Thursday, July 26, 2012

CSA Share Week 13 (the LAST CSA week in July, can you believe it’s almost August!?!?): From our farm to your table this week …


Green peppers      

Red Tomatoes       



This photo has absolutely nothing to do with your share this week, but it sure cute! See the dirt on his nose?

Tips for using &/or preserving your produce:

Basil is an excellent herb to keep going all summer for hot and cold dishes alike.  I keep several plants growing beside my kitchen door so that I can grab some leaves easily while preparing a meal and toss them into salads, wraps, sandwiches or sauces.  That way I don’t have to store them, drag Finley to the field to pick them, or bat my eyelashes and ask Ford to go get some for me from the fields where your CSA veggies are grown.  Hopefully you are finding plenty of ways to use up this great herb but in case you’re up for something new this week, try
Grilled Corn with Basil and Gorgonzola Cheese.  I love all three of these but had never thought of trying them together until I saw this recipe on the Tasty Kitchen blog.  Give it a whirl this week.

Grilled Corn with Basil and Gorgonzola Cheese
from Tasty Kitchen blog:

3 ears Corn

2 Tablespoons Softened Butter

4 Tablespoons Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese

¾ teaspoons Coarse Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp basil chopped or cut into thin strips

Heat grill on medium heat.

Remove the husk and silk from the ears of corn, place on the grill and close the lid.

Grill for a total of around 15 minutes, but turn frequently to prevent burning.

Meanwhile, combine butter, 3 of the 4 Tbsp crumbled cheese & pepper on a large plate.

Transfer hot corn from the grill directly on top of the butter, cheese and pepper mixture.
Roll the corn around until it is generously coated on all sides.
       This is almost as fun as eating it.

Top each ear of corn with the remaining crumbled cheese.

Garnish with chopped basil or basil that’s cut into thin strips.
The eggplants most commonly found in supermarkets are large, pear-shaped and very dark (almost black) purple, but, as you’ll see this week, there are many other types of eggplant.  In fact, the name eggplant is derived from the fact that one of the varieties is white and egg-shaped!  Ford and I prefer the longer, slimmer, lighter purple varieties that you’ll find in your share this week.  Eggplant is a popular alternative to meat in many vegetarian dishes from eggplant steaks to tasty spread/dip called baba ganouj (also ghanoush).  Try the varieties in your share as you would your favorite supermarket eggplant and see what you think.  Be sure to let us know so that we can plan and plant accordingly next year.  My favorite way to enjoy eggplant is the Indian dish Baba Ganouj in which the eggplant is roasted and the flesh pureed along with lots of garlic, herbs, lemon juice and tahini (sesame paste) into a creamy spread.  By the way, this stores well in the freezer.  If you like vegetarian dips and spreads like hummus, you should definitely give this a try.  The author of the following Baba ganouj recipe says that this recipe, using only 2 medium/small eggplants “makes enough to fill six people who are dipping vegetables and bread into it, and calling it dinner.”  She also notes that you should get it started at least 3 hours before you want to eat it so that it will have time to chill.  Personally, I like to roast the eggplant, then scoop out the flesh and complete the recipe when I have time within the next day or two.  In fact, that’s probably what I’ll do for lunch tomorrow.

Baba Ganouj
from the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen

2 medium-small eggplants (up to 3 if they are the small slender variety like the ones in your share)
Juice from one good-sized lemon
½ cup tahini (sesame paste – check the health food/organic section at Kroger to find this locally)
3 medium cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup finely-chopped parsley
1 tsp salt (more, to taste)
¼ cup finely-minced scallions (optional)
lots of fresh black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 400oF.
Remove stem-ends and prick eggplants all over with a fork. (WARNING – if you don’t do this, they’ll explode!)
Roast 45 minutes.  (When they are sagging, wrinkled, crumpled and totally soft, you’ll know they’re ready.)
Remove them from the oven to cool a bit, then as soon as you can touch them, discard the skin, scoop out the flesh and mash well.
Combine with all remaining ingredients except olive oil. 
Chill completely, and drizzle the oil over the top just before serving.
Green Peppers
It’s been a busy week in the Waterstrat house so I’ve been turning to quick, easy recipes for our veggies.  On Tuesday I made a big batch of beef barbecue.  I’m not a huge fan of coleslaw but I do love good coleslaw with barbecue.  Much to my dismay, we were totally out of cabbage.  …so, I decided to try something new, pepper slaw.  Once again, this was a recipe I ran across a while back in an issue of Everyday Food (I remember food & recipes from years ago the way Ford remembers the make and model of cars and tractors.) but I modified that recipe a bit to suit our taste.  Here’s the original:  …and here’s my version:

Green Pepper Slaw
- adapted from an old Weight Watchers publication (Sorry, it’s a recipe passed on by a friend of mine.  I don’t have the original publication but I’ve certainly tried to find it!)

1 Tbsp white-wine vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt &ground pepper to taste

4 medium bell peppers (2 dark green traditional peppers and 2 light green flavor burst peppers), stem, ribs and seeds removed and sliced into long, thin slivers (about ¼ inch or less)

1 shredded carrot
½ small green onion, white and light green parts thinly sliced

½ tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves (I used lemon thyme)

For the dressing, whisk together first 4 ingredients (vinegar through salt & pepper), set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients, mixing well.

Pour dressing over the vegetables.

Serve immediately or chill before serving.

Red Tomatoes
Tonight I made my absolute favorite version of a grilled cheese sandwich.  The ingredients were simple: sourdough bread, fresh slices of tomato, fresh basil leaves, onion, and mozzarella cheese.  (…and a little butter, salt & pepper.)  Oh, do I love this grown up version of grilled cheese!  Here’s what it looked like:

Do you feel lost this week having squash without zucchini?  Don’t! They are great alone or combined with their zucchini cousins.  Keep using up yellow squash in raw salads, baked casseroles and breads.  …and if there’s ever too much for one week, remember that you can blanch sliced zucchini, pat it dry (thoroughly), and freeze it OR freeze shredded zucchini – no blanching required. 

As always, please feel free to contact me for clarification, further information, or to share your own adventures in cooking local, USDA certified organic produce.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

CSA Share Week 12: From our farm to your table this week

Green onions
Green peppers
Red Tomatoes
Squash & Zucchini

Tips for using &/or preserving your produce…

I’ve had pizza on the brain for the last few days and one of my favorite summer pizzas, Pizza Margherita, is simple, delicious and easy to make with the items in your share.  Just make or purchase your favorite pizza crust, top it with a thin layer of your favorite marinara and add layers of fresh mozzarella, fresh tomato slices and basil leaves.  Last, drizzle a little olive oil or balsamic vinaigrette on top.  It’s sort of like Caprese Salad on bread.  You don’t have to bake this one very long, just about 20 minutes at 350 (if your crust is already done).  The soft mozarella won’t get really brown, you just want it to get it melted and smooth.  YUM!

If you recall from about two weeks ago, fennel has an interesting round but slightly flat, white root with feathery green leaves and a hint of licorice flavor.  The last recipe I shared with you was a fennel apple slaw that Ford, his parents and I LOVED!  This week, let me encourage you to try something new by cooking your fennel just briefly and enjoying the tenderness and flavor brought on by the heat.  Here’s a nice recipe for roasted fennel from Giada De Laurentiis:  This is SOOOOO easy and got GREAT review from a lot of folks.  Give it a try. 

Although I sometimes feel a little “burned out” on giant heads of white cabbage that seem to last for days (I’m not a kraut fan), I don’t seem to tire of the small green & purple cabbage heads that keeping coming in at a slow and steady pace.  We have no trouble eating them up in cabbage salads, slaws, and an occasional warm cabbage casserole.  …but, if you’re feeling like I use to in graduate school when my absolutely wonderful grandfather would bring me 2-3 giant heads of white cabbage that were bigger than basketballs (honestly) you might enjoy the neat blog called The Old Foodie ( ).  The blogger, Janet Clarkson, also has some interesting links and publications on food history. 

…and by the way, please don’t tell Papaw Finley I didn’t eat all that cabbage.

Onion, large green
Keep using up these larger green onions as you would any onion and don’t forget you can chop up the bottom parts of the green stems.  They won’t be around too much longer.  You might like whipping up your own sour cream and onion dip by sautéing the white parts of the onions along with a little garlic in some oil and stirring that into sour cream.  Mince some of the green stems and sprinkle them on top, it will taste fresh and look so pretty!

Green Peppers

When we have an abundance of green peppers (and it’s about that time) I like to make pickled green pepper relish.  Many of the relishes and pickled products available at supermarkets are sky-high in sodium and/or contain additional preservatives or ingredients that I’d rather avoid.  Home canning still requires some sodium in the form of canning salt, but when you can your own vegetables, you’re in charge of just what form and quantities of sodium you’ll have in the finished product.  Canning pickled vegetables is simple and requires only a boiling water bath canner and a few simple utensils. Check out the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture guides on canning for excellent resources on how to can safely at home.  Here's the general website for the UK Extension program with tons of great resources:

 ...and here’s some more great information through that site:  Here’s what I consider the best overall introduction to proper canning techniques:
For specific canning methods (fruit, vegetable, pickling, etc.) just look in the table that says "Food Preservation" then click on the blue link that says "YES" to the right of the topic that interests you and you'll have a PDF that describes how to can/preserve that particular item.

For hands-on workshops and some “personal training” in the art of food preservation, take advantage of the the Laurel County Extension office .  Our local extension agents and staff offer a variety of helpful classes and private sessions to train folks on food preservation.  Thanks to Tina Bledsoe, of the Laurel County Extension Office, in one evening I learned everything I need to know to safely can green beans using a pressure canner.  Thanks Tina!

The time has come when eating fresh tomatoes is just not enough to keep up with the supply coming in from the fields.  (Otherwise known in my home as “tomato bliss.”)  So get your piecrusts, freezer bags, and canners because we’re going to start talking about delicious ways to turn your tomatoes into warm meals, frozen ingredients for winter meals and even jars of canned tomatoes and salsa that are every bit as convenient (once canned, that is) as the supermarket versions but SO much better.  Let’s begin this phase of tomato bliss with a tasty tomato basil tart.  See below:

Garlicky Tomato Tart  ~ 6 servings
- adapted from an old Weight Watchers publication (Sorry, it’s a recipe passed on by a friend of mine.  I don’t have the original publication but I’ve certainly tried to find it!)

1 10” pie crust
Cooking spray
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 tsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups peeled, seeded, chopped tomato
1 Tbsp sun-dried tomato or regular tomato paste
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp sugar
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or ¼ tsp dry)
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/8 tsp pepper
2/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp powdered milk (a little flour will also work)
2 LARGE ripe tomatoes, cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (about ¾ lb)
¼ cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
¼ cup finely shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

-Grease a 10” quiche dish, tart pan or good ole’ pie pan and bake your favorite homemade or store-bought pie crust according to package/recipe and cool.

-Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet.  Add garlic and sauté about 30 seconds.  Add chopped tomato, tomato paste, salt, and sugar and sauté an additional 15 minutes or until thick.  You want it to get thick and pasty to avoid a watery tart.   Trust me, it’s worth it!

Now, remove the tomato mixture from heat and stir in herbs & pepper.  Set aside.

Whisk milk and eggs together vigorously and stir into tomato mixture.

Arrange sliced tomatoes on the top of your cooked crust.  A nice circle over overlaid tomatoes looks VERY pretty!

Spoon egg/cooked tomato mixture on top, sprinkle with cheeses and bake at 375oF for 45 minutes OR until a sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Squash & Zucchini
Okay, are there any squash haters out there?  I know, I know, you’re CSA members and you’re probably some of the healthiest, die-hard veggie eaters on the planet but I also know that even some of you (or someone you cook for) probably get tired of squash around mid- to late July.  Here’s how you can make it through another week of squash & zucchini – turn them into BROWNIES!! …yes, BROWNIES!!  I don’t know very many people who don’t like brownies.  The Martha Stewart family of publications includes a great little magazine called Everyday Food.  The May 2012 edition included this awesome recipe called Chocolate-Zucchini Cakes with Walnuts (  It’s really fabulous as is, but I tweaked it a bit (see recipe below for my version) and, because I’m lazy, baked them in a casserole dish instead of muffin tins and called them brownies.  A word of caution: the first two times I made these, I didn’t deviate from much from the recipe below but this week I decided to try an ultra-healthy version using ONLY whole wheat flour, no butter (at all) and some applesauce in place of the butter.  The result was somewhere between brownies and jello.  Don’t do it.  Use butter.

Chocolate Zucchini (or Squash) BROWNIES
- adapted from Everyday Food, May 2012

1 cup finley grated zucchini or squash (about 1 medium) peeled, & any really large seeds removed
½ tsp salt
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup butter, melted then cooled slightly
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 Tbsp sour cream

½ tsp vanilla
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ to ¾ cup walnut pieces

Grease 8” square (for thick brownies) or 11x7” (for thinner brownies) casserole dish & set aside.
Toss grated zucchini with salt and leave in a colander in the sink to drain while you prepare the batter. (This really helps keep prevent the final product from having a “watered-down” flavor.)

Whisk flour and cocoa powder together in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix butter, oil, sugar, egg, sour cream, & vanilla  until smooth and creamy.
Gently combine flour/cocoa with wet mixture & stir in chocolate chips.

Pour into greased casserole dish, sprinkle with walnut pieces & bake 25-35 minutes.
Remove from the oven, cool slightly & watch your squash-haters devour these gooey, brownies!!

As always, please feel free to contact me for clarification, further information, or to share your own adventures in cooking local, USDA certified organic produce.

Friday, July 13, 2012

CSA Share Week 11: From our farm to your table this week …

~WEEK 11~

Wow! We’re half way through the CSA season!  You’ve been eating fresh, organic produce from Sustainable Harvest Farm for 11 weeks now and you have 11 more to go!  Thank you so much for your dedication to local, sustainable agriculture and for investing in Sustainable Harvest Farm.

Please make plans to celebrate the end of the harvest season with us here on the farm with a potluck and farm tour on the final CSA pickup day, Saturday September 29.  More details are forthcoming, but for now, please


Saturday, September 29.

Red Tomatoes
Green onions
Green peppers
Squash & Zucchini

Tips for using and/or preserving your produce…


Fresh, tender cabbage is wonderful as a base for salads.  Just last week I mixed a bit of mayonnaise with shredded green & purple cabbage to create a flavorful bed for a Cobb salad.  It made the Cobb salad a bit more interesting. 

You’ve probably been trying all sorts of interesting cucumber recipes.  I really like pickles & plain cucumbers so I use most of ours one of those two ways.  Another fun idea you can try is to use a veggie peeler or cheese slicer to create long, thin ribbons of cucumbers.  This makes for a really pretty, impressive summer salad without a lot of effort.  So, if you feel like getting artistic with your salads, try slicing long ribbons of cucumber & yellow squash with shredded carrots, onions & your favorite oil & vinegar dressing!

Green Onions 
The green onions you’ll find in the share this week are a bit larger than the ones you received earlier in the year.  The taste is similar & you’ll find that you can use them like a typical, small green onion, or as a replacement for regular white or yellow onions.  However you use them, you’ll find them to be more fresh & crisp than storage onions.  Because they have not been dried & are not suitable for long term storage, you’ll want to keep them in the fridge & use them within a week or two.  Both the white bulb & the lower portions of the hollow green leaves are edible.  My dad says that he use to use those long green leaves like drinking straws when he was a boy.  It sounds like fun but I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who wouldn’t like the flavor of onion in whatever they’re drinking!

Green Peppers
For the second year we’ve grown traditional green peppers along with a lighter variety known as Flavor Burst.  Both are delicious, sweet, green peppers that can be used interchangeably.  I love using sliced green peppers to dip into hummus or mix in with salads but my favorite way to cook green peppers is to stuff them with polenta.  Check out this recipe by Nicole Aloni for a rich, creamy version of polenta stuffed peppers.
They’re back!!  That’s right, you’ll be seeing lots of beautiful, red tomatoes from the field (rather than the greenhouse) from now through the end of the CSA season.  This week you will receive one large heirloom tomato.  Ford tells me that heirlooms don't ripen all at once like commercially-grown tomatoes, & are known for their odd shapes & colors. We will have some commercial hybrid tomatoes available for purchase if you think your heirloom tomato won’t get you through the week.  You will receive a few different varieties throughout the summer but I think you’ll find that all of them have even more delicious tomato flavor than the tomatoes grown in the greenhouse.  Slice them, dice them, put them in salsas & salads & enjoy your fresh field tomatoes.  As the season progresses I’ll share some easy preservation tips with you to help you hold on to that wonderful tomato flavor well into cool weather days.  Finley gets VERY excited about finding & picking ripe tomatoes.  Here he is in his favorite hat plucking a ripe heirloom tomato in the raised beds near our house.

Squash & Zucchini
A good friend of mine gave me a great cookbook full of recipes that combine fresh summer vegetables with fresh herbs for dishes that bring out the best of both – Herbs Love Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions & Zucchini by Ruth Bass.  The recipe below features yellow squash (or zucchini, or both), tomatoes, onions, cilantro & parsley.  

Spicy Squash with Cilantro
-adapted from Herbs Love Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions & Zucchini by Ruth Bass

- 3-4 cups yellow squash, zucchini, or a combination of
   the two, washed & cut into 1/4 –inch slices

- 1 firm, red tomato, peeled & diced

-1 large white onion, finely chopped

- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

-1 clove garlic, minced

-1/4 cup chopped green chili peppers

-1/2 cup white wine

-1/2 cup water

-¼ cup pitted, chopped black olives

-1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- salt and pepper to taste

In a large, deep skillet, saucepan or Dutch oven, bring about 2 cups of water to boil.

Add the zucchini, tomato, onion, garlic, & chili peppers & cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until the zucchini is tender.
Drain off excess water but leave enough to maintain a soupy consistency then stir in the cilantro, parsley, & wine & continue to cook an additional 10 minutes over medium heat.
Remove from heat and stir in olives, cheese, salt and pepper.  Serve immediately along with fresh slices of your favorite bread.

Sweet Corn
Isn’t it funny how familiar things can seem boring or undesirable until someone gives us a new perspective?  That’s how my parents & I felt about raw sweet corn until Ford came along.  We were all aghast when Ford munched on fresh, raw corn right out in the field!  My dad was sure it was damaging Ford’s GI tract & I assumed it would be bitter & fibrous.  Eventually Ford’s enthusiasm for munching on raw corn led us to try it for ourselves & I can honestly say that we were missing out on some great flavor!  If you’ve never tried it, go ahead, peel back the husk & take a bite.  You’ll be surprised by sweetness & crunch of those juicy yellow kernels.  For an excellent addition to summer salads, remove the husks, wash the corn in cold water & remove the silks then slice it right off the cob.  Fresh or cooked corn pairs beautifully with raw tomatoes & onions.  This week you’re receiving the second harvest form the first corn we planted.  Some of the ears will be perfect, but some will not have full kernels on the outer tip.  You probably won’t see any more sweet corn for another two weeks.  Ford tells me we had some trouble with germination.


As a lover of watermelon, I once turned my nose up at savory watermelon dishes & salads that combined watermelon, herbs, vegetables & cheese. Watermelon, so I thought, was perfect on its own & would only be diminished if combined with other, less-than-perfect foods. The abundance of watermelon coming in from the fields now gave me the courage to experiment with our melon &, once, again, I found that trying something new turned out to be quite a treat. Today I tossed fresh watermelon slices with arugula & feta cheese. The peppery arugula & sweet melon were a nice contrast & the zesty, salty zing of feta cheese was especially tasty with the sweet melon. Here’s a good recipe for a very similar salad that I adapted from the original version posted on the Tasty Kitchen blog. …oh, & by the way, if that fennel bulb is still in your fridge from last week, I think that would a GREAT addition to the watermelon salad.

Savory Watermelon Salad

-4 cups fresh greens torn into bite size pieces (arugula is nice and spicy but I think it’s best when combined with other, more mild greens like lettuce and spinach)
-1/4 of a large watermelon or ½ small watermelon,  
  seeded and cubed
-1/2 cup lemon juice
-1/2 cup olive oil
-1/4 cup sweet onion, very thinly sliced
-1 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. pepper
-Toppings: ½ cup crumbled feta cheese & ½ cup mint leaves, finely chopped or julienned

Combine greens and watermelon, set aside.

Whisk together lemon juice, oil, minced onion, salt & pepper.  Pour over melon and greens.
Top with crumbled feta and mint leaves.

Serve immediately.

As always, please feel free to contact me for clarification, further information, or to share your own adventures in cooking local, USDA certified organic produce.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

CSA Share Week 10: From our farm to your table this week...

Green Tomatoes

Squash & Zucchini

Mix & Match Recipe of the Week: Tomato Corn Pie
This delicious pie combines corn, tomatoes & basil into an amazing one-dish dinner.  Because we won’t have sufficient quantities of red tomatoes for all of our CSA members this week, you’ll be getting green tomatoes instead, but you should be able to find some local or regional red tomatoes this week for this YUMMY pie.  Check out the recipe at Smitten Kitchen.

Tips for using and/or preserving your produce…

This week, if you don’t want to dry  your basil or turn it into pesto, you might want to just snip the bottom of the stems, place them in a jar of water and pick of the leaves all week to enjoy fresh basil on your salads, sandwiches, and just about any summer dish.  I recently came across a nice twist on potato salad that called for stirring pesto (rather than mustard) and lemon juice into the mayonnaise mixture for the salad and garnishing it with a handful of tiny basil leaves.  What a great idea! 

In my grandmother’s home, no summer meal was complete without a big plate of peeled, cucumber spears.  That simple preparation was always a cool, welcomed treat after a hot day of work.  This week, try enjoying them fresh, with maybe just a sprinkling of salt.  They make an excellent replacement for chips to go along with your sandwich.

Fennel, also known as Florence fennel, anise, and anise bulb, is a popular Italian vegetable.  If you’ve never tried fennel, you may be surprised to find the distinct, licorice flavor in the roots & stems.  Yes, that’s right, licorice, but don’t stop reading now just because you saw the word licorice and thought of black licorice and jelly beans.  I didn’t inheret the gene that allows humans to tolerate black licorice or black jelly beans so I was quite reluctant to try this vegetable.   …but, I can honestly say that fennel has a lovely crisp, juicy, fresh flavor that far surpasses that of the rogue black jelly beans that, in my opinion, spoil joy of gobbling a handful of sugary jelly beans!  Enough about jelly beans.  You’re probably wondering just what to do with this interesting round, white root with feathery green leaves so I’ll get right to the point: fennel is probably best raw or lightly cooked.  The white root is what is eaten as vegetable but you can also use the feathery parts of the leaves as an herb.  The stems are quite unique and can make a simple, fresh-picked flower arrangement more interesting.  Raw fennel root is nice on a tray of raw veggies or in a salad.  When cooked, it becomes slightly sweet and loses a bit of the characteristic licorice flavor.  Don’t make the mistake of overcooking your fennel to drown out its flavor or you will miss out on the delightful texture.  Above, you’ll find a great salad recipe that brings fennel and apples together just beautifully!

Fennel, Apple, & Pecan Salad

from Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman


- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 shallot or 1 small green onion minced

- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp white or white balsamic vinegar
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste


- 2 fennel bulbs , trimmed, cut into quarters, &
   thinly sliced
- 2 large apples, quartered, cored, & thinly sliced
- 1 cup pecans, toasted
- Chopped fennel leaves (fronds) as a garnish.

Whisk together first 5 ingredients to make the dressing.  Set aside.
Combine fennel, apples, & pecans in a large bowl.  Toss to mix.
Pour in the dressing. 
Garnish with fennel fronds & serve.

Green Tomatoes
Even if you don’t like them, you’ve probably at least seen or tried fried green tomatoes but you probably haven’t heard of another fabulous way to eat green tomatoes: green tomato pie.  That’s right, the word pie was at the end of that sentence and no, it’s not savory like a deep dish pizza.  It’s a sweet pie that is surprisingly similar to apple pie.  Okay, I was skeptical the first time I heard about it but my mother-in-law from Washington (state) convinced me to give it a try.  I highly recommend you bake one this week with the lovely little green tomatoes in your basket.  You’ll enjoy the flavor and the interesting conversations it will stir up at a dinner party!  This will probably be the last of the green tomatoes you will see until fall.

Green Tomato Pie
-5-6 small to medium green tomatoes
-2 Tbsp unbleached, all-purpose flour
-2 Tbsp cornstarch (or 3 more Tbsp flour)
-3/4 cup granulated sugar
-1/4 to 1/3 cup light brown sugar
-1/2 to 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Two 9” pie crusts (for the top & bottom of ONE 9” double-crust
Optional topping
-1 Tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tsp additional granulated sugar + 1/2 tsp additional cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425oF.
Wash, peel, slice and chop green tomatoes & place in a colander in the sink.
Place one 9” pie crust in the bottom of a well-greased 9” pie plate.
Whisk together flour, cornstarch (if using), sugars, cinnamon, & nutmeg.
Sprinkle about 1-2 Tbsp of this mixture on top of the pie crust in the bottom of your pie plate.
Stir tomatoes, lemon juice, & salt into the remaining mixture and pour into the pie crust.
Place the second crust on top, gently folding & crimping the edges all around with a fork.  Cut 3-4 generous slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape.
Optional topping: brush top crust with heavy cream and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture before baking.
Bake for 20 minutes at 425 then reduce heat to 325 and bake for 40 minutes more.
Cool at room temperature for about 45-60 minutes before serving.
Squash & Zucchini
This week they’re together again because one of my favorite ways to prepare (and EAT) squash & zucchini is by grilling them side by side.  Just wash & slice them into large chunks, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper & your favorite summer herbs (like BASIL) and throw them directly on the grill or put them on sticks along with your favorite meat and make kebabs.

Sweet Corn
YES! Corn is finally here!  Tonight I ate two ears of boiled corn smeared with butter and rolled in salt.  Summer is HERE!  A quick boil (just 5-10 minutes) is all it takes to make those fresh kernels tender and delicious.  Boil them and eat them right of the cob or slice the kernels of the cob to mix into your favorite summer salad.  Any way you prepare it, it’s delicious.

The relatively small, round melons in your share this week are known as Sugar Baby Watermelons.  They are dark green on the outside with a sweet, dark red flesh.  They range from soccer ball to basketball size and were the first to reach their peak but we have a couple of larger varieties on the way for the weeks ahead.   You probably don’t need my help deciding how to prepare these.  Just slice, eat, enjoy & repeat!  My mother and I have been known to turn one large watermelon into dinner for two.  All we need is a knife and two spoons!  . 

As always, please feel free to contact me for clarification, further information, or to share your own adventures in cooking local, USDA certified organic produce.