O’ the Summer Bounty!

Rachel is such a super gardener and this year our yard is finally starting to come together a bit. Well, half a bit.  So, we have lots of cucumbers – the pickling ones shown and those cute round yellow balls which are cuter than they are tasty actually, but Rachel and I have each made some delicious pickles. And the UFO squash are pretty tasty, (if you like that sort of thing) though summer squash is not exactly my favorite. So, now that I whined about my not-favorites – I will sing praises for the neighboring basket of tomatoes and artichokes. Yum and yum. We let most of the arties flower this year which is so lovely, but Rachel grabbed these two to eat. And ooohhh tomatoes… are you the greatest thing about life?

I will write something again soon Rachel. I promise.

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Risotto and More Peas!

This was really tasty. Yep really, really tasty. Tasty enough I will have to attempt more risottos in the future. It has been a long time since I’ve made a risotto, but I was inspired by The Dinner Files recipe for this risotto with mint and bacon. I tossed some chopped asparagus in too. Her recipe calls for green onions, but I used some diced white onions. You can soak the onion in a little ice water if you want to take a little of the edge off.

As a side note – if you follow her recipe – the ingredient list says bacon, but the instructions say cook pancetta in olive oil. I’m sure pancetta is heavenly, but I used bacon and it is really dang good too – I don’t cook it in oil though, just chop finely then the bacon will cook in its own fat. I dumped the fat out afterward so the bacon didn’t permeate the whole thing too much and then added a little olive oil to balance it out. Um… hope that helps somebody. Just cook it. At least if its not too hot out. I guess thats the good thing about our (so far) wet and cool summer. One can cook.


Frittata with Asparagus, Swiss Chard, Peas and Sweet Potatoes

A frittata is a great standby for the day of our CSA delivery when we get a load of veggies and begin thinking about how we will use them all while they are still so delicious. I pretty much start worrying about spoilage as soon as I put stuff in the fridge. I should get over that.

I wouldn’t have thought of using peas in a frittata, but we had so many between the garden and getting some in the CSA too, and its a good thing because they were delicious just tossed in near the end of cooking the frittata. I grabbed the sweet potatoes, which is odd this time of year, I admit, but I thought they would be tasty in here, and they were okay, but a bit too sweet, I usually prefer red potatoes for something like this. I think I tossed in some sweet basil too, which perhaps kicked the sweetness up too much.

Anyhow, this style of frittata is super easy to make. You pretty much throw in any vegetables you want in some oil, or butter if you want something a little richer, and saute until everything is just getting tender. In this case I tossed the chard in near the end along with the peas. Then beat together several eggs – fewer than you might think – I think I used six for this large pan and pour them in. Let it sit for a few minutes, without stirring, and when you begin to see some cooked edges, put the whole pan under the broiler for another few minutes until the top is nicely browned. Sometimes I toss a bit o’ parmesan atop too. Thats all. Then eat it.

Oh yeah, you might also blanch the chard if you prefer the greens more cooked, I thought they might add a nice bit of crunch for a frittata. To blanche them toss them in boiling water for a minute or two, then put into ice water after. Squeeze out the water and chop up finely, then you can saute them along with the potatoes or onions or whatever.


Peas!

Yep, some tasty peas from the garden!


Garlic preserved in oil

We have been pulling some of the garlic from the garden and still have several more bulbs to come, so we are trying to figure out what we will do with it all. I have a book called Preserve It! from the library that has tons of simple and good recipes for preserving all sorts of things. Rachel made some incredibly yummy garlicky goodness by roasting the fresh garlic in oil and some tasty herbs from the garden. We used it to spread on crusty bread and for cooking up a couple things. I don’t have any photos of the finished product because we ate it so fast, but if you want to try it just roast some garlic then put it in a jar with some oil and it should keep for several weeks.


Cute Cucumber Salad

Rachel tossed together this lovely little cucumber salad. Thinly sliced cucumbers with some radishes and dill from the garden tossed with a little cider vinegar or rice vinegar. It tastes like summer!


Fettucini, Basil, Feta

So easy and so good. We’ve been throwing something like this together a lot lately when we have little time or need a simple, springy side. A simple sauce of about half lemon juice and half olive oil. Mix it with the ratio you like best and a wee bit of salt as well. Save the zest to stir into the pasta when done too for an extra little zing. I think the pasta pictured has arugula tossed in because we’ve got lots ready to harvest, but the basil plant we had already died away. Stir in plenty of feta when the noodles have cooled a tad and grind some fresh pepper on top. Okay, I think I put some pepper on pretty much everything. I like it.