What’s is the garden?
- Scallop Squash (AKA Patty Pan or UFO Squash). These are my favorite summer squash. I have some of the yellow straight squash planted too– but the scallop squash are tastier. I cook them in stir-fry, eat them raw in salad, make them into pickles, stuff them with ground beef and ginger. Anything a zucchini or yellow squash can do, patty pans can do. Eat them young and without peeling.
- Mixed Peppers A variety of peppers– including bell, jalapeño, young ancho and immature (but still tasty) Portuguese hot peppers. Most are sweet, but do a taste test before committing to adding the whole pepper to a stir-fry, salad, or on a cut fresh veggie platter.
- Malabar Spinach This summer green stays mild even when it gets hot (you might have noticed the lettuce is moving towards bitterness). The slight slipperiness of the leaves can be offset with a vinegar based salad dressing. Can also be cooked as you would spinach.
- Peanut Butter Pickles (aka Achar) These are my favorite pickles. Eaten cold or hot on top of udon or soba noodles. Any vegetable works, but this batch is cucumbers along with onions, ginger, garlic, turmeric, salt, sugar, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, natural peanut butter, and sesame oil. Yum!
I’ve been making large batches of tzatziki which I use to drench lettuce, bread, and chips. I am also inclined to eating it as a cold soup. Tastes best after 1-2 days but not longer then 4 days– the garlic gets punchier each day. You can also add an herb: dill, thyme, oregano, savory mint, or a little lovage.
- 1-2 cucumbers, chopped very finely
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped very finely
- salt and pepper
- 2C yogurt (instructions to make your own below)
- 3 glass quart jars with lids
To make your own yogurt buy 1 gallon of milk (organic!) and a small cup sized yogurt as a starter (you only need 3 Tbsp of yogurt to make 3 quarts of yogurt). Use 3 quart sized glass jars to measure milk into a soup pot. Heat the milk on medium, stirring occasionally until it’s just about to boil. It’s ok if it does boil but you’ll have to remove the skin that develops on the top of the milk. Pour the milk into the jars and leave to cool for about an hour. Once you can touch the milk without burning yourself, add a Tbsp of yogurt to each jar and put the lid on. Incubate the milk-yogurt for 12 hours or overnight. I use a heating pad and some towels to keep the milk warm for the incubation period.
We ate a lot of eggplant this week. Like over a dozen– which is oddly easy to do when you make them into this amazing dip. Great with pita, crackers, bread, and cut up veggies.
- 2-3 Eggplants
- 2 cloves of garlic
- handful of basil, parsley, or oregano
- 1/2 C walnuts (pecans will work too)
- salt and pepper
- juice of one lemon
- 3 Tbsp or more of tahini
- splash olive oil
Place whole eggplants on a foil lined cookie sheet. Bake in a hot 400 F oven until brown and soft. About 45 minutes. Leave to cool. Scoop inside of eggplants free from the skin and place in a colander to drain access liquid. In the meantime, use a food processor to puree garlic, herb, and walnuts. Add the eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days.