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Wednesday, July 28, 2010
There are some weeks I struggle to find inspiration for my blog. This week was no different. I had no idea what to post this week, that is, until yesterday mid-morning when I was thinking about what to make for lunch.
With the early onset of warm weather this past spring and higher than usual temperatures this summer, the schedule for local produce has been pushed forward somewhat.
While my "crops" have not yet arrived, they are certainly on their way.
The tomatoes (black zebra) are still on the vine ripening...
and my cucumber plant is putting out loads of male blossoms and I waiting for the girls to show up any day now...
My swiss chard and haricot verts (aka French green beans) are a little farther behind as they were planted only recently.
At this point, I don't want to talk about my Nantes carrots or my tomatillos. I have my fingers crossed but hope is quickly fading. It's my first year growing these crops & everyone says they are easy to grow... however, they are either incredibly slow producers or these plants are destined for the compost heap very soon. So the verdict is still out on them!)
In fact, the only things I have been able to harvest so far this year are my herbs (mizuna-pictured below, basil, garden cress and my assortment of micro greens) and of course, my beloved alpine strawberries.
While my crops are still a couple of weeks from harvest, the farmers' markets and the supermarkets are already selling local produce. Zucchini appears to be a bumper crop this year.
There is a neighbor in my 'hood who has a very lovely square foot garden located on the side yard of his house. (I walk past his house daily to check on his garden, but I am not obsessed...) His zukes are spilling out of the box and I am quite certain they are literally growing inches each day. (Zucchini is on my "to plant" list next year!) Since we did not grow it, we bought ours (over 3lbs!) over the weekend and after dinner on Monday night, our supply was out.
Summer fresh zucchini is other worldly; its tender yet crisp when eaten raw and sweet and fragrant when lightly sauteed. This is a rather fast meal to pull together and very light but also quite satisfying.
The microgreens pictured in the photo are actually from my backyard. I have been trying to grow these with mixed success. (I hope to have a post on this item so stay tuned.)
Farfalle with Summer Zucchini and Ricotta
1lb farfalle pasta (bow-tie or some other kind of bite sized pasta, penne, macaroni)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, large diced (or rough chop)
1 lb zucchini (cut into by sized pieces)
1 large pinch chili powder (optional)
2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp ricotta
1 large lemon - juice & zest
optional: micro green garnish (or other baby green - spinach, arugula, etc.)
1. Cook pasta accordingly to instructions in well-salted water.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat olive oil. Cook onion and zucchini on medium-high heat. Resist the urge to constantly stir the vegetables to allow the zucchini and onions to slightly caramelize.
3. Add chili powder, if using.
4. Drain pasta, reserving at least a cup of pasta water.
5. Add pasta to the large saucepan. Remove saucepan off heat.(If your saucepan is not large enough, transfer to a large bowl instead.)
6. Toss with butter and lemon juice. Mix well. Adding small amounts of the pasta water to loosen pasta as needed.
7. Serve pasta with a dollop of ricotta. Top with microgreens and dust with lemon zest.