Notes From the Farm
This week everyone gets an enormous zucchini. There are all kinds of recipes out there calling for large amounts of zucchini. People make zucchini noodles, zucchini bread; you can dehydrate them and use them as backpacking food, or make flour….. or if you don’t want to deal with a gigantic zucchini you can feed it to Sally! Sally is an only child, which is pretty oddball for a pig, so she gets extra special treatment on the farm. She gets lots of veggies, some of her favorites are Swiss chard, lambs quarters, lettuce, amaranth leaves and we recently discovered she likes zucchini.
This is the last week of Napa Cabbage. We know you have gotten it several weeks in a row and we like to try to give you as much variety as possible, but it has grown really well this year, so we have lots. Some of the cooler weather crops, such as peas basically tanked. We planted them in early May when it was so chilly (remember that? remember chilly?) and everything was growing so slowly. Then Montana went into the immediate and lengthy heat wave. Well, peas do NOT like heat wave. And as much as we wish to have peas we have to work with the weather. We will replant later this month in hope of having fall peas, but that too is very much dependent on how long the warm weather lasts and if we have an early frost (peas don’t like early frost either). Wednesday folks will get a smattering of snow peas. Leon says he doesn’t know if they will last until Saturday.
This Week’s Very Green Veggie Feast
Cucumbers, Fennel, Chives, Snow Peas, Zucchinis, Napa Cabbage, Swiss Char
New This Week
As they sit, slicing cukes tend to soften, so they are best eaten fresh. Sliced thin, cucumbers are a treat on any sandwich or salad, served on a veggie platter or just eaten fresh with a sprinkling of salt. For a twist on a refreshing summer drink, add very thin slices of cucumber to sparkling water or as a garnish to gin and tonics. Cucumbers also make a refreshing, light salad or can be added to coleslaw.
Fennel, a plump green bulb with a mild anise flavor, is a member of the parsley family. There are three types of fennel: bitter and sweet which are used for herbs, and Florence fennel that provides a vegetable in the form of a bulb. Florence fennel is also known as finocchio, which is the general Italian word for fennel. Finocchio was developed in Italy during the 17th century and is often used to distinguish fennel grown for the bulb versus varieties grown for seed
Keep fennel refrigerated in a plastic bag, but try to use it sooner than later, as it tends to dry out quickly and the outer layers will brown.
A delicate member of the onion family, chives provide a discreet onion flavor that works well with egg dishes, mild cream based sauces, or as a garnish to salads or soups. Chives are best used fresh and added at the end of cooking. Snip them with scissors or cut with a sharp knife straight across. Store fresh chives in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Snow peas are flat, pale green pods with barely formed peas. These tender peas can be eaten whole, and are delicious fresh, steamed, sautéed, or added to stir fries.
Another recipe by my favorite foodie Deb Perelman. I haven’t made it yet, we are not too excited about using our oven, but it may be the perfect for a midnight meal!?
Summer Squash Pizza
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for fingertips
- 1 recipe pizza dough (below) or about a 2/3 volume of my lazy fitted-to-your-schedule favorite or your favorite, whichever it may be
- 2 1/2 pounds (about 5 small-medium or 3 large) zucchini or other summer squash, trimmed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 2 cups (8 ounces) coarsely grated gruyere cheese
- 2 to 3 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs
Heat your oven to 500°F with a rack in the center. Brush either 1 13×18-inch rimmed half-sheet pan or 2 9×13-inch quarter-sheet pans (as I do) with olive oil. Divide your dough in half and use oiled fingertips to pull, stretch, nudge and press the dough across the bottom of the pan. The dough will be thin and imperfect; just try to get it even. If holes form, just pinch them together.
Use a food processor with a grater attachment or the large holes of a box grater to grate the zucchini. In a large bowl, toss together the zucchini and salt. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes (more, if you have the time), until the zucchini has wilted and released its water. Drain the zucchini in a colander and then use your hands to squeeze out as much water as possible, a fistful at a time. Back in the large bowl (wiped out if still wet), toss the zucchini with the gruyere shreds, being sure to break up any clumps of zucchini. Taste the mixture; it should be seasoned enough from the salt, but you can add more, plus ground pepper or pepper flakes if desired.
Spread the zucchini mixture over the dough(s), going all the way to the edges of the pan and piling it a bit thicker at the edges, where it will brown first. Sprinkle messily with the bread crumbs.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the topping is golden. Remove from oven, cut into squares and dig in.
Jim Lahey’s Basic Pizza Dough
This is halved and modified a bit
2 cups minus 1 tablespoon (250 grams) all-purpose or bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons (5 grams) instant or active dry yeast
A heaped 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
2/3 cups (150 grams) room temperature water
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, yeast and salt. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until well blended, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the dough has more than doubled in volume, about 2 hours. Continue using instructions above.
Source: The Smitten Kitchen
I have made these. Yummy! You could use the chives in place of the scallions.
- 1 1/2 lbs zucchini (about 4 medium zucchini)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill (or sub half with Italian parsley)
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta ( or sub another grated cheese- jack, mozzarella, cheddar)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or GF flour)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- GRATE AND SALT ZUCCHINI: Using a hand grater or food processor, with grater attachment, grate the zucchini. You need about 4 cups grated, placed in a med-sized bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tsp kosher salt, stir well, and let sit for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (This will release the water and give you light and crispy zucchini cakes!)
- In the meantime, prep the other ingredients and make the optional Tzatziki Sauce.
- After 15 minutes, place the salted zucchini in a strainer, and using your hand or a spatula, press down firmly to remove as much water as possible. Do not rinse. Pat dry with a few paper towels. You really want to get these fairly dry.
- Preheat oven to 350F
- MAKE THE BATTER: Place the grated zucchini in a bowl, adding dill, scallions, feta, nutmeg, and one egg. Mix well. In a separate bowl mix flour and baking powder together. Add flour mixture to zucchini, incorporating all. This will be a fairly thick batter.
- SEAR: In a heavy bottom skillet, heat 1-2 T olive oil or butter over medium heat. When the oil is hot, spoon ping-pong sized balls of the batter. Lightly sear each side until golden brown about 3 minutes each side, and place in a warm oven-either on a wire rack or on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Putting these in the oven will allow them to cook all the way through and puff up, without getting too brown in the skillet.
- Make these in batches, letting fritters finish at least 10 minutes in the oven, or until they puff slightly.
- Serve with a dollop of Tzatziki Sauce and dill sprig.
Source: Feasting at Home