Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Garden notes and July 29 baskets

Todays baskets included one of my favourite, yet I think one of the most underrated vegetables going, cabbage. Cabbage is juicy, and fresh...great just sliced for a snack, but a recipe follows for it's use. Also pattypans,zucchini or summer squash, peppers, cutting celery.onions, garlic, a mix of heirloom beans (which are just starting), chard, collards,lemon cucumbers. Hopefully everyone recognizes everything and I am throwing in another recipe for the zucchini (summer squash , patty pans).
All recipes are from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian"


3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 TBSP minced onion
1 TBSP minced garlic
1/4 cup short grain rice
1 lb zucchini, or summer squash
salt and freshly ground pepper
6 cups vegetable stock or water
2 eggs at room temperature
1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice

Put oil in a medium size saucepan, medium heat. When hot add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add rice and stir to coat with oil, then continue cooking for about 2 minutes until fragrant.
Add the zucchini along with salt and pepper. Stir constantly for a couple of minutes, until the zucchini starts to wilt and release liquid. When the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pan stir in the stock, bring soup to a boil and reduce the heat so the mixture simmers steadily. Cover and cook 20-30 minutes, until the rice is tender and the vegetables are starting to melt in the soup.
In a large heatproof bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until creamy, then whisk in lemon juice. Take a ladle of broth from the pot, and slowly add the broth to the eggs , a few drops at a time at first, whisking constantly so the eggs don't curdle. Repeat once or twicce more, until the egg mixture is thick, smooth and very warm.
Make sure the soup is not boiling, but bubbling gently. Slowly add the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately garnished with parsley and parmesan cheese.

Buttered Cabbage
(simply delicious)
For extra flavour melt the butter with a clove of garlic, minced shallot, or good paprika.

2-4 TBSP butter
about 20 cabbage leaves

Put a medium to large pot of water on the stove to boil and salt it well. Put the butter in a small sauce pan and melt it, let it brown, but don't burn.
When the water boils, add the cabbage and cook, stirring every now and then, util tender, about 5 minutes. Remove with tongs and drain well, toss gently with melted butter and serve.

Garden notes
I'm feeling somewhat discouraged at this point, with my biggest crop, and my love, tomatoes. Up until a week ago, things were moving along nicely, a few lost plants in low spots due to wet weather, but that was bearable.
On Sunday morning just past it was clear that lots of rain over a short period of time was taking it's toll, and I have most definitely lost 1/3-1/2 of my tomatoes at this point. Lots for the baskets, however tomato sales are hugely important to me and it is disappointing again that the weather has taken this turn. I have clay soil,which I have lightened over the years with lots of organic material, but it is still a heavy soil which holds onto moisture. In a year of drought or average rainfall I do very well, but too much rainfall, especially in a short period of time is a difficulty.
Other crops are very happy...potatoes, beans, garlic, squash, cukes, beets,cole crops, carrots,to name a few. Peppers are okay so far, eggplants are off to a very slow start because of the lack of heat. Basil and onions are both having difficulty as they were planted in lower spots and need dry weather.
I'm not anticipating going back to market this year now unless the weather turns things around, and hope it does!
Such is the life of a grower who depends on the unpredictability of the weather....

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