I really like summer

Avocado toast and tomatoes with some fromage blanc was the perfect quick lunch the other day. We have been getting tomatoes steadily from the CSA the past few weeks and even had one turn red in our garden, along with a handful of yellow pear tomatoes – but Addie pretty much picks and eats those before I get my hands on ’em.

The avocado mix is the juice of about one lemon and an equal part olive oil with a wee bit of salt. Mash that up with an avocado and some red pepper flakes and you’re ready to go. Summer is yummy.


Cucumber Soup

 

Rachel is a great maker, and eater, of soups. So when we received a handful of cucumbers from the CSA she was moved to make a chilled cucumber soup. My grandma made a delicious cucumber soup and we have the recipe scratched out on a tiny post-it note so Rachel said I must post about this so we can find the recipe easier next time. The notes say it is a vichyssoise-like creamy soup which makes it pretty dang fancy (sounding) I guess.

It is a super simply soup to make which is especially nice in the summer and doesn’t need to cook too long either.

  • 2 T Butter
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion or leek  – is using an onion I’d suggest a white onion for mildness – you can set it in ice water for a wee bit too to take a little more bite out of it if you want
  • 2 c. diced cucumber
  • 1 c. watercress (opt.)
  • 1 c. diced raw potato
  • 2 c. broth (chicken or veggie)
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 1/4 t dry mustard
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 c. cream – to be added just before serving

Saute the onions then add other ingredients and simmer for fifteen minutes. Puree, then chill. Serve with a dollop of cream stirred in. Or maybe some nice thick plain yogurt.

Lovely Rachel!

 


Pickles

We picked a handful of pickling cucumbers when out at the farm the other day amongst the peaches and blueberries and all manner of tastiness. And when I say ‘we,’ I mean, ‘I’ cause dang those pickles is poky – and the bees really love all the blossoms which kind of frightens the ladies around here. Oh well, I suppose come time that means more pickles for me, right? First step to the pickling is layering the pickles with salt and letting them sit overnight. Surprising amounts of water came out of these fellas considering their tough skins.

Next is put them in a jar with a bunch of vinegar. Fortunately I had recently grabbed a new bottle of good white wine vinegar, but alas I chose too big of a jar, or too few cukes I suppose and dumped in some old vinegar that will hopefully be tasty enough. Oh yeah, rinse the cucumbers before throwing them to get all the salt off. I threw in a bunch of tarragon because we have a lot growing and it sounded like a fun idea as opposed to traditional dill. There is also some garlic (from the garden too!) and maybe a splash of some other herbs that were around, but I don’t actually remember now. Oops. Its said that grape leaves help the pickles maintain some crispness – also this cold version should help prevent them from begin soggy. We’ll give them a try in about four weeks.


Tuna Nicoise Salad

I’m not sure the official rules for a Nicoise salad (perhaps only a salad in Nice can qualify). I can’t even keep track of whether I’m capitalizing the titles in these posts are not. Anyhow, this was a recent evening’s version, with some tasty sashimi grade albacore from the Flying Fish Co, a beautifully golden heirloom tomato, green beans, small white potatoes and a hard-cooked egg. Its a bit of a shame that I didn’t pick up some Nicoise olives. Also, I think we were in a hurry to eat and so tossed together an oily dressing, but a nice anchovy spiced creamy dressing was almost certainly the right answer.

 

 


Oysters on the half shell

Umm… so yes, we ate them all really fast. I’ve never shucked oyster before so it was a fun adventure, and a lot easier than I thought it would be really. Here is a good video showing how to shuck from Good Fish author Becky Selengut. I just used a butter knife as advised elsewhere and it worked just fine. I made a nice little lemony shaved ice to go on top. Just freeze some lemon juice in a shallow container with a couple twists of ground pepper, then when you’re ready just scrape the top of the ice with a fork and you’ve got a nice refreshing and light topping for the oysters. We got these oysters at Flying Fish Company at the food cart pod at 32nd and Division (in Portland) and they were so tasty and perfect. Check out their site for where they park during the week and to sign up for their e-mail list.


Oh the bounty!

We picked some blueberries, peaches and pickling cucumbers out at Sauvie Island Farms today and picked up our CSA delivery. Oh boy. I’m going to go eat now for a few hours.