Week 16 Overview

It’s a tomato heavy week and I’m not mad about it.

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In the basket:
slicer tomatoes
2 pints cherry tomatoes
potatoes
eggplant
okra
crunchy sprouts
chives
pink salt
salsa (saved for snacks or maybe something next week)

Extra:
turnips (root only)
squash from last week
basil

The plan:
1. Tonight we’re grilling out!: a flap steak and squash, quartered potatoes, whole eggplant and turnips with lemony herbed tahini cream.
2. I finally photographed the tomato paste pasta sauce we’ve been chatting about during Pantry Raid on Mondays. The recipe is coming soon and I added candy-sweet, slow-cooked cherry tomatoes. Lots of them.
3. I reserved the rest of the tomatoes and the cooking oil for a tomato and burrata pizza or two tomorrow night.
4. The slicers I’ve just been eating you know, sliced. With that pink salt, next to my morning toast spread with vegan cream cheese.
5. If you haven’t made the eggplant stir-fry from a couple weeks ago, please do! I can’t say enough things about it. I made a few tweaks to the sauce recipe and I’ll be making it again this week on the okra, some onion, bell pepper and leftover sliced steak over rice.
6. It’s been a while- like, way too long- since I’ve made falafel. If you’ll recall, you can make falafel out of crunchy sprouts, no soaking required! Thinking I’ll eat them over Greener Roots lettuce with pickled onions and tzatziki, per usual.

Week 15 Overview

All the kids are back in school and farms are beginning to harvest winter squash, but Summer is still decidedly here, giving us a bounty of corn, eggplants, zucchini and tomatoes.

This week was defined by flats and flats and flats of tomatoes. Before and I after I came to pick up my basket, Lauren was delivering them to restaurants all over town- Arnold’s, Nicoletto’s and Butcher & Bee to name a few. Our hour together each Wednesday has become the highlight of my week; we drink a beer, catch up, chat vegetables and watch CSA members’ kids play. I especially like weeks when she is driving her truck hand painted by Hannah Jones.

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In the basket:
mint
slicer tomatoes
cherry tomatoes
salsa
okra
corn
potatoes

Extras:
cantaloupe (won’t last long, no use in “meal planning” for it)
radishes
summer squash
yard long beans
Persian cucumbers

The Plan:
1. Savory dutch baby filled with sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, green onions and basil, topped with burrata and a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar. VERY excited about this one!!
2. Moroccan mint tea because it is 1,000 degrees here in Nashville
3. Yard long bean, cucumber and tomato salad tossed with rice noodles, Tigerish vinaigrette (become a Patron to access that recipe) - maybe topped with some salted peanuts
4. Nachos dressed with the salsa, pickled radishes, creamy black beans and roasted squash, possibly cotija cheese if mine hasn’t expired…
5. Pasta alla norma using the eggplant and some red sauce from my freezer
6. I looooved last week’s simple lunch of soft scrambled eggs with potatoes and crispy okra so much I think I’m going to make it again!

Crispy okra

Sometimes I write things like “I’m going to make potatoes with charred vegetables” and forget you aren’t right here in my kitchen watching me do it. I forget that I probably do it differently than most people, that I need to slow down and explain important things like how get okra very crispy in the oven.

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Here’s what you do:

1. Slice all your okra lengthwise.
2. Preheat your oven to 400.
3. When it’s ready, toss your okra with a big glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
4. Arrange okra on an unlined sheet pan cut side-down. That’s the most crucial part: CUT SIDE-DOWN!
5. Roast until the cut side is beginning to show color- the amount of time this takes will depend on how large your okra is, but check after about 10 minutes.
6. Crank up the temperature of your oven to 425 for the last 3-5 minutes of roasting, or until the cut side is deeply golden and the okra is crispy. The pointy ends may curl up and look a touch burned- that’s okay!

P.S. The sauce in the photo above? 1:1 ketchup to chimichurri roja. You gotta try it on some potatoes!

Little Octopus Potatoes

Little Octopus was my favorite kind of restaurant- innovative, consistent and not too serious.* We said goodbye to it a while back and I miss it very much-the friggin’ killer vegan caesar salad, avocado with sour orange and burned scallions, perfectly roasted chicken with bright herb salad and chocolate pots de creme. With all the potatoes in my CSA share lately, I decided to recreate one of my favorite dishes that was almost always on the menu: velvety fingerling potatoes tossed around with chimichurri roja and nearly burned broccolini.

A copycat recipe! Am I a real food blogger now, Internet?!

Probably not, seeing as the chef sent me the recipe for chimichurri roja and you know, my general lack of bubbles and cheer. But I did cut down the proportions for you and I did write slightly longer instructions than the original, “robot coupe it, ya dingus.” Naturally, I also added miso. You can use it to toss with potatoes (I like mine boiled, thanks) and any crispy vegetable, grilled or roasted. Lately: okra. I’ve enjoyed it on scrambled eggs, as a marinade for meat before or after grilling, and as an added kick in tomato panzanella, too.

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Chimichurri Roja
-makes about a quart

1 medium white or sweet onion
6 medium cloves garlic, grated or one small head, roasted
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 1/2 Tablespoons paprika
leaves from one 2.5 ounce bag cilantro
1/2 the leaves from one 2.5 ounce bag parsley
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 Tablespoons red miso
about 1/2 of a 3.5 ounce can chiles in adobo
at least one cup olive oil

1. Give the onion a little head start in the blender, then add everything else except for the olive oil. Stir it in gently by hand, starting with a cup and adding more to taste.
2. Please let it sit for at least an hour to mellow out before you email me saying the raw onion is caustic.

*See also: Margot, Peninsula, Butcher & Bee.