Happy August, everyone! It feels like we’ve reached a summer milestone, with the first ripe tomatoes coming out of the fields. If you haven’t seen them in your CSA yet- don’t worry, they’re coming!
When we stop to think about how short the Maine growing season really is, we find that it’s especially important to stop and notice all the subtle shifts in the season- the transition from leafy greens to root crops to nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants), and then back again until we’re harvesting storage crops to see us through the fall and winter.
Here are some summery recipes to enjoy this week!
- 1 lb fresh or blanched and frozen amaranth
- 1 16 oz can coconut milk high fat
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh turmeric optional
- 1 small onion finely chopped to yield 1 cup
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1-2 whole serrano chilis with seeds (1 for a mild dish, 2 for hot)
- 1/8 teaspoon wild caraway or conventional caraway or cumin seeds toasted
- 8 oz paneer cheese cut into small rectangles or cubes (optional, and halloumi can be substituted)
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup ghee coconut oil, or lard
- If your amaranth greens are raw, blanch it in salted water for a few seconds until wilted, then shock in an ice bath to chill. Remove the amaranth greens, squeeze out the water, and coarsely chop. You want the greens to hold some texture, but they should be able to fit on a spoon-just look out for long stems.
- In a food processor, or in a mortar and pestle, coarsely pulse or pound 1 teaspoon of salt with the serrano, garlic, ginger, onion and turmeric until coarse-fine.
- Add the ground aromatics with the oil to a large cast iron skillet and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the caraway and garam masala and cook 5 minutes more.
- Add the coconut milk, and amaranth and simmer until the mixture is thickened slightly, about 10 minutes, it should be spoonable, but not soupy. Meanwhile, quickly pan fry the cheese on one side only, as overcooking can make them tough. You can also just warm them up in the greens when you add the coconut milk, but it isn’t as pretty.
- Double check the seasoning for salt, adjust as needed, then serve immediately with rice or flatbread.
Recipe from https://foragerchef.com/saag-paneer-with-amaranth-greens-and-wild-caraway/
This is a super simple recipe that allows the flavors of the fennel and arugula to shine!
- 5 ounces (about 5 packed cups) arugula, washed and dried
- 1 small fennel bulb, shaved on a mandoline or thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Juice of one lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Pecorino, to serve
- Combine the arugula and shaved fennel in a serving bowl. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a jam jar or other small container with a lid. Shake the dressing until smooth and cream. Dip a leaf of arugula into the dressing and taste; adjust any of the dressing ingredients to taste. Pour half the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. Add more dressing a little bit at a time until you have dressed the salad sufficiently to your liking.
- Use a vegetable peeler to shave a few slices of pecorino over the top of the salad. Serve immediately.Recipe from https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-arugula-and-fennel-salad-with-lemon-vinaigrette-recipes-from-the-kitchn-202595
This salsa is easily adapted to include other peppers or herbs (try parsley!) you have in your kitchen- let us know what your favorite combo is!
- 3 tablespoons onion (finely chopped)
- 2 small cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 large tomatoes (ripe; peeled, seeds removed, and chopped- can sub in cherry tomatoes as well!)
- 2 chili peppers (jalapeño or serrano, chopped)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice (plus more to taste)
- Salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Put the chopped onion and garlic in a strainer. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over them, discarding the water. Allow the chopped onion and garlic to fully cool and drain.
- Combine drained onions and garlic with chopped tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, and lime juice. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to blend the flavors.
- The pico de gallo will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. Serve as a dip or a condiment with Mexican style dishes and enjoy.
Recipe from https://www.thespruceeats.com/classic-fresh-salsa-3060434
This is a great recipe to help use up some extra zucchini!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/4 cup canola, vegetable, or grapeseed oil
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on muffins
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or grease with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, oil, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the zucchini.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Don’t over mix.
- Divide the batter equally amongst the muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with turbinado sugar. Bake for 18 to 23 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and the tops of the muffins bounce back when you gently press on them. You can also insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin, if it comes out clean, they are done.
- Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin let cool another 15 minutes.Recipe from https://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/zucchini-muffins/