7/28/11

Thinking (Mostly) Greek

Yassou, readers! I’m JP Bowersock, and I’ll be taking this column over from Lauren. I hope you’ll find it as enjoyable as it was in her very capable hands. Here’s what we have this week:
Photo by Cynthia Lamb
Small Share
Cucumber
Garlic
2 Onions
Summer Squash
Zucchini
Tomatoes

Large Share

Cucumber
Garlic
2 Onions
Summer Squash
Zucchini
Tomatoes
2# Beans
1 Bunch Kale
1/3# Salad Mix

Looking at this week’s CSA preview the first thing I think is Greece. Vivid blue water lapping against perfect beaches, where you sit at outdoor tables sipping retsina while toying with an hortakia (Greek salad) as the heat of the day breaks. We’ve got cucumber, tomato and onion coming in; all you need is a little feta cheese and some olives and you’re set. Dress sliced tomato, cucumber and onion with a squeeze of lemon and a splash of olive oil, after arranging attractively on a plate. Just slice the onion very thin so it doesn’t overpower everything else. Top with feta cheese and olives. Throw in some bread and a glass of wine and you have a nice, light summer meal. For something even lighter go for a shepherd’s salad, replacing the feta with chopped parsley. Light is good in this heat.

We can stay on a Greek theme. The Greeks love their vegetables sautéed in generous amounts of olive oil and garlic, then simmered with crushed tomatoes. (Season with a pinch of salt and maybe a little oregano). This treatment would work for the summer squash. It would also work for the beans those with a large share will be getting. In fact, those with the beans can literally beef them up into a main dish by adding some browned ground beef (or lamb, if that‘s how you roll). That would make for a complete meal with some rice or bread.

For the kale in the large share I’d head across the Mediterranean to the Iberian Peninsula for a soup that would be equally at home in Spain or Portugal. Finely chop the kale and sauté in heavy bottomed pot with onion and garlic in olive oil with a pinch of salt. Add water or broth and a peeled potato cut in chunks. Simmer until potato is soft. Mash it all together with a potato masher. Taste and reason. If you share the Iberian love of cured pork you could add a little ham to the soup for extra flavor. (The Portuguese would use their chourico, a dry cured pork sausage).

Whatever you choose to do, enjoy your veggies!

-JP

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