CSA Week #13, and Gazpacho Salsa
The theme for this week’s CSA Share: show a little love for the pattypan squash! We received 10 — count ’em, 10 — pattypan squash. Now, I like summer squash as much as the next person, but I have to admit that I’m not brimming over with ideas for cooking with them. I did come across these two recipes in the August issue of Gourmet, which seem great for using all the vegetables we’re inundated with this time of year. Yummy!
This week’s share also included:
- baby salad greens
- 2 Japanese eggplant
- 3 onions
- 2 plump garlic cloves
- oodles of carrots
- various tomatoes
On top of all the delicious vegetables above, we are now in prime pepper season here! One of my favorite stands at the Farmer’s Market has had gorgeous, gorgeous colored peppers for the past few weeks.
These literally stopped me dead in my tracks when I spotted them — they were all shades of red, yellow, orange, purple, and every sunset hue in between. They’re organic, too: how could I not buy a huge bag?? (Bell peppers are near the top of the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of produce that retains the highest levels of pesticides…a very good reason to choose organic.)
The gorgeous colors in the peppers were echoed in the lovely, vibrant dahlias at a nearby cut flower stand, too.
The abundance of peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and celery meant that I was finally able to try a recipe I’d kept filed away in the back of my mind all summer, waiting for the time when all the vegetables came into season: gazpacho salsa!
(Click “more” to continue reading and the recipe)
I’d seen the recipe originally on epicurious, but altered it somewhat to my tastes. It’s colorful, crunchy, garlicky, perfect for an appetizer or snack (or even lunch in a pinch) with some tortilla chips or pita chips. Spanish smoked paprika is the key ingredient: it lends a deep, smoky (not particularly spicy) flavor to the salsa, which is just wonderful. The original recipe had olives and quite a bit of olive oil; I cut down the amount of oil slightly and eliminated the olives in favor of upping the crunchiness with more cucumber and some chopped celery. It’s a rainbow of vegetables in the bowl! (Oh, and a great way to practice your knife skills…)
Beyond just eating it with your favorite chip, it would also be a great taco filling or bruschetta topping. It keeps well – the flavors just meld with time – so it lends itself really well to snacking (um..not that I’m speaking from experience.) So colorful, too!
Oh, and one more note: like the new theme and header? I’ve been antsy to change things up for some time now, and I like the idea of rotating header images to go with the seasons. Those tomatoes are straight-from-the-garden…and the rest of the theme is just a little lighter and incorporates more white space. Cleaning out and cleaning up for fall!
Adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2008
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt (can add more to taste at the end)
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 medium cucumber, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Combine the tomatoes, garlic, cucumber, peppers, onion, celery, and parsley in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and gently toss to coat.
Serve with tortilla chips, whole wheat pita chips, as a taco filling, as a bruschetta topping, etc.