From the Garden This Week…

From the Garden This Week…

Summer Squash, Melons, Bell Peppers, Chinese Eggplant, Spaghetti Squash, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Basil, Baby Greens and Arugula Mixed, and Dill Seed

Coming Soon…Lettuce Heads, Swiss Chard, Kale, Collard Greens

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

As autumn gets going, so do our peppers and eggplant. These vegetables plants take a while to mature and they like our long and seemingly endless summer. I like to freeze the peppers raw by first cutting them into cubes or strips and then freezing them in vacuum-packed bags (if you have them). Zip top bags are fine as well but the peppers won’t last as long in the freezer. We just have a few of the Chinese eggplant plants, so you probably won’t get a lot of them, but you can sauté them with the squash and add tomatoes for a great pasta sauce. I will dice them small and cook them with ground beef to make them virtually disappear in marinara sauce. Our spaghetti squash plants were very successful this year and we have lots of spaghetti squash to send. This squash makes a great alternative to pasta. You will need to cook it first as I describe in the first recipe and then it’s neutral flavor takes will go well with sauces. In this week’s newsletter I have a great recipe for Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash, with the recipes for roasting the squash and making the pesto before you combine the ingredients for a main course meal.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half (you can cut it either lengthwise or crosswise). Remove the seeds and reserve for roasting. Sprinkle the inside of the two squash halves with the salt and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake in a baking pan with the flesh side down, for 45-60 minutes. When the squash is done, the flesh will be very tender. Let the squash cool for 10-15 minutes and then use a fork to scrape the stringy squash into spaghetti strings.

Making Pesto…

This is a great time of year to make a large batch and freeze some pesto for the winter. If you want extra just let us know.

Pesto

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

1-2 cloves garlic

Juice of one lemon

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup toasted walnuts

¼ cup grated cheese

¼ cup olive oil

Blend all together in a blender. Enjoy with beans, rice, over seafood or chicken.

Using your Spaghetti Squash…

This recipe uses the spaghetti squash as the base for a one-dish meal. I added the extra cut vegetables to add flavor and additional contrast of texture to the dish. You can make it ahead, refrigerate and then bake it when it is cold, it will just take longer reheat. Make sure it reaches a temperature of 160 degrees.

Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash

1 pound chicken meat, cut into bite sized cubes

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons oil

1 cup cubed onions, summer squash, peppers, eggplant

1 spaghetti squash, cooked and flesh removed

1 cup pesto

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the chicken with salt. Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan, let it brown on one side and then flip each piece, turn the heat down to medium-low and let it cook though on the other side. Add the vegetables, season them with a bit of salt and let them cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the spaghetti squash and pesto. Pour the mix into a large casserole, sprinkle the top with the cheese and bake for 15 minutes. Serve right away

Dried Dill Seeds, Uses and Recipe…

This week we are sending out our dried dill seed. As the dill plant goes to seed in the spring, we let the plants dry and then saved the seeds to send out later. Dill seed is used often in Northern and Eastern European cooking, but don’t let that limit your ideas. It is a great complement to potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes. Use it in dressings with garlic for salad. It is great with dairy like cheese, yogurt, and sour cream sauces.

I use it in this Refrigerator Pickle recipe to give it the classic dill flavor. Refrigerator pickles can be kept for several months in the refrigerator, although the texture of the cucumbers will soften over time. In the winter you can use the same recipe substituting radishes, carrots or cauliflower for the cucumbers.

Refrigerator Pickles

1 medium cucumber

1-2 cloves garlic

1-teaspoon salt

1 dried chili or a pinch of chili flakes

1 pinch of dill seed

1/2 cup vinegar

1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a pint jar. Then put it in the fridge for a few days, two or three if possible.

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Wellspring Charitable Gardens

Oakdale, CA 95361, USA

209-607-1887

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