July 7, 2021 Veggie Feast (CSA)

Notes From the Farm

I hope you have been enjoying the heat! Unfortunately the lettuce is not and we are sorry about that; we know many of you love your salad. We often companion plant the lettuce with the baby zucchini plants, but with the heat the zucchini plants grew so fast and so big that it soon shaded out the lettuce. We have also had poor lettuce germination in our seedling trays. We will keep trying! Most of the crops are thriving in the heat. We have been busy watering and mulching to help retain soil moisture.

This Week’s Veggie Feast

Veggie Feast July 7, 2021

Zucchini, Basil, Napa Cabbage, Swiss Chard, Garlic, Garlic Scapes and Mint

New This Week

Zuchinni
Yellow zucchini

This versatile veggie can be sautéed, baked, stuffed, grilled, added to soups, and grated for baked goods. Zucchini contains a fair amount of water, which makes it perfect for salting. Salting improves texture and concentrates the squash flavor. Simply toss coarsely grated or diced zucchini with a small amount of salt, let it sit in colander for 15-30 minutes, then rinse and squeeze dry. Zucchini partners well with butter, yogurt, Parmesan cheese, garlic, dill, basil, marjoram, mint, lemon, walnuts, tomatoes, and peppers

Italian Basil

In my head fresh basil = summer. The pesto recipe below calls for pine nuts. Although absolutely delicious I stopped buying pine nuts about 20 years ago when they went to $30/lb. My taste buds are just not that sophisticated. I often substitute walnuts, but have used almonds, cashews, even sunflower seeds, whatever I happen to have in the pantry because in our house planning for dinner usually starts at about 3 pm.

Recipes

Zucchini and Fresh Herb Fritters

zucchini herb

(serves 4)

Ingredients

For a vegan version of this recipe, replace eggs with ½ cup pureed silken tofu. Courtesy of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. This dish makes a great side dish or is perfect for a light lunch.

  • 2 pounds zucchini, coarsely grated
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs (panko)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped marjoram or basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped mint
  • Salt and freshly milled pepper
  • Olive oil as needed

Instructions

Lightly salt the grated zucchini and set it aside in a colander to drain for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the remaining ingredients together except the oil and pepper. Quickly rinse the squash, squeeze out the excess water, and then stir it into the batter. Taste for salt and season with pepper.

Film a large skillet with olive oil. When hot, drop in the batter (1/4 cup makes a fritter about 3 ½ inches across) and cook over medium heat until golden on the bottom. Turn and cook the second side. Keep warm in a 200 degree oven until all the batter is cooked. Serve warm.

Greek Zucchini Salad

Raw Zucchini Salad with Kalamata Olives, Feta, Chickpeas in Glass Bowl

Ingredients

  • 4-5 cups diced zucchini from 1.5 lbs whole zucchini
  • 4 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot or red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste

Instructions 

  • Mix together all ingredients.
  • Adjust seasoning as desired. Enjoy!

Source: Fifteen Spatulas

Pasta with Pesto Genovese

  • 1 pound (455 grams) dried pasta, any shape (shown here: gemelli; more traditional: trofie)
  • 2 ounces (55 grams) aged parmesan or pecorino romano
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup (35 grams) toasted pine nuts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Heaped 4 cups fresh basil leaves (3 ounces or 85 grams), from approximately a 5-6-ounce bundle with stems
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil, plus more as needed

In a food processor: Cut parmesan into smaller chunks and use the chopping blade (main one) to grind the cheese until powdery. Scrape cheese into a bowl and aside.

Add garlic to empty food processor bowl and pulse a few times, until roughly chopped. Add pine nuts and pulse several times, until chopped very small, but don’t run the machine so long that it becomes a seed butter. Add a 1/2 teaspoon salt, several grinds of black pepper, and basil leaves, and run machine until basil leaves are finely chopped. With the machine running, drizzle in olive oil. Add 1/4 cup parmesan and pulse a couple times to mix. Add more salt to taste — I like between 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons Diamond brand (less of any other brand) kosher salt total. Because I use it primarily as a pasta sauce, I want it well-seasoned.

By hand: Grate cheese on the small holes of a box grater. Finely chop garlic and pine nuts together on a cutting board. Add basil leaves and continue to chop until they’re minced. Scrape into a large bowl, add salt and pepper, and drizzle in olive oil, stirring. Add cheese, stir to combine. Season with additional salt to taste.

Both methods: You can use this right away or keep it in the fridge for up to a week.

To assemble: Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. We do not finish this sauce with pasta water over heat (which cooks it further) so aim for the final doneness you prefer. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. I usually let it cool a bit from here because I like pesto on lukewarm or room temperature pasta. When you’re ready, add half of pesto sauce and stir to coat, then add more, a spoonful at a time, until you pasta is as sauced as you like. Add a few drizzles of olive oil if needed to keep sauce moving. Finish with extra parmesan and serve as-is or with a few extras (see below).

Extras: I usually serve pasta with pesto with white beans, halved cherry tomatoes, and bocconcini (or tinier) mozzarella, and grilled and marinated zucchini, either to eat alongside or to stir in, your choice. To make the zucchini, cut a couple zucchini (or shown here, pattypan squash, hoping that flower-shaped slices would entice my zucchini-resistant kids) into thin slices; drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper. Grill or broil until dark brown in spots on both sides. Toss with salt, pepper, 1 to 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and a spoonful of capers. Serve at room temperature. P.S. Sometimes I entirely skip the pasta and just put this pesto on the beans, zucchini, tomatoes, and mozzarella. This has a similar flavor profile.

Source: The Smitten Kitchen