This week your basket contains: summer squash, cucumbers, SWEET CORN, sweet peppers, carrots, onions, kale, garlic, tomatoes, beans (half shares only) or lettuce (full shares only), and basil.
Happy September! This cooler weather is allowing us to transplant the late fall and overwintering crops happily. We are starting to think about filling the plastic-covered hoop houses with salad greens for the winter and early spring. Even as we are thinking months ahead, the summer crops are starting to come in strong in your baskets. Gazpacho (either the traditional tomato-based version or the delicious zucchini-based recipe we gave last week) is a natural fit with this basket. Here’s another simple summer recipe:
WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THOSE CUCUMBERS? Make tzadziki, of course! Simply grate whole cucumbers, lightly salt and set aside for 20 minutes. Drain off the liquid that accumulates, squeeze in a few cloves of garlic and stir in some yogurt and/or sour cream (we find it best to use a 50/50 mix). Generally, you want to use equal volumes of cucumber and dairy product. Serve with toasted pita bread or crackers.
The corn was seeded a little late this year, but it is starting to come on. We should have corn in your basket for the next several weeks. Here’s a recipe to help you preserve the flavors of summer:
CORN AND ZUCCHINI SALSA
3 medium zucchini, cleaned, trimmed, and diced
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 ears yellow corn, husked, silks removed
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup fresh lime juice (8 medium limes)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions with tops
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Toss the zucchini with the salt and “sweat” for 3 minutes in a nonreactive colander. Rinse and dry. Coat the corn with 2 teaspoons of the oil and roast on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Cool. Cut off the kernels and scrape the cobs. Combine the zucchini, corn, remaining oil, tomatoes, lime juice, vinegar, jalapenos, scallions, garlic, and pepper in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Ladle into hot, clean jars. Cap and seal. Process in a boiling-water-bath canner for 15 minutes. From Preserving the Harvest by Carol Costenbader.
2 cups packed torn kale leaves, stems removed
1 cup basil leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a food processor, combine the kale leaves, basil leaves, and salt. Pulse 10 to 12 times, until the kale leaves are finely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the processor. Add the walnuts and garlic and process again, then add the cheese and pulse to combine. Toss with your favorite pasta and serve immediately. From Epicurious.com.
Here is a final simple recipe for this week. Like all good recipes, it is infinitely adjustable. We added sweet peppers, chickpeas, and smoked paprika when we made it this week. It made a delicious and filling lunch.
1 – 1 ½ Lbs greens
2 cloves garlic
1 – 2 lbs tomatoes
2- 3 Tbs. olive oil
Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add diced tomatoes and cook until they have released their moisture. Add chopped greens and continue cooking until the greens are fully wilted and tender. Serve over polenta.