Thursday, August 30, 2012

Harvest Box for August 30, 2012

AKA: I Have Too Many Tomatoes!!!  

This week is not going to be so much about what you can do with the veggies in your order, but what I did tonight with the veggies in my order.  Each week I look at the list when it comes on Monday to see if there might be something I want extra of that week but I don't really start thinking about the list seriously until Wednesday or Thursday when I write the blog.  So this week, I'm unpacking my box and look, a lovely 3 orange tomatoes, ummm, they will go well with my 2 that I still have from last week.  Ooohhh and look, another lovely pint of cherry tomatoes to go with my other pint from last week.  And WOW, a clamshell full of Roma tomatoes.  (NB - you can return the empty clamshell in your blue tote box and Ferme aux Pleines Saveurs will recycle it)  And then I look over to the counter where I have 2 large bowls of tomatoes picked from our garden.  The plans for the evening suddenly changed.

What was to be a quiet evening of finding some recipes, writing the blog, maybe reading, and heading to bed early has turned into a marathon of cooking, prepping, canning, and figuring out what to do with the tomato bounty.  As I type, there are still two lovely pints of mixed cherry tomatoes sitting in front of me, but that's the best I could do on short notice.  And photos to document it all.

As I stated last week, the leeks were going to get used in soup, never happened, but now that I had two from last week and two more this week, I couldn't let the other two go bad, so a batch of Leek and Potato Soup onto the stove.

Why can't this wait until another night when I don't have to spend a couple of hours writing?  Because we are headed to the cottage this weekend, and I decided earlier today that I would make a Mediterranean Rice Salad knowing that I was getting some red peppers in the order.  I am not really sure where this recipe came from, but it is one of my favorites.
3 c. cooked long grain rice
1 c. cooked wild rice
1 c. feta, crumbled
1/2 c. chopped red onion
1/3. c. each of red, yellow, and green pepper, finely chopped (use the green from last week and the red from this week)
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1/4 c. each chopped black and green olives
2 tbsp capers
1-15oz can of cannellini beans (ordered those a while back as well)

Combine all of that in a large bowl and mix well.

3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 clove of garlic, minced

Mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl with a whisk.  Pour over the rice mixture and combine well.  Serve chilled, and even better the next day.

The wild rice is still cooling as I type before I can add it to the salad.

 Beets, from last week.  I cooked them last night and since I was on a roll, I decided that they might as well get pickled.  This is the easy recipe from my London Olympics post from a few weeks ago.  Super easy, can't wait to try them.  Make sure to process them as directed.

And the tomatoes - what to do with that many tomatoes?  I looked up a lot of options online.  You could check out the Top Ten Ways to Use Up Tomatoes.  The Tomato Medley recipe from last week is a great option to use up all three types at once.  You could certainly slice the orange tomatoes and have a nice toasted tomato sandwich with some mayo, salt and pepper.  Or as I saw on one "what to do with too many tomatoes" post - upgrade the simple toasted tomato sandwich with a thicker bread, some gouda, and fresh basil.  Layer the tomatoes first onto the bread, top with the gouda, place under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly then top with some shredded basil and cracked pepper.

Most sites suggest roasting the tomatoes or baking them on low heat to dry them for future use.  A lot of recipes also suggest making tomato sauce or paste and then freezing it.  You can also just dry pack the tomatoes (put them in a Ziploc and take out as much air as possible) and freeze them.  When you want to use the tomatoes, bring them out of the freezer, run them under warm water to remove the skins and use in sauces or soups.  If we weren't going to be a the cottage this weekend, I would probably take the time to make a nice pasta sauce with the Romas, the garlic, and some fresh herbs from my pot.

However, I had a soup on the stove, 2 jars of beets waiting to be processed, and a some wild rice about to be drained for a salad - I opted for the least time consuming option.  This title Grab the Blender caught my eye.  So, a bit of sacrilege to some fine tomatoes, but not even a minute in the food processor and I had first some lovely orange tomato juice and secondly some red tomato juice.  I have put it in small storage bags and into the freezer.  Not even 20 minutes of my time, and I will use that juice for sauces and soups over the next few months.  I won't feel bad about any tomatoes going bad, and I won't resent my garden from overdosing on caprese salad, tomato sandwiches, and pasta with tomatoes!

The soup is done, the beets are in the canner, and I am just about done typing.  I want to leave you with one last recipe that I will be making tomorrow night with the Savoy Cabbage and Red Pepper.  It's a Napa Cabbage Salad (sub the Savoy for the Napa) and is similar to a Japanese Coleslaw recipe that I may have given you in the past.  I apologize if it's a repeat, but it's a good one.

1 large cabbage, chopped
2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
Place chopped cabbage, onion, and red pepper in a large salad bowl

1/4 c. butter
1 c. slivered almonds
2 pkgs chicken flavored ichiban noodles with the seasoning mix
Melt the butter in the frying pan, then add the almonds, broken noodles, and seasonings.  Saute until almonds are golden.  Add to cabbage mixture and toss.

1c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp. soya sauce
1/3 c. sugar
Shake the dressing ingredients in a jar or resealable container.  Consider only making half the dressing or pour about 1/2 the dressing over the salad and toss at least 30 min before serving.  If you made a full batch of dressing, you will have leftovers, refrigerate and use again.

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