CO – Certified Organic
PF – Pesticide Free
Letter from Hedlin Farms, Week 11
August 27, 2014
Well, we’ll have some fall bluster sneaking into our halcyon summer by the end of the week, but we’ll make the best of it. A decent rain will save us one last round of irrigation if it amounts to anything, and even if it doesn’t (amount to anything) it’ll take the edge off our newly transplanted cabbage seed and winter cauliflower transplants here in the dog days of summer. Looks like the drizzle is set to carry on right into next week and September along with it.
Most of the grain is in and we’re pushing to harvest the rest of it before this rain comes. We’re also gearing up to take a load of our organic hard red wheat in to Fairhaven Mill, meaning we will be back in the flour business sometime in early September!
We’ve come to that time in the year when it seems like the merciful thing to do to throw in a summer squash/zucchini recipe for you. They are so good, especially when harvest young and tender like we try oh-so-hard to do, but when it comes to summer squash, enough is always too much, so it can take a little…ingenuity to come up with a new and engaging way to prepare them. The smitten kitchen does just that on the regular, so I am sending you to her once again for this down-home, yet classy salsa verde & gruyere summer squash gratin.
Notes: You can use zucchini or summer squash interchangeably here. You can grind 1 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs from 2 small dinner rolls or 3 slices of sandwich bread. If you’re not into anchovies, you can skip it (which will also make this a vegetarian dish), but you might want to bump up the capers a little so you don’t miss out on the salty/brininess.
Serves 4 to 6
For the Gratin:
For the salsa verde:
Heat your oven to 400°F. Cut the squash into thin (1/8-inch thick) coins. Toss with 1 tsp. kosher salt and set aside for at least 10 minutes. Drain zucchini in a colander, and if you have time, spread them on a towel for a few minutes to further wick away moisture before placing it in a large mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, place breadcrumbs in a small bowl. In a small skillet or saucepan, melt butter and keep cooking it over medium heat until it browns and smells nutty. Carefully pour (in a small drizzle at first) over breadcrumbs and be sure to scrape out any brown bits from the pot. Toss crumbs to evenly coat.
Make the salsa verde by blending the herbs in a food processor or blender with garlic, anchovy and capers until it forms a paste, scraping down as needed. With the machine running, stream in the olive oil in a drizzle. Season with salt and black pepper. Add lemon juice to taste.
Add shallots, gruyere, half the breadcrumbs, 1/4 C salsa verde (about half; you can use the rest to dress eggs or any roasted meat) and some freshly ground black pepper to the bowl with the summer squash and toss. Transfer to a 9×9-inch (or equivalent; I used a 9-inch round cast-iron skillet) baking dish. Scatter remaining breadcrumbs over the top and bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the squash is tender and the crumbs are crisp.
Well, dear friends, it’s August and I hardly know what to say about that anymore…this is August served neat. No ice, no mixer, no nothing.