Monthly Archives: July 2014

Love quiche? Try this one!

Hello harvesters! This week’s recipe is for another delicious summer squash entree. This time it’s a lovely quiche with an interesting variation in the crust.

 

Summer Squash Quiche with Brown Rice Crust

"Brownrice" by Dan McKay - Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brownrice.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Brownrice.jpg

“Brownrice” by Dan McKay – Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brownrice.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Brownrice.jpg

 

Ingredients

2 cups cooked brown rice

¼ cup gruyere, grated

1 egg

4 eggs

½ cup milk

2 cups summer squash, grated, squeezed and drained

½ cup green bell pepper, cored, seeds removed, and chopped

¼ cup chopped cilantro

2 green onions, chopped

1 cup feta, crumbled

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450
  • Mix rice, cheese and one egg in a bowl. Press the rice mixture into a pie plate, about ¼ inch thick. Bake in preheated oven until the edges and bottom start turning golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 375.
  • Mix eggs, milk, zucchini, green peppers, cilantro, feta, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into the piecrust. Bake in oven until golden brown and set in the center, about 30-35 minutes.
  • Let cool to appropriate temperature before serving.

 

Enjoy, and have a great week!

 

 

 

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What makes an heirloom?

What makes an heirloom an heirloom?

 

Heirloom tomatoes are instantly recognizable at the store. Their wide variety of size (from tiny to huge) and their intricate, varied coloration make them stand out from more standardized commercial varieties, such as Roma or Beefsteak. They also tend to be far more expensive than standard tomatoes, which can cause sticker shock at the cashier counter. Why is that? What makes an heirloom an heirloom?

 

"Capay heirloom tomatoes at Slow Food Nation" by mercedesfromtheeighties - Capay heirloom tomatoes at Slow Food Nation. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Capay_heirloom_tomatoes_at_Slow_Food_Nation.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Capay_heirloom_tomatoes_at_Slow_Food_Nation.jpg

“Capay heirloom tomatoes at Slow Food Nation” by mercedesfromtheeighties – Capay heirloom tomatoes at Slow Food Nation. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

 

Heirloom cultivars are any variety of plant that has been handed down from before the advent of large-scale, industrialized agriculture. Before industrialization, a huge variety of different species of foods were grown for human consumption. Seeds were handed down over generations, leading to highly specialized cultivars that varied by region and climate. With the adoption of industrialized agriculture and its processes, such as mono-cropping and mechanized picking, farmers began to plant hybrid crops in order to standardize fruit size, increase yields, and reduce sensitivity to drought and frost. While these changes were fantastically successful in improving crop yields and lowering prices, they also dramatically reduced the variety of cultivars eaten by humans. Industrial growers introduced hybrid varieties with a genetic mutation that causes the un-speckled red color seen on most grocery store tomatoes. However, this mutation also reduces the tomato’s ability to produce natural sugars, reducing the sweetness of the fruit.

 

In reaction to this trend (and as part of the broader spread of the organic food movement), foodies and organic lovers began to value the diversity and sweet taste of heirloom tomatoes. The combination of demand and the relative difficulty of growing heirlooms is what causes the high prices at the store. If you can afford them, however, heirlooms are a fun and tasty way to celebrate the summer season!

 

 

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Skewers for your summer BBQ!

Hello harvesters!

This is the season of BBQs, and if you grow your own food, it’s also the season of tons and tons of zucchini and summer squash!

Summer squash is delicious, nutritious, and very easy to grow, so here’s a new recipe to help you use up some of that good stuff and entertain your guests at the same time.

 

Zucchini, Bell Pepper and Onion Skewers with Basil Vinaigrette

Photo Credit: Paul Asman & Jill Lenoble

Photo Credit: Paul Asman & Jill Lenoble

 

Ingredients

2 medium zucchinis, ends removed and cut into ½” chunks

1 bell pepper, seeds removed and cut into 1” chunks

1 sweet onion, cut into 1” chunks

Skewers for grilling

 

For vinaigrette:

2 cups basil leaves

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup white vinegar

1 clove garlic

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  • In a blender or food processor, combine vinaigrette ingredients and whirl until smooth. Preheat grill with medium flame/heat
  • Place summer squash, bell pepper, and onion on skewers, alternating as you go.
  • Brush skewers with the vinaigrette
  • Place skewers on grill and cook until the squash is soft, about 12-15 minutes depending on temperature.
  • Serve with some BBQ chicken or steak for a perfect side dish!

 

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The Perfect Potato and Zucchini Side Dish for Your Next Barbecue

Step outside the french fry zone and try a new way to get your potato fix this summer. This easy recipe lets you take advantage of several PCH staples and combine them in a tasty yet easy to make dish. All you have to do is chop, season and you’re ready to enjoy tasty potato and zucchini vegetable goodness.

It’ll be a great side dish to go with those burgers (or veggie burgers), and while you’re at it, why not grab a summery cocktail?

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Ingredients

2 medium zucchini, quartered and cut into large pieces

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 clove garlic, sliced

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup olive oil

paprika to taste

salt to taste

ground black pepper to taste

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Combine all the vegetables and toss with olive oil and bread crumbs. Add seasonings and place in a baking dish.

3. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and lightly brown.

Original recipe

 

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Razzle Dazzle Rhubarb

Hello Harvesters!

This upcoming week will see the return of rhubarb to our Washington boxes, and we are excited to welcome it back. Rhubarb is a lovely plant that is useful in edible landscaping and cooking. Its sweet, tart taste has spiced up many a pie, and this week we wanted to take a moment to offer a tribute to this hardy little plant.

Photo Credit: Arria Belli, Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Arria Belli, Wikimedia Commons

Rhubarb has been cultivated and eaten by humans for thousands of years. The Chinese plant catalogue, The Divine Farmer’s Herb-Root Classic, listed rhubarb as a medicinal herb around the year 700 BCE, praising it for its laxative qualities. In the early years of the 15th century, rhubarb was considered so valuable that the Spanish ambassador to the court of the Mongol conqueror Tamerlane in Samarkand listed rhubarb alongside silk, rubies, and diamonds as the most valuable merchandise traded in the city. The plant did not become widely used as a food until sugar (to cut the tart taste) became widely available, in the 17th and 18th centuries.

 

These days, rhubarb is a herald of the start of summer, finding its way into the classic strawberry-rhubarb pie in the United States or rhabarberkuchen in Germany, sold dipped in sugar in Scandinavian countries, made into jam, dried and infused with other fruit juices, or eaten raw.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Keith, Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Jeremy Keith, Wikimedia Commons

Fun fact: did you know that the phrase “rhubarb rhubarb” was once commonly used by British radio and theater actors to mimic the sound of unintelligible conversations in a crowd? Actors in the background of sets would repeat the phrase over and over to each other in order to create the kind of murmuring swell of voices one would hear in a crowded restaurant or street market.

 

Here’s a fun little recipe for a German rhabarberkuchen, a tart treat that falls somewhere between a pie and a cake (except this one has a twist- merengue topping!). This comes to us from the food blog My Kitchen in the Rockies, which also features other fun recipes.

Rhabarbekuchen

Ingredients

21 ounces (600 g) rhubarb, peeled and cubed

2 Tablespoons sugar

⅓ cup 1½ Tablespoon (100 g) butter, unsalted and at room temp.

⅔ cup (130 g) sugar

1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract

⅛ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1¼ cup (150 g) flour

1¾ ounces (50 g) roasted almonds, ground

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 egg whites

¾ cup (150 g) sugar

sliced almonds for topping

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F Convection. Grease a round 26 cm Spring pan (9½ inch).

Wash, dry and peel the rhubarb. Cut it in little pieces, mix with 2 tablespoon of sugar and let sit for at least ½ hour. It will extract a lot of water that needs to be drained. Pat rhubarb dry for further use.

In a kitchen machine beat together butter, sugar and vanilla extract until the butter is fluffy and the sugar is dissolved. Put in the eggs, one at a time and mix well.

In a separate bowl sift together flour, ground almonds, salt and baking powder, add slowly to the egg mixture. Don’t over mix.

Fill dough into the spring pan, top with dried rhubarb and bake for 25 min.

In the mean time prepare the meringue/ baiser topping. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Slowly add the sugar until meringue is firm and shiny.

Spread the meringue evenly over the rhubarb and decorate with almond slices. Return to the oven for another 15 min. Cover the cake with aluminum foil after 5 min. in case the meringue does turn too dark.

Cool completely before removing the cake from the pan.

Hope you enjoy this tasty treat!

 

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