Backyard Gardens’ CSA: Week 12 – August 23, 2012

We’re in full summer mode around here, which means that we are spending more time harvesting and handling produce than we have time for weeding and maintaining the gardens.   The consistent heat of the last month is cranking out volumes of summer crops – squash, beans, and cucumbers.  Larger slicer tomatoes are finally starting to ripen.  Vanessa and Liz harvested over 100 pounds of beans on Tuesday!!  So, that translates to you in overflowing bins full of summer bounty and with extra value!  It’s time to think about putting things up for the winter.  You can freeze beans or making pickles for the winter ahead.  Same with summer squash.  I’ve included some pickle recipes, both slow fermented and vinegar-based, for beans.  You can also pickle onions, squash, cucumbers (of course), and much more!  And don’t forget the zucchini bread.  Bake 2 loaves and freeze one for winter tea break.

New items this week include fennel thinnings and pearl onions.  Fennel can be eaten raw in salads or trim the baby heads and grill them whole brushed with olive oil and garlic.  The pearl onions are also wonderful grilled whole. You can also substitute them for onions in any recipe.

Enjoy!  (Beth)

 

Full Sharefull share

2 lbs. Green Bush Beans
1 lb. Italian Flat Beans
2 lbs. Medium Summer Squash
2 lbs. Large Summer Squash
1 bunch Dill
2 oz. Basil
1 lb. Cucumbers
1/2 lb. Mini-Onions
1/2 lb. Japanese Eggplant
2 Sweet Peppers
1 bunch Fennel
1 small head Garlic

 

Half Share

2 lbs. Green Bush Beans
1 lb. Italian Flat Beans
1 lbs. Medium Summer Squash
2 lbs. Large Summer Squash
1 bunch Dill
2 oz. Basil
1 lb. Cucumbers
1/2 lb. Mini-Onions
1 bunch Fennel
1 small head Garlic

For some pickling ideas, here are some recipes, both naturally fermented dilly beans and a vinegar based curried pickled bean.

Dilly Beans from Epicurious

Spicy Curry Pickled Green Beans  from Brianna Bain’s blog which has some useful pickling information on it

 

Everyone has their favorite zucchini bread recipe.  Mine lately is a modified version of this Spiced  Zucchini Walnut Bread from Epicurious.  I reduce the sugar by a full cup and the oil by half a cup.  Then it’s perfect!

Here’s more summer squash recipes, just to help inspire you:

Baked Zucchini Halves Stuffed with Wild Rice and Quinoa

In this hearty recipe the classic combination of onion, celery, and cheese give plenty of robust flavor to the mixed grains, while zucchini provides the perfect juicy-firm base. This satisfying dish is an excellent accompaniment to roasted chicken or grilled fish. Friend of the Farm.

Serves 4 to 6

1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup cooked wild rice
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3/4 ounce)
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
1 rib celery, chopped
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
butter (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

2. Cut out the center from each half of the zucchini with a paring knife, being careful not to puncture the bottom or the sides; reserve the centers. Transfer the hollow halves, cut-side up, to a baking dish.

3. Coarsely chop the zucchini centers and put them in a large bowl. Add the quinoa, wild rice, and Parmesan. Stir until well combined.

4. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery; cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the bread crumbs and salt. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the bread crumbs are well mixed in and heated through, about 1 minute.

5. Add the bread crumb mixture to the quinoa/rice mixture and combine well.

6. Stuff hollow zucchini halves with the quinoa/rice mixture. Cover with aluminum foil; bake for 40 minutes.

7. Remove the foil. If you wish, dot each half with a pat of butter. Continue baking until zucchini is very tender and the filling is golden brown, 10 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.

 

Sweet Zucchini Crumble

Silky smooth baked zucchini is the surprising filling in this sweet dessert. Like the best apple crumble, this dessert has a tender, lemony-sweet, spiced filling just waiting to be discovered beneath its irresistible, crunchy crust. Don’t count on having leftovers. Shareholder.

Serves 6 to 8

4 1/2 cups flour
3 cups sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shortening, softened, or butter, cold
6–8 cups thinly sliced zucchini (about 4 large zucchini)
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

2. Stir the flour, 2 cups of the sugar, and salt in a large bowl until well combined. Add the shortening or butter and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture looks like coarse oatmeal.

3. Pour half of the mixture into a 9×13-inch cake pan. Using your fingers or a rubber spatula, press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside.

4. Combine the zucchini and lemon juice in a large pot over high heat and cook until zucchini is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 cup of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Simmer for 1 minute more. Stir in 1/2 cup of the reserved flour mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove the pot from the heat to cool for 10 minutes.

5. Pour the zucchini mixture over the baked crust and sprinkle with the remaining flour mixture. Return the pan to the oven and bake until it is lightly browned and bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes.

Excerpted from Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables: Seasonal Recipes and Stories from a Community Supported Farm by Farmer John Peterson & Angelic Organics (Gibbs Smith Publisher).