Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes, Basil and Pine Nuts

Gaining Ground launched a Local Recipe Food Challenge during the month of August on their Facebook page.  This deliciously local recipe was submitted by one of our Battleground CSA members.

Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes, Basil, and Pine Nuts:

  • 1 large Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 cup of tAnt Hill Farm’s Matts Wild Cherry Tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of tAnt Hill Farm’s Volunteer Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes, or Taxi Tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup of backyard Fresh Basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup of Pine Nuts
  • 1 cup of Zucchini, diced
  • ½ cup of Red Onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. of BeginAgin Farm’s Garlic, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. of Parmesan Cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Optional Meat Addition:  Link 41 “Finn” Sausage, browned and diced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut Spaghetti Squash in half lengthwise, and remove seeds.  Place both halves, cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet.  Add ¼ cup of water to the pan.  Bake at 375 degrees until squash is soft when pressed (40 min-1 hour).

While squash is baking, sauté red onion, zucchini, garlic and pine nuts with a teaspoon of olive oil over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine sautéed onion, zucchini, garlic, pine nuts with tomatoes and basil.  Add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Add in browned local sausage, if using.

Remove spaghetti squash from oven and scrape with a fork to form strands, while it is still warm.  Add spaghetti squash to the large bowl of ingredients and stir to combine.

Place all contents in a casserole dish.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and place under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese and slightly brown the veggies.

Garnish with fresh local basil and enjoy!


Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Walnuts

Fresh green beans are so delicious!  Once you’ve had them, it’s hard to go back to canned green beans – and certainly not store-bought ones!  The trick is boiling them for a few minutes, and then giving them an icy cold bath (also called “blanching”) to keep them from continuing to cook.

Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Walnuts:

  • 1 pound of farm-fresh green beans
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Boil water in a heavy saucepan.  Add green beans and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Drain beans in a colander and place the colander in a large bowl that has been filled with ice and cold water.  Be sure that all green beans begin to cool down immediately.

Heat olive oil a skillet over medium high heat.  Add garlic and saute till slightly brown.  Add green beans and walnuts and continue cooking until beans are warm and crisp – 5-7 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.


Delicious Zucchini Bread

There is really nothing better than warm zucchini bread, fresh out of the oven.  And when you are up to your nose in this beloved summer squash, it’s a great way to put them to good use!

Enjoy alongside your morning omelet, or with a scoop of fresh whipped cream after dinner!

Delicious Zucchini Bread:

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups of whole wheat or plain flour
  • 2 cups zucchini, grated
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

In a large bowl, beat eggs.  Add oil and vanilla.  Stir in sugar until dissolved.  Add cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Stir in flour one cup at a time.  Add grated zucchini.  Fold in walnuts.

Pour batter into 2 oiled and floured loaf pans.  Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Let cool in pan covered with a dish towel for 10 minutes to retain the moisture.

Invert onto a rack or plate to cool completely.

 

 


Garlic-y Hummus and Veggies

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been pretty excited about the HUGE garlic bulbs that we’ve been enjoying, courtesy of our CSA basket!  This is a great way to use those garlic cloves for a light and delicious snack!

Hummus is very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Folate, and a very good source of Manganese.  Add that to the fact that it tastes delicious when paired with farm-fresh veggies – and I’m sold!

Garlic-y Hummus and Veggies:

  • 6 cloves of local Garlic
  • 1/3 cup of Tahini (Sesame Seed Paste) – Found at Bi-Lo, next to the peanut butter, or at Greenlife
  • 1 can/15 oz. of drained organic Garbanzo Beans – also called Chickpeas
  • 6 Tbsp of 2 Lemon Juice (2 fresh lemons)
  • 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp of fresh Parsley
  • Salt to taste
  • Dash of paprika

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse till thoroughly blended.

Enjoy with freshly cut Cucumbers, Carrots, Matt’s Wild Cherry Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, or Whole-wheat Pita Chips.  Hummus is also delicious as a base for wraps and sandwiches.  Use in place of mayo for a low-calorie alternative!


Flounder with Eggplant Chips and Bell Pepper Sauce

Eggplant can be tricky to cook with, don’t you agree?  You can only make Eggplant Parmesan so many times!  This recipe led me to a whole nother way of thinking about eggplants… you’ve heard of Kale Chips, well, enter Eggplant Chips!

Flounder with Eggplant Chips and Bell Pepper Sauce:

  • 4 flounder (or other white fish) fillets
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 2 large bell peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeno or habenero pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

In a large skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium high heat.  Saute peppers and garlic until peppers are tender.  Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside, but keep warm.

Turn on broiler.  Rinse fish and pat dry.  Season fish with salt and pepper and place, skin side down, on a sturdy baking pan.  Drizzle fish with remaining olive oil.

Cut eggplant (skin on) into very slender 1/8 inch slices – using a mandolin is even better!   Layer eggplant slices over fish.  Place pan under broiler until fish is cooked through.  Remove from oven and cover with Bell Pepper Sauce.  Serve warm with green beans and a glass of white wine!


Cucumber and Strawberry Smoothie

On a hot July afternoon, there is nothing better than a smoothie packed with ice cold fruity goodness!   This is an excellent way to put those tasty CSA cucumbers to good use.  If, in fact, you can refrain dipping them in hummus!

Cucumber and Strawberry Smoothie:

(Makes 2 rather large smoothies)

3 cups of frozen strawberries

4-5 mint leaves, torn

1 large cucumber, or 2 smaller ones, sliced

2 cups of juice (any kind will do) or soy milk

Toss everything in a blender and blend till blended!

Enjoy on your front porch or back deck or tree house or side yard or sidewalk or, ya know, somewhere outside.