Posts tagged ‘vegetables’
The tomatoes are coming in fast, while there’s only three peppers out there now. They are so sweet I can just eat these tomatoes like fruit (yes they are fruit). Also great with a little olive oil, salt, black pepper, and basil.
When I plucked the purple pepper last week, it didn’t developed seeds yet. So maybe I was a little impatient, tho after plucking it started producing more buds. The pepper was very fruity, a little tart but not bitter in any way. I made a pasta salad with the first harvest.
Pasta salad with herb infused oil
- 2 1/2 cups fusilli pasta (cooked to desired texture in salted water)
- 1 small onion (sliced thinly and rinsed)
- 1 small bell pepper (diced)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved)
- small bunch of basil (torn)
- small bunch of thyme (or a few sprigs of rosemary)
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1/3 (to 1/2) cup olive oil
- 1 large lemon (zested then juiced)
- small can of kippered herring or tuna or sardines (optional, you can also add cooked lentils or beans instead)
- salt and black pepper
Heat up the olive oil over medium low heat with the thyme (either tied and remove later or strip the leaves into the oil), the basil torn into small pieces, and the crushed garlic. Simmer for a few minutes till it starts to smell fragrant and before the garlic turns dark . Put the pasta and everything into a large bowl, pour the oil and lemon juice (and zest) on top, toss together then salt and pepper to taste.
some edges got a little too dark, watch the oil temps
Sweet potatoes are something I’ve been experimenting with recently. In general I don’t like really sweet vegetables (yams, pumpkin, squash, carrots, parsnips, etc.) But they (sweet potatoes, and the other veggies) are very good for you, high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In the coming days I will post more on sweet potatoes.
Latkas are potato pancakes that can be made in different ways. They can be served plain or topped with almost anything; apple sauce, sour cream, or just ketchup (personal fav).
- 1 medium/large sweet potato*
- 1 small/medium onion*
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- oil for frying
* the ratio is about 3:1 of sweet potato to onion
Peel then shred sweet potato and onion, mix together with the rest of the ingredients. Heat up a heavy bottom pan (I prefer cast iron) with 1/4 – 1/2 inch of oil on medium high. I used grape seed oil, it has a very high smoking point, great for frying. Scoop mixture into pan (about 1/4 – 1/3 cup per portion), try to spread out mixture to about 4 inch in diameter, it should be a thin layer. When edges turn golden brown (3mins?), flip and cook until bottom is browned. Drain on paper towels. Add more oil in pan when needed. They should be crispy on the edges and tender inside. You can also keep them warm in the over while frying up more.
I think used half the mixture (made about 8) and then refrigerated the rest to use the next day.
I had planted them late August in a small pot (a square foot) and crossed my fingers. I knew that peas grew best in cooler temps, in the last 2 weeks it really came into bloom and I haven’t even been watering it much since the start of October. While the bottom looks like some shriveled leaves and vines, the top is lush. I was so excited when I spotted a pod from my window, I rushed out to take a picture.
And my rosemary plant is huge.
This year I decided to grow tomatoes (to save money, organic tomatoes are like luxury items), but I didn’t get around to it till late June. After some research on the web, I got an early variety; ‘First Lady’ that only takes 66 days to yield fruit. I bought 4 plants, and place 2 in the ‘Tomato Success Kit’ and the other 2 in a window box type planter. The ones in the Tomato Success Kit grew huge. I didn’t expect much from the other planter but it grew pretty large (but less than half the size of the other ones) with many tomatoes.
Some finally ripened early last week when the temps came down from the 90s. My first batch was about a pound and a half. I sliced them up with some basil from the garden, olive oil, black pepper and fleur de sel. It’s my favorite thing to do with these tomatoes. I made salsa a few days later with new tomatoes, which was very tasty but it can’t beat the basil-olive oil-pepper-fleur de sel experience.
Next year I’m going to grow red bell peppers. At $6.99/lb for organic at Whole Foods, I haven’t had any red bell peppers in over a year.
My favorite squashes are Kabocha, a Japanese squash (with a thin skin that I can easily cut thru and leave on) and Butternut squash (if it’s the pre-peeled/pre-cut packaged kind). And my favorite way to cook squash is to roast them in the oven till they get crisp and caramelized.
Cumin Roasted Squash with Orange and Thyme
- 1/2 Kabocha squash or 1.5lb of Butternut squash
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp of coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 tsp of whole cumin seeds or ½ tsp of ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp coarse fresh ground pepper
- 1 orange, juiced and zest
- 1 tbsp of fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp of dried thyme
Preheat oven to 425°.
Cut squash into one and a half inch pieces.
Pour oil into a large cast iron pan or roasting pan.
Add in squash and mix in pan till they are coated in oil.
Then sprinkle on salt and spices, mix thoroughly.
Place in oven for about 20-25mins, turn them every 10min with tongs or flip them with spatula.
Zest the orange, and then juice it.
Mix zest and thyme in the orange juice.
Put the hot squash and juice into serving bowl, stir to incorporate.
You can skip the orange juice as a dressing altogether. The roasted squash on its own is already perfect, a sweet interior with a savory crisp exterior.