Tuesday, August 26, 2014

week 13

Red Springs Family Farm 8/26/14

Green Beans    Variety Peppers       Summer Squash
Eggplants        Garlic          Lettuce       Flat Leaf Parsley
Basil        Cilantro       Tomatoes
Cantaloupes & Watermelons

Here's the story on the peppers this year. Paul went out of town on business in the late spring, and I geared up to maintain the gardens without him. Just as he left, a big project that was not directly related to the garden fell right into my lap, so I did not accomplish my original goal of “keeping up.” When Paul came home, we were overjoyed to see him again, and the garden weeds were a bit further along than we usually let them grow. We set right to work on it, and salvaged the peppers and eggplants from weeds that were literally threatening to drown them. Once the weeds were gone, the peppers had to re-cover themselves with leaves before they set fruit. They are finally coming on, and looking good too.

This may be the last of the watermelons and cantaloupes. The vines are regenerating a little now, so there may be another little flush later. We'll see. These cantaloupes are Edisto. We're pleased with them and hope that you will be too. Watermelons this week are the heirloom Moon & Stars variety. It's an old timey one with big flavor and thick rinds. The leaves are spotted like the fruits.

The green beans this week would never win a beauty contest. The bean beetles seem to be thriving in the heat and humidity, so much that they've moved off the leaves and onto the beans themselves. Blanch them and toss them in a salad. The bean beetles didn't eat too much.

Tomatoes have reached their peak. The heat following the rain led to some heavy cracking and accelerated the blight on the leaves. There's still plenty of tomatoes out there, but we're seeing the beginning of their decline. If you want any tomatoes to can or freeze, please let me know now so I can pick and save some for you.

This week's basket is begging to be made into ratatouille. I've had many different flavors of success in my attempts with this dish. It's always good – but sometimes it's extraordinary! Since I don't have marjoram – I use basil, and some recipes call for rosemary. Yum. I also change the proportions of squash/pepper/eggplant according to what is most abundant. Here's one recipe framework, from foodnetwork.com. Try it out and see what you think...

2 eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices 2 large summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice Pinch crushed red pepper
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram leaves
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the eggplant, zucchini, squash, and tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet or baking sheets, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Roast until the vegetables are soft and pliable, about 20 to 30 minutes, turning them halfway through the cooking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle transfer them to a cutting board and cut them into 1/2-inch pieces.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat the bottom with olive oil. Add the onion, crushed red pepper and season with salt, to taste. Saute until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers and season again with salt, if needed. Cook until the peppers are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the roasted vegetables to the pan along with the vinegar, marjoram, and thyme. Toss well to coat and add 2 to 3 more tablespoons olive oil, if needed. Taste to check the seasoning and transfer to a serving platter or bowl.

No comments: