• Simply Fresh by Julie Wern–Week 5

    IMG_0905I have written extensively in past posts about zucchini and cucumbers, which are starting to flourish at the farm. So I thought I would simply link you to posts that cover both of these vegetables in detail. I also thought I would link you to some new cooking ideas I’ve come across for these gems. Be sure to read over the past posts first to get basic preparation and storage ideas.

    Cucumbers (click here)

    Zucchini (click here)

    Here are some fun and interesting recipes I have recently come across that I am excited to try:

    Try something interesting yourself? Feel free to share it with us.   Simply respond to this post with your recipe or link. If you write out a recipe, please include information on its source.

    This past Saturday I had the pleasure of conducting a cooking demo at the farm. Thanks so much for those of you who stopped to watch, listen and taste. I thought I would share the recipes of the dishes I made for the demonstration because they contain many of the items that are in this week’s distribution.

    The following recipe was adapted from Fine Cooking (click here) to use gut friendly yogurt instead of sour cream and to highlight cutting celery, which was grown at the farm a few years ago. The relish is optional but great if you have some cherry tomatoes starting to grow at home.

    Cool Creamy Cucumber Soup     Serves 4 (click on title for a printable pdf version)

    INGREDIENTS:

    – 4 medium (or 6 small) cucumbers, peeled and chopped

    – 2 small shallots, chopped

    – scant 1/4 cup cutting celery, loosely packed (or use chopped celery)

    – 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    – 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

    – 3/4 teaspoon salt

    – 1/8 teaspoon white pepper

    – 1/2 cup fat free, low fat or whole milk Greek yogurt

    – 1/2 cup low fat buttermilk

    – Relish (optional)

    – chopped golden cherry tomatoes

    – minced cutting celery or celery leaves

    METHOD:

    Place cucumbers, shallots, 1/4 cup cutting celery (or chopped celery), extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt, and white pepper in a blender. Blend on high until completely smooth. Mix in yogurt and buttermilk. Mix until smooth and completely incorporated. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve cold with tomato and cutting celery relish.

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    This is one of my favorite ways to eat raw beets. It is super easy and great for entertaining.  The olive oil and vinegar amounts are rough estimates….simply drizzle them both over the carpaccio and don’t worry too much about the amounts (you want to make sure the beets are coated).

    Beet Carpaccio      Serves 4 (click on title for printable pdf version)

    INGREDIENTS:

    – 2 medium or 4 small beets, peeled if desired but not necessary

    – 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil

    – 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar, or red balsamic

    – sea salt

    – freshly ground black pepper

    – 1-2 ounces thinly shaved Parmigiano Reggiano

    METHOD:

    Using a mandolin, very thinly slice beets and place in a medium bowl. In a small bowl mix olive oil and vinegar. Pour over beets. Using your hands, knead olive oil mixture into each slice of beet. Arrange beet slices slightly overlapping on a plate or platter. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top evenly with shaved cheese. Pour any remaining olive oil mixture from bowl evenly over beets. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour.

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    Don’t forget that beet greens are edible and so healthful.   Here is a great way to use both zucchini and beet greens. These “pancakes” are great with eggs for breakfast, or make a delicious side dish. Potatoes will be harvested in the next couple of weeks. If you don’t have potato at home, try substituting more zucchini for the potato. Swiss chard or even radish greens would be a great substitute for the beet greens in this recipe (if desired).

    Zucchini, Potato, and Beet Green Pancakes   Serves 4 (click on title for printable pdf version)

    INGREDIENTS:

    – 1 packed cup grated potato, about 1 medium

    – 1 packed C grated zucchini, about ½ lg

    – 1 C minced beet greens

    – 1 t kosher salt, divided

    – 1 pastured egg

    – 1/4 cup finely minced onion

    – 2 cloves finely minced garlic

    – 1 t lemon zest

    – 1 t fresh lemon juice

    – 1 T minced fresh dill

    – 3 T white whole wheat flour

    – 2 T extra virgin olive oil

    – 1 T grass fed butter

    METHOD:

    1. mix grated potato, zucchini and beet greens with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a fine mesh colander. Let sit in sink or over a bowl for 15 minutes. Squeeze out as much water as you can. Place mixture in a towel and wring out towel to release even more liquid. Place zucchini mixture in a medium bowl. Stir in egg, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, onion, garlic, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice and dill and mix well. Form into 8 or so small patties and place on a plate while you ready the pan.
    2. In a large skillet (preferably non toxic non stick), melt butter with olive oil over medium-high heat until quite hot. Carefully slide patties into pan, allowing at least 1/2” space between them. Depending upon the size of your pan you may have to cook the pancakes in two batches. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy on outside. Serve warm.

     

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