Week #12 (8/13 & 16)

This week your basket contains: beans, carrots, lettuce, cucumber, summer squash, tomatoes, cabbage, basil, RED ONIONS, and cherry tomatoes. 

Wow!  Things are popping in the gardens.  Beans are amazingly productive right now as are cucumbers and summer squash.  This is a great way to use up a lot of the veggies in your basket.

BUDDY’S RATATOUILLE

1 cup chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups chopped zucchini

¼ cup olive oil

2 Tbs Balsamic vinegar

Basil pesto

1 cup diced tomatoes

Oregano

Salt

Pepper

¼- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large sauté pan heat the oil and cook the garlic and onion until the onions are translucent.  Add the zucchini, oregano, tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until zucchini is tender.  Add basil pesto and Balsamic vinegar.  Stir in Parmesan cheese and serve.

This is the basic pesto recipe we use.  It is written for a large batch (larger than the basil in your basket today could make) but can be easily adjusted down to accommodate the basil you have on hand.

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.

TZADZIKI

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.

GRILLED ZUCCHINI AND RED ONION SALAD

6 small zucchinis, quartered lengthwise

1 large red onion, cut into ½” slices

¼ c. plus 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

1 ¼ c. feta, crumbled

1/3 c. pitted kalamata or nicoise olives, chopped

salt and pepper

Sprinkle zucchini with 1 tsp. salt and set on baking sheet lined with paper towels. Let sit for 15 minutes, then pat dry and cut into 2” pieces. Brush zucchini and onion slices with 2 Tbs. of olive oil, sprinkle with 1 ½ tsp. thyme and some black pepper. Sprinkle onions lightly with salt.  Prepare a medium-hot grill. set the vegetables on grill, cover if using a gas grill, and cook without touching so that the vegetables brown and get good grill marks, about 4 minutes. Flip and continue cooking so that other sides brown and the zucchini is just tender, about 5 minutes.  Transfer zucchini to a serving platter and continue to cook onions over a cooler part of fire until they start to soften (10 more minutes).  Add onions to platter with zucchini.  In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, ½ tsp. salt and remaining ¼ cup of olive oil together with 1 ½ tsp thyme and black pepper. Drizzle over vegetables. Sprinkle with feta and olives and serve immediately or let sit for up to 1 hour at room temperature before serving. Serves 8. From Fooday 8/7/07