This week your basket contains: summer squash, onions, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beans, sweet corn, BROCCOLI, basil, eggplant, and sweet peppers.
We greatly appreciate all the messages of concern, thanks, and support we have been receiving from many of you. Like everyone else we are contending with nasty air as best we can. We have sent our crew home early, and encouraged them to wear masks at all times (we have a good supply of KN95’s). We all (Joe, Gorgonio, Tabitha, Polly & James) are very committed to getting the best veggies to you on our regular schedule and are doing so in the safest way possible. As always, most of the veggies we packed for you today have been washed (not onions, corn, or tomatoes) and should be free from surface ash and smoke residue. Because they will be peeled before you eat them the corn and onions should be fine, but the tomatoes and cherry tomatoes should be rinsed before use (which, from a food safety perspective is always the case anyway). We were a bit surprised to see the broccoli ready for harvest this early. We are also pleased to see that the trend of large heads that started with our spring crop is continuing with our fall planting. We have also harvested our first cauliflower heads and expect to have them for everyone soon. We made the recipe below last night and it was great!
BROCCOLI AND SWEET PEPPER SAUTÉ
A quick and tasty side dish can be made by slicing one red pepper into strips and sautéing it in 1 Tbs. olive oil and 1 Tbs. butter with a clove of minced garlic. After five minutes, add a head of broccoli florets and thinly sliced broccoli stems. Sprinkle with 1 Tbs. of Balsamic vinegar, cover and steam until broccoli is dark green. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
I feel a bit funny recommending anything called “smoky” right now, but this is a great dish.
SMOKY TURKISH EGGPLANT CREAM
1 ½ Lbs eggplant
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. flour
1 cup hot milk
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Puncture the skin of the eggplants with a fork two or three times then char the skins on all sides either over coals or under the broiler (the flesh will become quite soft in the process). Remove the charred skin and any hard seeds then drop the eggplant into cold water to which you’ve added the lemon juice (to preserve the color), and let stand 20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and remove from heat. Stir in the flour then cook stirring until the flour is golden. Whisk in the milk and continue to cook stirring until smooth. Set over low heat and let cook for 5-10 minutes more stirring occasionally. Drain the eggplant squeezing to remove excess water. Mash the eggplant with a potato masher then add to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring, over low heat. Stir in the cheese and salt to taste. Serve hot.
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