Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 13
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,
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.