From outdoor movies to beach outings to hikes to cookouts, we're all into making the most of these last days of summer, and that includes taking advantage of all the fabulous produce available this time of year - eggplant, summer squash, tomatoes, corn and more! This week we’re here with foolproof late August comfort food recipes that'll help you embrace the summer vibe while eating healthy and locally.
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 local with eggplant from Kitchen Garden farm and fennel from Atlas Farm. Cook up your own tomato sauce with Atlas Farm's add-on heirloom tomatoes, or skip the slicing and order a jar of their local organic tomato puree.
Summer 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.
THREE SISTERS CASSEROLE
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.
Eating Locally Year Round
Summer is the easiest time of year for eating locally, with all the farms taking advantage of the good weather and long days filled with sunshine to grow delicious, organic summer produce. All the while they're also making preparations for winter crops to sustain them, and you, through our long winter season, making eating locally throughout the year a possibility. Interested in receiving produce that's both organic and locally sourced all year round? Check out our Local Box.
Similar to a CSA or farm share, our Local 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!