or blend the ingredients together in a food processor). Serve fritters with avocado cream and sliced green onions.

These fritters are best eaten warm the day of making; they don’t save well. Like anything made with avocado, the avocado cream sauce will become brown after exposure to air. Make sure to cover the surface with plastic wrap when storing.

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm Fall CSA week 3

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11-3-15

Large shares: delicata squash, leeks, kale, turnips, carrots, radicchio, purple potatoes, garlic, thyme

Small shares: delicata squash, leeks, kale, radicchio, red fingerling potatoes, broccoli or extra red fingerling potatoes, garlic, thyme

Dear CSA members,

The final weekend of October finally brought us some serious fall weather here in our river valley. The storm brought close to 5 inches of rain over three days and wind gusts up to 30 mph! Our beautiful Chehalis River went from low-looking, to almost bank-full within 24 hours. She is now a muddy beast rolling and foaming along at great speed with logs and debris along for the ride as well.

This time of year we will begin to keep an eye on the hydrograph projections to watch what the river will be doing in regards to flooding, so we can plan ahead if and when crops and equipment need to be moved to higher ground. This is simply a fact of life in a river flood plain. While inconvenient at times, I do appreciate the powerful force of our river and the need to keep a respectful and watchful eye on her. Otherwise, we may find ourselves in grief over lost equipment and crops that could have been saved. In return, the flood waters will bring us a fresh supply of nutrients and topsoil when they do come. The river is what built the soil we farm on after all!

Our fields didn’t flood this time, but we certainly are getting used to being back in muddy conditions (something we havent had a whole lot of this season). Heavy wet rain gear and mud laden boots weigh us down, boxes are slippery, and trucks must be parked strategically so as not to get stuck when heavily loaded with produce. Not to mention the fact that washing the bunches is extra difficult when there is so much mud stuck to them.

November brings with it stormy weather, but also a nice reduction in work load. We are officially down to just two market days per week (Saturday and Sunday at the Olympia Farmers market). Additionally, after this week, there will be just one remaining CSA delivery! Setting the clocks back this last Sunday gives us an extra hour of sleep, and as it is dark so early, we are forced to come in for the day by 6pm. More dark hours means more rest, and more rest means happier farmers. We will also have more time to plan for next season and catch up on paper work. Whoo hoo!

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

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

Radicchio: this hardy winter green is in the chicory family, it has a bitter taste that mellows with the onset of cold weather and also when you grill or roast it. Raddichio is an excellent addition to salads particularly when paired with cheese, fruits and toasted nuts.

Leeks: Leeks are a member of the allium family of onions, garlic, scallions etc. They are milder, sweeter, and more delicate in flavor than onions are are often used in soups and broths. To clean, cut the leek in half vertically, and fan out the sheaves under running water to get out any dirt that may be hiding there. The white part is the desirable portion, as the green leaves tend to be tougher and stronger flavored. You can store leeks in the crisper of the refrigerator for several weeks if they are left untrimmed.

Thyme: is an herb from a low growing woody perennial plant. This aromatic herb can be used for cooking, medicine, and aromatic purposes and stands up very well to our robust fall and winter vegetables. The leaves are excellent fresh added to your dishes near the end of cooking to preserve the delicate flavor. Also, you could easily dry your thyme for later use by spreading the sprigs out in a warm dry location for a few days, then stripping the dry leaves off into a storage container.

Enjoy and have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

Grilled Chicory: heat grill to high heat. Slice your chicory vertically, and discard any bruised leaves. Brush the greens with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with good sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Turn grill down to med-low. Place the greens on the grill and cook turning every 1 to 2 minutes until the leaves turn a rich crusty brown on both sides. 5 to 10 minutes. Cut the greens into 4 to 6 servings and serve warm or at room temperature with additional vinaigrette.

Radicchio salad with goat cheese and hazelnuts: In a large bowl whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, 3 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 ½ tsp sugar and season with salt and pepper. Tear up about 1 pound radicchio into bite sized pieces, add 1/3 cup blanched and toasted hazelnuts (almond and walnuts would work too) chopped. Serve salad topped with 1-cup goat cheese.

Potato Leek Soup: Melt 3 tbsp butter in a soup pot over low heat. Add and cook, stirring, until tender but not browned about 20 minutes 2 large leeks, chopped. Stir in 1 1/4 lbs peeled and thinnly sliced yellow finn potatoes. Add 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer until the potatoes are soft about 30 minutes. Puree until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme to taste.

Fall Potato Salad: Toss 2 lbs cubed potatoes with salt and olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast in a 450 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Combine with various fall vegetables of your choice; onion, shallot, garlic, carrots, roasted winter squash,celariac or parsnips for example. Toss with fresh tomato wedges, basil, thyme or other herbs of your choice. Dress with ¼ cup olive oil whipped with 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar.

Leek and Potato Gratin: Preheat oven to 375. In a large pot of salted boiling water, parboil 3 lbs red potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick, for 5 minutes. Drain potatoes well and set aside. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp unsalted butter over medium heat. Saute 10 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1 inch pieces (washed thoroughly), and 4 chopped garlic cloves until leeks are tender about 7 minutes. Set aside. In a buttered 9 x 13 inch baking dish, arrange half of reserved potatoes in an overlapping pattern. Pour 1 cup cream and ½ cup milk over the top and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Top with reserved leeks and arrange remaining potatoes. Pour another cup of heavy cream and ½ cup milk and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt. Bake until potatoes are tender, top of gratin is golden brown, and most of the cream and milk have been absorbed, about 45 minutes. Garnish with parsely. Serves 12. From November 2011 issue of Country Living magazine).

Frizzled Leeks: Cut 2 leeks (white and very light green parts only) into 2 inch lengths and then cut lengthwise into very fine shreds. Rinse the shreds thoroughly, using your fingers to separate the pieces and remove any grit hiding there. Drain thoroughly and blot dry with a clean towel. While the leeks dry, heat 2 to 4 cups canola oil in a deep pan. The pan should hold about 1 ½ inches deep of the oil. When the oil surface is shivering, add a few leek shreds and fry for 10 to 15 seconds. Remove the leeks to a paper towel lined platter to drain and cool. The oil should be hot enough to crisp the leeks golden brown in about 10 to 15 seconds, adjust temperature as needed. Fry the leeks in small batches until all are golden and crisp. Lightly season them with salt and use for snacking or to top salads and creamy soups. They will keep in an airtight container for 3 days at room temp.

 Baked delicata squash with brown sugar and butter: Preheat oven to 400. Cut 1 delicata squash in half and scoop out seeds. 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.

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 15

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9-22-15

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week #15

Large shares: fennel, carrots, lacinato kale, summer squash, potatoes, shallots, sweet pepper, Poblano peppers, cayenne peppers, garlic, purple mustard greens, salad cucumbers, dill

Small shares: fennel, carrots, lacinato kale, shallots or small sweet onions, purple beauty bell pepper, potatoes, jalapeno pepper, czech black pepper, garlic, dill

 

 Autumn Movement

 

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

 

The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.

 

The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go, not one lasts.

 

-Carl Sandburg

 

 

Dear CSA members,

The heavy lifting days of late September are here. Cold, crisp night last night, near 38 degrees and Orions’ belt peeking over the horizon. We are near the Autumnal equinox and our days will grow short again. I have been hearing the calls of snow geese over -head as they begin the fall migrations to the south and love seeing fresh snow on the slopes of Mt. Rainier. Now is the time that we must bring in all the winter squash, tons and tons of it. The squashes must cure in a warm dry place on order to be stored for the winter months to come. Once cured, we will move them into an insulated room to protect them from freezing. Within the next week or so will be the big potato harvest as well!

In the fields, the late cauliflower and broccoli plantings have been looking really amazing. However, we have been disappointed to find an outbreak of aphids that is really cutting the harvest down. I was hoping to have cauliflower for CSA this week, but it is not to be. We do have some really nice kale instead.

Each share will get a couple of our hot peppers. The large share will have cayenne peppers. These are really hot! I use them for Thai and Indian dishes ( in small quantities). They dry really well and you can grind them easily after they are dried. Small shares get a Jalapeno pepper (mildly hot) which is excellent for salsa and a Czech black pepper. The Czech black pepper starts out black and then ripens to the gorgeous dark red color. They are similar in heat to the Jalapeno, but have a sweeter more complex flavor.

Large shares received a couple poblano peppers. These are the block, conical dark green or dark red peppers. The flesh of these peppers is mildly hot, sweet, and savory. These peppers are excellent for stuffing, chile relleno style.

Both shares received fresh dill this week. This fern like herb has a nice sweet licorice and parsley like flavor. I think it is delicious with potatoes, in green and pasta salads and in creamy dips. Also, new this week is shallots (some of the small shares did not receive shallots). Shallots, like onions and garlic, are a member of the allium family, but their flavor is richer, sweeter, yet more potent. Shallots add a great depth of flavor to pan sautés, soups, sauces, and stews, and pair especially well with chicken and fish. To substitute one for the other in recipes, use half the amount of shallot that you would onion.

 

Have a great week,

 

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

 

 

Greek Spinach Dip: heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat, add ¼ cup chopped shallots, 4 chopped green onions, 1 tbsp minced garlic. Sauté 1 minute, stir in 12 oz. spinach leaves. Cook 2 more minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree. Add in ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp lemon zest, 2 tsp lemon juice, 1 cup greek yogurt, ½ cup feta cheese, 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse just until combined.

 

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.

 

Kale Caesar Salad: Preheat oven to 300. For croutons, mince 2 garlic cloves, in a medium saucepan warm ¼ cup olive oil and the minced garlic over low heat; remove. Add 4 cups bread cubed into 1 inch pieces. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt. Stir to coat. Spread bread pieces in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Bake 20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown, stirring once. Cool completely. Meanwhile, for the dressing, in a blender combine 4 cloves garlic, ½ cup olive oil, 6 anchovy filets, ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, and 2 egg yolks. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Remove stems from 3 large bunches of lacinato kale and thinly slice the leaves. Add the dressing, and using your hands work the dressing into the kale. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. To serve, sprinkle with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese and top with croutons.

 

*a variation is to add thinly sliced fennel and chopped pistachio nuts.

 

Lemon Potato Soup with Feta: in a 4 quart dutch oven heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat, add 1 cup chopped onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in 4 cups chicken broth and 4 cups chopped potatoes. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in 2 cups chopped kale or spinach and 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until kale is wilted. Remove from heat. Stir in the juice and zest of one lemon and an additional tbsp of olive oil. Let stand for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with 2 oz crumbled feta cheese and additional lemon zest if desired. Serves 4.