veggie focus

Coconut Squash Curry

This was our first year growing Cucuzza squash, and let's just say, they really like it here.

You might have seen how to take care of a few from our Italian Cucuzza Soup recipe, but we still needed to cook up about ....mmm...20 more. I made about 6 batches of this curry and froze it for the winter. It is creamy, warming and totally delicious. Serve it up with some jasmine rice or chapatis for a great meal. 

Ingredients

  • 1 Cucuzza squash ( skinned, seeded and cut into 1/2" cubes)
  • 1-2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 TBSP Turmeric powder
  • 1 TBSP Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • coconut oil
  • 1 thai chili or serrano pepper
  • handful of thai basil
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • Himalayan salt

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 TBSP of coconut oil in a large pan with mustard and cumin seeds. Heat until the seeds stop popping (you may want to cover the pan while the sputtering happens).
  2. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes till they brown. Throw in the turmeric and cumin ( I usually am pretty liberal with my seasonings here so season to taste). 
  3. Add the squash and tomatoes and chopped up spicy pepper. Throw in a few pinches of salt.
  4. Saute for a few minutes then add the whole can of coconut milk. You can use light coconut milk but I find the whole coconut milk to be so much better. 
  5. Stir, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  6. Chop up the thai basil and add.
  7. Taste and add more seasonings as needed.
  8. Freeze in quart containers or eat up!

Homemade Tabasco Sauce

SOME LIKE IT HOT! We sure do.

And if there is one thing we can grow REALLY REALLY WELL, it's our hot peppers. So what does one do with bushels upon bushels of tabasco peppers? Make sauce!

Hot sauce contains Capsaicin which is actually good for your digestive health as it helps stimulate blood flow and speeds up the metabolism. It's also known to make you happier as it releases endorphins and sustains your good mood. Overall, a pretty good food!

Warning: This sauce is SUPER LEGIT SPICY. Unlike the habenero hot sauce from the past, this is to be dabbed onto food, not poured (unless you enjoy torturing yourself and have a stomach made of iron). Also please wear something to cover your face while cooking as it will make you cough and burn if you inhale the smoke. You have been warned!

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb of tabasco peppers
  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • 2 tsp of salt

Instructions

  • Puree the peppers in a food processor.
  • Move to a pot and add peppers with the vinegar and salt.
  • Cook to a boil for 5 minutes then remove from the flame and let cool.
  • Put through a fine strainer and allow the juices to seep through.
  • Bottle up and refrigerate!

Italian Cucuzza Squash Soup!

It's squash season! As you might have seen from some weekend instagram posts, we are clearly having an abundant late summer which is great for everyone. Squash is loaded with vitamin C & A, magnesium, full of antioxidants, beta-carotene and contains 2,400mg of lutein for eye health. So if you are in need of some of any of the above in your life, hit us up and we will be happy to supply :)

So I can't take credit for the recipe below. It was given to me by an Italian friend who initially asked me if we ever grew Cucuzza squash. I love trying new crops out and this one looked like it was going to be fun so we staked and planted an entire row. They pretty much took over everything for 6 ft on either side, plowing into our fava beans and white eggplants. Squash can be dominating like that, but at least these guys are fun to discover at nearly 2.5 ft long. This squash is a bit starchier than a typical summer squash and has a fairly sweet and tender texture. Best of all, you can certainly make a couple of meals from just one.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cucuzza squash (about 2 ft) peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bulb of garlic (or less if you aren't such a garlic lover)
  • handful of herbs - parsley, basil, fennel
  • 3 cups of veggie stock
  • 1 thai chili or cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup of faro or short pasta
  • coconut oil or oil of your choice
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Chop up the garlic and onions and sautee them with some coconut oil. Chop up the tomatoes and add them to the mix. Cook for a few minutes then add the cut up squash and chopped hot pepper. My cucuzza squash was HUGE so i just used the neck of the squash which was plenty.
  2. Cook for 5 minutes then add the veggie stock and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes or so. 
  3. Throw in 1/2 cup of faro or pasta and add another cup of water, stir and cover back up for 10 minutes. 
  4. The soup will look stew-like so add some more water of you want some more broth.
  5. Eat to your health!

Beets 2 ways!

We're having a GREAT beet season. So naturally, that means we've been eating lots of beets. Adding them with other seasonal veggies is the best way to get the freshest flavors all in one delicious dish. Not to mention, they're fast and easy!


 image via  Martha Stewart

image via Martha Stewart

Pureed Beet Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) veggie broth
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
 Beets and fresh herbs  simmering in the dutch oven.

Beets and fresh herbs  simmering in the dutch oven.

  1. In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion. Season with salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

  2. Add beets, broth, and enough water (4 to 5 cups) to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and simmer until beets are tender, about 20 minutes.

  3. Using a blender or an immersion blender, puree broth and vegetables until smooth. If using a blender, work in batches and fill only halfway, allowing heat to escape: Remove cap from hole in lid, cover lid firmly with a dish towel, and blend. Transfer to a clean pot as you work. Adjust soup's consistency with a little water if necessary. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Roasted Beet Salad with Tomatoes and Oranges

  • 5-6 Beets
  • 2 large tomatoes (I used Golden Jubilees bc they are so beautiful with the beets)
  • Handful of fresh basil and thai basil
  • Olive oil
  • Himalayan salt and fresh pepper
  • 1 large orange
  1. Clean and cut the beets into large chunks. Coat the beets with olive oil, salt and pepper.  spread them out on a baking sheet (pref. made of clay) and bake in the oven at 375 tossing every 5 minutes in the oven until nice the beets are soft and slightly charred. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. Cut the tomatoes and oranges into large chunks and chiffonade the herbs. Toss them all in bowl and when the beets are cooled down a bit, add them as well.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and season with Himalayan salt and pepper. 
  4. Serve over a bed of arugula and enjoy on its own!

Food for Fall...Roasted Tomato Soup

This year in tomatoes....was late, by about a month. We usually get our big bountiful harvest at the end of August but with the wacky summer weather, we are still unloading tomatoes by the basket full at the beginning of Oct!

Its safe to say that I have successfully added tomatoes to just about every dish, salads and juices alike, dehydrated, them, froze some and noone makes marinara like my mom so I don't even touch that one. I'm starting to feel like the Bubba Gump of tomatoes! 

So to help speed up the tomato eating speed, I decided to make a warming and comforting tomato soup...big success! Of course this helped to put a dent in the pile and fill some bellies as well. Be sure to use farm fresh tomatoes no doubt this soup will make you smile.

 Ingredients! Tomatoes, garlic, serrano chili, thai basil and parsley (shallots are missing from this photo)

Ingredients! Tomatoes, garlic, serrano chili, thai basil and parsley (shallots are missing from this photo)

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Ingredients

  • 3 pounds fresh tomatoes (about 4 cups, halved)
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 shallots sliced
  • ยผ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 serrano chile or cayenne pepper
  • Big handful of chopped fresh thai basil, parsley and/or cilantro ( I used them all because I had a bunch from the garden)

 

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Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F/230C.
  2. Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves and onions onto a baking tray.  Drizzle with ยผ cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30-35 minutes, or until caramelized.
  3. Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven and transfer along with any roasting juices into a large stock pot. Add 3 cups of the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third. Add thai basil and cilantro.
  4. Throw in a Vitamix or use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If freezing, let soup cool before transferring to freezer-safe containers
  5. Garnish in bowl with chopped fresh thai basil or cilantro.
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