Tuesday, August 11, 2009
This weeks produce and recipes
Lots of tomatoes this week! We are hitting peak season. So make a sauce, put some in a salad, roast the baby heirlooms and toss with pasta. Or just eat them all raw with salt like I do!
The tomatoes that you find in the stores are bred on a 20,000-acre mega farm. They are picked before they are ripe; they are shipped in from Mexico and Florida. The tomato heads by truck to a packing plant, where it receives a disinfecting chlorinated bath, a cool down (a mature green tomato can chill for two weeks at 58 degrees Fahrenheit without any noticeable consequences), and a stay in the ripening room, a chamber filled with ethylene gas, which turns tomatoes the desired red shade.
The tomatoes in YOUR basket are grown on a 20-acre organic farm in Santa Ynez Valley called Finley Farms, by a young couple Christopher and Johanna. They are passionate about beautiful, tasty vegetables. The tomato plants are planted from seeds, they grow in the sun, and when the tomatoes are ripe they are picked.
In your basket this week:
Bi Colored Corn-a very sweet variety. Roast on the grill in the husk, season with chili and lime. Cut corn off the cob raw and toss into salads. Cut corn off the Cobb and sauté with other veggies. Great also in salsas.
Candy Onions-sweet variety of onion
Red Butter Lettuce-
Sugar Baby Watermelons Melons-quick fact: watermelons that have seeds are much tastier than seedless, because the seedless have been so cross bred.
Purple Bell Peppers-use like any other bell pepper. They will turn green when used in cooking
Mixed Pink Grape, Purple Cherry and Chelsea Tomatoes-a mix of baby heirlooms. A great way to use these little tomatoes is to roast them on a baking sheet with some garlic and onions, and then toss into pasta.
Amana Orange Tomatoes or Big White Pink Stripe Tomato-
German Striped Tomatoes-Bi colored, red and yellow with ribbed shoulders.
Strawberries or Raspberries-Finley Farms does not have enough to harvest enough of one thing for each basket, so you will get one or the other. They are both really great!
Black Grapes-sweet and lovely. Try them in a savory salad. At the restaurant we do a summer chicken salad with grapes and walnuts.
Pluots-a cross between a plum and an apricot. Probably my favorite stone fruit.
Mixed Calliope and Black Bell Baby Eggplant-I am a giant fan of these little eggplants. They are so versatile. I sauté them and toss them into pasta and over rice, or into a salad. Today I made a baba ganoush with them.
Russian Banana Fingerlings
Large baskets only-
Brown Turkey Figs
Strawberries and Raspberries
Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
This is a loose recipe. So you can play around with different herbs.
1-pint cherry tomatoes
2 tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbs fresh chopped thyme
1. Pre heat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Cut tomatoes in half and put them skin side down on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, minced garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper and thyme.
3. Roast until they are wilted and shriveled looking. About 2 ½ hours.
Ten Tomato Ideas (besides the obvious sauces):
2.Scramble them into eggs
3.Spread olive tampanade and ricotta cheese onto toasted baguette and top with tomato slices and olive oil
4. Slice onto pizza
5. Dice and sprinkle on top of creamy polenta then drizzle with olive oil and basil
6. Make fresh Bloody Marys
7. Roast cherry tomatoes to top fish.
8. Make a tomato and corn salsa and top grilled skirt steak
9. Make a tomato chutney
10. Make Chow Chow
7 Days of Summer Dinners
1. Linguine with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Parmesan and Garlic
2. Eggplant Parmesan with a Red Butter Leaf Salad topped with Grilled Peaches
3. Farmers Market Salad with Red Butter Lettuce, Fresh Corn, Tomatoes and Grilled Chicken Breast with a Balsamic Vinaigrette
4. Bell Peppers Stuffed with Lentils, Tomatoes, Rice, Feta Cheese and Almonds and an Heirloom Tomato and Bread Salad
5. Pizza with Homemade Tomato Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella and Kalamata Olives
6. Melon with Proscuitto, Cheeses with Grapes, Crusty Bread, Pluots, Pates
7. Grilled Fish Topped with Corn and Tomato Salsa and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes