This week your basket contains: zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beans, carrots, sweet peppers, beets, SWEET CORN, and garlic.
The beans have come on strong! If the amount you received today is more than you can use in a week, remember that beans can be prepared for freezing very easily. Simply top-and-tail the beans and steam them for about 3-5 minutes. At that point, they have turned dark green but are not fully cooked. Then rinse them with cold water and drain until dry. Put them in freezer bags and pop them in the freezer. They will maintain their quality for several months and are quite welcome additions to winter soups and stews.
Beets have also been doing very well for us this summer. This is a recipe we found through the New York Times that is amazing.
BEETS AND BEET GREENS WITH TAHINI SAUCE
1 bunch medium or large beets (3 to 4)
1 large bunch or 2 smaller bunches beet greens (about 3/4 pound)
Salt to taste
1 plump garlic clove, cut in half, green shoot removed
¼ cup sesame tahini
2 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
2 to 4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Cut greens away from beets, leaving about 1/4 inch of stems. Scrub beets with vegetable brush. To steam beets, place in a steamer above 2 inches water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cover. Turn down heat to medium. Steam small and medium beets for 30 minutes and large beets for 40 minutes, until you can pierce the beet to the middle with a knife or skewer. Remove from heat and allow to cool. To roast, preheat oven to 425ºF and place beets in a baking dish (or lidded ovenproof casserole). Add 1/4 inch water to the dish. Cover tightly. Place in the oven and roast small beets (3 ounces or less) for 30 to 40 minutes, medium beets (4 to 6 ounces) 40 to 45 minutes, and large beets (8 ounces) 50 to 60 minutes, until they are easily penetrated with the tip of a knife. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the covered baking dish.
When beets have cooled, cut away ends and slip off skins. Slice in rounds or cut into wedges or half-moons. Blanch greens in salted boiling water for about 1 minute, just until they wilt. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, then drain and squeeze out excess moisture, taking up the greens by the handful. Alternatively, steam for 2 minutes, using tongs to flip the greens over top to bottom halfway through, for 2 minutes, or until wilted. Rinse with cold water, squeeze out excess water and chop coarsely. To make sauce, purée garlic cloves with a generous pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle, or put through a garlic press. Transfer to a bowl or measuring cup and whisk in sesame tahini. Whisk in lemon juice, beginning with smaller amount. The mix will stiffen up. Gradually whisk in up to 1/4 cup water, until sauce has consistency of thick cream or runny yogurt. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice. Line a platter with the beet greens and arrange beets on top and around greens. Drizzle on tahini sauce, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
After last week’s deliveries we received an email from a subscriber who passed along a great tip for utilizing the veggies that he gets from us. This salad suggestion could be started with the brine recipe from our quick pickle recipe (on our web site). This is what he said:
After reading this week’s flyer about your cucumber tomato salad, I thought I would share our ‘summer salad’ recipe. As the cukes start to show up in our basket, we make a traditional cucumber dill salad – thinly sliced cucumbers, plenty of dill weed and salt, and apple cider vinegar. To the leftover salad brine we add more cucumbers and put it in the fridge to marinate. This more ‘pickled’ salad is eaten the next day and for many successive days as we keep adding more cukes, and occasionally more salt, dill, and vinegar. After about a week we start adding other veggies along with cukes – onion, cauliflower, tomato, beets, zucchini, etc. Depending on the veggies, sometimes the brine gets too dilute and we’ll restart it, but the summer salad continues on throughout the summer and well into the fall. It’s a simple and delicious way to have fresh vegetables at every meal.