Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Colors of Summer

In addition to vegetables I get to pick my own bouquet at the CSA this summer. They have about 4 rows of different flowers. Snap dragons, Black Eyed Susans and a bunch of other varieties I don't know. I borrow shears from the farm's shop, leaving my car keys behind so I won't steal them, and trot out to the field. It's sweltering around lunchtime and the plants are covered in ladybugs, beetles, bees, and butterflies. I cut the stems long and rip off any lower foliage so it's less work at home, wrap a rubber band around and toss them in with the herbs and veggies. I went for a purplish theme last Friday and have enjoyed some food for the eyes on my kitchen table all week!

Another colorful summertime treat was available last week: tomatoes! While they were few in number, we got a wide variety of hues. I'd love to do a taste test and see if we can pick up the subtle differences in flavor of multi colored tomatoes. Like peppers, I think the yellow and orange ones might be sweetest to my buds.

I decided to try one of the recipes share by the chef on staff at the CSA: Tomatillo Salsa Verde. We had quite a few tomatillos in the share, but not enough for the salsa so I increased the recipe by 50% and added all the lovely fruits in my basket. For peppers I had hungarian hot house and jalepeno. It made a delicious salsa and a tangy base for gazpacho. Ole'!

Tomatillo Recipes Galore from a California CSA:

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

1 pound tomatillos, husked
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 serrano chile peppers, minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 cups water (use less for a thicker salsa to coat your chips)

Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chile pepper into a saucepan. Season with cilantro, oregano, cumin, and salt; pour in water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Using a blender, carefully puree the tomatillos and water in batches until smooth.

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