Week 6

(Another week without a camera…some photos soon, I promise!)

We’ve got some stellar produce in store for you this week:

1 head lettuce

1 bunch  kale

1 bunch Chinese broccoli

1 bunch carrots

sugar snap OR shelling peas

summer squash

fennel

1 bunch basil

Chinese Broccoli: I think you all are really going to enjoy this item. This “flowering brassica” is a delicious green fit for the finest olive oil, garlic and pasta. If you have never encountered it, it is like a cross between broccoli raab and broccoli. The upper part of the stem, leaf and florets are all edible. I achieved the best results for flavor and texture when I blanched it before sauteing, however, this is not necessary if it is cooked long enough. Chinese broccoli pairs well with the same flavors as broccoli.

SUMMER SQUASH! Indeed, summer is here, and judging by our squash harvest, in a big way. We have several kinds of summer squash for you this season: Costata Romanesca, Dark Green Zucchini, Midnight Lightning Zucchini, Yellow Crookneck Squash, Straight Neck Squash,  Benning’s Green Tint Patty Pan and Ronde Nice Squash. They all have a similar, mild flavor and can be used in very similar ways: on the grill, in the skillet, stuffed and roasted, or in the fryer.

This evening while I was packing two summer squashes up to bring home, one of Jay’s interns asked me what I was going to make with them. I told her fried summer squash, to be served with ketchup. She exclaimed, “You really are from Oklahoma, aren’t you?” Yes, indeed I am. I eat fried summer squash with ketchup. It’s a throw back to the days my dad would excitedly take over the kitchen and make several kinds battered and fried vegetables, and we would gobble them up, always with ketchup. My favorite fried vegetables were always the yellow summer squash, in particular, the tiny medallions of the yellow crookneck squash. Here is my method for making fried squash, ketchup optional.

1. Heat 2″ of oil in a large, tall sided skillet to 375 degrees. (Or, plug in a deep fryer.)

2. Slice summer squash into 1/4 inch medallions. Toss with flour, salt and pepper. Fry in batches in hot oil, taking care that the squash have plenty of room. Remove onto plenty of paper towels or rags to soak up excess oil. Serve hot.

Enjoy the produce this week. As always, feel free to share your kitchen adventures with us either on this blog, via email or in person. We love hearing how you eat your veggies!

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