Harvest from Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - August 4, 2022
From the Garden this Week… Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Carrots, Tomatoes, Peppers, Basil, Parsley, Peaches, Grapes, Cantaloupe & Minnesota Midget Melons
Coming Soon… Eggplant
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
When we are deep into summer squash season, my main goal when selecting a recipe is how many squashes go into it. Today’s recipe takes advantage of the soft nature of cooked squash by cooking it until it falls apart. Adding cheese and herbs turns it into a creamy dip, perfect for chips, crackers, or carrot sticks. My other favorite option is to make squash chips. I do this with a dehydrator, but a low oven would work too, the time could vary. I slice the squash on a mandolin, season them with a little bit of salt, seasoning (chili powder or black pepper), and olive oil. Then use the dehydrator and dry them at 135° F for about 8-10 hours.
Summer Squash Herb Dip
2-3 summer squash, grated or diced
small, about 4 cups
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup grated Monterey jack cheese
4 ounces goat cheese or cream cheese
¼ cup chopped chives or green onions
¼ cup chopped basil
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
*In a large sauté pan cook the summer squash, garlic, and salt over medium low heat for 8-10 minutes until the squash releases its water and becomes mushy. Continue cooking until the squash starts to brown slightly on the bottom of the pan. Then turn the heat off and stir in the Monterey jack cheese, until melted in. Add the cream cheese and chives and stir well then add the basil. Taste and add salt and fresh ground pepper if desired. Enjoy warm as a dip with bread, crackers, or fresh vegetable sticks.
The Minnesota Midget
The Minnesota Midget, first bred and introduced in 1948 at the University of Minnesota, is an heirloom variety of micro melon related to the classic muskmelon. They grow to about 4 inches, have a succulent sweet yellow or orange flesh, and are the ideal personal or two-person melon. Best peeled and sliced lengthwise, this diminutive delight pairs well with savory fare such as salted meats - prosciutto, coppa - and robust cheeses - Parmesan, Grana-Padano, Pecorino Romano. Versatile, they can also be halved and seeded to serve as elegant edible bowls filled with yogurt, granola, fruits, and nuts.
Like their full-sized melon relatives, Minnesota Midgets are rich in beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, vitamins A and C and dietary fiber. Uncut these melons will keep at room temperature for three to five days after fully ripe. Cut and wrapped in plastic, they will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days. We do hope you enjoy your Minnesota Midget heirloom melon with its many uses, its mighty taste, and its renowned heritage.
Tomatoes and Basil…
Tomatoes and basil are a classic combination that cannot be overdone. This salad comes together quickly and is great to make ahead. For this recipe you can use marinated fresh mozzarella and marinated artichokes, just make sure to taste before adding the vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.
Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Basil
½ pound penne pasta, cooked until al dente
1 cup cherry tomatoes halved or large tomatoes cut into a large dice
1 cup mini fresh mozzarella balls
¼ cup basil leaves, gently chopped or torn
½ cup chopped artichoke hearts
¼ cup chopped kalamata olives
2 teaspoons red or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until done. Remove the pasta from the water and let cool. Add the pasta to a large mixing bowl and combine with the remaining ingredients. Stir to mix and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul… by Ronda May Melendez
Working in the garden among the peppers, I realized something I had never noticed before. Peppers - especially those spicy mouth- and skin-burning ones - sure are sensitive and stubborn, all at once!! As I picked those peppers, there were times they resisted coming off the plant, despite being ripe and ready to serve! Yes, some peppers willingly yielded, but others snapped in two or even broke the branch on which they’d grown. Such cheeky behavior caused quite the cognitive dissonance! The peppers were certainly ready to harvest. They looked and tasted as they should when fully ripe, yet some were in resistance mode, breaking themselves or their support into pieces. It just didn’t seem right, even seemed impudent, I’d say. Just the same, I found a work around. I held firmly the branch closest to the pepper to be harvested, pulled slightly with a little twist, and off they came with no damage. Win, win. The fruit came off cleanly and the branch remained intact.
We humans can experience ‘cheeky pepper syndrome’, too. We are ripe and ready to serve, but when the time comes for the harvesting of our fruit - gifts and talents - we fall to bits as someone challenges us to offer it up. We find it hard to release our fruit into the hands of the harvester. Resisting the process, our fruit clings to its familiar branch, damaging it or its own structural integrity.
God has planted us to bear much fruit and He harvests it for His good purposes. Be assured of this: You may confidently yield your fruit for His harvest. Just as I bore up the structure of the branch to maintain the integrity of the pepper and plant during harvesting, God bears us up, too, so that our fruit goes forth safely and our branch remains productive.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser…
…you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him,
he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”