Monthly Archives: August 2014

Sweet Corn Summer Harvest Salad

Hello Harvesters

This week’s recipe is a summer harvest salad that can be served warm or chilled. It’s delicious, nutritious, and looks great too!

 

Sweet Corn & Zucchini Salad with Lemon-Garlic Dressing

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

"CourgettesInBowl" by Simon Speed - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CourgettesInBowl.JPG#mediaviewer/File:CourgettesInBowl.JPG

“CourgettesInBowl” by Simon Speed – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CourgettesInBowl.JPG#mediaviewer/File:CourgettesInBowl.JPG

Ingredients

3 medium zucchini (cut into ½ inch strips)

2 ears sweet corn

1 medium onion (red or white)

1 ripe lemon

4 T. olive oil

2 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. black ground pepper

½ C finely grated Asiago

 

Directions

To make dressing, squeeze juice of one lemon into small bowl, add approximately 4 tsp. olive oil (should be equal parts oil and lemon juice), crush and add 3 cloves garlic and then add 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. black pepper and stir. Let sit while you prepare other ingredients.

 

Husk corn and bring a large pot full of water to a boil (enough to submerge the corn). When water is boiling, submerge corn and turn off water, let sit for 5 minutes then remove. When cool enough to handle, cut kernels off cob

 

While corn is cooking dice and sauté onion on medium-high heat until pieces start to look translucent. While onions are sautéing, prepare zucchini by cutting in half vertically and horizontally, then cut each remaining quarter into 4 strips. Add zucchini and 1 tsp. salt to sautéed onion and continue to cook for about 3 minutes (note: zucchini doesn’t take very long to cook, should just begin to be soft, you don’t want to lose the crunch). If the zucchini and onion look wet, empty onion and zucchini into a colander and let strain to get as much moisture out as possible.

 

In large bowl combine corn kernels and zucchini and onion. Toss dressing and sprinkle with grated Asiago. Serve warm, or let veggies cool before tossing with dressing and cheese. Enjoy!

 

 

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A Nutritious Nightshade

Hello Harvesters!

This week’s box includes one of my favorite veggies- the eggplant. Eggplants are delicious in Italian cuisine and lovely to look at. Their deep purple coloration and smooth round shape make them one of the most aesthetically pleasing veggies we offer at Pacific Coast Harvest.

Aubergines

“Aubergines” by Original uploader was Secretlondon at en.wikipedia – Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aubergines.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Aubergines.jpg

Eggplants are a species of nightshade that was originally domesticated in east India and Bangladesh. Their name comes from the fact that early European cultivars resembled the eggs of geese or hens. The fruit is very popular in Italian cuisine, making up the bulk of the recipe for “melanzane alla Parmigiana” or Eggplant Parmesan. It is also used as a meat substitute in vegan and vegetarian meals (in similar ways to mushrooms), due to its ability to soak up flavors and its rich, meaty texture. For our vegan friends, check out these 15 creative vegan recipes for eggplant.

"Badımcan" by Urek Meniashvili - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bad%C4%B1mcan.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Bad%C4%B1mcan.JPG

“Badımcan” by Urek Meniashvili – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bad%C4%B1mcan.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Bad%C4%B1mcan.JPG

The family of nightshades also includes potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes. Unfortunately, while these plants are delicious and common in recipes, they can also cause moderate to severe allergic reactions in some people. Cooking usually destroys most of the problematic proteins, but at least one of these proteins can survive the heat. The symptoms of nightshade allergy can include itchy mouth and face, upset stomach and bowels, flatulence, and diarrhea. Nightshade allergy can sometimes be an undiagnosed cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. If you are allergic to nightshades, check out these nightshade-free recipes!

 

Have a wonderful final week of August, enjoy the sunshine, and enjoy this week’s harvest!

 

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Washington Peaches are Here!

Peaches are one of the greatest signs of summer in the Pacific Northwest. These sweet, juicy fruits appear in the middle of the season and last until early fall, providing summer revelers in Washington with a delicious treat to add to picnics and BBQs. Peach trees grow well in the Pacific Northwest because of our relatively mild climate. Our winters are cold enough to satisfy the chilling requirement of peach trees, which need a certain amount of hours at cold temperatures in order to fruit, but not so harsh that the flower buds die.

320px-Illustration_Prunus_persica0

Peaches are native to the northwestern part of China, where human cultivation is thought to have begun around 1000 BCE. The fruit was favored by Chinese nobles, and was ascribed certain magical powers in Chinese mythology. By 200 BCE, Chinese horticulturists knew how to differentiate between different winter cultivars of the peach tree, allowing commercial production to increase. At this time, peaches were also imported to the Mediterranean region, including Persia (from which the peach gained its Latin name, Prunus persica). From there, peaches made to Europe, where the French word peche became the English word “peach”. Since that time, peaches have been a popular (though historically expensive) treat in Europe and America, where Thomas Jefferson grew peaches at Monticello.

 

China is still the world’s leading producer of peach crops, producing an estimated 11 million tons in 2010- 50% of the entire world’s production! In contrast, the United States produces only about 6% of the world’s peach harvest. Oddly enough, China exports fewer peaches than the United States because most of its peaches are consumed domestically.

1024px-Autumn_Red_peaches

 

Did you know that peaches and nectarines are the same species? The only difference between them is that they come from different cultivars of peach tree (like the difference between a cherry tomato and a grape tomato).

 

For a fun and tasty summer dessert, check out this week’s recipe by Kayla Waldorf for Pacific Coast Harvest- roasted peaches with toasted almonds and vanilla ice cream!

 

 

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Roasted Peach Summer Dessert

This week’s recipe is for a tasty summer dessert that will cool you down on hot summer nights. Inspired by southern cuisine, this roasted peach recipe is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.

 

Roasted Peaches with Toasted Almonds and Vanilla Ice Cream

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients

3 ripe peaches pitted and cut into 6 slices

2 T dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 T butter, melted

1/3 Cup blanched and slivered almonds

Vanilla ice cream or frozen custard

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Wash, pit and slice peaches. Toss peaches with brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter. Make a “baking boat” with double layered tin foil so juices don’t spread. Peaches should overlap.

Bake for 15 minutes until juices start to bubble.

While peaches bake, place almonds in unheated small pan. Turn range to medium and toss occasionally for about 5 minutes until fragrant and golden brown.

Spoon hot peaches and juice over ice cream (ratios as desired but more peaches than ice cream recommended). Sprinkle with toasted almonds and enjoy!

Original recipe for Pacific Coast Harvest by Kayla Waldorf

 

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Watermelon Salad for Hot Summer Days

Hello Harvesters

Here’s a fun and delicious starter for a hot summer day, or an hors d’oeuvres for your next BBQ. Serve this with some iced cocktails or lemonade for the kids.

 

Feta and Watermelon Summer Salad with Mint-Lemon Dressing

Photo by Kayla Waldorf for Pacific Coast Harvest

Photo by Kayla Waldorf for Pacific Coast Harvest

Ingredients

1 Small Watermelon chilled (personal sized)

4 oz crumbled Feta

3 Tbsp. Lemon juice

1 Sprig fresh mint

4 Tsp. Honey

¼ Tsp. Salt

 

Directions

Cut watermelon into bite-sized cubes (1-2 inches) and separate into for bowls. Crumble approximately 1 oz feta over each bowl (more if you prefer). To make dressing, combine lemon juice, salt, and honey and set aside. Wash and remove 12-16 medium-large mint leaves from sprig and chop very finely. Add mint to dressing and stir. Spoon dressing evenly over salads. Garnish with a mint leaf and serve.

Alternatively, serve as an hors d’oeuvres by putting toothpicks through the watermelon cubes with a small amount of feta and mint, then drizzle with small amount of dressing.

Original recipe by Kayla Waldorf

 

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Fun with Fennel

Hello Harvesters

 

This week we have some delicious baby fennel pods from Tahoma farms here in Washington. Fennel is a fun little plant with a strong and unique flavor that forms an important part of several different culinary traditions from around the world. The first thing a novice fennel-taster will notice is the smell and taste of licorice. This aroma comes from the organic compound anethole, a fragrant liquid that forms a part of the essential oils of fennel, anise, star anise, and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra). Anethole is the primary flavor component of anise-flavored liqueurs like Sambuca, raki, absinthe, and ouzo. Fennel tends to have a slightly milder anethole flavor compared to anise or star anise, which makes it easier to cook with. While fennel is often mislabeled as “anise” in many American stores, the two plants are actually distinctly different– fennel has a large white bulb at the base with thick green stalks growing up, while anise is more like a flower, with a skinny stalk and delicate petals.

 

"Fennel J1" by Jamain - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fennel_J1.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Fennel_J1.jpg

“Fennel J1” by Jamain – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fennel_J1.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Fennel_J1.jpg

In India, fennel seeds are eaten raw or coated in sugar as an after-dinner digestive or to sweeten the breath. These flavorful snacks, reminiscent of after-dinner mints in the US and Europe, are known as mukhwas. The ground seed powder is also used as a spice in Indian, Kashmiri, Pakistani, and Iranian cookery. The traditional use of fennel also extends westward to the Mediterranean, where Syrian and Lebanese cooks use it in an egg omelette called ijjeh. Fennel is also the primary ingredient in the Italian sausage you use in your spaghetti.

 

"Ouzo Sans Rival Bottle" by AlMare - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ouzo_Sans_Rival_Bottle.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Ouzo_Sans_Rival_Bottle.jpg

“Ouzo Sans Rival Bottle” by AlMare – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ouzo_Sans_Rival_Bottle.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Ouzo_Sans_Rival_Bottle.jpg

Ahead of next week’s box, here’s a fun recipe from Ina Garten at the Food Network for Roasted Fennel with Parmesan.

Enjoy the harvest!

 

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Delicious Bruschetta Snacks

Hello Harvesters

Happy first week of August to you all. This week’s recipe is the first in a new series by local Seattle food enthusiast Kayla Waldorf. She will be creating new original weekly recipes using the ingredients we will be delivering each week. For this week, she has created a delicious recipe to serve as hors d’ouevres at your next party or to accompany a larger entree. Enjoy!

Bruschetta with Roasted Apricot & Beet Relish

Photo by Kayla Waldorf for Pacific Coast Harvest

Photo by Kayla Waldorf for Pacific Coast Harvest

Ingredients

2 large beets

3 medium apricots, pitted and halved

1 medium onion

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp butter

½ tsp coarse sea salt

1 baguette

8 oz. fresh mozzarella or burrata

Balsamic vinegar to taste

Directions

-Preheat oven to 400. Cooking time approx. 1 hour.

-Wash and individually wrap beets loosely in tin foil.

-Place beets on baking sheet in oven, set timer for 30 minutes.

-While beets begin to roast, prepare apricots and onions. Halve apricots and put small dab of butter in center, sprinkle with brown sugar. Cut onion horizontally into 1 inch slices (onion ring style). Put small dab of butter on either side of slice, sprinkle with sea salt.
-After 30 minutes, place onions on baking sheet with beets and return to oven for 15 minutes.

-After 15 minutes, place apricots on sheet with onions and beets and return to oven for 15 minutes. When done, apricots & onions will be golden brown and beets will be soft enough to easily insert a knife.

-After 15 minutes, remove apricots, beets, and onions and let cool for 15-20 minutes until cool enough to handle. Once cool, remove skin from beets (should come off easily by hand). Place all ingredients in refrigerator for 20 minutes until cool.

To make relish: dice all ingredients into ¼ inch cubes.

-Place in a small bowl and mix together with ¼ tsp salt.

To make bruschetta: set oven to broil. Cut baguette into 1-2 inch slices and brush with butter, place on baking sheet and insert into oven.

– Broil until butter is bubbling and edges are golden brown. Remove from oven.

– Slice mozzarella or burrata into ½ slices large enough to cover baguette pieces. Place on toasted baguette and pile 1 spoonful of relish.

-Drizzle with balsamic to taste and sprinkle with sea salt.

 

Enjoy!

 

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What the heck is a nectaplum?

Hello harvesters!

 

You may have noticed that we have been delivering juicy, delicious pluots for the past few weeks. These pink fruits are about the size of large plums, but they have a sweeter and more tart flavor than a plum, as well as lighter pink, speckled coloration. The delicious pluot is just one example of a “hybrid” stone fruit, a cross between two different members of the Prunus genus, which includes plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, and almonds.

 

Plums and apricots often grow in the same climate, and the trees may grow near each other. When this happens, natural hybrids can occur from cross-pollenization. This results in a first-generation hybrid known either as apriplums or plumcots, which are genetically split between apricots and plums. Incidentally, the name “plumcot” was coined by the famed botanist Luther Burbank (who our Mercer Island and Bellevue friends may recognize from his namesake-

Luther Burbank (public domain image)

Luther Burbank (public domain image)

Luther Burbank Park). Burbank released several commercial cultivars of these hybrids in the 1920s. However, plumcots and apriplums are sensitive to temperature and bruise very easily in transit, making them a difficult fruit for harvesters to grow and sell for profit.

 

In the 1980s, the California stone-fruit breeder Floyd Zaiger cross-bred plumcots with plums to form a new hybrid that was mostly plum, with some apricot characteristics. He called this new fruit a “pluot”. Generally, pluots contain about ¾ plum genes to ¼ apricot (though this ratio varies between different varieties). Zaiger and his colleagues went on to develop a number of other specialized hybrids such as the aprium (75% apricot, 25% plum), the nectaplum (nectarine and plum), and the peacotum (peach, apricot, and plum).

The Dapple Dandy or Dinosaur Egg By Bapak, Alex (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Dapple Dandy or Dinosaur Egg By Bapak, Alex (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Today, the most popular variety of hybrid stone fruit is the “dapple dandy” or Dinosaur Egg pluot, which we have been stocking quite bit this summer. Its delicious combination of sweetness and tartness, plus its beautiful rose-colored flesh make it a perfect summer fruit.

 

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