Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer Squash

We're entering Week Five of our CSA, and I have to admit that we're already experiencing a bit of summer squash fatigue. We've enjoyed romanesco zucchini, pattypan squash, traditional zucchini, yellow squash, cousa and yellow zucchini in a variety of ways: roasted, stuffed and sauteed, in lasagne, pasta sauces, casseroles, breakfast scrambles, and tacos. The freezer is filling up nicely, bringing me closer to my goal of enjoying several meals a week from the summer growing season throughout the winter.

During the early flush of zucchini love, I made zucchini tacos. Nothing could be simpler. For about four servings, I sauteed a large onion in some olive oil, then added six smallish zucchini, seeded and diced, along with salt, pepper, a little garlic and chile powder. I made a quick pico de gallo with the first tomatoes from the farm, and a jalapeno picked fresh from our front lawn, where jalapenos and cherry peppers grow among the wildflowers. I finished the dish with warm corn tortillas and some broccoli slaw, along with a squeeze of fresh lime and a few drops of hot sauce. Ten minutes of work, and lunch was complete.

I'll be on my way to the farm shortly, and I know more summer squash await. I reminded my husband last night that what seems tiresome to us right now will surely be appreciated on a cold December night, so this week I'll be freezing a casserole of onions, tomatoes, fresh herbs and summer squash topped with a light bechamel, and also plan to serve this simple salad of Lebanese zucchini (cousa) with hot peppers.

Roasted Cousa with Pepper Salad

Cousa is a Lebanese summer squash similar to zucchini. This fast and easy dish is a twist on a traditional Lebanese recipe, replacing fried squash with warm, roasted squash, topped with a zingy salad of peppers and scallions.

6 medium cousa, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal ½” thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and julienne sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienne sliced
1 hot cherry pepper, seeded and julienne sliced OPTIONAL
½ bunch (about 4 oz.) fresh scallions, white and green parts, sliced on the diagonal
½ cup loosely packed, torn mint leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400°. Toss sliced cousa in a large bowl with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper. Place squash on rimmed baking sheets, and roast for 10-15 minutes, until squash is lightly colored but still firm. Arrange squash on a serving platter.

Meanwhile, toss peppers, scallions and mint with lemon juice and a tablespoon of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top warm roasted cousa with pepper salad. Serve immediately.

Serves four to six

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Spinach and Tomatoes - eat what's in season!

Please check out my latest article for One Green Planet! Tomatoes and spinach are fresh and plentiful at your local market now...I hope you enjoy these delicious and easy to prepare recipes.