Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 6

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8-1-17

 

Large share: beets, carrots, lettuce, new potatoes, Tokyo turnips, purplette onions, cucumber, cilantro, green beans, ruby streaks mustard greens

 

Small share: beets, carrots, lettuce, snow peas, new potatoes, Tokyo turnips, purplette onions, basil

 

Greens share: chard, lettuce, cilantro, ruby streaks mustard greens

 

Roots share: carrots, Tokyo turnips, new potatoes, yellow onion

 

Juicing share: 5lb carrot seconds, beets, green cabbage, lacinato kale, cucumbers, cilantro

 

Dear CSA members,

 

We are finally facing a bit of a heat wave this week! With temperatures projected to reach the 100’s Wednesday and Thursday we are trying to work a 5 am to 12 noon schedule, and only do the essentials until things cool down. When temperatures get this hot not only is it a challenge for us physically, it can be very challenging on the crops as well. Our tomatoes tend to get sunburned and must be covered with row cover or shade cloth, lettuces start to get tip burn, other greens bolt ( try to go to flower) , and keeping up with irrigation – especially in the green houses- is very challenging. Temperatures in the greenhouses will easily soar into the 110’s to 120 at times even with the shade cloths on.

 

Harvest becomes very challenging as we must cut crops and get them moved to the cooler as quickly as possible. Our fields are a couple of miles from the cooler so regular truck runs are essential! Otherwise product quality will suffer greatly. We can’t even think about transplanting new seedlings either, it must wait until next week. Hopefully, our shares going out today will weather the heat in their tote boxes – not a great week to get to the drop site late!

New crops this week:

 

Tokyo turnips are a mild, tender and juicy variety of turnip. They taste like a cross between a radish and a turnip and you can enjoy both the greens and the roots. Most if not all root vegetables will store better if you separate the roots from the greens before wrapping and placing in the crisper drawer. Tokyo turnips are delicious raw in salads, sliced to eat with dips as well as cooked in miso soups, stir fries, and marinated in vinegar and salt for quick pickles. The greens are tender and spicy and can be prepared as other cooking greens.

 

We have harvested our first Yellow Finn new potatoes this week! New potatoes have thin, wispy skins and a crisp, waxy texture. They are young potatoes and unlike their fully-grown counterparts, they keep their shape once cooked and cut. They are also sweeter because their sugar has not yet converted into starch, and are therefore particularly suited to salads.

 

You don’t need to peel new potatoes; just rinse to remove any dirt and cook whole. To boil, place potatoes into a pan of lightly salted water, bring to the boil, simmer until tender (about 10 minutes) and drain. Dress new potatoes as soon as they are cooked to help them absorb the flavor of the butter or oil. This would be an excellent week for a cold potato salad with green beans! Store new potatoes in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use up within a few days.

 

Mustard greens: These Ruby streaks mustard greens are very young and tender and can add a wonderful peppery dimension to many dishes. You can temper the pungency of mustard greens use a combination of heat, salt and fat to cook them. Mustard greens are found in Southern American, Indian, Japanese, Chinese and African cuisines. The link below has an in depth write up on the many health benefits of eating mustard greens.

 

Enjoy and have a great week,

 

Asha

 

 

 

Wilted greens: Cook in a large skillet until crisp 4 to 5 slices bacon. Drain on paper towels, cool and crumble. Pour all but 2 tbsp of the bacon drippings out of the pan. Reheat and add ¼ cup cider vinegar, 2 to 3 tsp sugar, the bacon and 2 tsp mustard seeds and 1 tsp minced onion. Mean while place in a salad bowl al large bunch turnip or mustard greens, coarsely chopped. Pour the hot dressing over the greens and toss. Serve at once garnised with 2 sliced hard boiled eggs.

 

Quick Pickled Beets: Combine 4 medium beets, scrubbed, trimmed, halved, and cut into ¼ inch slices. 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced. ¾ cup apple juice or water, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 1/8 tsp ground allspice, and a pinch of sea salt in a pressure cooker. Lock the lid into place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 4 minutes. Reduce the heat by running cold water over the cooker in your sink. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape. To serve, lift the beets out of the liquid with a slotted spoon. Serve warm or chilled. (from Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen by Lorna Sass).

 

Lemon Potato Soup with Feta: in a 4 quart dutch oven heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat, add 1 cup chopped onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in 4 cups chicken broth and 4 cups chopped potatoes. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in 2 cups chopped kale or spinach and 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until kale is wilted. Remove from heat. Stir in the juice and zest of one lemon and an additional tbsp of olive oil. Let stand for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with 2 oz crumbled feta cheese and additional lemon zest if desired. Serves 4.

 

Mediterranean Tuna Salad with Olive Dressing: Place 1 lb tiny new potatoes (halved or quartered if large) in a 4 qt dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add 1 lb thin green beans, stem ends trimmed. Cover, simmer 5 minutes or more or until potatoes and beans are just tender. Drain well. Meanwhile for Olive dressing; place ½ cup pimento stuffed green olives, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp sugar, and ½ tsp pepper in a blender. Blend until smooth. Drizzle dressing over potatoes, green beans, and 1 12oz can solid white Albacore tuna, drained and broken into large chunks. Sprinkle with a bit of fresh thyme, and additional olives. Serve with lemon wedges.

 

Refrigerator Dilly Beans: place 2 pint sized canning jars and their lids in a pot of boiling water and heat for 1 minute. Lift out, drain and place on the counter. Divide 1 bunch fresh dill, 2 garlic cloves, peeled, 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds, 1 tsp dill seeds, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, and 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed between the 2 jars, packing beans in lengthwise. In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/3 cup cider vinegar, 1 1/3 cup water, 2 tbsp kosher salt, and 1 tbsp sugar and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour boiling liquid over the green beans and seal. Cool on a wire rack and refrigerate for 2 days before serving.

 

Braised pearl onions: remove tops from pearl onion bunch and drop into boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and cool slightly, then trim off ends and slip off skins.

Heat 2 tbsp butter in a large heavy saucepan and sautee the onions in one layer until slightly browned. Then add chicken or vegetable stock , until it comes halfway up the onions in the pan, add salt to taste and 1 tsp sugar. Cover and simmer slowly for 25 minutes, or until tender. Uncover and boil off excess liquid, add 1 more tbsp butter if desired.

 

Late Summer Vegetables with Aioli: Preheat oven to 450. Blanch ½ lb green beans in a large pot of salted boiling water until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, plunge into a bowl of ice and water, then drain again and pat dry on a kitchen towel. Toss 1 lb of new potatoes, halved lengthwise, and 3 small summer squash, sliced diagonally, separately with 2 tbsp olive oil each, some sea salt, and about 5 or 6 sprigs of fresh thyme. Roast separately in a single layer on rimmed baking sheets until just tender, 7 to 10 minutes for zucchini and 20 to 25 for potatoes. Make aioli: in a bowl whisk egg with a pinch of fine sea salt and 2 tsp champagne vinegar or fresh lemon juice until thick. Whisk in 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil gradually, drop by drop for the first ¼ cup or so (until the mixture is emulsified) and then in a thin stream until aioli is nice and thick; you may not need all the oil. Sprinkle 2 to 4 garlic cloves with ½ tsp fine sea salt. Mince with a chef’s knife, then use the side of the blade to crush garlic into a paste. Stir garlic paste into the mayonnaise. Taste and add more salt or vinegar if you like. Arrange cooked vegetables as well as lettuce leaves, thin wedges of fennel, and halved cherry tomatoes on a large platter or ling board, top with more fresh thyme sprigs, and serve with aioli. (from August 2013 issue of Sunset Magzine).

 

Thai Cucumber Salad: in a strainer, allow 3 thinly sliced cucumbers and 1 tsp Celtic sea salt to sit for 1 hour while water drains. Combine ½ cup finely chopped onion, ½ cup sesame oil, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 2 T fresh basil, finely chopped, and ½ tbsp fresh ginger, minced with the cucumbers in a mixing bowl and mix well.

Basil Vinaigrette: Mash to a paste 1 small peeled garlic clove and 2 to 3 pinches of sea salt. In a small bowl add 1/8 tsp black pepper, ¼ cup red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp minced fresh shallot, ¼ to ½ tsp Dijon mustard. Whisk until blended and then add gradually and whisk constantly after each addition ¾ cup olive or walnut oil. Then add in 12 cup thinly sliced basil and whisk again.

Three pea salad: Prepare the dressing: whisk together 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil, 2 ½ tsp sugar, 4 tsp white wine vinegar or rice vinegar, 4 tsp soy sauce, and 4 tsp toasted sesame seeds. Cook in a large pot of boiling salted water 1 cup sugar snap peas, add: ½ cup snow peas and ½ cup fresh or frozen shell peas. Cook 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold water. Pat dry. Toss the peas in a a bowl with the dressing and 6 cups pea shoots or bean sprouts. (both recipes from the Joy of Cooking)

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 5

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7-25-17

 

Large shares: red cabbage, lettuce, purplette onions, cauliflower, green beans, snow peas, eggplant, summer squash, fresh dill, garlic

 

Small share: red cabbage, cauliflower, purplette onions, summer squash, green beans, fresh dill, garlic

 

Greens share: lacinato kale, Italian parsley, hearts of romaine

 

Roots share: red beets, gold beets, carrots, fresh yellow onion

 

Juicing share: 5lb carrot seconds, fennel, red beets, arugula, Italian parsley

 

Dear CSA members,

 

Hopefully you have all had a nice week and are as excited as we are for this week’s CSA shares. We have really enjoyed receiving your positive feedback these past weeks and thank you for sharing recipes and ideas on the face book group page. I love getting new ideas for recipes as well as fun things to do with lavender!

 

This week we have begun the add-on share options. Look for your add on share at the drop site if you have ordered one, they will be labeled with your name. Greens shares have a green dot, roots shares a red dot, and juicing shares a blue dot. Ocean Shores folks, I have added the add-on shares to your regular boxes in the interest of space.

 

We have harvested some new crops for you this week. First off cauliflower, this harvest was not quite as amazing as some of our plantings from last year but pretty nice. Green beans: our first harvest of green beans was quite plentiful and so small shares will get a ½ lb and large a full lb this week. The first picking of the planting always has the best, most tender beans. I hope you enjoy!

 

I anticipate that next week we will have new potatoes, basil, cucumbers and hopefully cherry tomatoes as well. Our potatoes and tomatoes are several weeks behind normal due to the extremely rainy and cold spring we had this year. Better late than never though! We still have another planting of peas so hopefully we will enjoy more peas in the next couple of weeks as well.

 

In the fields we are attempting to keep up with the weeding, by flame weeding some direct seeded crops before the planted seeds emerge, cultivating with the tractors and various weeding implements and hand weeding with hand tools. We are also seeding and transplanting many of our fall crops this time of year. We are putting in many types of storage root crops such as winter radishes, rutabaga, carrots, beets and turnips. From the greenhouse we will be planting radicchio, escarole, winter kale, cabbages, and other greens within the next week.

 

Have a great week,

 

Asha

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ratatouille Provencal: Heat in a large skillet or Dutch oven over high heat; ¼ cup olive oil. Add and cook, stirring, until golden and just tender, 10 to 12 minutes: 1 medium Eggplant, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks, and 1 lb zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks. Remove the vegetables to a plate and reduce the heat to medium high. Add and cook, stirring, until the onions are slightly softened: 2 tbsp olive oil and 1-½ cups sliced onions. Add a cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender but not browned, 8 to 12 minutes: 2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch chunks, 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Add: 1 ½ cups peeled, seeded, chopped fresh tomatoes, or one 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained. 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme, and 1 bay leaf. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and zucchini and cook until everything is tender, about 20 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Stir in ¼ cup chopped fresh basil and chopped pitted black olives if desired. From the Joy of Cooking.

 

Pickled Cabbage: Fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Core a cabbage and chop into large pieces, you will need about 4 cups. Add the cabbage to the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds, then drain in a colander. Let cool to room temperature. When cool enough to handle squeeze leaves to soften them and release some water. Meanwhile, combine3/4 cup vinegar, ½ cup sugar, and 2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil to dissolve sugar, and pour into a bowl to cool. When cool, add the cabbage and toss to coat well. Pour all of this into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate for 2 days, turning the jar occasionally to coat all the leaves with the brine. Serve cold.

 

Smoky Eggplant Raita: Heat your grill t o 450 to 550 degrees with an area left clear or turned off for indirect heat. Peirce 1 lb of eggplant in several places with a knife. Grill Eggplant over indirect heat, covered, until very tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to touch. Meanwhile, toast about ½ tsp of cumin in a small dry frying pan over med. Heat until fragrant and beginning to darken, 2 to 3 minutes. Pound fine with a motar and pestle. Warm 1 tbsp olive oil in pan over medium heat. Saute ¼ large onion for 3 minutes. Add 1 lg minced garlic clove and continue to sauté until both are softened, about 2 min more. Let cool slightly. Slit the eggplant lengthwise and scrape flesh from the skin. Chop flesh coarsely and set aside. Combine 1 cup whole milk yogurt, the onion mixture, 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, ¼ tsp sugar. Add eggplant and stir gently. Season to taste with coarse sea salt and cayenne pepper. Garnish with a little more cilantro. From the September 2010 issue of Sunset

 

Creamy Cauliflower Soup: In a soup pot saute in olive oil for 5 minutes: 1 chopped Walla Walla onion, 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 large head cauliflower that has been broken into florets, 3 to 4 medium potatoes, cubed, 3 chopped carrots, 1 tsp caraway seeds. Simmer the veggies in just enough water to cover them, and cook until soft.  Puree the mixture until smooth. Return to the soup pot and add 1 cup milk, 2 cups grated sharp cheddar, salt to taste, and several tbsp chopped fresh dill. simmer very gently for 5 to 10 min more. Serve with toasted sourdough rye. (adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook)

 

Eggplant and Zucchini Fries with Roasted Tomato Dip: Heat oven to 375. Toss 1 cup chopped heirloom tomato in 1 tsp olive oil and roast on a sheet pan for 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree with 1 cup greek yogurt, 2 tsp cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and chill. Place 5 large egg whites in a bowl and beat, then place in a separate bowl and mix  2 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs and and additional 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Cut 1 medium yellow squash, 1 medium zuchinni, and 1 small eggplant into 1/2 inch fries. Dip in egg whites, roll in bread crumbs, and place on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve with Roasted Tomato Dip.

 

Grilled Potatoes with Fresh Dill: preheat grill to 350 degrees. Slice thinly 2 lbs potatoes. Toss with ½ tsp salt, 4 tbsp olive oil, and pepper to taste. Lay out 2 large sheets of foil 12x 26 inches. Oil the foil and arrange the potatoes in a single layer over one side of the foil. Fold the foil over and crimp the edges forming a packet. Grill the packets, covered, rotating once, for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and browned. Open packets and transfer potatoes into a serving bowl. Toss with 2 tbsp butter and ¼ cup chopped fresh dill. Sprinkle with coarse salt and serve.

 

Green (or Romano) Beans on the Grill: put 1 lb of green beans on a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to fold and seal. You may need to fold two sheets together. (you can also use one sheet of foil to set the pouch on. This way if any liquid seeps out or it pulls apart it dosen’t leave a mess.) drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over the beans. Add 2 – 3 minced garlic cloves and 1 tsp crushed red pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Toss beans with tongs until well coated. Add 1 to 2 tbsp water and fold aluminum foil together at the top and pinch the sides closed. Cook the green bean pouch on the grill until the beans are tender. (food.com)

 

Roasted Cauliflower: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Break 1 2 lb head of cauliflower into bite sized peices. Toss the cauliflower with 1/4 cup olive oil, 5 chopped cloves of garlic, and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 2 tsp kosher salt and 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves and toss again. Roast until golden and tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

 

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 8

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8-2-16

Large shares: cucumbers, summer squash, Yukon Gem new potatoes, Purplette onions, cherry tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, shell peas, fresh basil

Small shares: cucumber, beets, carrots, shell peas, purplette onion, garlic, kohlrabi, fresh basil

 

Dear CSA members,

August is here!

Here we are in the time of the season when the boxes and crates just seem to get heavier and heavier. As farmers, our bodies begin to feel the weight of all the work as well around this time of year. I have learned the importance of self preservation in this profession as heavy lifing and repetitive motions start to take their toll on the finite resource of the body. Anything we can do to make our work more efficient and reduce lifting and moving things by hand really makes a difference over the long run.

As our days shorten in length plants all around prepare for the cold to come (despite summer temperatures) by going into overdrive to complete their lifecycle. Winter squash ripening in the field are seemingly huge all of a sudden, tomatoes come off the vine over a pound each at times, and pepper plants start collapsing under their own weight. I have also noticed that as the surrounding natural landscape gets more and more dry, pressure from insect and mammalian pests increases as they loose natural food sources. I can see the beetles, deer and voles attraction to our lush irrigated produce fields! They do look awfully tasty!

We have also recently participated in a bird survey called WSU Avian Biodiversity: Impacts, Risks And Descriptive Survey. The ornitoligists that came out were really impressed with the diversity of species found in our fields as well as the grassland habitat the fallow areas of the farm provided. She said “This survey I observed very high densities of birds in the crop areas including song sparrows, American robins, killdeer, American goldfinches, barn swallows, violet-green swallows (my favorite swallows!), Wilson’s warblers, Western bluebirds, and Savannah sparrows. I’m not sure I’ve observed such a wide range of species in the row crops in one field.” It’s nice to know we are able to provide habitat/refuge for bird species that may have increasing difficulty finding food sources as our area becomes more densly populated.

This week we have several new crops for you to enjoy, cucumbers, fresh basil, and cherry tomatoes and Yukon gem potatoes for the large share. I reccommend using the basil up asap and avoid putting it in the refrigerator as it has a tendenc to turn black with the cold. Yukon gem is a new variety of potato for us, it was actually shipped to us by mistake. The Yukon gem is very similar to it’s parent Yukon Gold with smooth tan skin and dense, buttery yellow flesh for baking, boiling and frying. But it has the added bonus of having pretty pink splashes of color around the eyes!

A couple of tips for the best uses of abundant and large summer squash ( these came from the August 2015 issue of Sunset magazine)
– grate it, let it sit, drain it, and freeze in 2 cup portions for zucchini bread
-slice it lengthwise on a mandoline and layer into moussaka, or substitute for noodles in lasagna
-make salt and vinegar zucchini chips in the oven or dehydrator. Thinly slice on a mandoline, toss with salt and vinegar and a bit of olive oil. Layer in the food dehydrator and dehydrate for 8 to 14 hours. Or bake in a single layer at 200 degrees for 2 to 3 hours. I’m going to make these tonight!

I also wanted to let you know: our neighbors at August Farm have pork shares available for their August harvest. Order a half or whole pig now before they’re gone and stock your freezer with delicious, pasture raised pork. Their pigs are hand raised on pasture and fed locally grown, Non-GMO grains. You can find out more information and place an order at www.august-farm.com.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

 

Algerian Carrot Salad: Thinly slice 2 lbs fresh carrots. Put the carrots and enough water to cover by 2 inches in a 2 to 3 quart saucepan and bring to a boil over mediums-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and reserve until ready to use. Heat 2 tbsp of walnut oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 medium choppedonion, 3 cloves of crushed garlic and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the reserved carrots and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring often. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing in a small bowl; whisk together ¼ cup walnut oil, 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp light brown sugar, 1 tbsp ground cumin, 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper, 1/8 cup minced fresh cilantro, 1/8 cup minced fresh parsley until well blended. Combine the carrot mixture, dressing and 1 cup finely chopped pitted dates in a serving bowl, toss until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at once or let cool to room temperature and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings. From Cooking in Cast Iron.

New Potato Salad: Place 2 ½ lbs new potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water by 1 inch and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Run under cold water to cool slightly, and then drain. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, 3 tbsp Dijon Mustard, 2 tbsp sherry vinegar, 1 small minced shallot, 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley, and 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme; season with salt and pepper. Add potatoes and ¼ of a sliced red onion and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature. (To store, refrigerate, up to overnight.) Makes 6 servings. From Everyday Food.

 

Vegetable Kebabs with Mustard Basting Sauce: ( from Gourmet July 1995)

Prepare the Veggies: In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook 1 bunch of topped carrots for 1 minute. Add 1 ½ lb of whole summer squash and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer vegetables with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water to stop cooking and then drain well in a colander. Slice the cooled summer squash and carrots into ¾ inch slices. In boiling water that remains in the pan cook ¾ inch chunks of purplette onion or about 4 minutes. Transfer them into a bowl of ice water to cool and then drain well in a colander. Do the same for 2 sweet peppers cut in to ¾ inch chunks. These veggies may be boiled 1 day ahead and chilled in bags in the fridge.

For the sauce: In a small bowl whisk together 11/2 Tbsp of white-wine vinegar, 11/2 Tbsp of Dijon mustard, 2 tsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. The basting sauce may also be made 1 day ahead and chilled covered in the fridge.

Heat your grill to medium-high: Thread the vegetables, alternating them, onto skewers. Brush one side with about half the sauce and grill, coated side down on an oiled rack 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals 5 minutes. Brush kebabs with the remaining sauce and turn. Grill kebabs 5 minutes more, or until squash is tender.

Serves 4.

 

Pistou: 

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

3 garlic cloves

sea salt

2 cups basil leaves

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

To make the pistou, pound the pine nuts and garlic with a pinch of salt in a mortar. Add a few basil leaves and continue to pound. Alternating basil and olive oil, continue pounding until a smoothing past is achieved. Stir in any remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Makes about one cup. From thecooksatelier.com

Cucumber Lime Guacamole: chop 1 ½ cups seeded cucumbers. Place cucumbers in a colander, sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt, toss to coat. Let stand for 1 hour. Pat cucumbers dry with paper towels. Transfer to a medium bowl. Chop 2 medium pitted and peeled avocados, and mash 2 more. Add the avocado, 2 thinly sliced scallion, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, and 3 tbsp lime juice to cucumbers; stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 3 cups Rose’ Cucumber Cooler: combine 1 bottle dry rose’ wine, 1 cup St Germain elderflower liqueur , ½ cup lemon juice, 1 thinly sliced lemon, and about 6 inches of a cucumber also thinly sliced.