New Roots officially reached giant zucchini season! Seynab harvested this squash out of her field, and I’ll be taking it home to turn it into more muffins and bread to share at the farm. I tried out this recipe this weekend, which is slightly different from the one on the blog last week, and it was a big hit with the farmers- give it a try the next time you get zucchini in your share!
While some of the crops are thriving at the farm, others are experiencing heavy pest pressure. This year, we’ve specifically seen significant damage from bean beetles. Some farmers have lost their entire green bean crop to these pests- they work quickly!
Because we don’t use any chemicals or pesticides on the farm, we try different techniques to mitigate pest damage. This often includes hand-picking the bugs (eggs, larva, and adults) from the plants, which is tedious but effective. It’s also important to rotate crops each year, so that pests that overwinter don’t attack year after year.
Here are a couple easy recipes that feature zucchini and/or summer squash (feel free to use them interchangeably in these recipes) to keep you inspired this week, and feel free to search by crop name in the blog archives to find recipes that include any other veggies you might find in your CSA!
This salad is another way to use some zucchini or summer squash!
1 ⅓ cup whole wheat Israeli couscous (or any other small pasta shape, you’ll need about 3 cups cooked)
⅓ cup pine nuts
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste (from 1 to 2 lemons)
1 large shallot, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
½ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
⅓ cup pitted and thinly sliced Kalamata olives
1 medium zucchini, sliced into super thin rounds
1 small yellow squash, sliced into super thin rounds
⅓ cup (⅔ ounce) chopped fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley
Cook the couscous until al dente, according to package directions. Drain off any excess water.
Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts: In a large skillet over medium-low heat, warm the pine nuts until they’re turning lightly golden on the sides and fragrant (be careful not to let them burn). Transfer them to a bowl to cool.
In a large serving bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, salt and several twists of black pepper until combined.
Add the couscous to the bowl and toss to coat with the dressing. Top the couscous with the toasted pine nuts, chickpeas, tomatoes, feta, olives, zucchini and squash, and basil. Stir to combine.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add an extra tablespoon or two of lemon juice if it needs more brightness. For the best flavor, refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. This salad will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days.
Recipe from https://cookieandkate.com/mediterranean-couscous-salad-recipe/
1/2 red jalapeno pepper seeds & membranes removed (if desired), and minced
3 cups packed grated zucchini
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
2 3/4 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup coconut milk
Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan set over medium-low heat. Add the onion and chili pepper, and sweat (cook without browning) until the onion is soft and translucent, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for additional 2 minutes.
Turn the heat to medium, add the grated zucchini and chopped mint leaves, and cook until the zucchini is starting to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove soup from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Trust me, you do not want to skip this step. That is, unless you enjoy wiping hot soup off your ceiling after your blender lid flies off.
Process the soup in a blender, in two batches, until the soup is almost smooth, but with a little bit of texture. Return to the saucepan, stir in coconut milk, reheat, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
This soup can also be served chilled – a nice treat on a hot day.
Recipe from https://www.cookincanuck.com/creamy-zucchini-coconut-milk-soup/