Monday, August 5, 2013

the august harvest

Recently harvested: basil, shallots, broccoli, heirloom tomatoes, green onions, chamomile.

 I thought it would be fun today to share some different ways that we've been preparing produce in our kitchen this summer.

Zucchini: We have a go-to zucchini pancake recipe that we love, and to that we've been adding corn kernels from 2 ears of corn. Make a big batch as these freeze well.

Basil: To top the zucchini pancakes, we made a simple basil oil. It's just basil and olive oil whizzed in the blender with salt and pepper to taste. I think this would also be lovely on sourdough toast.

We added basil to our latest batch of kombucha, and the results were truly delicious. I hope to try a batch with chamomile next.

Blackberries: This year I've been really into making infused fruit vinegars. Just remember to use vinegar that has at least 5% acidity.

Chard: My new favorite way to prepare chard involves removing the rib (and chopping it into small pieces) and then steaming or boiling both the rib and the leaf. This should be a quick process--only a few minutes. Then add it to a skillet with olive oil, garlic, chopped Kalamata olives, and diced banana peppers and heat until everything is warm. Serve topped with a very small amount of feta cheese.

What are some of your favorite, simple recipes for the summer produce you've been harvesting?


  1. I'm eager to make some raw squash salads--thinly sliced and tossed with nuts, cheese, herbs.
    For an appetizer, I skewer cherry tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil.
    Roasted okra is the bomb.
    And then there is the quintessential easy summer meal--a tomato sandwich!

  2. We've been doing the raw squash salad a lot, too. Slice squash and zucchini on a mandoline (I also like to use some pattypans for their adorable shape), toss with mint, olive oil, lemon juice, and French feta.
    I also make a cold tomato soup that involves nothing but fresh tomatoes, stale bread, olive oil, s&p. I like to garnish it with toasted pepitas.
    We've recently made a few batches of jam--strawberry-vanilla and strawberry-rosé when strawberries were at their peak, then five-fruit jam (strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, currants, and cherries), then blackberry jam.
    I'm looking forward to making some browned sage butter soon.

  3. great ideas! thank you both for sharing.

  4. mmm, browned sage butter--is that just what it sounds like? Sounds perfect for winter squash.

  5. We like to fry corn, squash, and zucchini with bacon and green chili- not so healthy Arizona style :)

  6. Oh, I want your basket...

    Our summer produce has been from the farmers market, but we've enjoyed it thoroughly. I just made a pattypan squash, beet green, padron pepper gratin last night. Blanched green beans dipped in peanut sauce were an afternoon snack yesterday. Also, I've made many quick crisps with just about every summer fruit we've seen. We top the crisps with Greek yogurt. Yum.

    Looking forward to trying roasted okra. Thanks, ValHalla. And Meg's soup with toasted pepitas.

    So much to love in the summer.