Echo Bend CSA Harvest, 2011 Season, August 17

After waxing philosophic last week, this week I shall be brief.
I got’s people to see (a visit with the builders of this old farmhouse — more on that soon), bread to bake, good food to eat (Watervale BBQ), and a good friend waiting to take the whole family out on his party barge. :0

The height of summer, for me, means the daily delights of the rich, perfectly-matched flavors of tomato and basil.  Thus, I shall dedicate this post to all things tomato-basil.  If you have other favorite recipes riffing on this theme, please do share them in the comments!

Harvest Baskets:

  • basil
  • cabbage, baby green
  • baby carrots, Nantes
  • chard, Rainbow lights
  • cilantro
  • cucumbers, American Slicing and Asian Long
  • garlic, Pyong Ylang (rich, sweet flavor when roasted. Mild heat raw.)
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • napa cabbage
  • onions, Sweet Copra
  • peppers, sweet green California Wonder
  • potatoes, Yukon Gold (the last of the potatoes!)
  • tomatillos
  • tomatoes — a mix of Sungold  and Sweet 100 grape; Stupice;  Silvery Fir Tree; Opalka (heart shape); Pruden’s Purple; Rose (brandywine); Celebrity
  • zucchini
Tomato and Basil fest!
Caprese Salad — an elegant but easy side salad or main dish. Serve with Echo Bend baguette, torn into crusty hunks, to sop up the juices left behind:
A variety of heirloom tomatoes
Fresh mozzarella
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Basil, chopped
Sea Salt
     Slice tomatoes and mozzarella. Lay on platter in alternating layers (tomato, mozzarella, tomato, etc.).  Drizzle with vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and chopped basil.
Caprese Sandwich — the above salad, but layered on Echo Bend ciabatta or rustic white artisan bread. Our favorite summertime go-to meal. Perfect example of how simple, honest ingredients can be transcendent.
Panzanella Salad: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Panzanella-12529— a deconstructed version of the caprese sandwich. 🙂  Hearty, main-dish salad. You can substitute zucchini for the cucumbers. If making ahead of time, add bread right before serving.
Bruschetta (the leftover panzanella makes great toppings!)
Margherita Pizza:
Pizza dough (your favorite recipe or try Echo Bend’s dough)
heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
fresh basil leaves
fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
olive oil
sea salt
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Roll out dough. Brush with olive oil and top with basil leaves, tomato and cheese slices. Sprinkle all with sea salt.  Put pizza in oven in bottom rack. Lower heat to 375 and bake until cheese bubbling and golden and crust is baked through. You can drizzle a bit more olive oil on top when it comes out of oven, if desired.
Pride of Italy Pasta
1/2 to 1 lb potatoes
.5 lb green beans or fresh greens (chard, kale, spinach, etc.)
3-4 heirloom tomatoes
pesto
pasta
Microwave, steam, or boil potatoes until just barely fork tender. Cook pasta until al dente, adding the green vegetables halfway through cooking time. Drain and toss with the potatoes, tomatoes, pesto. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
(Delish the next day as a cold pasta salad, too!)
Enjoy the ripe taste of summer while it lasts!  Fall has been in the air this week!!!!
Salsa Verde  – Use your tomatillos, cilantro, and garlic this week to whip up this super easy green salsa! Use it for chips, eggs, salads, or on top of your fav grilled meat!
15 tomatillos, husks removed
1 bunch cilantro
4 garlic cloves
3 serrano chiles, or for milder taste, 1 can chopped green chiles
1 t salt
juice of 1 lime
Blend in food processor or blender. Ole!
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