In Honor of the First Tomatoes…
We’re doing a special post in honor of the first tomatoes of the year! Two Early Girls. Picked a bit early because she started fretting that some critter was going to beat us to the totally ripe tomato. These two will sit on the counter for a couple of days to fully ripen before being enjoyed as tomato sandwiches.
The last of the lettuce for the season was cut on Friday. There was quite a bit still in the garden – we’ll be sharing with friends and have plenty for us too. We keep our washed lettuce rolled in layers between paper towels in the refrigerator and find that it easily keeps for two weeks this way, often even longer.
We’ve been getting plenty of summer squash and cucumbers. We made three more quarts of refrigerator pickles this week and won’t have to buy cucumbers for our homemade green juices for the foreseeable future. More canning of haricot verts will be happening this weekend. The plants are really productive right now!
The field peas we planted last Sunday had already come up strongly by Thursday. One day there was just dirt and the next day there were 2 inch tall field pea seedlings. It’s amazing how fast field peas grow! Other things planted on Sunday are also coming up (butter beans, flagrano shell beans, more winter squash, and more haricot verts) but they tend to burst forth a bit slower than field peas.
We recently tried a new summer squash recipe and really enjoyed it (enough that we made it again just a few days later). So for those of you looking for new ways to prepare your squash bounty, here’s one you might want to try. We make ours in a grill pan on the stovetop but you can adapt the technique to use an outdoor grill if you wish.
Grilled Zucchini with Olives, Cilantro, and Tomato
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 or 3 teaspoons tamari (to taste)
2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 or 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (to taste)
2 or 3 summer squash (yellow or zucchini), cut in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¾ cup diced tomatoes
¼ cup pimento stuffed green olives, drained and sliced
½ teaspoon salt
½ to ¾ cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of olive oil with tamari, 1 teaspoon pepper, and balsamic vinegar.
Heat the grill pan on medium high
Brush squash on all sides with the stuff you just mixed.
Sear the summer squash on both sides and then reduce heat to medium and cover the pan so the squash will cook all the way through with just a little bit of steaming happening.
While the squash is cooking, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and brown slightly. Add tomatoes, olives, salt, and remaining teaspoon of pepper. Cook for 3 or so minutes and then add vegetable stock. Continue to cook until volume reduces by one quarter. Stir in cilantro, pour over grilled squash, and serve.