Oh, squash. You are an excellent part of summer.
We’ve reached the midpoint of July – the moment when I routinely trip over the fine line between “this life is manageable madness,” and “OMG its all too much.”
In our house, July is the busiest and most stressful month of the year, made more so by the summer slow down (e.g. “What do you mean your summer business hours are 9-3 on Tuesday and Thursday?”). Lots of things are more difficult, and feeding us is the last thing I want to think about. Which makes me so thankful for the CSA.
I walked into the Fairfield Farmer’s Market yesterday morning and Max handed me a gorgeous box just full of vegetables. All I had to do was plan to eat them.
What’s In The Week Four Share:
- Kale – one 12-ounce bunch
- Peas, almost large enough to shell – 10 ounces
- Cauliflower, white and purple – 12 ounces
- Salad Greens – one 8-ounce bag
- A variety of Cucumbers – 17 ounces
- Red Cabbage – one 30-ounce head
- Spring Onions, red – 2.5 ounces
- A variety of Squashes – 51 ounces
- Fennel Bulbs and Fronds – 12 ounces
- Peppers – 3 ounces
I was so grateful that everything in this week’s share was familiar to me from past weeks and my non-CSA diet – I had already recorded the storage techniques. Moreover, with one exception, upon seeing each item I knew exactly what to do with it.
What To Make With This Week’s Share
Confession: We didn’t cook much last week, so had quite a lot of vegetables left over. We haven’t lost a single item to rot or waste, and I’m hoping to continue that streak! But this week’s plan includes a lot of “extras”.
Two of the summer squash became squash chips. We sliced them 1/8-inch thick with the mandolin rather than 1/4-inch; they crisped beautifully, but stuck to the sheet pan. Next time I’ll try 3/8-inch. Clay has requested a little heat in the seasoning blend, so next time I’ll skip the cheese and use a Moroccan spice blend, and see how we like it.
Sunday lunch: squash chips are an excellent replacement for potato chips.
In the summer of 2012, I made fabulous yellow-squash “fritters” stuffed with goat cheese and herbs. Everyone who tasted them likened them to latkes rather than fritters, so that’s what I call them.
I can’t find the recipe, so I’m winging it: mixing flour, salt, egg, fresh herbs and squash to make a thick batter/thin dough; forming it into balls around a bit of crumbled goat cheese; fry in oil. I shredded the rest of my yellow squashes for this purpose yesterday – they’re currently draining in the fridge.
Scallop Squash stuffed with Rice and Greens
I had intended to make risotto with greens last week, but we ran out of time so took the easy way out: Clay pressure-cooked the kale and chard to tenderness and made fluffy, seasoned rice on the stove, then combined them with bits of steak and chicken for a terrific quick dinner.
We’ll seed and bake the scallop and pattypan squashes, scoop out and purée the flesh, combine it with this week’s kale (pressure-cooked like last week) and more rice, stuff the squash with the mixture, and bake again to crisp the top and warm it all through. (We’re having friends over for dinner on Friday, so I expect this will be a make-it-together dish.)
I enjoy cold soup, but prefer the flavor of cooked vegetables to raw ones. True gazpacho fans are reeling in horror, I’m sure, but to each her own. Yesterday we grilled a delicato squash, the peppers, and a handful of red onions; tonight we’ll chop and mix them with tomatoes, roasted garlic, and a mess of herbs and spices, then blend it all together and chill for 24 hours. It will serve as a very light supper for tomorrow night, since we’ll arrive home near midnight.
My Favorite Dill Pickles
Yesterday I turned the cucumbers from this week and last week into garlic dill pickles – our haul turned into two pint and five half-pint jars, so we’re set for summer hostess gifts.
I love that our friends request my pickles as gifts!
Clay has been digging on raw vegetables with hummus for lunch – it’s simple eat-on-the-train-or-classroom fare. I chopped the peas, non-pickling cucumbers, and cauliflower for him – along with carrots and cherry tomatoes. Lunch, managed.
Purple cauliflower! It’s so much more vibrant than anything I’ve seen in a shop.
We hard boiled a half-dozen eggs and will slice them for sandwiches, with salad greens and a Dijon mustard dressing.
Cabbage and Fennel
We keep intending to make more slaw, but haven’t yet, so have multiple heads of cabbage at this point. I’m planning to shred all of it and toss with different herb and seasoning blends and dressings. That might happen on Wednesday, but it’s more likely a Saturday project – we’ll see.
As for the fennel, it’s the one item I don’t have a plan for. I’ve been using small pieces, julienned, in salads and as flavoring agents with meats and sauces, but a little goes a long way. Thankfully it stores well.
What’s your plan for this week?