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From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Summer Squash, Bell Peppers, Chinese Eggplant, Spaghetti Squash, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Basil, Sage, Green Onions, Cilantro, Lemongrass

Coming Soon…Lettuce Heads, Swiss Chard, Curly Kale

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week we have another spaghetti squash coming your way. Cindi had a great idea for our squash with brown butter, sage and walnuts. Brown butter is a French technique of letting the milk solids in the butter brown slightly, this gives it a nutty flavor. In this recipe, simply allow the garlic, walnuts and sage to cook in the butter over low heat. This allows the flavor to permeate the butter. Next, stir in the squash to coat it with the flavored butter. If you don’t do butter, oil will work just fine as a carrier for the garlic, sage and walnuts. The recipe includes Parmesan cheese, but, if you don’t have it on hand, a tangy goat cheese would complement the butter flavor too.

Spaghetti Squash with Brown Butter Sage and Walnuts

1 medium (2½-to-3-pound) spaghetti squash

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

7-8 sage leaves, coarsely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400º. Cut the squash in half, and scoop out the seeds. Transfer the squash to a parchment lined baking sheet, cut-sides down. Bake the squash until the flesh is tender, about 1 hour. Let the squash cool until you can handle it. Using a fork, scoop the meat out of the squash and reserve in a separate bowl. In a large sauté pan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the walnuts and sage leaves, cook until they are toasted and the butter has started to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes. When the butter is slightly brown, turn off the heat and mix in the roasted squash. Season with salt and pepper; garnish with the Parmesan and serve.

Roasted or Grilled Green Onions…

Green onions are in our baskets again. Usually, people use them in salads and soups or as a garnish, but they are great on their own. I wanted to share one of my favorite ways to cook them, which is to grill them or roast them in the oven. The caramelized and charred bits enhance their flavor and cooking them, mellows out the pungent sulfur compounds. I recommend tossing them with salt, pepper and olive oil then cook on the grill for a few minutes on each side, or roast them in a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet. The onions make a good accompaniment to grilled steak or chicken, with Mexican food or chop them and put them on top of a simple dinner of beans or rice.

Fresh Herbs and Spices…

Thai cooking is an easy way to use lots of fresh vegetables and herbs. The region has many influences from Asia, but in the 16th century, Portuguese missionaries brought foods from around the work including tomatoes and peppers from the Americas. This soup recipe is quick and easy and brings a lot of flavor in a very short amount of time. Enjoy.

Thai Style Soup

1 quart chicken stock

1 small stalk lemongrass, cut into 1 inch lengths

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 inch fresh ginger root, grated

1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)

3 green onions, sliced, dark green pieces separated

1 large tomato, cut into wedges

1 cup diced cooked chicken

1-2 summer squash cubed

1 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 lime or lemon, cut into wedges

Bring the chicken stock to a boil with the lemon grass, garlic, ginger and white pars of the scallions. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chicken, summer squash, fish or soy sauce. Return to a boil, then remove from the head and serve right away with the remaining green onions, basil, cilantro and lime wedges.

Today, the Eggplant is Ready…

This week we harvested more eggplant than we expected. It’s one of the mysteries of farming, when you realize that the 6 seedlings we planted back in April would finally come due in late September, and hopefully for a few more weeks.

I encourage everyone to try it, even if you haven’t liked it in the past. Eggplant is often under seasoned and undercooked. Think of it like you would potatoes, a distant cousin of eggplant, which you wouldn’t undercook, and can absorb more salt than you think. The easiest way to cook eggplant is to roast it like you would roast a potato. Sautéing it is good, and you will see lots of recipes for this, but it absorbs oil like crazy and it is easy to go overboard, or to have one piece that is greasy and one that needed more oil.

Cut it up into medium sized cubes, season it with salt and pepper, drizzle olive oil over everything and roast in in a 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Like I mentioned before, don’t under cook it, you can usually error on overcooking if you are not sure. When the eggplant is done, and if you want to get a little fancy, drizzle a little balsamic vinegar on top. A toss in pesto sauce is also nice, and I like to use roasted eggplant as a substitute for pasta smothered in a marinara sauce and topped with Parmesan cheese.

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