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From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Summer Squash, Basil, Eggplant, Green Beans, Melon, Acorn Squash, Sweet Corn, Arugula, Carrots and Radishes

Coming Soon… Lettuce Heads and Sweet Potatoes

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week the seasons literally collide as we start to harvest our autumn vegetables alongside the summer ones. So, I have a couple of recipes that take advantage of this combination of ingredients. I tested out the first winter squash, to make sure they were ready, (my occupational hazard.) It was creamy and starchy, in a good way. I grew up with acorn squash boats roasted with butter and brown sugar, and while that is a perfectly good way to eat it, I thought it would be better in a savory dish. I saw a chimichurri recipe paired with the squash, but we won’t have the traditional parsley for a month, I substituted basil leaves for this week. With this freshly harvested squash you can eat the skin, like you would with delicata squash.

Roasted Winter Squash Wedges

1 winter squash, cut into thick wedges or slices

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the winter squash slices with the oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for about 40 minutes, turning the squash two times. Transfer the cooked squash to a serving platter or bowl and top with the basil sauce.

Basil Chimichurri Sauce

1 ¼ cups fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the basil, onion, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Stir together until combined and chunky.

Fall Vegetables

As if on cue, the first of our fall planted vegetables was harvested this week.

Each season marks itself in ways that I am always in awe to witness. This week we picked radishes and arugula, that were planted approximately 8 weeks ago, on the first of August.

It also marks the beginning of the end of the summer crops. Cool weather is ahead.

The Changing Seasons…

This week’s combination of vegetables lends itself to a salad that is both warm and cool. I like to combine the roasted eggplant and summer squash with the cool crisp greens, corn kernels and sweet tomatoes. Just toss together and serve. It makes a meal with grilled or seared chicken breast or fish.

Roasted Fall Vegetable Salad

2 eggplant, cubed

2 summer squash, cubed

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup almonds, toasted and chopped

2-3 tablespoons minced onion or scallion

2-3 cups chopped and washed lettuce and arugula greens

½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

2 ears of corn, kernels removed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 

2 teaspoons red or white wine vinegar 

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the eggplant and summer squash with the oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for about 25-35 minutes, until the eggplant is soft. In the same oven, while cooking the squash, toast the nuts until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  In a large bowl, combine cooked vegetables, tomatoes, corn kernels, nuts, onion and greens, drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Toss the salad gently and transfer to a serving platter or bowl.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul . . . by Ronda May Melendez

So often, we look upon the wee little seed as if it is insignificant. We purchase a packet of seed at the garden store for a few bucks, not really accounting for the potential harvest that comes from just one of the seeds. It is quite amazing, the return. Who, I wonder, can out give God? From one tiny broken body comes a harvest, if well-tended, that is quite astonishing.

In many ways, a harvest is much like compounded interest. The returns are exponential, if watched over with care.

How often do we stop to consider that Jesus provided the quintessential example of the concept of returns. He gave his body and life so that billions upon billions might live, being restored in relationship with the Father, and have life to the fullest. Without His sacrifice, this would have been impossible. The giving of His one life, opened the gates for eternal life for all.

Frequently, we have the idea that we must live big and serve significantly so that our lives will have impact and meaning. Then no one will question our love for the Lord. But I wonder if that is true. What if we live and serve small, like the tiny seed, cooperating with the Father’s design for us? What if we recognize that His big plan for our lives involves allowing ourselves (and those around us), to be quietly tiny and planted according to the Father’s will? Yes, we would be broken. Yes, we would be surrounded by darkness and yes, we would change and take on a new form, but the impact we would have! And all because we chose to love and relate to the Father according to His will, following the example of the Son.

In this time of harvest, let us consider the example we have been given in the fields of hundreds, if not thousands, of tiny lives that have been lain down. They cooperate with God’s design. Will we? What will we gain, if we do?


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