Here are the farm, the days are long, the nights are short, and with the Super Moon and the lightning bugs, it's like it never really gets dark. All the plants are growing faster and faster, including the weeds! And now that we've had a few dry days, we're able to cultivate and weed, and make sure the veggies are getting all the space, sun and air that they need. Plus, with the long, warm days, everything is ripening fast, and needs to be harvested. Our Jamaican workers are out there early in the AM picking peas, and in the evening picking beans. We've got crews on chard, beets, lettuce, and carrots in the morning, and strawberries, squash, and basil in the afternoon. We have rows and rows of tomatoes to twine, celeriac and leeks to mulch, and so many new plants to transplant. This week, we transplanted Brussels Sprouts (affectionately known as "B.S."), lettuce, basil, and more tomatoes. Speaking of tomatoes, we've got a few Sungold cherry tomatoes ripening, but we won't have any for this weekend, not yet. Hopefully next week!
This weekend we will still have strawberries, including a few more flats of those tasty little Earliglows. Plus we will have cherries at the Sheridan School, and for the first time this season, carrots (with tops!) at Dupont Circle on Sunday!!
Other than the interesting background, summer squash deserves recognition for being an incredibly healthy yet versatile and mildly flavored veggie. It is low calorie and incredibly high in vitamins and other nutrients, like beta-carotene, lutein, and carotenoids. These nutrients/antioxidants are concentrated in the skin, so make sure to leave the skin on for maximum benefits. And avoid microwaving/boiling summer squash, as those cooking processes destroy or eliminate many of its health benefits.
Today's recipes were researched and adapted by Heather, who can get excited about any vegetable that's suggested to her. Here's a few tips and quick suggestions first:
- Sliced thin on a mandolin and served with basil, goat cheese, toasted pine nuts and a light vinaigrette as an crunchy raw salad.
- You can stuff the squash much like you can stuff a pepper.- Summer squash can be easily and quickly sauteed with olive oil, salt and pepper for a quick side dish, or it can be roasted with those same ingredients to bring out its sweetness.
- You can also blanche and freeze summer squash to be able to enjoy it in the winter.
- Larger zucchini are especially good for grating, then baking--chocolate chip zucchini bread is a favorite around here!
Refreshing Mint and Zucchini Dip
2 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise and cut into 1-inch half-moons
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup mint, roughly chopped
1/4 cup tahini
zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup spring garlic, minced (optional, for light sharp spice)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in a pan on medium high heat. Add zucchini and turn to medium heat. Saute for 5 minutes and take off heat.
2. Allow zucchini to cool to room temperature. Add zucchini and remaining ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until smooth.
3. Season the puree to taste and garnish with mint, lemon zest, and olive oil. Serve with pita, bread, or vegetables. Serves 6-8.
Patty Pan Squash Baked EggsThis recipe, found on Sunset.com, is a great idea for our Patty Pan squash and our free-range eggs! Perfect served with a caprese (tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil and balsamic reduction) salad, and potato gratin for brunch!
8 patty pan squash (each 5 in. across)
About 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 medium onion (or 2 scallion bunches), finely chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
3 garlic cloves (or spring onions), minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
8 large eggs*
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cut tops (stem ends) off squash and reserve. Scoop out and discard insides of squash, leaving a shell at least 1/4 in. thick. Brush squash and tops with about 1 tbsp. olive oil, set on a baking sheet, and bake until tender when pierced with a fork, 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and 3/4 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add thyme and cook, stirring, until combined.
3. Set squash tops aside. Divide onion mixture evenly among the squash. Crack 1 egg into each squash, lifting out any white that doesn't fit. Sprinkle eggs with remaining salt. Bake until eggs are set, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately, with tops replaced or set to the side.
*If your eggs are small, use a couple of them for each squash. Bake the squash cups up to 4 hours ahead and keep at room temperature, covered.
Need more recipes? Check out this page over at theKitchn!