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Archive for the month “August, 2017”

Zucchini, etc.

Our summer squash has been arriving in steady abundance! Here are a few recipes for branching out beyond grilled or sautéed zucchini: a fresh take on zucchini bread; homemade zucchini candy; and your new favorite pickle. As always, you can find these catalogued in the Produce Index.

You can also find this nice article at the Kitchn on A Visual Guide to 8 Varieties of Summer Squash, with its own set of favorite summer squash recipe links, including zucchini butter and squash and onions with brown sugar.


Zucchini and Basil Soup


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • Salt
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini, cut in chunks (if zucchini is large and watery, remove core with seeds)
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped, divided
  • 5 cups water
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh juice from 1 lemon, to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or saucier over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion. Season with salt and cook, stirring, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add zucchini and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add half of basil, stir to combine, and add water.

  2. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender but still bright green, about 10 minutes. Add remaining half of basil and blend soup using an immersion blender until it is as smooth as you like it. Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and lemon juice. Serve, drizzling with additional olive oil at the table.

Source: Adapted (i.e., simplified a bit) from Zucchini-Basil Soup at Serious Eats. (There’s a 2 1/2-minute video of the process as well.)

Salt-Roasted Beet Salad


  • beets, washed, greens removed
  • salt
  • goat cheese
  • walnuts, toasted
  • corn kernels
  • romaine lettuce
  • an olive oil-citrus dressing


  1. Roast the beets: Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Sprinkle salt heavily into a roasting pan or pot that has a lid (a dutch oven works well). Place beets on salt bed. Cover and place in oven for about an hour (or, until the beets easily slice with a sharp knife). When cool enough to handle, rub off beet skins and discard. Cut into chunks or slices.
  2. Assemble the salad: Arrange greens on a plate. Top with goat cheese, corn, walnuts and beets. Season with a pinch of salt. Spoon dressing over salad.

Source: This salad is adapted (in this case, simplified) from one found at Alexandra’s Kitchen.


Eggplant is being harvested  in various shapes and colors. Here’s an old favorite from Gourmet Magazine 2011eggplant2-e1503539545859.jpg



    • 1 onion, sliced thin
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 5 tablespoons olive oil
    • a 3/4-pound eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
    • 1 small zucchini, scrubbed, quartered lengthwise, and cut into thin slices
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 3/4 pound small ripe tomatoes, chopped coarse (about 1 1/4 cups)
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves


  1. In a large skillet cook the onion and the garlic in 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and heat it over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the eggplant and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the eggplant is softened. Stir in the zucchini and the bell pepper and cook the mixture over the moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the oregano, the thyme, the coriander, the fennel seeds, the salt, and pepper to taste and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the basil and combine the mixture well. The ratatouille may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated before serving.

Jalapeño Poppers

There seem to be an infinite number of ways to make this appetizer. The simplest version: slice jalapeños in half lengthwise; scoop out the pith and seeds; fill them with any semi-soft melting cheese (e.g., cheddar, Chihuahua, or pepper Jack), and grill or broil until the cheese is browned and bubbling.

If time allows, try deep-fried method, which can easily be scaled up for a crowd

Serves 6


  • 15 jalapeños
  • 8oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • oil for deep frying


Slice jalapeno peppers in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Combine the cream cheese and cheddar, mixing until well blended. Fill the jalapeno pepper halves with cream cheese mixture and press halves back together.

Put milk in a shallow bowl. Combine the salt and flour in a separate shallow bowl. Put bread crumbs in a third shallow bowl.

Dip the peppers in the milk, then in the flour, coating thoroughly. Set them on a sheet of foil or waxed paper to dry for about 15 minutes.

Dip the peppers in the milk again, then in the bread crumbs. Let them dry again for 10 to 15 minutes. If necessary, dip again lightly in the milk and again in the bread crumbs and let dry again.

Meanwhile, heat oil in deep fryer to 370 F.

Deep fry the breaded peppers in batches for about 3 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Transfer jalapeno poppers to paper towels to drain.

Source: the Spruce

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce

If you don’t have a favorite tomato sauce recipe, or even if you do, give this one a try. It comes from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, and is justifiably hailed as “the most famous tomato sauce on the internet” on the Food52 posting (which has some lovely photos of the finished sauce). The sauce is excellent for pasta or pizza, or probably for anything else calling for a tomato sauce.

Serves 6


  • 2 pounds fresh tomatoes, skins removed
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
  • Salt to taste


Place tomatoes in a saucepan, add butter, onion, and salt, and cook uncovered at a very slow, steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the fat floats free from the tomato. Stir from time to time, mashing any large pieces of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon. Taste and correct for salt. Discard the onion before using.

Note: This sauce freezes really well. Discard the onion before freezing.

Note: To prepare tomatoes, use a food mill or blanch the tomatoes for one minute so that the skins remove easily.


How to make Sauerkraut

  1. Cut the cabbage in half and slice finely.
  2. Put half the sliced cabbage in a bowl and add ½ Tablespoon sea salt.
  3. Using your hands, begin squeezing the cabbage. You want the cabbage to begin breaking down. It will appear that the cabbage is starting to wilt.
  4. Add the other half of the cabbage and ½ Tablespoon sea salt. Continue squeezing the cabbage until the leaves are wilted and moisture begins to drip off the cabbage.
  5. When a briny liquid has been achieved, pack the cabbage into a clean Mason jar. Push the cabbage down hard to remove most of the extra space.
  6. Set a small 4 ounce Mason jar inside the larger jar on top of the cabbage. This will help weight the cabbage down.
  7. If your cabbage contained enough moisture, you should have liquid covering the cabbage completely. This is essential because you want to submerge the cabbage in brine (for the anaerobic environment). If there is not enough liquid, add some salt water until the cabbage is completely submerged. To do this, mix 1 cup of water with 1 teaspoon sea salt.
  8. Cover the uncapped mason jar with a kitchen towel and set in location at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.
  9. For the first few days, check on the cabbage and add extra liquid to keep the cabbage submerged. A bit of white foaminess is normal. You will notice the cabbage lose its bright green color as well. Do not dismay! However, be on the lookout for anything that looks discolored or moldy.
  10. Taste your sauerkraut after about a week. It will probably taste a bit tangy but will need more time.The length of time will vary depending on the ambient temperature.
  11. When finished, store covered in the refrigerator and enjoy often.


Source: This recipe is adapted from the recipe posted by Steph Gaudreau on Stupid Easy Paleo.

CSA: Cropping Up

Happy mid-summer! Tomatoes are in! And we’re seeing an abundance of green beans, new potatoes, and summer squash, so check the Produce Index for new recipes and updates to storage tips, including freezer storage.


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