Purple Scallions: Boston Lettuce Salad with Buttermilk, Green Onion and Maple Dressing; Spicy Kale & Coconut Fried Rice
Garlic Scapes: Garlic Scape Beef Satay with Garlic Scape Satay Sauce; Recipes that make the most of Garlic Scapes; Spicy Kale & Coconut Fried Rice; Pasta with Roasted Zucchini & Cilantro Pesto (see below)
Red Oak or Boston Head Lettuce: Boston Lettuce Salad with Buttermilk, Green Onion and Maple Dressing; Burger Lettuce Wraps with Special Sauce; Cheese and Lettuce Sandwich
Kohlrabi or Salad Cabbage: Life-Changing Crispy Baked Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Slaw; The Simplest Cabbage Slaw
Cilantro: Pasta with Roasted Zucchini & Cilantro Pesto (see below); Life-Changing Crispy Baked Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Slaw
Broccoli: Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli; 20-Minute Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli; Crunchy Bacon and Broccoli Salad with Creamy Orange Dressing
Green or Italian Zucchini: Pasta with Roasted Zucchini & Cilantro Pesto (see below); Zucchini Butter (see below); A Summer Screaming Zucchini Schmear and 10 Ways It Will Save Your Weeknight Meals
|Baby zucchini still with the blossom attached!|
It’s official, summer is here and what better way to mark the onset of this season than the arrival of zucchini! Summer isn’t summer without zucchini which just might be one of the most versatile vegetables we grow! Zucchini will be with us for quite awhile, we hope, so we’ll be finding creative uses over it in the upcoming weeks. To kick off the season, I have two recipes to share this week. The first is for Pasta with Roasted Zucchini & Cilantro Pesto (see below). When I read this recipe, the flavor combinations and concepts confused me a little bit but also intrigued me. Italian pasta with a pesto concept—that makes sense. But the pesto made with cilantro and pumpkin seeds flavored with cumin and topped with cojita cheese—that didn’t seem to go with the Italian flavors theme. You know what, this is fusion food and it works! This turned out to be a quite tasty pasta dish. I added some ground pork to it, but it would be good with or without. The garnish of the cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds is a nice finishing touch and leftovers are good hot or cold!
The second recipe is for Zucchini Butter (see below). Now, this isn’t butter in the sense of dairy butter, but rather more along the lines of “butter” as in a spread. The beauty of this recipe is that it is a great way to utilize larger quantities of zucchini. The other beauty of zucchini butter is that there are so many different ways to use it! Spread it on toast or sandwiches, use it on pizza, put it on crackers with a piece of cheese…..etc. Check out this Food52.com blog article, A Summer Screaming Zucchini Schmear and 10Ways It Will Save Your Weeknight Meals, that is all about this “genius” recipe and how you can put it to use for quick, flavorful meals!
|Life-Changing Crispy Baked Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw|
|Boston Lettuce Salad with Buttermilk, Green Onion and Maple Dressing|
photo from food52.com
|Burger Lettuce Wraps with Special Sauce|
photo from thegirlonbloor.com
While you have the grill fired up, you might as well make the Garlic Scape Beef Satay with Garlic Scape Satay Sauce recipe featured in last week’s newsletter. It’s quite tasty and would be good served with this Crunchy Bacon and Broccoli Salad with Creamy Orange DressingRecipes that make the most of Garlic Scapes”. They offer some tasty, creative suggestions!
|20-Minute Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli|
photo from tablefortwoblog.com
The kale this week is so beautiful and there are many options for what you can do with it. On Sunday evenings when we do our weekly field scouting tour it’s kind of fun to take along Baked Kale Chips! Yes, you might get some green flecks in your teeth….who cares?! The other recipe I want to make again is this Spicy Kale & Coconut Fried Rice that I tried for the first time last year. It’s pretty tasty as are these Lemon Kale Muffins that I made last year as well. Yes, kale in muffins—odd, but I tried them out on our farmers’ market crew last year and they (the muffins that is) all disappeared!
|Rhubarb Almond Baked Oatmeal|
We did it! We made our way to the bottom of another glorious box of produce. Before I sign off for the week, I want to thank the member who posted a link in our Facebook Group to this Vegetable Orchestra!! Check it out—they’re making music by using all kinds of different vegetables! I know we have some musical talent in our membership. Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a Harmony Valley Farm Vegetable Orchestra!? You provide the talent and I’ll provide the vegetables! I’m serious.
Ok, Chef Andrea signing off for this week. Enjoy your week of cooking and I’ll see you next time!—Chef Andrea
Vegetable Feature: Zucchini
Zucchini may just be the most versatile and prolific vegetable we grow! We have two plantings and typically harvest three times a week from mid-June through August and sometimes into September. Sometimes we have a little gap in between plantings one and two, but settle in folks…we’re in it for the long haul!
We grow two main types of zucchini including the traditional green zucchini and an Italian variety that is lighter green in color and has ribs and stripes on the skin. Both varieties may be used interchangeably in any recipe calling for zucchini or summer squash. There is a difference in the varieties though and we encourage you to take a moment to notice the differences throughout the season. Italian zucchini has a more pronounced flavor and the texture is more firm making it a good option for grilling and other preparations where you need the zucchini to hold its shape. Zucchini in general is a very mild-flavored vegetable which is part of why it is so versatile. It pairs well with so many different flavors and is easily adaptable to combinations with other vegetables throughout the entire summer. Zucchini is most often cooked, but it can be eaten raw as well. I’ll offer a few suggestions below for how to use raw zucchini.
photo from cravesomethinghealthy.com
Zucchini can be sautéed, roasted, grilled and stir-fried. It may be used to make snack foods, casseroles and gratins, incorporated into lasagna and meatballs, dips, enchiladas, tacos, egg dishes, smoothies, desserts and more. One day I want to compile a list of 100 ways to use zucchini. I’m going to start with 20 recipes this week and maybe you can help me uncover 80 more ways/recipes to use zucchini over the course of this season! Before we get to the list I just want to mention a few things about storage and use. First of all, zucchini has pretty tender skin so rarely needs to be peeled. Sometimes larger zucchini may need to be peeled, use your own judgement. Zucchini is a warm weather vegetable and is best stored at temperatures between 45-55°F. We have a dedicated cooler for that temperature range, but realize you may not have the perfect storage temperature situation in your home. So, my recommendation is to keep your zucchini at room temperature and use them within a few days of receiving them. If you put them in the refrigerator they’ll likely suffer chill injury which will compromise their quality and shorten shelf life.
Ok, lets move on to the list of 20 Different Recipes to use Zucchini! Have fun and be sure to share your own recipes in our Facebook Group so we can build our list of 100 recipes this year!
20 Different Recipes Using Zucchini!
Pasta with Roasted Zucchini & Cilantro Pesto
1 ½ pounds zucchini
1 Tbsp plus ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 oz short, twisty shaped pasta
1 pound ground pork (optional)
½ cup white wine (use if you use the pork)
2 garlic scapes
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp lime zest
⅔ cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), divided
2¼ cups tightly packed cilantro leaves and stems
3 Tbsp lime juice
¾ tsp crushed red chile flakes (or to taste)
¾ cup crumbled cojita or feta cheese, divided
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut zucchini into ½ inch cubes. You should have about 4 cups of cubed zucchini. Put zucchini in a medium mixing bowl and drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper and stir to combine and evenly coat the zucchini with oil. Add a little more oil if needed.
Roast zucchini for 25-35 minutes or until tender and lightly golden brown. You’ll need to stir the zucchini about half way through the roasting time. Once the zucchini is roasted, remove from the oven and hold in a warm place.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta; cook until al dente, about 10-12 minutes. Reserve ½ cup pasta water, then drain. Set the cooked pasta aside.
If you are using pork, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the ground pork until nearly cooked through. Add the white wine and simmer until it has reduced by ¾ volume. Remove from heat and set aside until you’re ready to finish the dish.
Meanwhile, make the pesto. Cut the garlic scapes into 1-2 inch pieces and place in a blender or food processor. Blend briefly to coarsely chop the garlic scapes. Add ¾ cup olive oil, cumin, lime zest, 1 tsp salt, and ½ cup pepitas. Blend until smooth. Add the cilantro and process just until smooth, about 15 seconds. Pour into a bowl and stir in lime juice, chile flakes, and ½ cup of the cojita or feta cheese.
Once all the components are prepared, put the pan with the pork in it back on the stove over medium heat. If you are not using pork, just put a large saute pan on the stove over medium heat. Add the zucchini, pasta and cilantro pesto along with a little bit of the pasta cooking liquid. Stir to combine and fully heat the pasta. Add additional pasta water as needed for the desired consistency.
Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt, pepper or lime juice as needed.
To serve, portion the pasta into bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds/pepita.
Recipe adapted from www.sunset.com
|photo by James Ransom for food52.com|
2 pounds zucchini
¼ cup olive oil or butter
½-¾ cup minced shallots, garlic cloves, scapes or any combination of onions and garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
Coarsely grate the zucchini. Let it drain in a colander for 3 to 4 minutes or until you are ready to begin cooking. To hasten cooking time, squeeze the water out of the zucchini by wringing it in a clean cloth towel.
In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil/butter. Saute the onion/garlic briefly. Add the zucchini and toss. Cook and stir over medium to medium-high heat until the zucchini reaches a spreadable consistency, about 15 minutes. If the bottom starts to brown, turn the flame down! (And scrape those delicious bits into the butter for added flavor—you can splash in a little water to help deglaze the pan.) The zucchini will slowly caramelize into a nice vegetable jam.
Enjoy on toast, or as a side dish all summer long!
Recipe adapted slightly from Jennie Cook’s recipe featured as a “Genius Recipe” on Food52.com.