L to R: Kale, kohlrabi, cabbage, dill, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, chile peppers, eggplant, baby carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, Italian flat beans, red bell peppers, basil.
The appearance of cabbage is the first signal that the growing season is winding down (sad face, The Boy would say). The red bell peppers are a real treat, because in years past, our CSA farmer has picked them mostly when they are green. The Husband isn’t fond of green bells, but the red ones everyone likes. Speaking of The Husband, he requested Eggplant Parmesan after laying eyes on the four beautiful little eggplant I picked out because they are great stuffing size. Ah well, best laid plans…gotta keep my photographer/sometime dishwasher happy. ;) I picked my whole share of green beans from the Italian flat bean plants, because I also have a plan for them (another America’s Test Kitchen recipe).
Last night, I was feeling some pressure to use up some cucumbers. I had quite a few in the refrigerator, and a wide array of other vegetables that would go perfectly with them in salads. So I made three different salads.
I started by simply peeling each cucumber, and then cutting them in half lengthwise, and scraping out the seeds with a spoon. That helps keep a lot of extra moisture out of your salad. Then I chopped one cucumber into a 1/2-inch dice, I grated one, and I sliced the last one as thin as I could without breaking out the mandoline (not worth the cleanup).
The grated cucumber was easy-make a slaw. I grated some kohlrabi and carrot, tore some dill leaves into the bowl, tossed the veg, drizzled it with extra-virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and a touch of sugar. Stir, taste, adjust seasonings.
The chopped cucumber was perfect for these tiny tomatoes I picked at the CSA. I halved them, and also added celery diced to the same size as the cucumber. Drizzle with olive oil again, lemon juice for the acid this time, salt, pepper, and a little minced parsley.
The sliced cucumber pieces’ crescent shape brought sliced bell pepper to mind, and well, I have plenty of those. I trimmed, seeded, and sliced a small red bell pepper in pieces about the same size as the cucumber. I sliced a scallion (also have plenty of those) thinly on the bias, and tossed all the veggies together. A drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper, but what else? This dish was starting to say Asian to me, so I pulled my bottle of sweet chili sauce out of the fridge, and dolloped a couple tablespoons on. Tossed, and done.
The slaw is sweet and light, not like a mayo-based coleslaw, the cucumber/tomato/celery salad is crispy and refreshing, and the Asian cucumber/red pepper salad was a tiny bit spicy, sweet, crunchy, and (note to self) would have been very good with some lo mein noodles.
That’s it for now. What’s in your fridge? Have some fun, try something different, and I’ll see you on down the Road.