My Full Circle Order – Week of June 26th “The Salad Days”
As I do every Friday, I’ll talk about what I have coming in my Full Circle Farm-to-Table order and how I plan to make the most out of my box. On Wednesday I’ll share with you a recipe, cooking tip or the latest find to help you make the most of your order as a Full Circle member. Eating well can be fun and easy, just let the ingredients shine through and enjoy the flavors of the season.
Last night, while standing in front of the fridge, looking at the delicious bounty of organic goodness that was practically pouring out of our crisper drawers, I had a hard time deciding what to make for dinner. There were so many things that I wanted to eat—spring onions (like the ones form Alvarez Farms above), beets, green beans, cabbage, mixed baby salad, escarole. I didn’t know where to start.
Instead of trying to come up with a complete menu plan I just let the veggies take the lead. Beets around our house never last long and usually my first instinct is to just roast them in the oven. On occasion I’ll slice them thin and let them cook in some vinegar, but that takes time and we were hungry.
Luckily these small summer beets take only about 30 minutes in a 400°F oven. Just enough time to pan fry some chicken breasts and whip together the green bean and cherry tomato salad recipe from this weeks Farm Notes. After the beets were peeled and dressed lightly in balsamic vinegar, thinly sliced spring onions, and a pile of thinly sliced greens, we didn’t even notice that we were missing a traditional starch to our dinner.
I think the key to summertime cooking is really to reduce preparation. Invest in good ingredients, like first press extra-virgin olive oil for dressing and high quality vinegars for creating that delicate balance. Use high quality, non-iodized sea salts and freshly ground black pepper. But most of all, use these things sparingly, as just an accent to the natural flavors of your organic fruits and vegetables.
Let them shine through and you’ll challenge your taste buds to explore the deeper and more subtle flavors of the season, and you’ll be all the more healthier for it.
I’m looking forward to a few things next week, Lacinato kale, Beefsteak tomatoes—perfect for a nice BLT or bruschetta—and more escarole, a type of endive that has great nutty tones when lightly grilled over hot coals, and makes a wonderful side with grilled meats. Dress it with a splash of champagne vinegar or even a drizzle of chimichurri.
All in all I think the summer is shaping up to be a good harvest and I’m looking forward to all the great things that are coming our way. Next week—Grilled lamb chops with Mediterranean spices, grilled escarole and a nectarine chutney.