Just a Little Dirt

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store) My aunt made this dish at a family gathering a few years ago. It was such a smash hit that I asked for the recipe. She cut it out of the paper and gave me the clipping. I have heard of other versions of this called Texas Caviar, which uses more Southwest flavors like jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and lime juice. It is different every time I make it, as the basic recipe is so easy. Sometimes I add corn kernels, sometimes I add farro or quinoa, sometimes I change up the beans, but it always turns out great. It is perfect for picnics, too, as it doesn’t need to be kept cool. I really hope you try this one!   Mississippi Caviar Ingredients 1 can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 large green bell pepper 1 large red...

Storage Store summer squash unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Wrap tightly to minimize contact with air, and be careful not to bump or scratch the squash as this will cause it to bruise more quickly. Use squash within 3-5 days. Recipes Grilled Summer Squash Sauteed Baby Squash with Basil and Feta Summer Squash Pizza Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas Tomato, Squash, and Red Pepper Gratin Zucchini Boats with Ricotta Basil Mousse Summer Vegetable Frittata Zucchini Eggplant Lasagna Grilled Zucchini Caprese Stacks Creamy Zucchini and Ricotta Spread Zucchini Fritters Zucchini and Yellow Squash Gratin Zucchini Quesadillas Pickled Summer Squash Preservation To freeze summer squash or zucchini, first wash the squash and slice to desired thickness. Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain and place in a freezer-safe airtight container for storage. An alternative method for freezing is to shred the squash and freeze without blanching. The shredded squash can be used for baking, soups, or fritters. Squash and zucchini...

Storage To store herbs in the refrigerator, first place them stem-side down in a jar of water like you would with fresh flowers. This keeps the herbs hydrated and prevents them from wilting in the bag, allowing them to stay fresh much longer Keep in mind that basil should not be refrigerated, but most other herbs should be stored in the fridge. Recipes Different herbs may be used in different recipes to bring out their flavor, but here are a few that can be used with almost any herbs: Herb Butter Herb-Roasted Vegetables Herb-Roasted Whole Chicken Herb Vinaigrette Herb Mashed Potatoes Preservation Most herbs can be preserved well by drying. To do so, lay them flat on a baking sheet and bake at the lowest possible temperature setting. Leave the door slightly open for air circulation. Check herbs at 30 minutes and turn over if necessary. Most herbs will be dry after about one hour....

Storage Store honey at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Recipes Use to sweeten tea or drizzle over fruit Honey-Cinnamon Granola Brown Butter Pecan Granola Honey-Roasted Carrots Honey-Soy Broiled Salmon Lime-Honey Glazed Chicken Ginger Honey Chicken Wings Honey-Rum Baked Black Beans Honey Vinaigrette...

Storage Store peppers in a plastic bag or airtight container in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Green peppers will usually stay fresh longer than colored peppers, and stored properly all should stay fresh for 1-2 weeks. Recipes Enjoy them fresh, grilled, or roasted Simple Sautéed Peppers Veggie Fajitas Smoky Stuffed Peppers Broccoli Pepper Stir Fry Ratatouille Pasta with Peppers, Squash, and Tomatoes Tomato, Squash, and Pepper Gratin Pepper, Tomato, and Cucumber Panzanella Salad Greek Pasta Salad Pepper and Goat Cheese Frittata Preservation Peppers can easily be frozen for later use in recipes where they will be cooked. First wash and slice peppers to desired size, then lay flat in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for about two hours or until just frozen, then transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container for freezing. Peppers can also be roasted first and then frozen. To do so, place whole peppers below the broiler for 3-5 minutes on each side. When peppers are charred, immediately transfer to...

Arugula is a green leaf with a spicy, peppery bite. If you like the pepperiness, try an arugula salad or arugula pesto. If not, try it in moderation on sandwiches or pizza. Storage Fill the sink or a large bowl with cold water, then wash the arugula leaves gently to clean and hydrate the leaves. Spin dry in a salad spinner or between two clean kitchen towels. Wrap clean arugula leaves in a paper towel and place in an airtight container or plastic bag. Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use within 3-4 days for maximum freshness. Recipes Arugula Salad Recipes Arugula Prosciutto Pizza Toasted Turkey Cranberry Arugula Sandwich Arugula Pesto Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, Bacon, and Balsamic Fig Dressing Preservation Arugula will wilt down very quickly if sautéed or braised. This is a great way to use a lot of arugula at once and makes a delicious side dish or pizza topping. Arugula can be also...

Storage Cucumbers are sensitive to both moisture and temperature, so storing them too cold may lead to a wilted, rubbery texture within a few days. Instead, try wrapping cucumbers in a paper towel or thin kitchen towel and placing them on the upper shelves of your refrigerator where it is not as cold as the crisper drawer. Cucumbers can also be stored in a cool spot on the counter, away from direct sunlight and ethylene-producers such as tomatoes, apples, and bananas that will accelerate spoiling. Either way, eat within 3 days for maximum freshness. Recipes Slice and eat on their own or with dip or hummus Add to salads Use to flavor water Summer Tomato, Onion, and Cucumber Salad Quick Pickles Herby Cucumber Salad Peach Cucumber Salsa Tzatziki (Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce) Cucumber Herb Vinaigrette Cucumber Lime Popsicles Preservation Because of their high water content (95%!), cucumbers do not freeze or dehydrate well. The best way to preserve cucumbers for long-term use is to make...

Storage Throughout the season, garlic will appear in slightly different forms. Early in the spring, garlic is harvested before it develops separate cloves. Green garlic, as it is called, has a fresher, milder flavor than garlic you find at the grocery store, and you can use the entire plant from the bulb up to the stalk. Wrap green garlic in a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag or airtight container in the refrigerator. Fresh garlic, or new garlic, is garlic that is harvested in the late spring or early summer, after it has developed a bulb but has not yet been dried. Fresh garlic will sometimes have a pink or purple tinge to it. Like green garlic, it should be stored in the refrigerator because it hasn't yet been cured. You can use fresh garlic the same way you would normally use cured garlic, but it too will have a slightly milder...

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store) Normally when cooking beans or peas, I am starting with dried. Adding flavor is a necessity. I will throw in vegetables, broth, seasonings, and even bacon. The purple hull peas in this week’s share were so fresh, I wanted to preserve the flavor of the peas themselves. Remember the Chow Chow we made a couple of weeks ago? That is my favorite topping for field peas. Adds beautiful color, flavor, and crunch!   Purple Hull Peas Ingredients 1 bag fresh purple hull peas water salt & pepper Instructions Rinse and drain the peas to remove any grass or hulls. Place the peas in a large pot. Fill the pot with water. Add salt & pepper (I also added a little bit of white onion slices). Bring the water to a full boil. Stirring, reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the peas, stirring occasionally, for one hour. Take...

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store) There were so many tomatoes in this week’s share! The beautiful little golden cherry tomatoes have a sweetness that only intensifies when it is cooked. I decided to make some scones (always a good idea) and highlight the flavor of the summer tomato. Perfect not only for breakfast or brunch, but a nice side for dinner as well. Split them and fill with a little ham and cheese and they make a great lunch, too.   Tomato Scones Ingredients 1-3/4 cups all purpose flour 1-1/8 teaspoons baking powder 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup cold butter 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes 1/3 cup whole milk 1 large egg 1 tablespoon butter Instructions Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Place in a small colander. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and let them sit for a few minutes. Once they have given off a bit of juice, pat...