A quick update from the garden…

It amazes me how quickly weather can change and how suddenly new seasons arrive. My Omi always says that it all starts with the agricultural fairs and the next thing you know, it’s Fall. The neat thing about the cooler weather is that it is time to plant cooler weather crops again so we have already put in another round of spinach (and will keep doing so for the weeks to come) along with a new baby lettuce mix and possibly radishes.

New spinach coming up.

New spinach coming up.

This week’s share of the harvest:

1 Head Lettuce
1 Box New Potatoes
1 Bulb Garlic
1 Bunch Beets
1 Bunch Onions
1 Box Beans
1 Box Pattypan Squashes
1 Box Tomatoes
1 Cucumber
1 Bunch Kale

How to use your share this week:

What are pattypans? 
Pattypan squashes are these nice little summer squashes – cousins to the zucchini. This means that they can be harvested continuously throughout the summer growing season and are tender enough that you can eat the skin. Do not peel these guys.

How to prepare pattypans?
There are several ways to prepare them. You can steam or BBQ them whole. You may cut them in half or into quarters and sautee them with some butter salt & pepper. You can also cut them up and add them to stirfry or casseroles – really anything. A nice way to prepare them is to cook them in a roast pan with some chicken, mayonnaise and herbs. You make the mayo mix and spear it on the chicken breast. Bake the chicken and add the pattypans (in whole) towards the end and they will be like little sponges, soaking up the tasty juices.

Chicken breast baked with mayonnaise and hot sauce. Pattypans added about 20 minutes before it was ready.

Chicken breast baked with mayonnaise and hot sauce. Pattypans added about 20 minutes before it was ready.

This week I experimented with a quick Kimchi type salad from one of Gwyneth Paltrow’s awesome cookbooks. It was delicious:

Quick Cucumber Kimchi
1 English Cucumber, sliced thin on the grater
1 Tbsp. Sea Salt
2 Tbsp. Miso Paste (or I used Tamari Sauce)
1.5 Garlic Clove, minced
2 Tbsp. Chili Flakes
1 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 Tbsp. Honey

Slice the cucumber and let it sit with the salt for 10 minutes to draw out the moisture. In the meantime, mix the other ingredients into a paste. Rinse and drain the cucumber – squeeze out that extra moisture. Combine the cucumber with the paste and put in a jar for at least 6 hours before serving. It can keep for up to 2 weeks getting more and more flavourful!

Looks beautiful and tastes great. Very fresh and healthy.

Looks beautiful and tastes great. Very fresh and healthy.

We also experimented more with beet chips and kale chips. We just tossed/brushed each with some oil and salt. For the kale chips, I brushed them whole with a mixture of oil and tamari sauce. They turned out seriously delicious. 350F for about 8 minutes for the kale and about 15 minutes for the beets. It depends on how thin you can slice them.

Our little beet chips. If you are not a big fan of beets, this is an indulgent way to eat them. Just slice very very thin so that they get crispy when baked.

Our little beet chips. If you are not a big fan of beets, this is an indulgent way to eat them. Just slice very very thin so that they get crispy when baked.

Kale chips - brushed with oil and tamari. These chips are made with Dinosaur Kale, which is nice because you don't need to remove the stems. Just bake them whole.

Kale chips – brushed with oil and tamari. These chips are made with Dinosaur Kale, which is nice because you don’t need to remove the stems. Just bake them whole.

Try this creamy garlic dressing:
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon Dressing
1 Garlic Clove – minced
Cracked pepper

Finally my favourite creation of the week: Summer Squash & Veg Fritters.
I started making these only with zucchini but now I’m making them using grated large pattypans, carrots, beets, kale, onion, garlic… anything that I can grate or chop fine is going into these things! If you don’t like kale, this is a good way to sneak it in. Here is a starter recipe though:

1 Large Zucchini or Pattypan, grated
1 Small Onion, chopped fine
1 Egg
3 Tbsp Flour

Grate your squash and salt it. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and then drain and squeeze out the moisture. Toss the squash with the remaining ingredients. You may wish to add more or less flour and egg to get the right consistency.
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium heat and fry the fritters/latkes until golden brown. These cook much quicker than potato pancakes!
Serve with sour cream.

Fritters. They also make a nice leftover snack, so don't be shy to make a lot. They cook quick, so you don't need to stand over the stove for hours, like you might with potato pancakes.

Fritters – made with kale. They also make a nice leftover snack, so don’t be shy to make a lot. They cook quick, so you don’t need to stand over the stove for hours, like you might with potato pancakes.

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