This is easily one of my favorite seasonal meals. It’s a mix of just about every summer veggie I can get my hands on, topped with zesty grilled chicken. AND it’s a great way to throw something together out of all the odds and ends of your CSA share at the end of summer. If there are certain vegetables you prefer more than others, I encourage you to tailor the recipe to your tastes. Particularly as the seasonal offerings change, you can make substitutions based on what’s available. No matter what, I promise you’ll be coming back for seconds! End-of-summer Fiesta Salad By Holly Rodricks Makes 4 servings. Ingredients: Quick Chicken Marinate – 2-3 Chicken Breasts (or 1.5 – 2 lbs. chicken or other poultry), cut into tender-sized strips 1 tsp. Onion Powder 1 tsp. Garlic Powder 1 tsp. dried Oregano 1 tsp. dried Basil 3/4 tsp. Salt 3/4 tsp. Pepper 1/3 cup White Wine* 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice (Optional) 1 tbsp. Olive Oil Grilled Veggies – 3-4 Zucchini, sliced diagonally lengthwise into long, flat pieces 3-4 Colored Bell Peppers, seeded and quartered Any other veggies of choice that you enjoy grilled Olive Oil Salt and Pepper to taste Salad – 1 bag Spring Mix (or 1 head Lettuce, chopped) 1 small Cucumber, sliced 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved, or 1 Heirloom Tomato, chopped bite-sized 1 Avocado, sliced (optional) 1 cup Black Beans, canned or cooked 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded Salsa of choice Instructions: Mix all marinate ingredients together and allow to sit for 5 minutes until dried herbs re-hydrate a bit. Add Chicken to marinate and toss to evenly coat. Allow to sit for a minimum of 20-30 minutes, or as along as a full day. (I like to get the Chicken in the marinate in the morning before heading out for the day, and grill it when I’m home for dinner.) While Chicken is marinating, toss Zucchini and Colored Peppers in olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover and let sit for as long as Chicken marinates. Grill marinated Chicken and vegetables. When done, set aside to cook slightly. Fill salad bowls with Spring Mix and layer with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Avocados, and Black Beans. Sprinkle with Monterrey Jack Cheese. Slice cooled Chicken and grilled veggies into thin strips and lay over salad. Top with heaping spoonful of Salsa and enjoy! *If you don’t have any White Wine on hand, substitute equal parts Vinegar and Water adding up to 1/3 cup and add 1 tsp. Sugar.
Goulash was already family favorite in my house before I started using fresh heirloom tomatoes instead of their canned plum cousins. This recipe was birthed out of a creative stroke of inspiration and more heirlooms than I could keep up with before they spoiled. As the old saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and so my summer goulash was born. The sweetness of the heirloom tomatoes gives this dish a fresh, lively new life, and it always seems to disappear just as soon as I make it! Summer Goulash with Heirloom Tomatoes By Holly Rodricks Makes 4-6 servings. Ingredients: 1 lb. Ground Beef 3-4 medium-sized Heirloom Tomatoes, blanched, peeled*, cored, and chopped roughly 3-4 cloves Garlic, minced Pinch of Baking Soda 8-10 leaves of Basil, thinly sliced Salt & Pepper to taste 1 lb. Macaroni or medium-sized, textured pasta of choice (Rotini, Fusili, etc.) Freshly grated Parmesan Instructions: Cook Ground Beef in a large skillet over medium heat until almost done. Remove from pan with slotted spoon, and set aside. Use oil from Beef remaining in pan to sauté Onions until translucent and soft. Add minced Garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes, until aromatic. Add Tomatoes and Beef, and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add Baking Soda, Sugar, Basil, and Salt and Pepper to taste, and increase heat to medium-high. Stir regularly, allowing to bubble for 15-20 minutes, or until tomato liquid thickens slightly and reduces by half. While liquid is reducing, cook pasta in salted water, and drain when cooked. Add pasta to skillet with all other ingredients. Mix thoroughly to combine. Serve hot, garnished with fresh Parmesan. *The tomatoes must be peeled to create the desired sauce in this recipe. To do this, fill a medium-sized pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. When the water is bubbling, drop your tomatoes in and let them sit in the boiling water for 30 second. Remove them with a ladle or tongs and put them in a sink full of cold water. Once they have cooled, the skins should peel right off.
Heirloom tomato harvest is in full swing on the farm, and with the bounty that surrounds us, some tips are in order! Before getting into all of that, though, let’s talk about what makes these tomatoes just so special: They are a variety that is many generations old! If you plant their seeds, the same variety will consistently grow (unlike the hybrid tomatoes at the grocery store, which yield unpredictable results). They are naturally more disease-resistant than commercial tomatoes, but they have a shorter shelf life. Due to this somewhat fragile nature, we keep ours growing in our greenhouses, where they are safe and cozy. They lack the genetic mutation that makes conventional tomatoes perfectly round and red but, in exchange, can produce more natural sugars within the fruit, making them much more flavorful. Their many colors signify the presence of phytochemicals (disease-fighting, immune-boosting super substances) that are classified into the carotenoids (red, orange, purple), flavonoids (orange, yellow) and glucosinolates (greens), meaning they are saturated with nutrients that fight cancer and inflammation and act as pro-provitamins! Now, on to the tips! Don’t be alarmed by how heirloom tomatoes look. They are often multi-colored, crazily shaped, and enormous, but they are perfect for eating! Never refrigerate your tomatoes. It will actually make them mealy. Store them on your counter at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. We pick our tomatoes only when they’re perfectly ripe and ready to eat on the very same day we pack them into on your CSA shares or bring them to the market. This ensures that you get the freshest, most optimal produce possible. These lovely, ripe tomatoes should be gobbled up within a few days of receiving them. If you find yourself with too many tomatoes on your hands, they freeze wonderfully. Simply blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds, peel off the thin skin, and core. Freeze whole or diced, depending on your preference. Make sure to leave about an inch of head space in the container or bag in which you pack them, as they will expand while freezing.