Friday, July 26, 2013

Week Seven: Ribbony Goodness

This weekend was a fantastic break from the heat. It was a (relatively) chilly low-80s Sunday, with no humidity, and then the rain came back. I could almost hear my poor hostas guzzling the water from yesterday’s rainstorms… I just wish the grass in the garden didn’t ALSO like the rain so much!

It was really wet at the farm, so we didn't go out into the picking fields. The tomatoes were ready, so Matt happily grabbed a couple, along with some greens, squash, and cucumbers (which we split, since we were allowed 4 per share). I got more carrots, bell peppers (purple and white!), and a couple more zucchini (yellow and green this time).
Veggie goodness

How pretty are these?
I've become a little obsessed with those pickled veggies, so I will definitely make some more with those peppers! They supposedly last up to a month in the fridge as long as they’re in the liquid, but I’m not sure how to test that theory since they are too good to leave uneaten. I also made a ribbon salad with two of the zucchini and my carrots – made a great lunch with some plain chicken. Lastly, I’m happy to say that my basil plant seems to be faring pretty well in a vase next to the sink, despite my past history with houseplants. Maybe there’s hope for me!

Ribbon Salad (adapted from several sources)
1 small green zucchini
1 small yellow zucchini (I’m reasonably certain that it was NOT a yellow/summer squash)
1 bunch carrots
Apple cider vinegar
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Wash/scrub the veggies – I peeled the carrots since the dirt was pretty ground into their skins. Peel the zucchini into thin ribbons over a colander or strainer, turning it in your hand to keep the strips evenly sized (only peel until you can see the seeds). Toss with a little bit of salt and let them sit for a while to sweat. I made a quick dressing with olive oil and cider vinegar (didn't think to measure) and some freshly ground pepper in the bottom of a large bowl and then ribboned the carrots into that. (Next time for stability I’ll probably lay everything on the counter to peel. Holding the veg resulted in some weird pressure patterns!) Dump the zucchini into a kitchen towel and squeeze out the water, then break up the mass and mix into the carrots and dressing (or use a salad spinner). Add salt and pepper to taste.
Sweating it out in the sink.
Carrots before ribboning...

Ribbons and carrot cores

I also made some stock, since I didn't really feel like actual cooking. It really couldn't be easier: I trimmed 5 boneless/skinless chicken breasts and hacked up an onion and a couple (store-bought) carrots, put everything in my big stockpot and added water to cover and seasoning to taste, and boiled away until the chicken was done (10-15 min for 2-inch chunks, 15-20 for whole breasts). Take the chicken out and serve/freeze/shred/dice/etc. I kept the broth and veg at a high simmer for another hour or so to reduce, then strained everything into another big pot to cool. I freeze it in sandwich-size zip-top bags and use it for risotto, pasta, and my vegetarian carbonara. 
Veggie chunks.

This smells awesome.

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