Basil is back for what may be its last appearance in the shares this year. Tomatoes are still going strong for the moment. We have moved on from the walla walla sweet onions to “Valencia,” a yellow sweet spanish onion. The lettuce today is a romaine called “Parris Island Cos” which grew nice and big. The chard is a new planting of the all red stem “rhubarb” variety. This is the first harvest off it so the leaves are very delicate. The slugs are having a party in the chard with this wet weather we’ve been having. Rounding out the share we have a new planting of carrots, so they are small, and the variety is the heirloom “scarlet nantes.” And then there are the peppers! 2 Jimmy Nardello sweet italian frying peppers and 4 other sweet peppers, mostly of the Corno di Toro type (italian roasting peppers with a pointy tip). Oh and how could I forget the cucumbers (still going strong!) and zucchini (going downhill fast!)?
Romesco sauce uses sweet peppers so I thought I’d put a recipe for it here:
Romesco Sauce for Crostini, Pasta, or as a vegetable dipper
4 large roasted yellow, orange, and or red peppers
1/2 cup toasted almonds
2 cloves garlic
1 ripe tomato
1 tsp salt
2 thick slices from a baguette
1 tsp paprika
½ cup or less olive oil
Fresh basil leaves if available
2-4 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
Whirl everything in a food processor. Serve with vegetables such as carrot sticks, lightly steamed broccoli and caulifower florets, etc. Bread and crackers work well too.
And while we’re thinking about peppers, here’s a tidbit about grilling them:
Before grilling peppers, I simply slice them lengthwise into 1- to 2-inch-wide strips, then marinate them by tossing them in fruity olive oil with minced garlic and chopped fresh herbs one hour before cooking. Grill peppers 6 to 10 inches above medium coals covered with white ash. Grill as slowly as possible, turning several times, until the peppers are tender when pierced (a little charring won’t hurt them and actually adds flavor). They’ll develop an irresistibly sweet succulence. Serve warm, sprinkled with a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to accompany chicken, steaks, lamb, or burgers. Be sure to offer crusty bread to sop up the tasty juices. During basil season, sprinkle a handful of freshly chopped leaves over the peppers just before you bring them to the table for a perfect marriage of Mediterranean flavors.