Week 10 - With a little help from my friends

[Posted by Ruth]
First, a word about this week's corn.  In her weekly newsletter, Stacia of Stone Gardens Farm said the Montauk corn in our boxes was the sweetest, best tasting corn Fred has ever grown.  We agree!  All through dinner after the Thursday pick up we kept stopping to exclaim, "This is REALLY good corn".  It was truly the sweetest, tenderest, most flavorful corn I have ever had.  Montauk gets our vote Stacia!  We also had a hard time staying away from the yellow grape tomatoes, which we've been eating like candy.

Here is this week's haul:

8 ears Montauk corn
1 head cabbage
4 small white eggplant
2 bunches baby carrots
2 bags yellow grape tomatoes
1 red and 1 green hot pepper
3 cucumbers
2 bunches beet greens
1 bunch kale
2 onions
3 zucchini
1 large summer squash
3 large tomatoes
1 dozen eggs

Friends try their best to look interested when you talk about your blog.  Really good friends actually read the thing and terrific friends send you recipes, especially recipes to handle the onslaught of zucchini that's been coming our way lately.

My learned and terrific friend, Lou Anne, e-mailed me a recipe for Zucchini Blueberry Bread.  Not only is this a good tasting combination, it makes use of two items that are at their peak at the same time.  It's brains like that that earned her all those letters after her name!

 I made a few modifications here.  I found that I liked these best as muffins.  The original recipe called for 1 tsp of cinnamon, which you can certainly use.  Instead, I find that I really like what a bit of lavender does to the flavor of blueberries.  It just seems to make them taste more blueberry.  I also added a bit more baking soda for a little more lift.

What the Doc Ordered Zucchini Blueberry Muffins, adapted from L.A.F.F., Ph.D.
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp crushed dried lavender
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3 eggs lightly beaten
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 pint blueberries.

Preaheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease 36 small or 24 medium muffin liners.  (The silicone ones are great here)  In medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, lavender and nutmeg.  Whisk these dry ingredients until blended together.  In larger bowl.  Whisk eggs and gradually add sugar until well mixed.  Mix in vanilla and zucchini.  Fold the flour mixture into the zucchini mixture until flour is just blended in.  Gently fold blueberries in.  Spoon into muffin tins.  (You can fill about 3/4 full as the heaviness of the zucchini prevents too big a rise).  Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden and until tops spring back when lightly touched.  Remove and cool on rack for 20 min. before removing from liners.  Or, turn batter into 4 mini or 2 regular loaf pans and bake for around 50 minutes.  With the softness and juiciness of the blueberries, muffins seem to work the best here.


Week 9 - Cabbage and then a reward

[Posted by Ruth]
The heat continued this week and the cabbage continued to age in the bottom of the fridge.  Time to take action.  In his book "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" Mark Bittman had a recipe for whole bean Dal with cabbage that sounded interesting.  With a few tweaks, it turned out very well.  The walnuts add texture and 'meatiness'.  Note, this recipe made a huge quantity, most of which we will freeze for colder, winter days.  If your motive is to make dinner and not to use up vast amounts of cabbage, you may want to cut this in half.

Whole Bean Dal with Cabbage and Walnuts adapted from "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian"
8 cups cooked chickpeas (I do them in the pressure cooker - reserve the cooking water)
8 cups shredded cabbage
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T curry powder
1 T garam masala (or use a 4th T curry powder)
1 cumin
4 T butter or olive oil
3 cups roughly chopped walnuts
salt, pepper to taste.

Heat butter or olive oil in heavy pot.  Saute the onions, garlic and spices until onions are soft and spices are fragrant.  Add the cabbage, and continue to cook until the cabbage softens and takes up the spices.  You may need to add a bit more oil or butter here if the cabbage begins to stick.  Add the beans and enough of their cooking water (or stock, if using canned beans) to just cover.  Simmer, covered over low heat for about 20 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add the chopped walnuts and simmer another 10 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Serve with Jasmin rice.  Suggested toppings: plain yogurt, mint, cucumber, cilantro.

Then, it was time to deal with the remaining cabbage, especially since I know we're getting more in our week 10 farm share.  I remember reading you can give it a light char on the grill and then use it in salads, slaw, etc.  Since we already had the grill up and running to grill some eggplant and summer squash, we gave it a try.  I like the result.  This will go into a lunch salad today, mixed with the other grilled vegetables.  No recipe here.  You don't need to put anything on the cabbage, just pop in on the grill and keep an eye on it.

Now, for the reward... 
With plenty of mint growing in a pot on the deck and PLENTY of heat and humidity, a mojito seemed in order.  I had one on vacation this summer with a sugar cane stick as a stirrer and my husband found sugar cane at a local market.  We just had to try it!
Mojito - makes 1
1 1/2 oz light rum
juice of 1/2 lime
2 T simple syrup (heat equal parts sugar and water until fully dissolved - will keep for a couple weeks in fridge)
10-12 mint leaves, stems removed
3 oz. seltzer
plenty of ice
garnish - 1/4 piece of lime, mint sprig and sugar cane stirrer.

Place the mint leaves and syrup in a tall glass and muddle for about 1/2 minute until the mint is really fragrant.  Add the lime juice and rum and stir.  Fill glass with ice and top off with the seltzer.  Give the 1/4 piece of lime a squeeze and drop in.  Stick the sugar cane stirrer in and garnish with a mint sprig.  Grab a straw and head for the deck.



Week 9 - Aging Veggies

[Posted by Ruth]
Since we've been away for much of the last two weeks it was inevitable that some of the vegetables would languish in the fridge longer than they should.  Sunday, I returned from a terrific weekend away with friends to find some very sad, limp baby carrots and wrinkly beets reproaching me from the vegetable drawer.  Pity there isn't Botox for vegetables.  I really didn't want to put the formerly darling baby carrots in the compost so I used them with the beets in a chilled soup.  With some added spice for interest and a bit of honey to make up for some of the lost sweetness, it was quite good.  Youth isn't everything you know.

Chilled Curried Carrot Beet Soup
3 small bunches baby carrots (or one small bunch carrots)
4 small beets
1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 tsp curry powder (you can use more of less of the curry and curry paste depending on your taste)
1 tsp curry paste (I use a Biryani paste)
1 T honey
1 T peanut butter (don't overdo the peanut butter)
salt, pepper to taste

Peel and slice the beets and either peel or scrub the carrots.  Put in a small, heavy saucepan with the ginger, curry powder, curry paste and honey.  Add water to cover and simmer, covered, until the carrots and beets are very tender.  Add the peanut butter and blend with an immersion blender until smooth  (or place in a blender and puree).  At this point you will want to add more water, a bit at a time, and blend until it is the consistency you want.  It should be about the thickness of a vichyssoise.  Add salt and pepper to taste and chill.  To chill quickly, pour soup into a bowl and place the bowl inside a much larger bowl filled with ice.  Stir until thoroughly chilled.  This will chill it down in just a few minutes.   

Week 9 - Finally...

(Posted by Denise)

Can you believe it! A recipe from me. I finally found something that I had enough time to think through and take pictures of.

So I give you:
Zucchini and Summer Squash Gratin
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 1/2 pounds summer squash or zucchini, sliced thin (I used a mandolin)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
2 large garlic clove, chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups fresh bread crumbs (I used a day old baguette)
3-4 potatoes, sliced transparently thin
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400F degrees and place Prepare a gratin dish with a little (2 tsp) olive oil and sprinkle lemon zest.
Place the zucchini slices into a colander placed over a sink, toss with the salt and set aside for 10-15 minutes (to drain a bit) and go on to prepare the oregano sauce and bread crumbs.
Puree the oregano, parsley, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes, and olive oil in a food processor or using a hand blender. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until the butter turns brown. Wait two minutes, then stir the breadcrumbs into the browned butter.
Transfer the squash and the potatoes into a large bowl two-thirds of the oregano sauce. Toss until well coated. Add the cheese and half of the bread crumbs and toss again. .
Place squash mixture into gratin dish, top with the remaining crumbs, and bake for between 40 and 50 minutes – Test for doneness by piercing with a knife. Remove from oven, and drizzle with the remaining oregano sauce.