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Archive for June, 2009

Tomatoes!!!

Freezing Tomatoes

Storing these guys is quite easy.  The more time you spend now on preparing the tomatoes. the less time you will spend later.  Frozen tomatoes can be used later in sauce, soups or stews.

To freeze whole tomatoes, wash fruit, remove all brown parts, and place on a cookie sheet to set in the freezer.  When the tomatoes are frozen, pack them into zip lock bags.

If you would like to remove skins (recommended), dunk tomatoes in boiling water for one minute, just until the skin splits, remove, let cool for a minute and slide skins off.  Then you can quarter or chop and pack into bags.

They are here at last!  Most of what we grow are heirlooms, some people know them as the funny looking ones.  They come in all shapes, sizes and colors, tie-dyes and stripes.  To know when they are ready, look for the deep color and a slight softness to the touch.  When you are buying tomatoes at the market or the store, it is best to NOT squeeze, because if you don’t want that one, no one else will want it either with fingerprint dents left behind.

Tomatoes are best stored on your counter.  They will ripen there nicely and they are delightful to look at.  Storing toms in the fridge tends to make them mushy.  If you have a cracked one, eat is as soon as possible or refrigerate to prevent fruit flies.  The ones from the fridge are still great to cook with.  A tomato can be enjoyed simply sliced with a little salt.

Cucumber, Tomato and Squash Salad

Simple and healthy, refreshing on a hot day.

Dice one cucumber, one patty pan and one large tomato

Add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, chopped basil, minced onion, salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately or chill to blend the flavors even more.  The squash is optional, cukes and toms are great on their own.

Fresh Tomato Sauce

We had this tonight with some fresh chanterelle mushrooms and Rio Bertolini’s raviolis.

You will need:

3-5 ripe heirloom tomatoes, diced

3 spring onions, chopped

1 clove garlic

handful or fresh basil leaves, chopped

thyme, oregano, rosemary, parsley or any other herb of choice

salt and pepper

Sautee onions and garlic until fragrant, add tomatoes and herbs, simmer until sauce-like, about 10-15 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  This sauce can be used on pizza, pasta, lasagna, or dipping any breads.  Feel free to add squash or eggplant too.

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Wow!  Are the cukes coming in!  I can see how one might end up with a pantry full of pickles!  Most any kind of cucumber will work for these recipes.

Refrigerator Pickles

Slice peeled or unpeeled cucmbers into 1/4″ rounds.  Cover with 1/2 water and 1/2 red wine, apple cider, or white wine vinegar.  Add chopped herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, sage or dill) and salt and pepper.  Let marinate for at least an hour, will keep for a few weeks.  You can also add sliced carrots or turnips to the recipe.

Canned Pickles

Sweet, Dill and Butter.  Detailed description of how to can all of these Cucumbers, pictures too.  Make your own pickles to have for years!  Click below:

http://www.pickyourown.org/pdfs/making%20pickles.pdf

Chilled Cucumber Yogurt Soup

Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large seedless cucumbers (about 1 lb each)
  • 1 1/2 quarts low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Optional garnishes:
    – smoked salmon, diced
    – cucumber, sliced thin
    – radishes, sliced
    – rye bread croutons
    – fresh dill

Preparation:
1. Peel cucumbers and cut into chunks.
2. Place in food processor and process until pureed.
3. Transfer mixture to large bowl.
4. Add yogurt, dill, garlic and seasoning; stir until blended.
5. Chill until served.

Yield:
12 servings

Nutritional Information:
Per serving: 97 calories, 7 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 7 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 25% Daily Value of calcium, 476 mg sodium.

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