Friday, August 12, 2016

Bloomingdale Farmers Market: I never thought boiling summer squash could lead to a good end.... but I was wrong...

Hi Everyone,

I never thought boiling summer squash could lead to a good end....

but I was wrong...

Forget soup.   I am talking about boiling squash instead of sauteeing it as a cooking technique for a finished dish that makes you sigh, that makes your dinner guests exclaim, that makes everyone at the table fight (politely) for the last spoonful in the bowl  -- in other words, a dish as addictive as guacamole.  In fact, I called it Provencale Guacamole. It was my discovery of summer 2013 and I revived it this year.

Two friends mentioned in passing -- one from St Rafael, a coastal town, another from Nice --so it is pretty well known.  They gave me the slightest draft of a recipe. So cut up some small, very fresh summer squash into 1/2 inch rounds, throw them into boiling salted water until tender. Drain and mash them roughly with minced garlic and salt, freshly crushed pepper, shredded mint, lemon and olive oil.  That's it.  Very simple.  But the choice of ingredients is crucial - I find ordinary zucchini too watery for this dish.  You need the pale green kousa or another variety like that.  I have never tried the yellow ones, but they may work and that yellow would be pretty.  Use a good garlic from the market and a very flavorful mint of your choice and a good olive oil.   I have added parmesan and that was fun.  Once I successfully substituted basil when I was out of mint.  And chile heads can spice it up....but I like the original.

DIno's Grotto is the chef demo this week with their fabulous gazpacho!  Owner/chef Dean Gold waited for our peak tomatoes to demo his favorite dinner soup. Don't miss it.

Common Good City Farm is joining us this week for a nostalgic visit-- they were one of our first producers 10 years ago.

One of the nice things about the summer fruit season is that new varieties appear every week at the stands.  It SEEMS like we have peaches and nectarines for weeks and weeks, but in fact, each variety only appears for a week or so before a new one takes its place. So you have to sample them every week to see which ones you will like best.  And buy them up when you find ones you love, because they probably will not be there two weeks later.   But that is the pleasure of the market rather than the grocery store. Make fruit pies, fruit lassi, fruit cobbler, fruit  popsicles, fruit jam, fruit chutney.

Cooking Ideas 

What else I am cooking this week? 

Last night I made Eggplant Fans again, sliced the round eggplants partially into fingers, spread them and stuffed them with tomatoes, onions and garlic, scattered with herbs, lubricated with olive oil, covered and baked in a hot hot oven;  then I removed the cover, turned off the oven and let the casserole sit all night slowly caramelizing.  This morning the juices were reduced and syrupy, the eggplants were voluptuous and the kitchen was scented with roasted herbs.  Another table favorite: Creamed Eggplant Caviar.  Super simple. Just grill 4-6 nice round eggplants until the skins crisp up and blacken. (Or use your broiler) Roast or bake a whole head of garlic. Remove all the flesh from the eggplant and squeeze out the soft garlic.  Puree with salt and olive oil until very creamy and smooth.  Serve on crackers or cucumbers, topped with a morsel of olive or a bit of chopped mint or parsley.  Huge hit. 

f you love corn, and who does not in August?, try Rick Bayless's classic Mexican Street Food dish, Esquites with  Garner bicolor sweet corn:

WHISKED!:  A cri de coeur from Jenna:  It's already August??
The end of the month snuck up on us, too. We're moving into late summer produce (think tomatoes, sweet corn, and blackberries), and have added new seasonal flavors
  New Blueberry Lemon. Bourban Pecan. Peach. Peach raspberry. Salted Caramel Apple. Sea Salt Chocolate Chess. BAcon Cheddar Onion. NEW Roasted Corn, Tomato & BAsil. Kale and Feta. Tomato, roasted GArlic & Goast Cheese.

NUMBER 1 SONS:  Feeling Picklish?  You should because we have the best fermented NY style deli pickles in the region and those are fighting words.  But since i am a 3rd gen New Yorker, I stand by them. New: Gin Spears, sweet vinegar pickle seasoned with gin botanicals from One Eight distillery and Red N Butter sweet vinegar piackles.  Also: Baby Green Sours.  Caitlin ferments baby green tomatoes with onions and carrots. Divinely sauer and tasty.

REID's Orchard: White and yellow and donut peaches, blackberries, raspberries, summer appels, nectarines and some preserves.

KESWICK: Make a nectarine and cantaloupe salad with ricotta and mint. So summer. So refreshing.  Cut watermelon into cubes and dress with feta cheese and a little basil vinaigrette. Make cucumber soup with walnuts and garlic and the best yogurt in DC --(Keswick's). Slice a baguette, butter it and add sliced tomatoes and your choice of Keswick cheese.  You get the idea -- there is a place for their cheeses and dairy at every single meal.

MOUNTAIN VIEW ORGANIC: Tomatoes, of course.  But also Asian varieties of eggplant, Attila' Hungarian influenced peppers, hot and sweet.  Blues, Red Gold potatoes. Shallots. Onions in yellow, purple and white. Squash and zucchini. cherry tomatoes and beets.  Lots of greens.

TRUCK PATCH FARMS:  Many varieties of Heirloom tomatoes, okra, green beans, eggplant, basil, many varieties of summer squash. Arugula, mesclun, spinach, kale, chards, cukes and PORK.

I am slow roasting a Cuban pork roast right now.. You could do it indirectly on the grill or in a low oven...


Meat Department:  Pork: a dozen different sausages , bacons, pork chops, salt pork, chops, pork sirloins, pork steaks, country ribs, spare ribs, butt roast, boneless shoulder roast, boneless and bone-in loin roasts,

Tip: I salt pork and chicken 24 hours in advance, an easy dry brine.  It does not make the meat salty just deeply flavorful.  Add other herbs or a dry rub of spices as well.  Grill. 

GARNER: Bicolor sweet corn.  Heirloom and cherry tomatoes. Cantaloupes. Gala Melon. Sun Melons.  Watermelon in yellow and seedless reds. Corn. Many varieties of eggplants, 5 different summer squash, green and red peppers, okra, basil, potatoes, primo red tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, chard, garlic, candy onions. Okra. Greens. Parsley, Basil, Cilantro.

Make Salsa! Please.  Make cilantro pesto.  

PANORAMA : French breakfast pastries like palmiers, almond croissants plus the plain and chocolate crosisants, baguettes, the olive oil buns that grace the 25 dollar hamburgers at Central and the Rustiques they serve you at Citronelle and Cityzen.  Sandwich breads, too.  If they are out of a bread you crave, ask them to save one for you for next week.  Late risers:  they have lots of whole wheat, multigrain and sourdough boules and loaves that sell out early.  So reserve what you want!  Email if you do not see something you want, please.

Please bring your shopping bags so we can eventually get rid of plastic bags at the market.

Remember to spread the word about Produce Plus.  If you participate in SNAP Food Stamps, WiC, Senior FMNP, TANF, Medicaid, we will give you ten dollars in  vouchers for fruits and vegetables at the market.  It's a great deal --

Teds, Danielle and Robin emailing from Provence

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