Saturday, June 30, 2012

Garden Fazool, June 2012

As of June 30th, 2012...
 Zucchini Flowers on my Striata Zucchini (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds)


Here they are in the Zucchini Garden that I put in this year (on May 8th.)
As of June 19th.

And, ten days later (June 29th), look how much they grew in ten days!

Quite a nice tomato going on the left, there, too.  That one was a gift from my realtor!

Thanks, Bob!

My Rainbow Chard (from seed), in the garden below:

Look at those artichokes! I'm not sure if they will flower or not, but they are cool looking.  And, my Scarlet Runners have taken off up the fence.  Here's the garden in April, it's hard to believe what happens in three months.

Scarlet Runner Flowering.

 Beans on the far side fence + another little tomato behind!

Tomatoes going very well along the side beds! 

And, all the flowers...
 Bee Balm

Not sure? It grew up in the front.  Kinda looks like a purple fox glove type flower.

The front!  Fig tree is on the far right behind that bloomed sunflower head.



Dark Horse.


I adore the sprightly blue flowers.

Lavender Flowers, With Bees.  

And, my fig tree, loaded with tender figs!
This is why I welcome the heat of summer.

What are you all hoping to harvest?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Zucchini Noodles with Walnut Cream Sauce

Organic Zucchini "Noodles" with Organic Walnut Cream Sauce
SO good.

Here's how:
Using a good quality peeler, peel your organic zucchini into noodles. 
I only used two zucchinis, but it makes kinda a lot of "noodles." 

You can salt and "drain" the zucchini, but I find that isn't necessary and makes it soggy.  You can just use them as-is, but don't salt them.  You can dress them however you want, though, and just add the salt to the sauce.  I just added a little rice vinegar and pepper before adding the Walnut Cream Sauce.

Walnut Cream Sauce

1 cup organic walnuts
3 tsps light miso
2 garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
Juice from 1/2 an organic lemon
1 Tablespoon Walnut Oil (or you can use olive, or leave it out)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 
1 scant cup warmed pasta water 
(I just heated mine in a coffee cup in the microwave for about 30-60 seconds.  I keep pasta water as a staple in my fridge! You can also freeze it if you have room in your freezer).

Put everything in a high-speed blender (like a VitaMix) and blend until smooth and creamy (about 1 min. in the VitaMix).  If using a food processor, process everything excluding the pasta water, (scraping down as needed) until a nice paste forms.  Then, add pasta water a tablespoon or so at a time,  processing in between and stopping to scrape down between tablespoons to incorporate.  Serve over zucchini "noodles," pasta, veggies, or even as a sandwich spread or salad dressing (you can thin it with more water  and/or lemon juice, etc. for a thinner consistency).


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Blueberry Popsicles, Grilled Radishes, and Pasta Verdura!

In keeping up with my CSA, here are my creations of the week:

Organic Blueberry-Strawberry Popsicles

6-8 ice cubes
1/2 to 3/4 pint of organic blueberries (we got them last week, forgot to mention them!)
6-8 organic strawberries, hulled & sliced
2 Tablespoons maple syrup or agave syrup
1 cup organic soy or almond milk (or your fave plant milk)

Blend up in a blender (I used my VitaMix for 1 min) until smooth, pour into popsicle molds and freeze.  You can also add yogurt, ice cream, herbs like mint or basil or whatever else your heart desires.  More pops to come!

These were unbelievable.  Seriously. SO good.

These grilled radishes were also amazing!
 Pre-grill: Trim radishes, slice large ones in half, add organic scallions or other onions, some cubed butter and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar (it has a high melting point so is great for the grill).  Wrap up in your foil packet and grill until radishes are tender.  Radishes & Scallions both from my Organic CSA.

Done! They were custardy, mild, and sweet.  I added organic lime juice for a kick of acid, and salt and pepper of course.

You can also grill your beets, which I did! We've been getting beets every week in our CSA and I LOVE beets! Grilling them is great because they take so long to cook I didn't want to do them indoors when it was so hot a few days ago. Just add a little olive oil, salt and pepper to the beet packets and grill until tender.

 Lastly, an easy greens saute.  All greens were from my CSA: Radicchio, Swiss Chard, Beet Greens and Garlic Scapes, and non-CSA Garlic and Organic Raisins sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper.  Serve with al dente pasta for a lovely Pasta Verdura!

Pasta Verdura, SO good.  
The sauteed radicchio tastes like a slightly more bitter escarole, perfect for me!

Now, I'm ready to pick up my new box tomorrow!  Bring it on, Honey Brook Organic Farm! 

Friday, June 22, 2012

CSA 2012: Boxes #3 and #4 and Zucchini Fritters!

Here are some of my creations from Weeks #2, #3 and #4 of my local, Certified Organic CSA, as well as the pictures of my CSA boxes from Weeks #3 & #4. 

Organic Zucchini Fritters over Organic Red Leaf Lettuce w/ Organic Radishes & Scallions and a Mustard Vinagrette.   Combo of Week #3 and Week #4 boxes.

 Gorgeous, home made pie crust (to house a Week #2 Greens & Scapes pie, below)

Organic Swiss Chard & Beet Greens Pie (from Week #2's box).  I used the recipe for my Green Leek Pie using the Chard/Beet Greens and Scapes in for the leeks.  That rosy glow is from the beet greens & red chard, isn't it lovely?

Organic Chickpea Salad w/ Organic Garlic Scapes, Celery & Carrots (also from Week #2).

 The Bounty from Week #3: Organic beets, chard, red leaf lettuce (3 heads), zucchini, broccoli, cabbage and my favorite, scallions!
 I love scallions and these were amazing! 

 Organic Broccoli Soup!

 Organic Zucchini Fritters.

 The Bounty from Week #4 (this week's box): FIVE heads of lettuce (sheesh!), beets, collards, something I'm not sure of (that head of something on the far left, maybe a funky, heritage escarole?), collards, oregano, chard, zucchini and even more GIGANTIC scallions than last week!

 Told you the scallions were gigantic!

I still have a lot of stuff left, namely: scallions (a ton of scallions!), lettuce, three beets & their greens, and some zucchini. Oh heck, and some radishes from Week #2, and that head of cabbage and that head of I don't know what it is...uh oh! I did freeze about four cups of grated zucchini (I grated all of last week's zucchini and froze all of what I didn't use for the fritters).  

What to do, what to that this heat is breaking, I will probably make another pie :-) and some salads or something.

What are you guys making with your CSA bounties?  

Friday, June 8, 2012

Herbed Ice Cubes and Garlic Scape Pesto

If you have left over pesto, greens, or herbs, which, after blending the heck out of everything in your CSA box you are sure to have, just pour it into an ice tray, freeze it, and pop it out.  Then place cubes in a plastic bag and store in your freezer.  Cubes become an instant sauce for pasta, salads, casseroles, pizzas, etc. whenever you need it! Just stick it in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 50% power or heat gently in a small pan over low heat until defrosted.  Add to whatever you like: pastas, pizza sauce, casseroles, tortillas pies, tofu scrambles,  veggie burgers, etc.

 Top cubes are Green Lantern Pasta Pesto (almonds, cilantro, garlic, lemon zest, big hit with my kiddo) 
and the darker ones are Spinach Cilantro Cubes (spinach and cilantro :-)

You can blend and store any herb or green or combination of both this way.  Just combine half the volume of herbs/greens with half the volume of water and/or oil, blend, and freeze.  Add some salt if you want.  
You can do parsley, basil, cilantro, mint, marjoram, the list is endless. 
So, onto the CSA box...the only way I could think to make a dent in that HUGE bag of garlic scapes was to blend the heck out of them.  Basically, this is Groundhog Pesto with Scapes instead of garlic, and with organic arugula and almonds.  You can use any greens you have, and of course, any nuts or seeds.

Garlic Scape Pesto

1/2 cup Nuts and/or Seeds (I used almonds today)
1.5 cups chopped up Garlic Scapes (this is about eight large scapes)
Zest and Juice from one small Organic Lemon
2 tsps Kosher Salt

1 cup hot pasta cooking water (but grab at least 2 cups to thin it out later if needed)

2-3 cups Greens and/or Herbs
(today I used organic arugula that I bought last week before the CSAs started and some basil and rosemary from out back :-)
1/4 cup olive oil or any other oil you feel like using

Put everything in a VitaMix or Blendtech or high-speed blender in the order listed.  Blend about 30-60 seconds.  Add more pasta water as needed.  If using a food processor, add everything up until the pasta water and pulse until finely chopped, scraping down as needed.  Add hot pasta water gradually and pulse until incorporated.  Add greens and stream in oil with food processor running.  Taste for salt, seasoning, etc. and add what you feel like!  Add beans, tofu cubes, grilled seitan, or more veggies to top it if you like!

 Escapin' scapes.  Tonight in my home this pasta was, "Yoda's Green Light Sabers."

Now, what?