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 10

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8-16-16

Large Shares: Lacinato kale, Romaine lettuce, slicing cucumbers, lemon cucumber, bell pepper, summer squash, carrots, Romano beans or green beans, yellow onion, red onion, cherry tomatoes, Penasco blue garlic, cilantro

Small Shares: carrots, golden beets, green cabbage, yellow onion, lemon cucumbers, kohlrabi, cilantro, green beans

 

Dear CSA members,

Week 10 and mid August! We are certainly in the peak of the summer season. With warm/hot temperatures forecast for some time to come we should indeed see a significant upswing in harvests in the near future. Everyone who ordered boxes of tomato seconds hang in there, they are coming! We may be adding quite a bit to the bulk order list including green beans and pickling cucumbers.

New this week is Romano Beans: Green Romano beans are broad and flattened in shape, averaging about five inches in length at maturity. The beans have a stringless seam that opens rather easily while still young. The pods cling loosely to a series of about six tiny lime green to white colored peas. The beans are crisp and fleshy in texture, extremely succulent, offering a subtlety sweet and grassy flavor. They are great both raw and cooked.

This week I wanted to share with you some thoughts on the benefits of organic agriculture, just to reiterate the reasons why we do what we do. As well as why you choose to spend your food dollars with us.

Soil. Soil building practices such as crop rotations, inter-cropping, symbiotic associations, cover crops, organic fertilizers and minimum tillage are central to organic practices. Organic practices encourage soil fauna and flora, improve soil formation and structure and create more stable systems. In turn, nutrient and energy cycling is increased and the retentive abilities of the soil for nutrients and water are enhanced, and soil erosion is reduced. If we treat our soil right our crops will show it by increased vigor, flavor and disease/pest resistance.

Water. In many agriculture areas, pollution of groundwater  with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides is a major problem. As the use of these is prohibited in organic agriculture, they are replaced by organic fertilizers (e.g. compost, animal manure, green manure) and through the use of greater biodiversity (in terms of species cultivated and permanent vegetation), The enhanced soil stucture and better nutrient retention and water infiltration of well managed organic systems  greatly reduce the risk of groundwater pollution.

Air and climate change. Organic agriculture reduces non-renewable energy use by decreasing agrochemical needs (these require high quantities of fossil fuel to be produced). Organic agriculture contributes to mitigating the greenhouse effect and global warming through its ability to sequester carbon in the soil. Many management practices used by organic agriculture (e.g. minimum tillage, returning crop residues to the soil, the use of cover crops and rotations, and the greater integration of nitrogen-fixing legumes), increase the return of carbon to the soil, raising productivity and favoring carbon storage. A number of studies revealed that soil organic carbon contents under organic farming are considerably higher. The more organic carbon is retained in the soil, the higher the potential of agriculture to mitigate climate change.

Biodiversity. Organic farmers are both custodians and users of biodiversity at all levels. By utilizing traditional, heirloom and adapted seeds and breeds organic farmers choose varieties that have adapted resistance to diseases and climactic stress and therefore reqire less inputs to create a marketable crop. Organic farms also by and large maintain natural areas within and around their lanscapes, that combined with the absence of chemical inputs creates suitable habitats for birds, pollinating insects and other species that may benefit our crops. Many recent studies have concluded that organic farming produces more biodiversity than other farming systems.

Thank you and have a great week,

Asha

 

 

 

 

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.

Sesame ginger Romano Beans: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, in a small pan over medium high heat, heat 1 cup vegetable oil. Add 3 small shallots, thinly sliced, and fry, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet, toss 1 lb fresh romano (or green) beans (stem ends trimmed), with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger, and 1 tsp salt to coat. Roast beans until tender but still green, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer beans to a serving dish and toss with sesame seeds. Top with reserved shallots.

Cucumber Salad with Caramelized Onions and Herbs: slice onions into ¼ inch thick slices (enough to yield 1 cup) and toss to separate into rings. Have a slotted spoon and double layer of paper towels ready. Heat 2 cups vegetable oil to 275 in a small, deep heavy saucepan and drop in onion rings. Cook onions, stirring often, until they turn a uniform light brown, about 8 to 12 minutes. They’ll brown faster toward the end, so be careful. Lift onions from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tsp onion oil for vinaigrette; let cool. For the vinaigrette: whisk together 1 tbsp each champagne and rice vinegar, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tp salt, and ½ tsp pepper together in a bowl until salt and vinegar dissolve. Add reserved onion oil and 1 tbsp minced onion and whisk well to blend. Season to taste with more salt, pepper and lemon juice. Slice several fresh cucumbers into ¼ inch thick slices with a knife. Toss cucumbers and 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes with vinaigrette. Add 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint, 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, and 1 tbsp roughly chopped red or green shiso (optional). Arrange salad on a platter and top with finely diced mild cucumber pickles and fried onions.

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)

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)

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

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

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)

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #8

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #8

8/5/14

In this week’s box:

Large Shares: eggplant, 2 slicing cucumbers, 2 Walla Walla onions, lacinato Kale, romaine lettuce, summer squash, jalapeno pepper, 3/4lb heirloom tomato, 2 oz fresh basil, garlic, 1 lb romano beans.

Small Shares: romaine lettuce, cauliflower, 1 Walla Walla onion, lacinato kale, summer squash, ¾ lb romano beans, 1 pint cherry tomatoes, fresh basil

 

Dear CSA members,

We have such a nice box this week! The first pickings of lacinato kale, heirloom tomatoes already in early August, huge Walla Walla onions and the first fresh basil harvested for CSA. When the boxes get like this I know we are in the peak of summer! There is so much to choose from when making the harvest lists and the cooler is stacked to the ceiling on Monday harvest day.

This is also the time of year when we can start thinking about canning and freezing things for winter as the abundance is so great! If you are interested in getting bulk quantities of produce such as pickling cucumbers, beets, green beans, tomatoes and basil keep an eye on our web store. When you go to our website you will see the button just below “become a member” there you can place orders for many of these things, pay online and have the produce delivered with your CSA share.

This time of year I like to go over some of the varieties of heriloom tomato that we grow to give folks some background on their wonderfulness. Heirloom tomatoes are something we have done since the beginning of Wobbly Cart Farm and have put much time into selecting varieties that have exceptional color and flavor as well as grow well in our climate.

Aunt Ruby’s German Green: the large 12 to 16 oz , green to greenish yellow , sometimes rose tinted tomato. This heirloom has an outstanding flavor is sweet, tart, rich and spicy. I, and many others rate it as one of the best. It might look a little strange, but the taste is worth it! Introduced from Ruby Arnold’s German immigrant grandfather. Introduced in the 1993 Seed Saver’s exchange Yearbook. Also recently nominated to the Slow Food’s Ark of Taste.

Cherokee Purple: My favorite! I will quote from the Fedco catalog: “ No list of the best-tasting heirloom tomatoes would be compete without Cherokee Purple, an unusual variety from Tennesse, said to have originated with the Cherokee Indians. Fruits are globes to slightly oblate, averaging 10 to 13 oz, with dusky brownish-purple skin, dark green shoulders and brick red flesh, which has been described as “sweet, rich, juicy, winey,” “delicious sweet”, and “rich Brandywine flavor” by aficionados maintaining it in the Seed Savers Exchange.”

Cosmonaut Volkov: This red tomato has 2 to 3 inch slightly squat, deep crimson fruit with green tinged shoulders, and bright red interiors. The flavor is rich, deep, balanced, sweet and tangy. Delivers the “true” tomato taste. Another of my favorites, this one produces a lot of blemish free fruit that tastes awesome. Comes from the Ukraine.

Persimmon: This rose-gold beefsteak type is said by many to date back to cultivation by Thomas Jefferson. It is creamy, meaty and has a near perfect acid- to sweetness balance. I love it for the gorgeous color.

Paul Robeson: Another Russian heirloom that was named in honor of Paul Robeson (1898-1976), who befriended the Soviet Union. Robeson was a multitalented and outspoken crusader for racial equality and social justice. His namesake tomato has developed an almost cult following amongst seed savers. The maroon-brick colored fruit are 6 to 12 oz, oblate in shape and have green shoulders. This one has a distinctive sweet and smoky taste. From the Fedco catalog again: “A sandwich tomato with a tang, and extraordinary tomato for an extraordinary man.”

Rutgers: Not technically an heirloom, this famous New Jersey tomato was developed by the Campbells Soup co. in 1928. It was “refined” by Rutgers University in 1943. Long considered an outstanding slicing, cooking, and canning tomato, the medium sized 4 to 6 oz fruits are very uniform, with rich red interior and great old-time flavor.

Copia: This unique finely striped in yellow and orange heirloom is a cross between Green Zebra and Marvel Stripe. It’s new to us this year. I have found it both tasty and beautiful so far.

I hope you enjoy your box this week! One last note, it is best to use up your fresh basil as soon as possible. If you must store it, just leave it out on the counter. It will turn black in the cold of the refrigerator!

Thank you and have a great week,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

 Halibut with Persimmon Tomato and Dill Relish: Prepare your grill. Combine 2 cups diced Persimmon tomato, 3 tbsp finely chopped red onion, 1 tbsp finely chopped seeded Jalapeno pepper, 1 tsp fresh dill, 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, and ¼ tsp salt in a medium bowl and add ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper. Toss gently to coat. Brush 6 6oz halibut filets with 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle evenly with ¼ tsp more salt and pepper. Place fish on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with tomato mixture; garnish with dill sprigs, if desired.

 

Ham and Cheese Tartines with Cherokee Purple Tomato Salad: preheat broiler, to prepare tartines, place 4 1 ½ oz slices of ciabatta bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Arrange 1 of four Serrano ham slices and 1 or four thin slices of Manchego cheese on each bread slice. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle evenly with 1 tsp oregano. To prepare salad: combine 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, 1 tbsp finely chopped shallots, 1 tsbp sherry vinegar, 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 garlic clove, minced in a bowl and stir well with a whisk. Arrange 1 cup torn boston lettuce on each of four plates. Top each with ¾ cup honeydew melon and ½ cup Cherokee purple tomato slices. Drizzle each with about 1 tbsp dressing. Place 1 tartine on each plate. (both from Cooking Light Magazine)

 

Heirloom Tomato and Eggplant Gratin: Preheat oven to 425. Brush a large oval baking dish with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Arrange 1 ½ lbs of Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick and 1 lb eggplant peeled and sliced into rounds ¼ to 1/3 inch thick, in overlapping concentric circles. Scatter with fresh thyme sprigs on top and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 3 tbsp olive oil over the top. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the eggplant is barely tender and the tomatoes have exuded their juices. Uncover and bake for 25 minutes longer, or until juices have evaporated and vegetables are very tender. Sprinkle with ¼ lb coarsely crumbled goat cheese and bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm. (I have made a similar recipe but made the addition of lots of minced garlic and thinly sliced summer squash and potato. The kids and family loved it!) (from foodandwine.com)

 

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

 

Seashells with Basil, Tomatoes, and Garlic: combine 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped, and ¾ tsp salt in a large bowl. Chop 1 cup of 1 ¼ lbs cherry tomatoes and add to the bowl. Cut remaining tomatoes in half and stir into mixture; let stand about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook ¾ lb medium seashell pasta as package directs in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain pasta, saving 1 cup of water. Toss pasta with tomato mixture, then with ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese, and all but 1 tbsp of ½ cup thinly sliced basil leaves. Mix in a little pasta water if needed for a looser texture. Sprinkle remaining basil on top and season with salt. (from same source as above)