Issue #13 September 3, 2016
Watermelon or Muskmelon
Herbs & Veg
Oregano Thyme Sage
Chives Mints Sorrel
Chamomile Summer Savory
Marjoram Zataar Oregano
Parsley Basil Dill Cilantro
Borage Shiso Okra Hot
Peppers Cherry Tomatoes
Tomatillos Husk Cherries
Cleome Tithonia Statice
They’re not all producing yet, but I thought I’d write a guide to the hot peppers growing in the picking garden.
JALAPEÑOS AND CZECH BLACK: A moderately hot pepper, with thick walls, blunt and tapered, both of these peppers are great for fresh use. Jalapeños are the classic pepper in salsa fresca. Czech Black tends to have a little less heat. Both of these peppers can be used in their “green” stage, but the Czech Black will ripen to a beautiful dark purple-red.
SERRANO AND MATCHBOX: These assertive little peppers pack a lot of heat in a small package. They are commonly used in Asian cuisine, but can add considerable heat to any dish. They are usually cooked into curries, or stir fries. About 1-2” in size, they can be used green or red.
CAYENNE: Long and thin, the Cayenne pepper should be red when picked. Cayenne peppers dry well and make a good crushed red pepper. They can be extremely hot.
HABANERO (TOBAGO, ZAVORY): Typically the hottest pepper, our Habaneros are heatless. They have all the floral flavor of a Habanero pepper but no heat. A new kind of pepper for us this year. Let us know if you like them.
When working with very hot peppers, the oils from them will be on your hands. Don’t touch your face without washing your hands! (I know this from personal experience!) If you want to dial back the heat, cut out the seeds. Hot pepper heat can vary considerably; it’s a good idea to taste a tiny bit before adding the pepper to a recipe.
"When summer opens, I see how fast it matures, and fear it will be short; but after the heats of July and August, I am reconciled, like one who has had his swing, to the cool of autumn."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Baked tomatoes with goat cheese
4 cups cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves or 1 shallot
leaves from 1 sprig basil
1 slice bread
4 oz goat cheese
Heat oven to 400. Arrange tomatoes in a single layer in a 1 qt gratin dish. Drizzle oil over
tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake 15 minutes until they become juicy. Mince garlic and basil in food processor. Add
bread and process until they are fine crumbs.
Remove tomatoes from oven. Crumble cheese over tomatoes and sprinkle seasoned bread
crumbs over. Bake 5 more minutes, until cheese melts and crumbs are golden.
recipe from Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman
Summer Squash Pizza
1 tbsp olive oil
1 recipe pizza dough
2 1/2 lbs summer squash or zucchini
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups coarsely grated gruyere cheese
2-3 tbsp bread crumbs
Heat your oven to 500°F with a rack in the center. Brush either 1 13×18-inch rimmed half-sheet pan or 2 9×13-inch quarter-sheet pans with olive oil. Divide your dough in half and use oiled fingertips to pull, stretch, nudge and press the dough across the bottom of the pan. The dough will be thin and imperfect; just try to get it even. If holes form, just pinch them together.
Use a food processor with a grater attachment or the large holes of a box grater to grate the zucchini. In a large bowl, toss together the zucchini and salt. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes (more, if you have the time), until the zucchini has wilted and released its water. Drain the zucchini in a colander and then use your hands to squeeze out as much water as possible, a fistful at a time. Back in the large bowl (wiped out if still wet), toss the zucchini with the gruyere shreds, being sure to break up any clumps of zucchini.
Taste the mixture; it should be seasoned enough from the salt, but you can add more, plus ground pepper or pepper flakes if desired.
Spread the zucchini mixture over the dough(s), going all the way to the edges of the pan and piling it a bit thicker at the edges,
where it will brown first. Sprinkle messily with the bread crumbs.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the topping is golden. Remove from oven, cut into squares and dig in.
recipe from smittenkitchen.com