Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 14

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9-26-17

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 17

Large share: beets, carrots, cipollini onions, garlic, yellow finn potatoes, lettuce, radicchio, sweet peppers, sweet corn, rosemary, heirloom tomatoes, bell pepper

Small share: beets, carrots, cipollini onions, garlic, yellow finn potatoes, lettuce, bell pepper, rosemary, heirloom tomatoes

Greens share: lettuce, lacinato rainbow kale, chard

Roots share: parsnips, red carrots, shallots

Dear CSA members,

This is going to be a quick letter this week. Our big potato harvest is in full swing on this gorgeous fall day! Joseph is digging the rows with the potato digger attached to the tractor and the crew is out picking them up and bagging them. We will place them in temperature-controlled storage for the rest of the year so they won’t rot or start sprouting again. Last week we harvested all 6 tons of our winter squash and placed it in storage at our big barn!

This is likely to be our last round of heirloom tomatoes for the year. Large shares got sweet corn, and smalls should get it next week! New this week we have sweet peppers, cipollini onions, radicchio, and parsnips for the roots share

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.

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.

Have a great week,

Asha

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

Grilled 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.

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.

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)

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.

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.

 

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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.