Saturday, July 20, 2013

Week Six: Roots and Ears

I can’t believe we’re on week six already! I guess that’s what happens when you go on vacation. Dan and I just spent ten days in the UK for our honeymoon, and we’re already thinking about our trip back. I can’t say I missed the heat back here, having spent so long in the apparent “heat wave” of 75 to 80-degree heat with a breeze J

Things at the farm really picked up while we were gone. Matt and Aly got a huge harvest of “actual” vegetables like onions, leeks, and squash the past couple weeks (maybe Aly will post her recipe for the dinner they had at our house while we were gone?). This week we got cucumbers, carrots, corn, new potatoes (so cute), lettuce, fresh garlic, onions, yellow squash, and zucchini. The pick-your-own options were great, too: each share was allowed to take four basil plants (yes, whole plants!), Thai or purple basil, a single jalapeño, 5 serrano chiles (I skipped those), dill, cilantro, a bunch of flowers, Mason jars, and green beans. 
Jalapeno and the cilantro.

Just one of my basil plants!
This week I had found a recipe for fridge-pickled vegetables, so when I got back on Tuesday I immediately set about slicing and chopping some crunchy stuff from the farm and the grocery store to soak. I ended up with dill-pickled veggies… yum!

Fridge Pickled Vegetables (based on SK’s pickled veggie slaw)
1 cup white vinegar
4 heaping teaspoons sugar
4 heaping teaspoons salt (I used Morton’s Sea Salt)
Fresh dill to taste (I used about 3 3-inch fronds of fresh), chopped
1 cup cold water

Crunchy vegetables of your choice

Put everything but the water and veggies in a small pot over medium-high heat. Still until sugar and salt are dissolved, then remove from heat. Add the cold water and let cool.

Meanwhile, julienne (using a mandoline with a julienne blade or a really sharp knife), about 4 or so cups of your favorite crunchy vegetables. I used our CSA carrots (scrubbed), a CSA cucumber, and two grocery store red bell peppers. Put the sliced veg in a large bowl with a leakproof lid and mix everything up with your hands. Pour water/vinegar mixture over everything, put the lid on, and shake a little bit to distribute the liquid. Put the bowl in the fridge for at least an hour – I left mine overnight and think it was a great idea. Eat straight up, on a burger, with a salad...

Mmmm. Pickly!
 Next time, I’ll be more careful about keeping my veggies all the same size and shape – my pepper slices are a lot bigger than my cukes, and my carrots are just chunked instead of sliced (I wasn’t thinking too much about this, apparently). The taste wasn’t really affected, though! Also, I forgot, after such a long time eating cucumbers from the grocery store, that farm- and garden-fresh cucumbers have pricklies on them! Make sure you rub these off when you wash the cucumbers.

Last night we had a grilling fest with some friends, so I sliced up the enormous zucchini for kebabs, and made a potato and corn salad to go with.

Potato, Corn, and Basil Salad (based on David Lieberman's)
1 lb new or baby potatoes (I had about 1/5 pounds), scrubbed clean and quartered
5 ears corn
1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large bunch basil leaves, rinsed and dried
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

Put potatoes in salted water and bring to boil. Cook  until fork-tender, 15 minutes or so. Remove and dunk into ice water to stop the cooking process (don't toss the water if you can avoid it). Shuck the corn, and if needed, break each ear in two. Put the corn into the same water you used for the potatoes and cook 6-7 minutes until tender. Stop the cooking process by dunking the corn into an ice bath. Cut the kernels off the corn and add to large bowl with the potatoes.

Add the onion and basil and mix everything together, then toss with the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve right away.

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