We've made it. We're now in that bountiful time of year when eating locally is a breeze, a pleasure, with almost no sacrifice involved. This is the time of year that I dream about in February.
The green beans are coming in like crazy at the Main Street garden. We've been picking every day or every other day and still getting a lot. Dave's birthday was last weekend, and I was invited to bring a side dish, so I chose the easy route and prepared a simple green bean salad. For color I bought a few yellow wax beans from the market, snapped them all in two, lightly steamed them, and then ran them under cold water to chill them quickly.
I also couldn't resist these at the market. The first of the local sungold cherry tomatoes! We'll have our own bounty very soon, but these looked gorgeous, and they promised to add an extra color, flavor, and texture to the salad.
Beans, tomatoes, spring onions and basil from the garden, olive oil, and salt. That's it. Summer is the time of simple flavors and easy recipes. The vegetables and herbs don't need anything fancy - they do all the work for me.
Speaking of simple flavors and summer deliciousness, this next meal was a shining example of just that.
Pork rib chops from The Rustic Table, our meat CSA. The meat from that farm is good, like best I've ever had good. They raise an extremely rare breed of heirloom hog, the American Mulefoot, and it's very clear that they know what they are doing. This is the most succulent, fatty, and flavorful pork that I've ever had. Ever. Period. Hands down. It doesn't need a lot - here we just rubbed it with a little salt, fresh garden sage, and paprika, then grilled it.
Green beans again (they'll be figuring into a lot of future meals). Ends snapped off and simply steamed.
Potatoes from the garden, mashed to perfection with just a little milk, butter, and salt.
Zucchini is starting to be plentiful, maybe a little too much. This puppy got away from us. It was big and tough, and perfect for another classic summer recipe....
Zucchini bread with local raspberries added for fun. I loosely followed this recipe, except I used whole wheat flour, brown sugar, local sunflower oil, I didn't have any nuts or citrus peel, and I added an extra egg because I have a lot of them. It turned out OK, not the best zucchini bread in the world, but there will be time for another batch. The picture turned out nicely.
These aren't actually from the garden, but they could have been. Squash blossoms. Flor de calabaza. I bought a bunch at market with the intention of doing something with them for Dave's party. Normally I would fry them, but it was just too hot to stand over boiling oil on the stove, so I tried a new method - stuffed and baked.
I slipped a garlic chive cheese curd into each one (a local favorite to be sure), arranged them on a baking pan, and coated the top with grated Parmesan cheese.
400 degrees for about 20 minutes yielded this interesting looking result.
I carefully plucked each one from the pan and arranged them on a serving dish. They tasted mostly of cheese, the flower's flavor is easy to overpower. They also turned out a bit greasy - it would have been better to serve them immediately after coming out of the oven, but since I was taking them to a party at Dave's house I didn't have that option. I can't complain too much though - overall they were great and very well received.
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