Week #11 (8/11 & 14)

This week your basket contains: beans, zucchini, carrots, cucumber, onions,  lettuce, garlic, tomatoes, eggplant, SWEET CORN (full shares only), beets and basil.

BLACKBERRIES are ripe and ready for you.  Just drop us a quick email to let us know when you will be coming so we can be here to point you to the best spots. Also, let us know if you would like hot peppers added to your basket. For those who are getting them, the hot peppers will be found in your greens bag.

Sweet corn is teeny but delicious this week; the first crop from our corn transplants. The seeded corn looks great and soon we should have plenty of nice ears for all! Summer squash are hitting their stride. We have a summer squash primer up on the blog portion of our website. You can see all the types we grow. We also have a cucumber primer at pumpkinridgegardens.com.

We gave you pesto amounts of basil this week. Storing basil can be tricky. If your fridge is very cold, basil can turn black. In that case, you can store it with the ends of the stems in a glass of water on the counter, like a bouquet. We usually keep it in a plastic bag in the crisper of our refrigerator, which is not too cold. Here is our go-to pesto recipe. Try swirling the pesto in with Buddy’s ratatouille, the recipe we gave you last week. Heavenly!

PESTO

4 c. fresh basil leaves

2 cloves garlic

½ c. pine nuts

½ c. olive oil

¼ c. melted butter

3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper to taste

Put basil leaves, garlic and nuts in bowl of food processor.  Process until finely chopped.  With machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil and melted butter.  With a spoon stir in the cheese, salt and pepper.  This can be stored in the fridge for up to three weeks.  We have also had good luck freezing pesto in ice cube trays, which gives you quick easy pre-portioned pesto cubes.

This week’s basket seems tailor-made for gazpacho. This is the recipe we use; it can be adapted to your tastes.

GAZPACHO

2 slices whole grain bread or ½ garlic bagel

3 cloves garlic, squeezed

¼ cup olive oil

2 cucumbers

1 onion

1 summer squash

2 basil tips

salt and pepper to taste

2-3 lbs tomatoes

½ lb. green beans

1 sweet pepper

Blend bread, garlic, onion and olive oil in a blender or food processor until smooth.  If needed, add tomatoes for additional liquid.  Trim vegetables of stems and blossom ends, but you do not need to peel them.  Continue adding ingredients until all are included, emptying blender as needed.  Taste and adjust seasonings then chill.  Serve cold with garnish of hard-boiled eggs, chopped onion and croutons.  Serves 4 –6.

The beets are beautiful this week. Please use the greens as you would spinach. We separate the greens from the roots and store both in the crisper in the fridge in plastic bags. Substitute lettuce for arugula and basil for parsley in this great recipe:

RED LENTIL SALAD WITH FETA AND BEETS

2-3 beets

¼ cup grapeseed oil (or olive oil)

1 Tbsp. minced shallots (or 1 small onion)

1 garlic clove, minced

½ tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. ground fennel seeds

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Pinch cayenne pepper

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup red lentils

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

1 bunch arugula, torn into bite-size pieces

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wrap the beets in foil and roast them for 45 minutes, or until tender; let cool.  Peel the beets (rubbing under cold water) and cut them into wedges.  In a medium skillet, heat the oil until shimmering.  Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add cumin and fennel seeds and cook just until fragrant.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the vinegar, lemon juice and cayenne.  Season with salt and pepper and whisk until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add lentils and cook just until tender.  Drain and transfer to a bowl.  Toss the lentils with half the vinaigrette and let cool.  Stir in parsley.  Toss the arugula and beets with the remaining vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.  Mound the salad on dinner plates and spoon the lentils on top.  Garnish with the feta and serve.  Serves 4.  From Food and Wine Jan. 2001.

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