Freshly dug potatoes, tomatoes, green beans....summer is in full swing here on the farm! When it gets hot, I try to get my cooking done in the morning and I make big batches of hearty salads to last us through the week. This week's menu includes fresh potato salad, green bean salad, swiss chard and tomatoes and a lightly dressed arugula salad...
Fresh, "New" Red Potatoes - These are freshly dug, beautiful new potatoes. You'll notice that they cook much more quickly than potatoes you find in the store because they have a higher water content. If you boil them, check their tenderness with a knife every few minutes to avoid over-cooking. We noticed that some parts of the field had potatoes with some cosmetic skin blemishes (rough scab spots). These can be removed by peeling in those spots. But most of them look gorgeous, so no need to peel!
Storage: In a cool, DARK place. Do not store in plastic bags. Store in paper bags or loose. Uses: CookedWhen to use: Within 5 days. These won't store well - use them right away!
Tomatoes - The red beefsteaks are coming in nicely!
Storage: On the counter until they are a deep red. At that point, eat them right away or if you must, put them in the refrigerator. Uses: Raw/CookedWhen to use: Right away when deep red.
Red Long Onions - More of these beauties...great in salsa! If you want to save them to use later, just be sure to leave the stems attached and store somewhere cool and dry OR in the fridge. They need airflow or they will rot. Don't expect them to last too long, but a few weeks is reasonable.
Storage: In an airtight (plastic) bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Raw/CookedWhen to use: Within 5 days.
Green Beans - Please note that these need to be refrigerated right away -- you can store them in the bag they come in. Also be sure to wash them before cooking. These are super fresh and should be steamed gently for just a few minutes until fork tender. DO NOT OVERCOOK THEM or they will turn green-gray and taste mushy. Watch them carefully and check them every minute or two in the steamer. I love them steamed with butter (or olive oil) and a bit of salt, but there are lots of wonderful green bean recipes to try.
Storage: In an airtight (plastic) bag in the refrigerator. Uses: CookedWhen to use: Within 5 days.
Arugula - You'll notice some cosmetic holes on the leaves from beetle damage when it was young - it looks a bit like Swiss Cheese! We considered not including it in this week's share, but decided it would be a waste to turn it in since it tastes just fine! Ugly veg is still yummy veg, right?!
Storage: In an airtight (plastic) bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Best RawWhen to use: Right away! Within 3 days
Swiss Chard - The "summer green"...enjoy it now because the cooler weather greens will be back next month. Try this week's recipe with tomatoes in a quick saute. Delish!
Storage: In an airtight (plastic) bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Cooked When to use: Within 5 days.
Zucchini or Summer Squash - We thought we had finished harvesting these last week, but there were a few more out in the field...consider this a bonus item.
Storage: In an airtight (plastic) bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Raw or Cooked, Baked When to use: Within 5 days.