Saturday, July 19, 2008

Farmer's market report

At the urging of my friend the fabulous foodie (and just about everyone else I know up here) I decided to (finally!) check out the Great Barrington Farmer's Market this morning. Though there were fewer vendors than I expected, the quality was high--and so was the crowd level. The weekenders are here, folks, and they want their produce! Luckily, the fine farmers from Indian Line in Egremont, as well as many others were there, with everything ranging from stone fruit (peaches and plums, a bit hard but I have hopes for them as they ripen) to the first heirloom tomatoes I've seen this year. Variety is finally here, and it's glorious. I came home with some of those peaches (mine from Columbia County, out of loyalty!), Japanese eggplant, a few tomatoes and some lovely delicate leeks which I'll use to try to recreate some amazing potato salad we enjoyed at a friend's house last weekend.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Zucchini for meat eaters. Really. *

*But there's always a catch. You have to like chili. But if you do like chili--you will likely like this one, even if your preference runs towards the con carne. And--you will use up zucchini, and not even notice you're eating it. This is also a completely flexible recipe. No summer squash? Use more zucchini. No peppers? Ok. Leave 'em out. Got black beans, but no pink? No problem. It will taste great, no matter what, it looks pretty, it feeds a crowd, and you won't miss the meat.

Confetti Chili

1/4 c. olive oil
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 summer squash, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 large onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 large bell peppers, preferably red and/or yellow, cut into 1/4" dice
2 T chili powder
1 T ground cumin (best if you grind your own, but any will do)
1 large can crushed tomatoes in juice
4 small cans tomato juice (I prefer low sodium)
1 t dried basil
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper (or more to taste)
1/2 c. chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill (or 2 t dried, if you don't have fresh)
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 package frozen corn (about 1-1/2 cups) (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven and add onions. Saute until just clear. Add zucchini, squash and peppers and stir to blend. Add chili powder and cumin, and cook until vegetables are just starting to get tender. Add tomatoes, juice, and remaining seasonings (except fresh herbs.) Cook over low heat for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (You can cook it longer if you like--it's very forgiving.)

Add the beans, corn, parsley and dill, and cook another fifteen or so minutes. Serve alone, garnished with grated cheddar or jack cheese, with sour cream, etc. Great with cornbread, fresh corn tortillas, or atop rice or couscous.

Week Seven --Late to the Party

Delays and disruption are the order of the week around here, with my partner out of town and my kids going full throttle. I did, however, make it to my pick up on Tuesday evening, and it was my turn to work, if you can call the few paltry tidy-up chores I did at the farm "work." I think we shareholders get off pretty easily--sweeping and unplugging and stacking bins represents not an iota of the sweat that our farmers put into the delicious food they grow for us.

This week's deliciosity was a bunch of repeats (chard, zucchini, pattypan, cucumbers, arugula, field lettuces) and two welcome newcomers: new potatoes, and gorgeous heads of garlic, long greens still trailing. Pictures and recipes coming up shortly...