What to do with your summer produce.Posted: July 18, 2012
My two-year-old and I went to the farmers’ market today. It’s like a snack bar for him since he can’t pass a table without a vendor giving him something to eat. One guy was selling these weird little orange things that looked a little like tomatillos and Walter gave them his seal of approval (Super hummy, Mom!). Turns out they’re called husk cherries and they’re like a cross between a cherry tomato and a Rainier cherry.
We got some okra, tomatoes, a red bell pepper, and some California strawberries and kale. It was a 100 degrees when we got there, so I just wanted to get in and get out.
The New York Times had a great article today on how to handle the sometimes overwhelming bounty of summer vegetables you get this time of year. Some good advice:
At her school, Purple Kale Kitchenworks, Ms. Welsh counsels her students to cook vegetables the day they come into the kitchen, peeling and roasting them separately in plain olive oil and salt. “If you mix them together, you’ll have a great side dish for one day, but it won’t be so appealing the second day, and on the third day you’ll hate it.” Try to shop in stages, or schedule a C.S.A. pickup when there are a free couple of hours at the end of the day. Set the oven to 375, use large half-sheet pans and fill the racks of your oven to capacity.
Already-cooked vegetables are the key to a refrigerator filled with usable, tamed ingredients that can immediately be turned into other dishes: pasta sauces, pizza toppings and composed salads, to name just a few. Raw, they are just slouching toward rot; cooked, they are tools you can use.
Also, check out the great series, WTF, CSA? on The Huffington Post. It offers ideas on what to do with the ridiculous amount of basil or dandelion greens you just got from your CSA:
Each week this CSA season, we’ll help you make use of your overflowing CSA baskets. You ask, we answer. That’s how this works. Or rather, you shouted, “WTF?” into your CSA box and now we’re going to tell what on earth to do with all that kohlrabi.
Finally, to add some interest to your summer cooking, here’s another Huffington Post article–this one on strange summer vegetables, like the one I discovered this morning.