Thursday, September 1, 2011

This Week's Share and Notes from Nikki

Happy September. Hope everyone made it through last week without too much trouble. We are feeling very lucky here at the farm, damage seems fairly minimal, just an acceleration of the disease and ratty look that usually comes in late September.  It will be interesting to see if the tomatoes and summer squash will recover from the beating they got, if not, we will switch over to more fall crops.  My fruit growing friends did not fair so well, North Star reported some major losses, as the wind and rain pounded their new Asian Pears.  Hurricanes tend not to be a farmers friend, so lets keep our fingers crossed that this next one stays well away.

Power outages, storm prep and beautiful days have kept me from updating the blog.  Luckily Nikki sent along some great recipes she created through the hurricane that I wanted to share with you all.  Even though pick up is past for this week, I thought I would include the share outline:

This Week's Share:
Acorn Squash
Hot Peppers
Green Beans
Cooking Greens
Summer Squash
Basil, Parsley and Mint

Notes From Nikki

Roasted Spaghetti Squash and Farm Fresh Tomatoes with Garlic, Basil, and Oregano

I was so excited to see spaghetti squash when we picked our farm share last week. It's one of my favorite kinds of "winter" squash, as it tastes like summer to me. The following recipe is super easy, and my family devoured the dish. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
2 spaghetti squash, halved and seeds scraped out
4 T plus 2-3 more, extra virgin olive oil
6 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
3-4 sprigs oregano, leaves removed, stems discarded, chopped
Handful of chopped fresh basil leaves
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Freshly grated parmesan cheese for topping

1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Rub each half of the squash with about a tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper (don't rub the oil on the skin, just the meat).
3. Place the squash halves on a baking sheet, cut-side down, and roast until tender (about 25-30 minutes, depending on the size of your squash).
4. While the squash is roasting, drizzle the bottom of a baking dish with the remaining 2-3 T of olive oil.
5. Spread the tomato quarters on top of the olive oil, and sprinkle with the minced garlic, oregano, sea salt, and pepper. Toss to coat.
6. Roast the tomatoes in the oven (along with the squash) until they start to fall apart (the squash should finish slightly before the tomatoes, which will work out well [see next steps]).
7. Once the squash is tender and can be pierced through the skin easily with a knife, pull it out of the oven and allow to cool a bit so that you can handle it without burning yourself (I wear oven mitts).
8. Using a fork, scrape the squash from the skin, separating the "strings", so that you have something akin to a pile of spaghetti. Discard the skin.
9. By this time, the tomatoes should be finished. Pull them out of the oven, break them up with a fork, and toss them (along with all their delicious juices) with the squash, basil, and a bit more sea salt and pepper.
10. Taste and adjust to your liking.
11. Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serves 6-8

Summer Vegetable Frittata

Frittatas are all the rage at our house. I find them to be wonderful vehicles for using up leftover farm share remnants. ;-) This one turned out to be particularly good. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

1 small-medium yellow summer squash, quartered and sliced
1 dozen eggs, beaten
1 bunch of perpetual spinach (or other cooking green), de-stemmed and chopped
3-4 small-medium new potatoes, boiled until tender and sliced
1 pint cherry-type tomatoes, halved
Handful of chopped chives
Handful of chopped basil (I used the tiny leaves from an Inverbrook bush basil plant)
2-3 T extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Handful or two of freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the broiler.
2. Saute the squash in the olive oil over medium heat in a non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet until tender and beginning to brown a bit (it is very important that the frittata be able to slide out of the skillet when it is finished).
3. Add in the the greens and saute until wilted.
4. Add the eggs to the pan, and shake the pan a bit to evenly distribute the eggs around the veggies. Season with sea salt and pepper.
5. Lay the potato slices evenly a top, and then shake the pan a bit again, allowing the potatoes to sink into the egg a little. Season again with a bit more salt and pepper.
6. Spread the tomatoes atop now, distributing evenly across.
7. Top the tomatoes with the chives and basil, and then cover the chives and basil with the cheese.
8. Once the bottom has set, place the pan under the broiler (about 5-6 inches away), and cook until the top sets and the cheese melts and turns bubbly and golden.
9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool very briefly before sliding the frittata out of the skillet.
10. Slice like a pizza, and serve.
Serves 6

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