In this week’s share:
- Slicing, paste and cherry tomatoes
- Red and green bell peppers
Let the ingredients do the work
One of the greatest benefits of eating fresh from the garden in late summer is that you really don’t have to “cook” very much. The flavors are so strong and the colors are so vibrant, making dinner is 20 minutes of chopping and tossing instead of spending eternity in the kitchen. We’ve been coming back to a few basic recipes this week that I wanted to share. And PLEASE add your own tips and recipes in the “Leave a Reply” box below.
Cucumber and Cherry Tomato Salad
2 cucumbers, quartered and chopped
20 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 handful of chopped basil
few sprigs of chopped parsley
bottled or homemade vinaigrette (we like balsamic here)
crumbled feta or goat cheese
- Toss everything together and serve!
Cream of Tomato Soup
4-5 lbs of tomatoes, quartered if really big
half a yellow onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic with the skin still on
4 cups of stock or broth (beef is best, but veggie and chicken work, too)
1 tsp of sugar (optional)
1/2 cup heavy cream, yogurt or sour cream
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Generously oil the bottom of a large glass baking dish, then toss in the tomatoes, onion and garlic to coat with oil
- Roast the tomatoes, onion and garlic in the oven until tomatoes are nicely blackened and very soft, about 30 minutes
- Meanwhile, bring the stock to a simmer
- Let the tomatoes cool slightly, then lift away the charred skin (tongs are helpful here) and remove skin from roasted garlic
- Add tomatoes (with all their juices) and onion and garlic to the simmering broth. Let the flavors blend for 5 mins.
- Blend the soup with a hand blender or regular blender. Add sugar to taste, then stir in cream or yogurt.
Basic Fresh Tomato Sauce
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
5-7 tomatoes, roughly chopped
pinch of sugar
generous handful of chopped fresh basil
- Heat large saute pan over medium-low and pour in a generous 3 TBS of good olive oil
- Before the pan gets too hot, add the garlic and stir continuously for 30 seconds to release flavor but avoid burning. Add the red pepper flakes
- Add the chopped tomatoes with all their seeds and juices
- Adjust heat to a low simmer. Stir and press down with your wooden spoon/spatula to crush the tomatoes as they cook.
- Turn off the heat when tomatoes are softened, but still a little chunky (about 15 minutes)
- Add the pinch of sugar, the fresh basil, and toss with your favorite pasta and veggies
TIPS: If sauce tastes too acidic, drizzle with a little more good olive oil. If you’re looking for a way to work through some zucchini, shred it with a cheese grater or food processor and add to the sauce with a couple of minutes left to simmer.
Easy Blender Salsa
This is basically the same salsa mexicana or pico de gallo recipe I shared a couple of weeks ago, but less fancy dicing! Food processor is even better than the blender here.
3-4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
half a white onion, roughly chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded (or not, if you dare) and roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
lots of cilantro, don’t bother chopping, stems and all
juice of one lime (or 1 TB of cider vinegar)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cumin
- Put everything in the blender or food processor and pulse until it reaches your desired consistency (we prefer it on the chunky side) and pop it in a tupperware in the fridge. Lasts for days.
Potatoes and Leeks
I didn’t plan to harvest leeks this week, but the lonely leek patch is isolated in a section of the field that I desperately needed to till up for a fall cover crop. So even though they are still kind of spindly, I pulled the remaining leeks. And since leeks simply cry out for potatoes, I’ve also decided to harvest some of the fall potatoes a little early. The leeks are few and small, so I suggest using them as a flavor enhancer to creamy mashed potatoes. Just slice the leeks thinly and sauté in butter until soft and slightly caramelized, then stir into mashed potatoes with a little more butter, milk and/or sour cream. Yum.