It’s cold. And… it’s cold. Yuk. I thought taking pictures of pretty flowers might help cheer us all up. It certainly cheered me up! Ok, I’ve complained about the weather and accomplished my civic duty as a farmer. Let’s move on.
I had lots of fun at Savour Ottawa’s Harvest Table this weekend. It was all settled pretty last minute and I wasn’t sure if I’d be participating or not, but it turns out our veggies were featured in three main courses served for lunch on Sunday.
We supplied some summer squash, cauliflower and swiss chard. That’s right, we grow cauliflower! Award-winning cauliflower actually. Many small producers don’t find it profitable to grow in their gardens, but I like to grow a few beds of it each year, since it’s so tasty!
We’ve made it half way through the harvest season. It may be cold, but it ain’t over! This week our members will get:
Tomato: Production slowed down to a crawl with the rain and the cold we’ve been having, but we should have enough to send some out this week. I hope…
Basil: More basil to accompany your tomatoes and other summery dishes.
Summer squash: The cold weather is especially hard on the summer squash, so they may or may not be included in this week’s bounty.
Carrots: Good ol’ weekly carrot bunch. Packed with flavour and nutrition.
Green peppers: Tasty, crunchy, green and yummy.
Cauliflower: If you’ve only ever eaten grocery store cauliflower, prepare to have your minds blown. This is a whole different ball game.
Squash, squash and more (summer) squash ideas!
If you’ve been missing the lettuce and salad greens, don’t despair! Use a veggie peeler to cut your squash into paper-thin ribbons and build your salad around that. Add in fresh tomatoes, some cheese, nuts or seeds, whatever is to your taste.
Fun fact: the “ribbon peeling” also works beautifully with beets (yes raw, or steamed if you’re squeamish), carrots and even broccoli stems (although I would steam those first). Get some colour on your plate!
Stuffed and baked
We’ve got some rainy days coming up, so they might be a good time to try out a stuffed squash recipe. Round squash (like 8-ball) can be hollowed out and stuffed with a rice mixture, much the way you might prepare stuffed peppers. Cut the tops off and scoop out the innards. Steam until tender (maybe 8-10 minutes), stuff, then bake (375-400F) until the top of the filling is a little crispy. Delicious!
For a more brunchy dish, smaller squash (such as pattypans) can also be hollowed out, steamed, then baked with an egg in them — like a little bowl of sunshine!
You can not go wrong when you put summer’s bounty together in a pot. Summer squash loves tomato and basil, and plays very nicely with garlic, onions and peppers to boot. You can get fancy with the slicing and do the cartoon rat-style ratatouille, or you can chop everything and cook it gently on the stovetop for a messier-looking, but equally delicious casserole.
If you’d like something a little heavier, you can take the same flavours and layer them with potatoes and cheese for a gratin!