So Many Squashes!

5:58 PM Adrian 0 Comments

....and not enough mouths to eat them!

This is truly the peak of the summer squash season, which encompasses the realms of both zucchinis and yellow summer squashes (the yellow zephyr variety is the particular one we grow).  Get ready to see them in numbers in your CSA shares and on the market tables (not just ours!), perhaps even on your fork at a local restaurant and hitting the produce shelves of grocers like the New Pi Co-ops as they come into season....some in unusual sorts of varieties and colors.  Just the other day, I was at the Tipton grocer close to the farm and saw zucchini for sale, except the colors were different: the stems were dark green and the fruits were yellow.  It was a "backwards zucchini!"

So don't be shy, 'tis the season to grab as many of these succulent squashes as you can.  Many of you may ponder what to do with a vegetable in such high numbers...how do you keep on your toes?  For one thing, squash plants last and produce a while, they produce a LOT with little attention or care, and harvesting them is too easy....but it's easy to end up with an overwhelming bumper crop off of just part of an acre!  We have faced this dilemma many a time.  What do you do with all this squash???

We will be featuring as many recipes as you can use to handle your squashes and make them a worthwhile, delicious addition to your meals!  Summer squash are an excellent way to get in some extra Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and even potassium into your diet.  We already shared a zucchini round recipe with you last week....use it this week because new this week you will also be receiving our first round of tomatoes!  Yum!

And without further hesitation, a complete list of what to look forward to this week!

 
On the table:

  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Summer Squash
  • Potatoes
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Garlic (bulb)
  • Mint

Did you read that right?  Yes you did...bulb garlic, freshly pulled, cured, and stored from this year's garlic pull thus far!   Our CSA members will be among the first to experience our year's first harvest!

We are pleased that a lot of our garlic is looking excellent this year as usual, and we're happy to announce that our garlic has been officially tested for the yellow asters and has turned up free of the fungus! 
The disease has been a huge concern for garlic growers out here in Iowa but we are stoked that ours has survived the season scot-free.  If you would like to buy our seed garlic, visit our seed garlic selling site in the column on the left....guaranteed to be yellow asters fungus-free!
Speaking of garlic and the great garlic pull, we extend an open invitation to anyone who would wish to help us harvesting garlic this summer...we could use the help!   Pulling and clipping these plants is some of the funnest, most communal work we have out here.  You can meet a lot of awesome people, share in some awesome conversation, learn a lot about the whole life cycle of garlic from planting to picking and storing....and simply bask in the great presence of garlic.  One of the most superb vegetables and culinary herbs in the world!

Hope you are all enjoying the summer so far....and we'll see you at market!


Recipes

 Zucchini Bread Recipe (www.chow.com)

"Like banana bread, zucchini bread is an easy quick bread to put together, without the need for any fancy appliances. Just mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl, the wet in another, combine the two, and pour the batter into a bread pan. After about an hour in the oven, and a little time to cool, you’ll have a tender, sweet, flavorful bread to enjoy for breakfast, teatime, or a snack." -chow.com

Special equipment: You’ll need a metal 9-by-5-inch loaf pan for this recipe. Loaf pans can be purchased at most cooking supply stores and at many large grocery stores.

You also might want to try our savory quick bread recipes.
 
INGREDIENTS
  • Unsalted butter, for coating the pan
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for coating the pan
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces zucchini (about 2 to 3 medium zucchini), ends trimmed, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 2 1/2 cups)
 
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-by-5-inch metal loaf pan with butter and flour, tapping out any excess flour; set aside.
  2. Place the measured flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps. Set aside.
  3. Place the eggs, sugars, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until the eggs are broken up and the mixture is thoroughly combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the zucchini until evenly mixed.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of the pan and turn the bread out onto the rack to cool completely.


Soft Tacos with Roasted or Grilled Tomatoes and Summer Squash (www.nytimes.com)

If you’ve got the grill fired up you can cook the vegetables in a grill pan. Otherwise roast the tomatoes under the broiler and cook the filling on top of the stove.

Ingredients
  • 1 pound tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 serrano chiles or 1 large jalapeño, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds summer squash, cut in 1/4-inch dice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed if using canned
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 2 to 3 ounces goat cheese 

1. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the tomatoes on the foil. Place under the broiler, about 2 inches from the heat, and broil until charred black. Turn over and broil on the other side until charred black. This takes about 3 minutes on each side in my oven but all broilers/ovens are different. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until you can handle them, then remove the skins, core and cut in half along the equator. Set a strainer over a bowl and squeeze out the seeds (make sure they have cooled before you do this!), then rub the gelatinous pulp that surrounds the seeds through the strainer. Chop the tomatoes and combine with the juice in the bowl.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes, and add the garlic, chiles, summer squash, and a generous pinch of salt. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until the squash is tender. Add the chopped tomatoes and their juices and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and the mixture is fragrant, 5 to 10 more minutes. Add more salt to taste, and freshly ground pepper. Stir in the black beans, add the cilantro, taste, adjust seasonings, and remove from the heat.
3. Pile onto warm corn tortillas, sprinkle on a little goat cheese, fold the tortillas over and serve.
 
Variations:
You can also grill the tomatoes on an outdoor grill. If using this method, slice the onions, toss along with the squash with a little olive oil, and grill them in a grill pan on the grill as well for a nice charred flavor.
 
Yield: Enough for 10 tacos
 
Advance preparation: The cooked squash and tomatoes will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator. The squash may throw off some juice in the refrigerator; just stir the dish well and use it, juice and all.
 
Nutritional information per taco: 145 calories; 5 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 4 milligrams cholesterol; 20 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 39 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 5 grams protein


Garlic, Rosemary, and Chilli Almonds (www.buzzfeed.com)

Ingredients
  • 10 g butter*
  • 200 g almonds
  • 2 big cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 1 handful of rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • Chilli to taste (depending on where they are on the Scoville scale, I use 0.5 to 1 heaped tsp)

Melt the butter in a cast-iron or stainless steel skillet, add the almonds and stir until they're heated through and starting to brown. Take off the heat and add the condiments, stirring through. The residual heat of the pan should cook the garlic just enough to take off the edge without burning it (which results in a bitter taste).
I like to serve this warm straight out of the pan, but they do keep well in cookie tin or an open kilner jar.
* I used to prefer the taste of olive oil for this purpose, but I do not like to heat vegetable oils in order to avoid transfats, so I have got used to using butter or ghee for this recipe.
 


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 Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

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