Down on the Farm Note
There are just certain smells that remind me of summer: fresh cut hay, tomato plants, ripe cantaloupe, a summer rain shower….and then you have the memories that go along with that certain smell. Hope your summer has been filled with wonderful smells and memories. What will you find in the basket this week? Organic Cantaloupe, Organic Watermelon, Organic Summer Squash, Organic Cucumbers, Organic Jalapeno/Romanian mix Peppers, Organic Eggplant, Organic Tomatoes, Organic Purple Basil, Organic Green Tomatoes, Organic Purple and Green Bean mix, Green Beans from River Bend Turf
Slicing Tomatoes and Salsa Tomatoes – what is the difference? A good slicing tomato is plump and firm. They are great for sandwiches, burgers, recipes and canning. You can wait a few days before you have to process these. A salsa tomato is very ripe and needs to be canned NOW. Your choice just depends on if you are ready to process them now or if you have to wait until the weekend. If you want to learn how to can, a tomato is the easiest type to learn. There are many websites that will teach you the step by step process. You don’t need a pressure cooker; a very large pot will work for cold packing. Some sites to check out would be PickYourOwn.org, YouTube videos, and Bell Canning. You can slice or dice plain tomatoes, make salsa, spaghetti sauce, mix with other vegetables for stews and soups, sloppy Joe mix……..the recipes are endless. Just Google. So now that we have you interested in canning fresh food for winter use, Lattin Farms has tomatoes on sale.
20 lb case of Slicing Tomatoes $20
20 lb case of Salsa Tomatoes $10
Give the farm a call or send an email if you are interested in ordering bulk tomatoes. (775) 867-3750; (866) 638-6293; email@example.com
Purple Basil Add it to a white bean salad with some red peppers and green onions. Throw it into a pot of beans, tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini, and onion. Put it in a red sauce made from fresh tomatoes. Garnish anything that the flavor of basil will complement. Stir into a slaw of chopped carrots, fennel bulb, and garlic just before serving. Make purple basil lemonade or, better still, purple basil watermelon/honeydew melon agua fresco. Mussels à l’Italienne: Chopped onions sweated in olive oil for a few minutes. Add a few glugs of white wine and lots of chopped tomatoes plus tomato purée. Pour your mussels (cleaned and de-bearded) in, cover and cook for 5-10 minutes. Put into bowls with lots of chopped purple basil.
Green beans Just a reminder that when you boil the purple green beans, the color bleeds out and you’re left with green green beans. This is certainly not a phenomenon limited to beans. Purple broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, and asparagus also change to green when they’re cooked. What to do? Add the beans raw to salads or, soak them in vinegar or lemon juice before (briefly) cooking them. (Apparently increasing acidity helps them keep their purple color.) One suggestion I found that sounds promising is to butter-baste the raw beans as quickly as possible, and also roasting them. Or maybe stirring warmed purple beans into the boiled green and yellow wax beans before adding the butter and seasonings and shaking the pan. Definitely worth doing some experiments.
Country Kitchen Recipes
Quick Basic Salsa
Recipe source: Mexicanfood.about.com
This is a great salsa for any occasion. Use in burritos, tacos or with your favorite tortilla chips. It’s really easy and tastes great!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
2 cups seeded, chopped tomatoes (6-7 medium tomatoes)
Leaves from one bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
6 cloves fresh chopped garlic
1/2 onion chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
Mix all of the ingredients in one bowl until well incorporated. Refrigerate overnight for maximum flavor.
NOTE: If you grab a handful of cilantro leaves from the top of the bunch and pull them out firmly, you will get mostly leaves. If a few stems are in there, it’s okay. Some people think cilantro is too strong, so put in less. It may need more lime juice, or maybe a tablespoon of wine or rice vinegar, which will add tang and extend shelf life.
Farmgirl’s Purple Basil Pesto
Recipe source: FarmgirlFare.com
Makes about 1½ cups
This lower fat, reduced calorie pesto, which calls for less olive oil than most recipes, is bursting with freshly picked garden flavor. The tomatoes are a healthy way to replace some of the olive oil while adding a subtle new flavor. The purple basil makes a rather oddly colored pesto. Mixing a few green leaves into the pesto does help brighten it up a bit. When portioning out basil, it works best if you weigh it rather than pack it into measuring cups. Don’t have any purple basil? Just use green instead!
1/2 cup (about 2½ ounces) roasted & salted whole almonds
3 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled
4 ounces fresh purple (or green) basil leaves (about 4 cups packed)
1 ounce (about 1/2 up) finely grated Pecorino Romano (or other hard cheese)
10 ounces fresh tomatoes (about 3 smallish) any kind, quartered
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste
In the bowl of a food processor, use the S-blade to whiz the almonds and garlic until finely chopped. Add the basil, cheese, tomatoes, and salt, and process until thoroughly combined and the consistency you like. With the motor running, slowly drizzle the olive oil through the chute. Add more salt to taste if desired. Store your pesto in the refrigerator for several days or freeze.
Sweet and Spicy Green Beans
Recipe source: Allrecipes.com
Yield 4 servings
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons canola oil
Arrange a steamer basket in a pot over boiling water, and steam the green beans 3 to 4 minutes. In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, garlic, garlic chili sauce, and honey. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the green beans, and fry for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the soy sauce mixture. Continue cooking and stirring 2 minutes, or until the liquid is nearly evaporated. Serve immediately.
Easy Fried Eggplant
Recipe source: Allrecipes.com
Original Recipe Yield 4 servings
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups dry bread crumbs
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in crumbs, and place in hot oil. Fry 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Puzzle of the Day courtesy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac…..
How many hard-boiled eggs can a man eat on an empty stomach?
One, because after he has eaten it, his stomach will not be empty.