Blooming Glen Farm | summer squash
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summer squash Tag

Varieties of summer squash and zucchini are are abundant during the summer — which is a very good thing! (And to clarify, at the farm we just call it all summer squash, of which this week’s dark gold and green zucchini is included under that heading. I am referring here to the lighter yellow squash as “summer squash”- it is also milder in flavor than the gold and green zucchini varieties that Blooming Glen grows). These light and mild veggies are not only delicious, but also healthy and versatile. Nutritionally speaking, the manganese in squash helps promote strength by building strong bones and connective tissues. As we know, vitamin C supports our immune systems, preventing colds and other infections, but it’s also an antioxidant that can help protect our bodies from the damage caused by pollution. Finally, the fiber in zucchini and summer squash aids digestion and promotes a healthy gut. In order to get all these benefits, it’s important to skip the peeler; like most other vegetables and fruits, a lot of the healthy stuff in zucchini and summer squash lives in or near the skin. Instead of peeling, simply rinse off the veggies under running water to remove any dirt. Here are a few tips for using up your stock of zucchini and summer squash:

  • Dice ’em up: Diced zucchini and summer squash can be added to soups, stir-fries, chilis, crepes and quiches, stews, curries, spaghetti sauce and rice. They can also be enjoyed raw, mixed into pasta salad, grain salads and green salads.
  • Cut into coins: Sliced zucchini and summer squash make a great topping for pizza, taste great layered into lasagna, or used in casseroles.
  • Savory pancakes: Add grated squash and zucchini to whole wheat pancake mix, along with some garlic powder and chopped spring onion. Serve with a dab of sour cream for a savory, summery side dish.
  • On the grill: Slice zucchini and squash lengthwise, into planks and spray lightly with high-heat cooking oil. Place on hot grill or grill pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for 5-10 mins., until tender and charred, flipping once.
  • Thicken up soups: Cook and puree squash and zucchini to use as a creamy soup base.
  • Preserving: Shred and freeze zucchini and squash to preserve. Use thawed veggies in breads, muffins, casseroles, fritattas, and quiches.

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the most common barriers to health eating that I hear is time. Between family & friends, work & school, hobbies & activities, there just never seems to be enough time, does there?

There are two tricks that I always recommend — and use myself: 1) A little meal planning & food prep each week, and 2) A repertoire of quick, simple, & adaptable recipes.  The Summer Veggie Noodle Bowl here serves double duty, playing a part in both of those tricks!  Prepare a big batch at the beginning of the week & reheat for lunches or dinners throughout the week, & when the seasons (or contents of your pantry) change, simply adapt the ingredients to what’s available.  Bonus: this dish taste great both hot & cold.

Summer Veggie Noodle Bowl

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Sauce
2/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup tamari or liquid aminos
2 TBS sesame oil
3 TBS agave (or other sweetener)
6 gloves garlic, minced
1/2+ tsp crushed red pepper

Noodle bowl
1 package (~10 oz) brown rice vermicelli*
1 tsp sesame oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cups zucchini &/or summer squash, shredded or julienned
2 cups carrots, shredded or julienned
kernels from 2 ears of corn
1 head escarole, chopped
1 can (~1-3/4 cups) black soy beans**
Sesame seeds for garnish
* Or 1 package (~9 oz) whole grain soba noodles or 1 package (~8 oz) whole wheat angel hair pasta.  Or, change it to a whole grain bowl & use any whole grain (brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, etc.)
** Or shelled edamame, chickpeas, adzuki, other bean, or any other protein of your choice.

Directions
In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients until combined & then set aside.

Prepare noodles per package instructions, drain & stir in a small splash of sesame oil to prevent sticking.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions for 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Add zucchini, carrots, corn, escarole, & 1/3* of the sauce & sauté for 5-7 minutes, until heated through. Stir in beans & sauté another 5 minutes, until beans are heated & escarole is cooked down. Stir in noodles & 1/3* of the sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until everything is heated through. Garnish with sesame seeds & serve immediately.

* If you’re making a batch that will be reheated, reserve 1/3 of the sauce for reheating.  Otherwise, use 1/2 the sauce while cooking the veggies & 1/2 the sauce when stirring in the noodles.

gfg_head shot mPost and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

Raw veggies for squash saladHappy Summer! As the temperatures rise this season, many of us find it harder to crank up the stove top or oven to get meals onto the table. This is a natural time of year to crave cooler, fresher ingredients that require little-to-no cooking — and eating these raw foods do provide us with benefits:

Eating our foods in a more raw form provides a different nutritional profile than eating a food cooked. For instance, ounce-for-ounce, raw Swiss chard has almost twice the amount of Vitamin C and almost three times the amount of Vitamin K than cooked Swiss chard. Similarly, raw zucchini offers much more folate and Omega-3 fatty acids than its cooked counterpart. Many people also find raw foods cleansing, as they often promote efficient digestion and a happy gut. Raw food also encourages us to slow down while eating, simply because it takes us longer to chew, which is a wonderful way to support portion control and mindful eating. All those benefits, and fresh, raw veggies also taste great (especially those from Blooming Glen 😉 )!

The recipe below uses lots of raw veggies from this week’s share, including summer squash, zucchini, green onion, dill, lettuce, and Swiss chard. By shredding the zucchini and chopping the greens, we’re helping out our belly a bit, making it easier to digest those veggies. As always, feel free to use this recipe as a base, an experiment with whatever vegetables, greens, and beans you happen to have on hand in the coming weeks.

Mostly Raw Mediteranean Squash SaladMediterranean Shredded Squash Salad

Ingredients
3 zucchini and/or squash, shredded
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 green onion including greens, chopped
12-15 kalamata olives, sliced
5-6 sprigs dill, chopped (basil would also be good)
Chopped lettuce and/or Swiss chard

Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic scape, minced
sea salt and ground black pepper

Optional: Pine nuts, capers, dried figs, dried apricots, feta cheese

Method
In a small bowl (I use a glass measuring cup), whisk together the dressing ingredients. In a larger bowl, combine all the other ingredients, except for the lettuce/chard. Pour the dressing over squash mixture and stir to combine well. Place a handful of chopped greens on a plate, top with a big scoop of the squash salad. Serve with optional toppings.

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

Grilled summer squashOne of my favorite parts of summer is the time we get to spend cooking and eating outside.  Grilling vegetables brings out a depth of flavor that just cannot be matched on the stovetop, and we’ve been taking full advantage of that with this season’s CSA share.  One of the best veggies to grill is summer squash and its partner, zuchinni.

Eating summer squash provides us with cancer-fighting antioxidant nutrients Grilled summer squashvitamin A, vitamin C and manganese. We also get a healthy dose of essential minerals magnesium and potassium, as well as copper. However, because many of these nutrients live in the skin of the squash, we need to make sure we leave it intact. Grilling summer squash allows us to do just that!

Of course, squash can be cubed or cut into disks for kabobs, but I really like it when its cut into planks and placed right on the grates of a hot grill. The recipe below calls for this method of cooking; give it a try and let us know what you think. I’ve paired the delicious and nutritious summer squashes with superfoods, brown rice and Swiss chard, and healthy plant protein from chickpeas. All that wrapped up into a summery salad suitable for a main dish or a side — that’s tough to beat!

Grilled summer squash

Grilled Summer Squash & Brown Rice Salad

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice
3-4 summer squash and/or zucchini, sliced lengthwise, about 1/4″ thick
5-6 leaves Swiss chard, stems completely removed (slice the stem out from between the two halves of the leaves)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 sweet onion and some of its greens, chopped

Dressing
2 tbs olive oil (or other oil of your choice)
1 tsp grated lemon zest plus 2 tbs juice
1/2 teaspoon agave
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh herbs of your choice (basil works great here), chopped
additional salt and pepper to taste

Method
Cook the rice according to package directions.

Fire up your grill! Lay out the squash slices. Lightly spray each side with grapeseed (or other high-heat) oil, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once the grill is heated, place the squash in one layer, cover and cook for ~3 minutes, until grill marks are apparent. Flip and cook another couple minutes, again until grill marks are apparent. Squash cooks very quickly on the grill and can become soggy (especially the larger ones) if left on too long, so be careful not to overcook. Remove from heat and let cool.

Blanch the Swiss chard in boiling water for 2 minutes, rinse in cold water and chop. Add chard, onion, chickpeas to a serving bowl.

Cut squash into a large dice and add to the bowl; you should have about 2 cups.  Gently stir in rice.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and then add to salad, stirring to combine everything. Adjust seasonings to taste.  Serve at room temperature, or chill.  This salad also make a great stuffing for tortillas or collard wraps.

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

Garlic scapes are the flower shoots that grow from the hard-neck varieties of garlic grown here on the farm. By plucking them from the plant, we encourage the bulbs to grow fat in the ground and simultaneously get yet another way to enjoy garlicky goodness.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the mass of these curlicues you’ve acquired in the last two weeks. Garlic scapes are wonderfully versatile. In any recipe that calls for garlic, you can replace one clove for about one scape. Because they are milder than cloves, garlic scapes can also be eaten more like a side dish than a seasoning. Just chop several into 2-inch segments and sauté on high heat with a bit of oil until they are tender and a bit caramelized.

I use garlic scape and kale pesto in this recipe to make a delicious filling for chickpea flour crepes. It may look and sound fancy, but it was a synch to whip up (I did it in about 10 minutes over lunch the other day). Chickpea flour is now widely available as a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour (I think I even found it in the local Landis). If you can’t find it or don’t have it, the recipe should work just fine with whole-wheat flour.

Use the leftovers of this pungent pesto to add flavor to soup or steamed veggies, toss with pasta, or garnish a rich piece of grilled meat.

Chickpea Flour Crepes with Savory Sautéed Veggies

Heat a small amount of oil or butter in a non-stick or cast iron pan. When oil is hot, add 1 cup sliced summer squash. When squash is tender, add 1 cup chopped kale, Swiss chard, or beet greens. Cook until greens are just wilted. Toss veggies with 2 tablespoons garlic scape pesto.

Whisk together one egg, ½ cup chickpea flour, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Slowly whisk in warm water until the batter becomes thin and pourable (thinner than pancake batter).

Ladle a small amount of the batter onto a hot, non-stick griddle or pan. Using the back of the ladle, spread the batter into a thin layer about the size of a tortilla. Carefully flip the crepe with a large spatula when the top starts to form bubbles and the bottom is golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Spoon some vegetable mixture in the center of a crepe, sprinkle with some crumbled goat or feta cheese, and fold crepe over into a large taco shape.

Garlic Scape and Kale Pesto

In a food processor combine:

4-5 garlic scapes, chopped
½ cup kale, chopped
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds (*pesto hint: you can replace pine nuts with sunflower seeds in almost any pesto recipe for a nearly identical taste at a much more affordable price)
juice of 1 small lemon
pinch of salt

Process until garlic and kale are minced and ingredients are well blended together. Pesto can be stored in the fridge for about a week.

Text and photography by Kate Darlington – Blooming Glen Farm second year intern, Colorado native, and food lover. 

Squash CasseroleLucky for us, zucchini and yellow squash are not just a reliable and tasty summer staple, they’re also a great source of nutrition! When we eat summer squash, we benefit from the cancer-fighting antioxidant nutrients vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese. We also get a healthy dose of essential minerals magnesium and potassium, as well as copper. Because many of these nutrients live in the skin of the squash, be sure to leave the skin intact and choose organically grown — like those from Blooming Glen Farm. As is true with most veggies, in terms of nutrient retention, steaming is a much better cooking method than microwaving or boiling.

I usually serve the vegan version (see options below) of this quick and easy squash casserole with a side of greens and BBQ tempeh — best eaten outside, of course! You can make this casserole throughout the growing season; in the spring/early summer, simply substitute with young and more delicate squash, and cut the steaming time by a couple minutes.

Squash Casserole

Steam 5 cups sliced yellow squash, 5 cups sliced zucchini, and 2 onions, sliced or cut into this wedges, in a steamer basket until tender, about 5 minutes. Lightly grease a large casserole dish with butter or grapeseed oil. Add a layer of squash, zucchini and onion in the casserole dish, top with a thin coating of whole wheat Italian bread crumbs (or, season your own); repeat until all the veggies are in the dish.

In a small bowl, stir and combine 3/4 cup breadcrumbs with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes, 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley and 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Sprinkle the mixture over the vegetables and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until cooked through and browned on top to your liking.

Recipe and photo by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder and -owner of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy living and eating on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

Now that the worst of that torrential heat wave from last week is waning, I find myself finally able to make my way back into the kitchen and near a stove for the first time in weeks. I’ve been eating mostly cold salads and ice cream lately, so the idea of a baked-cheesy-crispy-veggie-something sounded perfect. This is a variation of a classic French dish that simply involves layering vegetables and topping them with cheesy, herby breadcrumbs. Before you get started, I recommend making your own breadcrumbs. You can buy them at the store pre-made, but I find a very noticeable difference in them from the ones you make from scratch. One of my favorite bloggers, Smitten Kitchen, gives these valuable tips on the ease of making your own:

May I implore you, nay, beg you to forgo store-bought breadcrumbs and make your own? It is too simple not to. Take any bread at all — I mean your favorite kind, rolls the pizza place sent you with your salad, the crusts off your kid’s sandwich — leave it out overnight and pulse it in the food processor the next morning: instant breadcrumbs that will put that sawdust in a can to shame! In a rush? Fresh bread grinds up well, too, whether or not you toast it first. Planning ahead? Make a lot and keep it in the freezer. Breadcrumbs, at the ready!

Once you have the breadcrumbs ready, this impressive summer gratin layered with new potatoes, tomatoes and summer squash will be ready for quick assembly.

Provencal Summer Gratin

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees and oil a large cast iron or baking dish with equivalent volume.

-Thinly slice about 1 pound of new potatoes and assemble them at the bottom of the pan, slightly overlapping the layers. Salt and pepper generously.

-Slice about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of red tomatoes (slice up an heirloom to throw in for variation if you have it). Arrange layer of tomatoes on top of potatoes. Salt and pepper.

-Thinly slice 2 gloves of garlic and arrange atop the tomatoes. Sprinkle some dried oregano and thyme.

-Cut 2 summer squash into 1/4 inch slices and layer on top of tomatoes and garlic. Salt and pepper.

-Pour 1/4 cup of chicken broth and 2 tablespoons of olive oil over layers (for cooking moisture)

-Take 1 cup of homemade breadcrumbs and mix in a small bowl with 1/2 cup of parmigiano reggiano or pecorino cheese and a dash of dried oregano and thyme. Sprinkle over veggie layers.

-Bake gratin for 40-45 minutes. Cool slightly. ENJOY!!

Recipe and photos by Jana Smart- Blooming Glen Farm employee and frequent creator of creative recipes using farm fresh seasonal ingredients. Check out more of her recipes on her food blog http://www.agrarianeats.blogspot.com/

Chef Rich of Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service joined us on Tuesday for a demonstration and tasting. Chef Rich has been a regular here at the farm over the years, doing demos during CSA pick-ups, as well as at our festivals. It’s always a pleasure to chat with him, as I seem to learn something new each time. This Tuesday morning he popped over to the farm and picked up some fresh picked veggies and herbs, then after a little prep, returned in the afternoon. As he fired up the grill and hot pad, a steady flow of people were drawn over, enticed by the wonderful aromas coming from his table. He happily shared his take on grilled veggies, which I immediately fell in love with for its surprising hint of tarragon. Of course, with the addition of any combination of fresh herbs, the recipe can be adapted to suit your taste. Or, you can always call Chef Rich, and he’ll turn your CSA share into meals for you!

Grilled Vegetable Salad (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

Chef Rich's Grilled Vegetable Salad

Begin by whisking the following ingredients together in a large bowl:

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Slowly whisk in 6 tablespoons olive oil until thoroughly incorporated.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dressing. 

Next, add your prepped veggies to the marinade:

3 small to medium zucchini or yellow squash, cut in thick slices lengthwise
1 onion, any variety, sliced into 1/2 inch thich rounds. Be sure to keep the onion rounds together in the marinade for ease of grilling later
1-2 tomatoes, cored and cut in half
1/4 pound green beans, blanched and cut into bite-sized pieces (beans can also be grilled on a grill pan, if you have one)

Marinate veggies in the dressing for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Meanwhile, get your grill ready.

For a gas grill: turn all the burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes.  Then lower the burners to medium-high.

Clean and oil cooking grate, then place the marinated veggies on the grill. Grill the squash and onion (covered if using gas) until charred and tender, 4-6 minutes per side.  Grill the tomatoes, cut side-down, on the coolest part of the grill until they start to soften, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove veggies (the skin will slip right off the tomatoes) and chop into 1” pieces and toss with reserved dressing, and beans. 

Add in your fresh herbs: 2 tablespoons minced basil, 1 tablespoon minced parsley, 1 tablespoon minced tarragon.

Cool for 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

To contact Chef Rich Baringer of Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service, call 215-804-6438, email: dinnersdonepa@comcast.net
or check out his website: www.MyChefSite.com/DinnersDonePA

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

With an abundance of summer squash rolling in from the fields every week, we figured you might need a few more creative recipe ideas to keep things interesting with this versatile veggie.

This first recipe is a roasted zucchini dish that was inspired by my time spent on the Aegean coast of Turkey. The combination of lightly cooked veggies, yogurt, raw garlic and fresh herbs is a staple “mezze” (small tapas style) dish that can be found on any Turkish dinner table. Since the Turks rarely cook their garlic, this dish normally packs a bit of garlicky heat. The fresh green garlic you are getting from the share will have a more mild and subtle raw garlic flavor so don’t shy away from it. You can eat this as a simple side dish or put it in the food processor to use as a dip with cucumber and pita (which is what I did here).

Zucchini Salad with Yogurt (Yogurtlu Kabak Salatasi)


-Preheat oven to 400 degrees

-Chop 2-3 medium sized summer squash (zucchini or yellow squash) into cubes and toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a dash of salt.

-Spread on baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes or so until squash is tender and slightly caramelized. Let cool slightly.

-Put squash into food processor with:

1-2 cloves of green garlic
1/2 cup of greek style yogurt
a handful of herbs (dill, parsley, and mint all work nicely)
the juice from half a lemon

-Salt to taste and sprinkle with feta cheese.  Serve with a dipper like cucumbers or pita bread.

**If you want it a bit chunkier to serve as a side dish, just pulse the above ingredients in the food processor and fold it into the roasted squash cubes.

Baked Summer Squash Frittata

This “frittata” is remarkably simple and makes a delicious light lunch alongside a salad. It also keeps great in the fridge and can be reheated for breakfast the next day. Since it is made with yogurt, flour and baking powder it isn’t a classic frittata. However, I find this recipe to be much lighter than other varieties made with only eggs. As the season progresses, you can add in other ingredients (like cherry tomatoes!) for a different variation on this brunch favorite.

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees

-Lightly oil a cast-iron pan or pie dish

-In a large bowl, mix:

3 cups of grated summer squash
1 sweet onion
2 gloves of green garlic, minced
4 eggs
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup of yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
a handful of herbs (parsley, dill, chives, etc)
salt and pepper to taste

-Pour into greased pan and bake for 35-45 minutes (or until golden brown on the top). Let cool and serve along size a big dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

ENJOY!

Recipe and photos by Jana Smart- Blooming Glen Farm employee and frequent creator of creative recipes using farm fresh seasonal ingredients. Check out more of her recipes on her food blog http://www.agrarianeats.blogspot.com/

As spring moves into summer, the season of barbecues, picnics and parties is upon us. And so is the season of summer squash! If you’ve ever planted them in your garden, you know what a bumper crop squash can be once they get going — here at the farm, it’s no exception. Try this fresh recipe to help you use your share of the bountiful harvest and entertain in style. Fresh spring rolls will always wow a crowd, but they are actually pretty easy to make. Keep this recipe on hand throughout the summer and swap in different veggies as your CSA share changes.

Summer Squash Spring Rolls

Start by preparing the filling ingredients:

2 medium summer squash, grated
2 spring onions, cut into long thin strips
6 swiss chard leaves, de-stemmed and cut in half
1 bunch cilantro, de-stemmed
1 bunch basil and/or mint (optional), de-stemmed

Place these in piles on a cutting board or plate. Now, prepare an assembly station: Fill a baking pan with a bit of hot water. Next to the water, you’ll need two clean plates — one to work on and one to put the finished product on. Now you’re ready to roll!

Begin with a package of Spring Roll Wrappers (also known as rice paper wrappers, found in the Asian section of most grocery and health food stores). Soak one rice paper wrapper in the water for about 15 seconds, until it is soft and pliable. Lay the wrapper flat on the plate and fold in the right and left sides. Stack the filling, starting with swiss chard, on top of the wrapper — kind of like you would do a burrito.

Wrap the bottom edge over the veggies, rolling it up as tight as you can. The wrapper will stick to itself as it dries. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers. Cut each roll in half. Serve with Peanut Dipping Sauce. Makes 24 rolls

Peanut Dipping Sauce

Whisk together:

1/2 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable broth or coconut milk
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (substitute white wine vinegar if needed)
1 tablespoon sweet chile sauce, or 1 teaspoon tabasco
Juice of 1 lime
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated or finely minced

Serve with spring rolls. Use any leftovers as a dip for other fresh veggies like kohlrabi and turnips.

Recipe contributed by Kate Darlington – Blooming Glen Farm intern, Colorado native, and food lover.