The Tamar-ing Never Ends – What’s Ahead
That was dinner the other night. Last time we talked about our everlasting local meals, I mentioned lecso on the agenda. Or pepperonata. I wanted to do something with all the sweet peppers we had in the Bungalow. A little google, and I found out how to make lecso, an easy stew of sweated onions, sweet peppers and tomatoes. After enjoying what I did, I googled peppernata. It’s an easy stew of onions, sweet peppers and tomatoes. In fact the only possible difference is that lecso is almost always seasoned with paprika, being a Hungarian dish. The Italianate peppernata might get a bam of oregano, although spice in peppernata is less vital to the recipe I believe. All the Local Family not away at college loved the lecso-nata. So much, that when I look at the Tamar-ing ahead of me this week, I believe I’ll make another batch of stewed peppers.
Here’s what else I need to cover:
Eggplants – Our Tomato Mountain CSA* includes a huge quantity of eggplants, eggplants in assorted shapes and colors. Enough eggplants that we are at least one, if not two weeks behind in using them all. The last time we used eggplant, we made caponata, which is an amalgamation of sweet, savory and salty ingredients. Sweet comes from dried fruit and fresh tomatoes. Savory from seasonal vegetables like celery, zucchini and eggplants, and salty from olives and capers. I love my wife’s version. We have at least a few ideas for this week’s eggplant. I like to grill-roast eggplants and then create salads with the puree. The one on my mind is mixed with Greek style yogurt. We might also fry thick slices and then braise with tomatoes and onions.
Kale – Our CSA keeps us long in green vegetables. The lacinato type kale coming now only needs ten minutes of work to de-stem, five or so minutes in boiling water and some of the good olive oil we recently picked up at Fresh Farms in Niles.
Lettuces – We have both lettuce heads and a bag of mixed baby greens, i.e., mesclun. A good Tamar-er would wash their lettuces ahead of time, so they’re dry and ready.
Kohlrabi – This came in the CSA a few weeks ago, but is staying fine. I’d like to roast it, and may do that with the grill because of summer. This would involve cutting off the thick outer kohlraba-skins, making the kohlaraba-lesh into cubes, tossing with oil and sticking on the non-fire side.
Zucchini – One of the few things we have, beyond fruit, not from the CSA. As my wife is wont, she bought more than necessary, so when she finished off her caponata last week, there was still much zucchini. Probably grilled or braised.
Green beans – Another non-CSA item, we’ve had a taste for a green bean salad (beans topped and tailed, then boiled). The problem, two of us home like a green bean salad with blue cheese and walnuts. The third likes neither blue cheese nor walnuts.
Shishito and padron peppers – I managed to pick up, at different times, these frying peppers to be fried. We never have leftovers of these.
Black eye peas – We picked up a bushel or so’s worth this weekend from the Geneva Lakes at the Oak Park Farmer’s Market. We’ve done the hardest part, shell, but now need to blanch some for the freezer and finish some other for a salad.
Tomatoes – When your CSA is called Tomato Mountain (and your wife works for said Tomato Mountain), you expect to get many tomatoes in your weekly box, and you expect to have many delicious tomatoes in your CSA box. Tomato Mountain supplies a range of tomatoes from tiny, sweet sun-gold to odd shaped heirlooms to versatile romas. The great thing about having tomatoes is that tomatoes make every thing taste better from a turkey sandwich to Fresh Farms made tarmasalata. They also form the base for some of the dishes described above.
It should be another great week of local food.