SWEET CORN IS HERE!

Good  day all! Today is Thursday, August 13, and we have some lovely things for you today. Your share for the week consists of green (and purple) beans, summer squasheses, rainbow swiss chard, summer savory, radishes, and most exciting of all, sweet corn! Following are a few recipes using some of these exciting ingredients.
First off, here is a delicious recipe from Annie Moss, whom some of you know 😉 , using chard. Chard is also known as silverbeet and as a matter of fact beets (Beta vulgaris) and chard (Beta vulgaris var. cicla) are close cousins. It’s just that beets have been bred for their root while chard has been bred for its stems and leaves. Kind of like the difference between a race horse and a draft horse, maybe. For this reason, you can reasonably subsitute beet tops for chard in most any recipe.
CHARD PIE
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour, plus
  • 2 Tbsp unbleached white flour
  • 1 dash salt
  • ¼ cup chilled oil
  • 1 egg white, beaten lightly
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Ice water

Instructions for Light And Flaky Low-Fat Pie Crust

In medium bowl, mix together flour and salt. Make small well in center of flour; add oil. Lightly mix with fingertips, fork or food processor until dough is like cornmeal. Do not overmix. Add egg white and vinegar; mix just until incorporated. With fingertips, form dough into ball. If still crumbly, add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is slightly sticky and holds together. Form into flattened circle about 1/2-inch thick. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 20 minutes. Working on lightly floured table or countertop, roll dough into 11-inch circle. Fold in half and drape over 9-inch pie pan. Unfold, being careful not to stretch or tear. Trim excess dough, leaving 1/2-inch overhang. Flute edges. Yield: 1 crust. Recipe Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch – 11-02-1998 By Mary Carroll

Filling:
  • 1 large bunch Swiss Chard
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups fat free ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • salt and pep
So it’s this easy: sautee the onion and garlic in olive oil just for a second. You want them to still be a little crunchy, don’t let them get brown or transparent. Take them out of the pan and put in a bowl.
Wash the chard, obviously.  Chop the chard into pieces ranging from quarter to band-aid sized, keeping the stems and leaves in two separate piles. Not an exact science. Using the same pan you used for the onion and garlic, which is now coated with some tasty oil, sautee the chard stems until they start to soften, then add the rest of the chard and sautee until it’s wilted. Put that in the bowl with the onion and garlic. Mix these together with salt and pepper to taste (I like lots of pepper).
Mix in the cheese and the egg.
Put it in the pie crust, which at some point should be put in a pie pan (NOT deep dish). Spread out. Cover with top crust if you want. Make a pretty design with a knife.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or so. I turned the heat up to 400 for an additional 5 minutes to brown the crust.
The end!
Fresh sweet corn is so delicious you will probably just want to eat it on the cob, but just in case you want to get fancy, here is a delicious and spicy recipe that, as a matter of fact, also originated with Annie. A note about corn: the instant that it is harvested, the sugars in the kernels begin to convert to starches. Thus, the sooner you eat it, the tastier it will be. And the sugars convert much more quickly at warmer temperatures, so definitely try to get it in the fridge if you’re not going to eat it right away. We’re putting off harvesting it until just before noon today to do our part to keep it sugary for you.
Corn Pudding
Serves six.
This recipe is from Anna Pump’s second book, “Country Weekend Entertaining.” It is outrageously good and a perfect accompaniment to any summer meal.

  • 1/2 pickled jalapeno pepper
  • 3 small Anaheim peppers
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 5 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 6 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375. Butter a two-quart casserole.

In bowl of food processor, purée the jalapeno and Anaheim peppers. Add the corn and pulse five times.

Scrape the mixture into a bowl, add eggs, and beat well to blend. Add cottage cheese, heavy cream, and butter. Stir well. Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Mix until the dry and wet ingredients are well combined.

Spoon the mixture into the casserole and bake for 45 minutes, or until pudding is set.

The following recipe is so simple it hardly needs to be written down, but just in case:

Green Beans and Savory

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh summer savory
  • 1 Tbsp. butter

Cook beans in salted water to cover with the summer savory added to the water. When the beans are tender, drain and toss with butter.

And one final recipe, so rich you’ll probably need a nap afterwards, and definitely not for the faint of heart (I mean, it’s  really bad for your heart, and your arteries, and your cholesterol levels, and also your hips, waist, buns and thighs :)). Also, with a little creativity, you could surely tone down the fattiness of this dish and still make it taste delicious. Just to warn you, this recipe has a part (a very simple part) that you need to do several hours in advance.

Zucchini Custard from Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka

Serves 8 as a side dish (we ate it as an entree but we’re big pigs who pay very little attention to reasonable and healthy eating habits)

  • 2 lb. zucchini, trimmed, peeled, and cut into strips 2″ long and 1/4″ thick
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 to 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan (we used the bigger amount because that’s where all the flavor comes from)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a medium saucepan full of heavily salted water to boil. Add zucchini, return to boil, and boil 30 seconds; drain well. Spread zucchini in a single layer on kitchen towels and let dry for several hours or all day.

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450F.

Mix the zucchini with the cream, eggs, cheese, and pepper. Pour the mixture into a 9″ or 10″ pie plate or ceramic quiche pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until puffed, brown, custardy, and set. Serve immediately.

NOTE: If individual servings are preferred (this would be better for a party because the whole thing kind of collapses and looks ugly when you start dishing it out), divide the mixture among eight 6-oz ceramic quiche pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

We’d like to recommend the above cookbook, Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka, as very well suited to a CSA member’s needs. Recipes are organized by main ingredient, rather than the more typical way of sorting them out by course, which really lends itself well to the “I-have-this-weird-vegetable-what-do-I-do-with-it” dilemma that you may have experienced. It’s a big book with 750 recipes (it says so on the back, we didn’t count) and also has 150 pages on vegetable basics, including information on the best methods of storage and preparation for different types of veg. So it’s pretty great.

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