Basil Bunches and Making and Freezing Pesto

Fall is here and it is time to start saying goodbye to Summer crops. The shorter days signal crops like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant to stop blooming and to concentrate on ripening the fruit that is set on the plants. Wyatt says the pepper plants will probably finish this year before we even get a frost, a first for Red Wagon.

Basil plants are notorious for wanting to bloom and go to seed. We relentlessly  ‘tip’ every single plant almost daily to keep the plants from blooming and to ensure a long basil season for our Farm. But, alas, nature wins the battle and the basil plants bloom.

This week we will be cutting the basil plants down and will be giving basil bunches as a choice.


I wanted to give you a heads up so you can have a plan for what to do with all that basil.

This basil is a little tougher and a little more pungent than the early basil tips you got a couple months ago in the small Ziploc bags.  It’s beautiful and delicious, just a little different.

I like to make pesto and freeze it. I love to add pesto to Winter roasted vegetables. It brightens up meals and makes me happy thinking of the Summer bounty.

Below is a basic pesto recipe. You can use any nuts you have, or leave them out all together. Same with cheese, add it or leave it out. Sometimes I  blend only the basil and olive oil and simply freeze it that way leaving me lots of flavor options.

Another heads up; These mature plants make a deep green-darker pesto than pesto made with young early spring plants-something about how the older plants have more chlorophyll now.


For every 2 cups of basil leaves you will need;

2 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems).
2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts or any nuts or no nuts
2 large cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Parmesan-optional
a squirt of lemon just is optional too and salt if you aren’t using cheese, the cheese is usually salty enough for me. Taste your pesto and season accordingly.


Basic Pesto
Step 1
Remove basil leaves and measure how much you have so you can multiply ingredients according to the recipe. I like to toast my nuts and garlic, you don’t have to but I think it tames and blends the flavors.
Step 2
Put the nuts (toasted or not) and garlic-if using- in a food processor and pulse a few times then add the basil and pulse a few times-with the machine running slowly dribble in the oil and process until
the mixture is smooth.
Step 3
Add the cheese if you are using it, and process very briefly, just long enough to combine.
Store in refrigerator for up to a week,  or freezer for up to 9 months.

Mines going in the freezer. I like to freeze it flat in a Ziploc so I can break off pieces as I need it and reseal the bag.


See you at pick-up.




Posted in 2018, Herbs, Recipes

CSA Week 19

Hello CSA Members!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 19 of our CSA:

Winter Squash

CHOICE: Basil Bunches OR Zucchini
CHOICE: Peppers OR Eggplant
CHOICE: Beets OR Potatoes
CHOICE: Celery OR Parsley OR Radishes
CHOICE Tomatoes OR Cherry Tomatoes
CHOICE: Brussels Sprouts OR Cabbage OR Arugula
Winter Squash

TWO Choices Basil OR Zucchini
TWO Choices Brussels Sprouts OR Cabbage OR Arugula
Beets AND Potatoes

Apples and Pears



Posted in 2018, Farm, Newsletter

CSA Week 18

Hello CSA Members!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 18 of our CSA:

CHOICE: Zucchini OR Cucumbers OR Eggplant
CHOICE: Bell Peppers OR Shishitos OR Jalapeños OR Lunchbox OR Tomatillos
CHOICE: Roasted Sweet Carmens OR Roasted Chilis OR Beans
CHOICE: Tomatoes OR Cherry Tomatoes
CHOICE: Corn OR Arugula
Spaghetti Squash

Corn And Arugula

With love, Red Wagon

Two Choices Peppers
Two Choices Zucchini OR Cucumbers OR Eggplant

Apples and Pears



Posted in 2018, Farm, Newsletter

Olive Oil Lemon Zucchini Bread


When bloggers say, ‘I’m so excited to bring you this recipe’ it comes across to me as disingenuous . So, you know what I am about to say, right? I am so excited to bring you this recipe, and I am very sincere. You should make this.

This zucchini bread is all grown up. Not the traditional oily ‘bread’ that is really a cake, loaded with oil and sugar.


This is dense and moist, bright and not overly sweet bread ,made with olive oil and lemon and yogurt. It is a perfect breakfast treat or snack.


I saw this recipe in the New York Times and followed it almost exactly, but I did make a few changes. I didn’t use the traditional cinnamon, it seemed out of place to me with the bright lemon and complex taste addition of olive oil. I used ginger and I love how it tasted with the lemon. I upped the lemon zest too. I will note the changes I made in parentheses in the recipe below.


Butter, for the pan
1 ½ cups/185 gr grated zucchini ( didn’t measure, I used two medium size zucchini)
⅔ cup/140 gr light brown sugar (I used 1/2 cup)
⅓ cup/80 gr olive oil (or other
oil such as safflower or canola)
⅓ cup/80 gr plain Greek
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon/5 gr vanilla
1 ½ cups/190 gr all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 cup whole wheat  and 1 cup all-purpose flour)
½ teaspoon/3 gr salt
½ teaspoon/3 gr baking soda
½ teaspoon/2 gr baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons/4 gr ground
cinnamon (I didn’t use cinnamon, I used dried ginger)
¼ teaspoon/1 gr ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon/2 gr finely grated
lemon zest (I doubled the amount of lemon zest)
½ cup/55 gr chopped walnuts (I used toasted pecans)

By Melissa Clark YIELD One 8-inch loaf TIME 1 1/2 hours (that is mixing and baking time)

Olive Oil Zucchini Bread
Step 1
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch loaf pan.
Step 2
In a large bowl, use a rubber spatula to mix together the grated
zucchini, sugar, olive oil, yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract. (I mixed everything but the grated zucchini together, then I mixed the dry ingredients, then I mixed the zucchini and the nuts)
Step 3
Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, lemon zest
and spices in a separate bowl. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet
ingredients. Fold in the walnuts if using.
Step 4
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40 to 55 (I baked mine 65 minutes)
minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The bread will be
done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Step 5
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan
and cool on a rack completely before cutting and serving


Posted in 2018, Recipes, Zucchini | 1 Comment

CSA Week 17

Hello CSA Members!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 17 of our CSA:

Freshly harvested Carrots

CHOICE: Zucchini OR Cucumbers
CHOICE: Carrots OR Potatoes OR Celery
CHOICE: Beets OR Bells OR Lunchbox Peppers
CHOICE: Garlic OR Onions
CHOICE: Corn OR Tomatoes
CHOICE: Brussels Sprouts OR Cabbage

Corn AND Tomatoes
Two Choices: Carrots Or Potatoes OR Celery

Apples and Pears



Posted in 2018, Farm, Newsletter

Blistered Shishitos with Dipping Sauce


I   Love Shishito Peppers .

I saw this recipe and was inspired to make a similar dipping sauce to the one in the recipe but use shishito peppers for the vehicle to move the sauce from the dish into my mouth. Broccoli, beans or snap peas would be good vehicles too.

I gathered these ingredients


And I made a sauce. I didn’t measure, I eyeballed and tasted. It was pretty basic, some yogurt, a dash of soy sauce and a squeeze of lime and a squeeze of sriracha. It’s not a great picture, but it gives you an idea of proportions.


Mix that up and cook your shishitos either in a pan with oil or on your grill. Sprinkle some  sesame seeds on and enjoy the heck out of this dish!

We grilled some beans and made another sauce (that recipe is here) and had that with some gazpacho and margaritas for a great end of summer dinner.


Happy Labor Day Weekend. Be safe.


Posted in 2018, Peppers, Recipes

Charred Beans with Nori and Sesame Seed Dipping ‘Sand’.


This is my new favorite way to eat grilled vegetables. I love to eat with my fingers and I love to dip-dip-dip. This is so easy and fast to make. It’s just a sheet of Nori, some seeds and chili pepper flakes.

I used green beans here, but you could use any type of bean, or shishitos, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or Romanesco.

This is barely adapted from this recipe (second recipe down on that page) from Yotam Ottolenghi. He used shishitos in his recipe, and I didn’t have all the different seeds he used. This is what I had.


1 sheet of nori seaweed
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
1/4 cup of sesame seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
Flaky sea salt
1 pound of vegetables to roast or grill. Like I said before have used several different vegetables. 
olive oil
mayonnaise, homemade or store bought.

Put a medium-sized frying pan on a medium heat, add the nori and dry-fry for six to seven minutes, turning once halfway, until it starts to brown and break apart easily. Break into very small pieces, either in a food processor or by hand (in which case the pieces will be slightly bigger) and put in a medium-sized bowl.

Return the pan to a medium heat, add the sunflower seeds and sesame seeds and toast them for three to four minutes, until they have turned golden brown. Put into a food processor or chop by hand. I  used a small food processor.

Put the vegetables you are using (in my case, beans) in a large bowl . Add some olive oil and a half-teaspoon of salt and toss to coat evenly. Grill or roast your vegetables until they have a nice char.

Remove and serve warm with a bowl each of mayonnaise and nori salt alongside, for dipping. You dip the bean into the mayo then into the seed mix, then into your mouth.


We had this along side this shishito dish and interchanged the sauces and vegetables. It was a delicious meal.


See you at pickup and hopefully the Farm Tour Thursday.





Posted in 2018, Beans, Recipes

CSA Week 16

Hello CSA Members!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 16 of our CSA:

CHOICE: Carrots OR Potatoes
CHOICE: Cucumbers OR Bell Peppers OR Lunchbox Peppers
CHOICE: Roasted Anaheims OR Roasted Sweet Carmens

Early Morning Crew

CHOICE: Melon OR Arugula

Double Choice Cucumbers OR Bell Peppers OR Lunchbox Peppers

Peaches and Apples



Posted in 2018, Farm, Newsletter

Salad Sandwiches


I love sandwiches. I can eat them for  breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes I like a plain fried egg sandwich, or a grilled cheese. This time of year I like to see how many vegetables I can cram into (onto?) a sandwich. On this sandwich I got a whole cucumber, a tomato, some onion and a jalapeno-cheese and mayonnaise too. Pretty much a salad on bread. Yeah, I ate that whole thing and yeah, that tomato was dripping down my elbows. I had to hunch over the counter to keep it from dripping on the floor. I’ll eat my salad sandwich outside next time.


Most salad sandwiches benefit from slicing the vegetables up as thin as possible. I like to use this cheap mandoline slicer and vegetable peeler. I am not a big kitchen gadget person, but I love these tools.


Another way I like to make salad sandwiches is to use a ciabatta roll. I hollow out the top half so I can fill up the vacant area with vegetables. I spread some goat cheese on the bottom roll before I put on the roasted beets to keep the roll from getting soggy.


I added some cucumbers, carrots and egg and some hummus on the top of the roll.


It kind of hugs all the salad stuff. This was a well behaved sandwich and wasn’t messy.


This is one of my favorites.


It is grilled bread topped with melted cheese then tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper and a little olive oil.


We had this with shishitos and beer. It was a perfect Summer meal.

Have fun and be creative with your CSA bounty. See you at pick up.






Posted in 2018, Miscellany, Recipes

CSA Week 15

Hello CSA Members!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 15 of our CSA:

CHOICE: Garlic OR Parsley
CHOICE: Shishitos OR Sweet Carmens OR Jimmy Naradellos OR Bell Peppers
CHOICE Tomatoes OR Tomatillos OR Cherry Tomatoes
CHOICE: Kale OR Swiss Chard OR Collard Greens OR Lettuce Heads



Double Beans
CHOICE: Romanesco OR Cauliflower OR Cabbage
A Melon

Peaches and Plums



Posted in 2018, Farm, Newsletter