It’s week 11, and the weather can’t make up its mind about whether to go back to school or join a cult. Not that it matters to the vegetables. They’re fine with all the back and forthing.
I don’t know how many of you saw us out last week, but we’re starting to do the bulk of our deliveries on cargo bike. It’s long been a goal of ours to lessen our use of fossil fuels, especially when it comes to the farm. We’re super grateful to the Graves’ family, who traded us their fantastic bike for a whole lot of vegetables.
Here’s what you’ve got in your box for this week: the last round of wild blackberries, onions, potatoes, jalapenos, basil, cucumbers, green tomatoes and the first, few ripe tomatoes.
Read on for recipes and meal suggestions.
Andrew and Reva Russell English
Fried Green Tomatoes
(Adapted from a recipe at Food 52)
Fried green tomatoes are either great or crummy, and according to this recipe, and my own experience, the key to greatness is a very hot pan. Here’s from the Food 52 recipe: “You want a golden crust to form on the exterior, while the inside of the tomato slice becomes tender but remains fairly firm. Your goal is tenderness with structural integrity. If the heat is too low and the cooking time too long, the tomatoes disintegrate into mush.”
2 medium or 1 very large firm, green tomatoes
1 cup milk (or buttermilk or vegan buttermilk, which is just a milk alternative with a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice added to it)
1/4 c cornmeal
1/4 c all-purpose or gluten-free flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t ground black pepper
3 T extra virgin olive oil (plus more if needed)
1 T freshly grated parmesan (optional)
Core tomatoes. Cut 1/4-inch off top and bottom of each tomato. Slice into 1/2-inch rounds. Pour milk into medium bowl. In a second bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, salt, oregano and black pepper. Stir well.
Next, triple dip. 1. Press a tomato slice gently into flour/cornmeal mixture. Coat both sides. 2. Dunk the tomato slice in milk, covering both sides with liquid. 3.Press tomato slice back into flour/ cornmeal blend, coating both sides. Set aside coated tomato slice. Repeat with remaining slices.
Heat olive oil in a large non-stick or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Test heat by dipping edge of single tomato slice into the hot oil. It should sizzle. When the oil is hot, carefully slide the tomato slices into the pan. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Gently turn slices over and cook second side another 2 – 3 minutes or until golden. If needed, add more olive oil to cook second side of tomatoes.
Remove tomatoes from pan. Cool for 10 minutes. Top with freshly grated parmesan just before serving.
Chilled Avocado-Cucumber Soup
(Adapted from simple-veganista.com)
1 c veggie broth (don’t use chicken broth unless it’s fat-free)
3 medium or 2 large avocados
3 cucumbers, peeled
1 T cumin
3 cloves fresh garlic
Juice from one lemon
1/2 t salt, more to taste
Cut cucumber into small pieces and place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy.
Chill for at least one hour before serving. Can be served cold or at room temperature.
Garnish with diced tomatoes, tortilla strips, carmelized onions, chopped basil or nothing at all, because it’s tasty even without a topper.
Tuscan Potato Salad
(Adapted from Taste.com.au)
3 – 4 medium potatoes
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 medium onions, peeled, halved and cut into thick wedges
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked and torn
1 large lemon
1/4 c mayonnaise (vegan will work, too)
Boil potatoes, whole and skin on, for 30 minutes or until they’re just fork tender. Set aside to cool slightly. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cook the onion pieces for 8 – 10 minutes, stirring now and again, until translucent. Add potato pieces and cook potato and onion for another 10 – 12 minutes or until onion is browning and potato is golden. Transfer to a large bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes or until cooled to room temperature. Add the basil and toss to combine.
Halve and juice the lemon. Zest the lemon rind so that you have between 2 and 3 teaspoons of zest. Whisk the mayo, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad. Serve.