In this week’s box:
2 bags of tomatoes
14 ears of corn
2 bulbs of garlic
1/2 dozen eggs
2 quarts of peaches
4 green peppers
I must confess that I’ve gotten a bit lazy with my meal-planning regimen this summer. Thankfully, every time I’ve gotten to 3 p.m. and realized I don’t have a dinner plan, I’ve had a pantry full of beautiful produce and eggs from Snead’s Farm to make my job easy. Simple suppers of scrambled eggs alongside some very simple preparations of my CSA vegetables have been a hit in our house this summer. Here are a few ideas inspired by this week’s box that could save you on a summer afternoon when you find yourself rushing at top speed toward dinnertime without a plan.
Quesadillas – Slice one bell pepper and remove the kernels from 1 ear of corn. In a large, heavy pan (I highly recommend a cast-iron skillet), heat a tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil over high heat. Add one minced clove of garlic. Stir for 20 to 30 seconds, then add the vegetables. When vegetables are heated through and you have a bit of browning on your pepper slices, remove mixture to a plate. In the same skillet, adjust the heat down to medium, add a little more oil and place two burrito-sized flour tortillas on the skillet so that their midlines meet and half of each tortilla is touching the cooking surface. You should be able to flap the other two halves back and forth together, sort of like a tongue, as you fill each tortilla with shredded cheddar cheese, half the vegetable mixture and a sprinkling of chili powder, cumin or your favorite Southwest seasoning. fold each tortilla over and allow to cook 3 to 5 minutes, until cheese starts to melt and bottom of tortilla browns and crisps a bit. Carefully flip each tortilla and cook until browned on the other side. Serve with a simple salad of chopped tomatoes sprinkled with olive oil, salt and pepper. I might also add the kernels from another ear of corn to the salad.
Spanish salad – I call it this because my host mother made a variation on this when I was studying in Sevilla, Spain. It’s easy and refreshing on a hot night. Dice 2 to 4 tomatoes. Remove kernels from 2 to 3 ears of corn. Dice 1 to 2 bell peppers (Quantities depend on how many people you’re serving and how big your vegetables are. I usually get a feel for exactly how much to chop while I’m chopping). A diced cucumber is also nice in here if you have one, as is a red onion. Finely mince one clove of garlic if you can handle it raw. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper and squeeze of lemon juice. Spoon salad into bowls and top each bowl with one sliced cold hard-boiled egg. Serve with toast or wheat crackers.
Corn and peach salad – Cook 3 ears of corn using your preferred method. Cut 2 peaches into half-inch pieces. Combine corn kernels and chopped peaches. Add the juice of one lime, a quarter-cup of chopped cilantro or basil, salt to taste and chopped red onion if you have it. Hot peppers would be nice with this, or you could small dice some of the green peppers and add them. Serve with cooked eggs or other protein.
Here are a few other recipes from around the Web that require a little bit more grocery shopping but would also be great with this week’s box:
Simply Recipes’ Tomato Pie – I make this recipe several times every summer. This year, I’m thinking of adding some corn kernels to the tomatoes.