Week 18 is here. Harlequin bugs and other pests — because we grow food using organic methods — have overwhelmed portions of the farm, so we’ve had pull out whole rows of greens to try and keep their numbers down. The tomatoes are still producing, but the plants are beginning to dry up and lean. Everything that peaked in late summer is now starting to wane. It feels like the place is ready for a long nap.
In the midst of the changing season, though, there is still much that’s begging to be eaten. Here’s what’s in your box this week: sage, rosemary, lots of tomatoes, a little more yellow summer squash, sweet potatoes, sweet potato greens and cooking (or field) pears (these are just pears that have less sweetness than the varieties we’re most familiar with). Read on for recipes and meal suggestions.
Andrew and Reva Russell English
Tomato and Squash Pie
(This recipe comes from Leandra Forman and FoodChain.)
1 pie shell (9”)
1 1/2 lb tomatoes
1 yellow squash
1 T butter or olive oil
1/4 c onion, diced
1/2 c fresh herbs (like sage, basil, parsley, chives, thyme, savory, etc.)
1 c shredded cheddar
1/2 c mayonnaise
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit; parbake pie shell by placing parchment or foil over the shell (including edges) and filling with raw beans or rice. Bake for 25 minutes, remove beans/rice and parchment or foil. Bake another 10 minutes.
While crust is baking, slice and salt tomatoes and squash and lay out on paper towels or kitchen towels. Saute onion in butter or oil, until just tender. Finely chop herbs. Mix together mayo and cheese.
Once crust has cooled, layer tomato, squash, black pepper, onion and herbs to the top of the pie. Finish with cheese/mayo mixture. Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until crust is deep brown and filling is browned and bubbly. Let cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before serving. Slice and serve.
Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Greens Coconut Curry
(Adapted from a recipe at thevegan8.com.)
2 T virgin coconut oil or olive oil
1 T cumin seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
4 t grated fresh ginger
1 t ground turmeric
1 t ground coriander
1/4 t red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 14 oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed, or 1 1/2 c cooked chickpeas
5 ripe medium tomatoes, diced with juices
1 14 oz can coconut milk
1 bunch sweet potato greens, chopped
Salt and black pepper
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. When oil is hot enough that a cumin seed sizzles when tossed into the pan, add the cumin seeds and toast until fragrant and lightly darkened in color, about a minute. Immediately stir in the onion, season with a pinch of salt, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until onion is soft.
Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, coriander, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and saute for a few more minutes. Add diced sweet potato, chickpeas, tomatoes with their juices, chopped sweet potato greens and coconut milk. Stir to combine. Cover, and simmer over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Serve on a bed of cooked basmati rice or quinoa.
Pear Streusel Tart
(This recipe adapted from one in The Joy of Cooking.)
1 Baked Flaky Pastry Crust (recipe to follow this one) or 1 store-bought uncooked pie shell
4 to 5 cooking pears, peeled and cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1 pinch salt
2 T all-purpose flour
2/3 c all-purpose flour
2/3 c finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c granulated sugar
5 T unsalted butter, melted
1/4 t salt
Parbake pie shell according to directions, glazing the bottom with egg yolk for the last 2 minutes of cooking. Let cool completely. Position rack in oven’s center, and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss peeled, cored and cut pears with tart’s sugars, salt and flour. Distribute evenly in pie crust. Mix streusel ingredients with a fork and scatter evenly over the top of the tart. Bake until pears are fork tender (they will still be firm), about 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool almost completely on a rack. Tastes best the day it is made, but still tastes amazing the day after.
Baked Flaky Pastry Crust
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t granulated sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 c solid vegetable shortening or 1/2 c unsalted butter, cut up into small chunks
6 – 7 T ice water
Mix flour, sugar and salt with a rubber spatula. Add in vegetable shortening or butter. Cut the fat in with a pastry cutter or fork, being careful to work in the flour mixture at the bottom and edges. The mixture should be dry and not greasy, resembling rough cornmeal and still have some pea-sized pieces of shortening/butter throughout. Drizzle ice water over the mixture, and, using the rubber spatula, cut with the blade side until mixture is evenly moistened. Try to form a quick ball. If the dough resists, drizzle a little more water over it. You want it to just come together into a ball.
Once the dough forms a ball, wrap it in plastic or put it in tupperware and chill it for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and position one rack one-third from the bottom. Remove dough from refrigerator. Dust a flat surface with flour and place dough on it. Dust the top of the dough and working from the center out, use a rolling pin to flatten the dough until it is wide enough to fit in a 9-inch pie pan with some overhang. Once it is fitted in the pie pan, cut off dough that hangs over. Smooth a sheet of heavy duty foil over the crust so all of it is covered. Fill the center with raw beans to set the crust. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and beans. Pierce bottom of crust with fork all over. Return to oven and bake another 5 minutes. Brush the bottom of the pie crust with the yolk from one large egg. Bake another 2 minutes, then set out to cool.