Tuesday, July 13, 2010


What's in the box?
Sungold Tomatoes, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Beets, Tomatillos, Broccoli, Onion
s, Garlic, Potatoes, Green Beans, Corn, and Rutabaga. (thyme or tarragon)

(On the right- Sungold Tomatoes on the vine). On the plate, Isis Candy (L), Black Cherry (M), Sungold (R). The Isis Candy is just a little larger than the Sungold. If you got some this week they will be on the vine, so that you can figure out what is what.

This weeks gifts, miscellaneous jams or salsa, and Zucchini Bread.


While we were out the Zucchini took advantage of our absence and began to party down. They have run wild and made clubs, boats, and now there is no choice but to make the chickens eat them. Anything over 12 inches I don't use in any of my recipes. For those of you who are looking for more things to do with Zukes, check out http://blogs.denverpost.com/preserved/2010/07/13/what-to-do-with-all-that-zucchini/

Eugenia... I send a blessing on your
head. Below is one of her great recipes for Zucchini. Leo, guess what we're having for dinner? I am also making Zucchini Relish and pickles that you should be seeing soon. Zack at Big Lake about 10 years ago, even then he knew what to do with Zucchini...float 'em.

Penne with Shredded Zucchini and Tarragon

This is yet another recipe that I make in order to deal with the abundance of zucchini in the garden. You can get away with using an older, bigger zucchini in this recipe.

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, minced (2 tablespoons)
2 medium-sized zucchini, grated on the large holes of the grater (4 cups)

2 tablespoons tarragon, finely chopped
1 lb. penne or other small cut pasta
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

In a large skillet heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté them until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook the vegetables until the zucchini releases its water, and the water cooks out, about 10 minutes. Add the tarragon.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the penne. Cook the penne until it is al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain the pasta and combine the penne and zucchini mixture in a serving bowl. Toss in the butter, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese.

Preparing Tomatillos

Before using, peel off the husks and rinse to remove the sticky residue. Other than peeling off the husk, do not peel the green skin.

Tomatillos are traditionally used in three ways — raw, boiled/blanched, or roasted/grilled:

Raw - Uncooked tomatillos add a fresh, tangy citrus-like flavor and are often used raw in Mexican table sauces. Finely dice or puree them.

Blanching - Mellows the flavor. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the whole tomatillos (husks removed and rinsed) and
boil for about 5 minutes, until soft. Drain and crush or puree as directed in a sauce recipe.

Fire roasting - Leaving slightly blackened skins on enriches a sauce with a smoky, woodsy flavor. Can roast under the broiler, with a propane torch, o
r over an open flame such as a grill or a gas burner. Make sure the heat is quite hot, otherwise the tomatillos will turn mushy before being charred. I always fire-roast my tomatillos!

Dry roasting - Produces an earthy, nutty flavor. Place the tomatillos in a heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron). Turn heat to low. Roast for about 20 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally, letting each side take on a rich, burnished golden color before turning.

Finally, tomatillos can be quite inconsistent in flavor, with some being intensely sour and others tasting mild and sweet. Some cooks use a pinch of sugar to balance the taste of very tart tomatillos.

Café Azul Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

1/3 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered

1/4 pound fresh jalapeño chilies, rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and halved

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 firm-ripe avocado (about 1/2 lb.), peeled and diced

1/2 cup minced onion

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lime juice


1. In a blender or food processor, whirl tomatillos, chilies, garlic, and cilantro until coarsely puréed. Pour into a bowl.
2. Stir in olive oil, avocado, and onion. Add lime juice and salt to taste.

There are 5 types of cucumbers in the garden:
Poona Keera-a very dark gold/brown cuke, White Wonder-a very light colored small oblong cuke, Lemon-a round pale cuke, Delicatessa-a white and green medi
um large cuke and our standard green-Marketmore.

The current crop of green beans are Blue Lake.

Green Beans with Almonds and Thyme
2 lbs green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 T.chopped fresh thyme
1/3 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

Steam the beans for 5 minutes and proceed directly to the skillet.
Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Whisk in half of the fresh thyme (1 T.), the Dijon mustard and garlic salt into the butter. Add the beans to the skillet and toss until heated through, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and the remaining 1 T. of thyme.

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