From outdoor movies to beach outings to hikes to cookouts, summer can be a bustle of activity. All that fun can be exhausting! This week, we’re here with foolproof summer comfort food recipes to help you feel nourished so you can keep having fun. In your helter-skelter summer swelter, feel free to dream of cooler days with this hearty–but not too hearty–fare.
One of our favorite recipes this week is Oven-Crusted Eggplant Fennel Parmesan. This lighter take on the Italian classic is a perfect summer adaptation. Make it a local with eggplant from Atlas Farm and fennel from Queen’s Greens, one of our newest farm partners. Cook up your own tomato sauce with add-on heirloom tomatoes, also from Atlas, or skip the slicing and order a jar of Appalachian Naturals Organic tomato puree.
Speaking of tomatoes, we are in the height of local tomato season. While some plants have shriveled in this long dry spell, tomatoes are a bit more adaptive to heat. Tomatoes have travelled a long way from their origins in northern Peru and southern Ecuador, where small patches of tomatoes' wild cousins can be found. Learn more fun tomato facts.
On a hot afternoon, a tomato sandwich may be the ultimate comfort food. We like them with thinly spread mayo on crunchy toast with greens, thinly sliced red onions, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Starting this week, in addition to heirloom tomatoes from Atlas Farm, we will also offer pint containers of grape tomatoes from Lakeside Organics of Hadley. Order your tomatoes today to be sure you don’t miss this fleeting season.
Savor squashSummer squash is also in abundance. This cucurbita is very closely related to many varieties of hard-rind, winter squash, but the whole fruit is edible. Zucchini may be the most common, but you may also find several varieties of yellow squash in your box. These different varieties can be prepared similarly, and are delightful when lightly sautéed. Embrace your inner kid with Baked Zucchini (or other summer squash) Fries.
Maintaining the health of the soil is central to organic farming techniques. One well known companion planting method that has been used for hundreds of years refers to corn, beans and squash as the “Three Sisters”. Planting these three crops near each other helps them promote each others' growth.
The corn stalks provide a place for bean vines to climb, which in turn stabilizes the corn plants. Nitrogen-fixing beans also pull nutrients back into the soil to provide fertility for the next season’s corn. Squash planted around the base of the corn provide shade, keeping weeds down and helping to maintain soil moisture. The spiny squash plants also help deter critters that might like to pilfer the corn ears.
Celebrate soil health with this recipe for Three Sisters Casserole, which combines all three of these summer staples for a satisfying and comforting meal. Order black beans for your box today.
See below for a complete list of this week's local produce.
This Week's Local Produce
The Kitchen Garden
Burke Hill Farm
Lakeside Organics of Hadley
All of the fruits and vegetables we deliver are grown without synthetic pesticides and are USDA certified organic. Interested in receiving produce that's both organic and locally sourced all year round? Check out our Local Dogma Box.
Similar to a CSA or farm share, our Local Dogma Box is filled with the best organic produce from local and regional farms and brought right to your door each week. It's the easiest way to eat like a locavore!