In this week’s share:
- Slicing, paste and cherry tomatoes
- Sweet corn
- Bell peppers
- Summer squash
- Green beans
- Jalapeño pepper
It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for and fretting about for months. Despite the brisk “summer” weather, the tomatoes are finally blushing pink and red and yellow and orange, and we’re filling up storage bins all week long to keep the fruit (yes, they’re definitely fruit) from getting too ripe before it gets into your hands on Wednesday. Enjoy these beauties, they are a short-lived summer delicacy that we can only dream about the rest of the year. Sliced thickly with some sea salt and olive oil is hard to beat, but here are some other ideas for harnessing the bright flavors of fresh-picked tomatoes:
- Easy Roasted Tomato Sauce with Pasta – Preheat the oven to 400F. Generously grease a baking sheet or roasting pan with olive oil. Place 10-12 tomatoes in the pan (paste works best, but small slicing tomatoes and even cherries are good, too) and toss to coat with the olive oil. Wrap a full head of garlic (not peeled) in aluminum foil and place on the baking sheet. Put the whole thing in the oven for 10-15 minutes, turning the tomatoes once, until tomatoes are very soft and skin is cracked and blackened in places. Let the tomatoes cool for a few minutes, then peel off the skins. Slide tomatoes and their juice into a mixing bowl. Using a sharp knife, slice off the very bottom of the head of garlic, revealing each of the individual cloves. Squeeze out the soft roasted garlic into the tomatoes. Mash everything together, adding a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar, and red pepper flakes (optional, but awesome). Heat a saute pan over medium-low and add 2 TB olive oil. Pour in the tomato mixture and simmer for a few minutes until thickened. Toss with your favorite pasta, accompanied by whatever awesome vegetables you have on hand…
- Easy Fresh Tomato and Jalapeño Salsa – Slice open 2 large tomatoes or 3-5 small tomatoes and scoop out the seeds and guts, leaving just the flesh. Dice the tomatoes into small chunks. Dice a white onion (half a big one, or one small onion). Mince 1 garlic clove. Remove the seeds from 1 jalapeño and chop finely. Toss everything together in a bowl with a pinch of salt, the juice of one lime (or 1 tsp cider vinegar) and lots of fresh chopped cilantro. For best flavor, let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so. Enjoy with chips, tacos, eggs, steak, or just about anything. For a more mellow variation, roast the tomatoes, garlic and jalapeño in the oven like the pasta recipe, then toss everything in the blender, including the salt, sugar and cilantro. Makes a great salsa, or a sauce to accompany fish, chicken or sauteed veggies.
- Tomato Pies - A family favorite
- Zucchini Parmesan, Tomato and Basil Bake
- Arugula, Parmesan and Cherry Tomato Pizza
- Spaghetti with Sun Gold Tomato Sauce
- Squash and Tomato Gratin
The Real Sweet Corn
In retrospect, I probably jumped the gun by harvesting some corn last week. The problem is, the longer the corn stays on the stalk, the greater chance that a corn earworm will invade and start nibbling on the tips of the ears. So I tried to only harvest the biggest ears last week, leaving the rest to fatten up. But now that I see this week’s corn, with its big fat kernels and super-sweet taste, I’m starting to wish I waited to harvest everything at once. The good news is you’ll be getting lots of perfectly mature corn tomorrow. I haven’t seen many worms, but if you are lucky (!) enough to get one, don’t despair. Just lop off the tip of the ear and use the rest. Cooking tip: Don’t overcook fresh-picked corn. Boil a big pot of salted water and plop in the husked corn. Only cook for 5 minutes, just enough to soften the kernels slightly, but retain the tender freshness of the corn. I enjoy grilling corn in the husk sometimes, but not with this stuff. I think it’s best with a little salt and butter, or completely naked. The corn that is.
Share Your Recipes
We have so many great summer flavors this week. Please post some of your favorite ideas in the comment section below. Thanks!