Monday, August 30, 2010

week twelve

So, August has been quite a month. Hope you're still enjoying the scads of heirloom tomatoes in shares... I've received some pretty awesome feedback. One (possibly biased) local chef claims that they're the best in the city. And speaking of local chefs, watch for an upcoming post about the fabulous Pittsburgh restaurants where you'll find our herbs and produce on the menu.

This week, depending on share size, you received: heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, sweet pepper, variety of hot pepper, winter squash (baby blue hubbard, sweet dumpling, green buttercup, butternut, or Thelma Saunders sweet potato squash), rattlesnake beans, husk cherries, cilantro, and savory.

A word about husk cherries - don't fear them. Part of the tomato (nightshade) family, they're strange, tasty, and pretty hard to find. Kind of like cherry tomato meets pineapple meets vanilla. They're versatile too... if you're feeling adventurous you can cook them down into a jam. One of my chefs made them into hot sauce. Or toss them in a fruit salad with melon, berries, mint, lemon/lime basil and a bit of sugar. Or just eat them like candy. Impress your friends... they're a novelty. Here's some more info if you're feeling researchy

Some suggestions for the winter squash from chef Kate Romane of E2 (part of Enrico's Biscotti Co.) restaurant... cube and saute or roast the squash with garlic, shallots and herbs. The savory that you received this week or sage would work well, but certainly experiment with any herbs you have on hand. You could even get nuts and throw in some chopped kale if you still have that hanging around. Toss in some olive oil, salt, pepper and a touch of white vinegar or lemon juice. Adding grains like barley or farro make this a super hearty meal.

Kate also suggested an early fall salad with lentils.... cook the squash with caramelized onions, shallots, garlic. Add apples for a touch of sweetness plus salt, pepper, a bit of cinnamon, and mint. Shove that mess into a pita smeared with goat cheese? Good god, I'm hungry.
Try it. The woman teaches a seasonal salad class, she knows what she's doing.

mmmm.... berries

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