July 2016 Veggie of the Month

Zucchini!

CaptureThis time of year we are always astounded by how quickly the zucchini can grow. We are picking them just about every day, but with really hot nights and the few thunderstorms summer inevitably brings, what was one day a 6” specimen hiding under a leaf morphs into a monster the size of a forearm. Well….good thing they are delicious!

The flower of the zucchini (and summer squash) are edible too! The male flowers grow on just a stem, and the female flowers grow at the base of what will become a squash. It is best to pick the male fruit to ensure a good harvest (and there are more of them to harvest anyhow). For a limited time, you can enjoy the blossoms from our squash plants at VIA Italian Table in Worcester on Shrewsbury Street. Not only will you get to try a delicious and authentic seasonal Italian dish, but all sales are donated to CHP.

Zucchini is made up of mostly water, so it is very low in calories! Zucchini is a good source of fiber (which promotes good digestive health and lowers cholesterol), folate (helps with cell growth and development), Vitamin A (necessary for growth and development/proper immune system function), Vitamin C (antioxidant that fights free radicals), and minerals like potassium and phosphorus (essential for all cell and organ functions). Preference is given to small-sized zucchini because of their tenderness, but larger zucchini are still great for breads and fritters. Stir-fry, soup, stews, bread, salad, and muffins are only a few different ways you can make this vegetable into a tasty treat or meal!

Sources: http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/squash/harvesting-squash-flowers.htm, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zucchini

20150901_194200Roasted Corn, Zucchini, and Black Bean Enchiladas

Serves 4. Recipe from Vegetal Matters.

Enchilada Sauce

Adapted from The Faux Martha

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 jalapeño, stem removed (omit for mild sauce)
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme (or ¼ teaspoon dried)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro (fine to leave the stems on)
  • 4 cups of tomato sauce (from 5 large tomatoes deseeded and pureed, a 28 oz can of whole tomatoes pureed, or just straight sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • ¼ cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Start running a food processor and then drop in the garlic. Keep it going until you don’t hear any more garlic bouncing around, then drop in the jalapeño and run until the bouncing stops again. Add the onion, chili powder, cumin, oregano, thyme, and cilantro to the food processor bowl. Pulse a few times so all items are mixed and chopped. Add in the tomato sauce, sour cream, salt, and pepper, and process for a minute so all ingredients are fully integrated.

Without a food processor, finely mince the garlic, jalapeño, onion, and herbs, and whisk with the rest of the items.

Move the contents into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let the sauce reduce, uncovered for at least 10 minutes ( I usually let it bubble away while I get everything else ready).

Roasted Corn, Zucchini, and Black Bean Enchiladas

Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen. Serves 4.

  • 2 ears of corn
  • 5 cups of chopped summer squash and zucchini (mine was from 2 small summer squash and a zucchini totaling 24 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion or scallion
  • 2 cups black beans (or 1 15 oz can)
  • 10 10″ flour tortillas
  • 1 recipe for enchilada sauce (above), or about 5 cups
  • 6 ounces (about 1.5 cups) shredded monteray or pepperjack cheese

For serving

  • Chopped cilantro, scallions, jalapeño, sour cream

Preheat the oven to 425F. Toss the summer squashes with oil, salt, and pepper and spread on a baking sheet. Place the ears of corn (still in their husk) on another baking sheet. Put both in the oven for 20 minutes. The squashes should be a bit charred on the edges when done. Let cool for a few minutes. Turn the oven down to 375F.

In the meantime put the onion and black beans (rinsed first if they were canned) in a large bowl. When you can handle the corn remove the husk and silk (which all comes right off with this method!!) and cut the kernels off the cob. I find this is easiest to do with the fewest lost kernels if you lay the cob flat on a cutting board and cut down each side lengthwise. Add the corn and squashes to the bowl with the beans and onion and toss to combine.

To assemble spoon enough enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan to coat it. Put another ladle-full of sauce on a plate or pie plate that is bigger than your tortillas and spread to cover. Place a tortilla on the plate in the sauce to coat one side and then flip. If you’re using the sauce above it will be thicker than canned stuff, so I put another spoonful on the top of the tortilla and spread it around. Add a ½ cup of the filling to the middle and roll it up. Place in the 9″ x 13″ dish and repeat with the rest of the tortillas (mine didn’t quite fit so the last 2 went into a loaf pan). Spoon the remainder of the sauce over the enchiladas and evenly coat with a layer of cheese.

Cook in the oven for 20 minutes so that the cheese is nice and melty and the enchiladas are heated through. Serve with chopped cilantro, scallions, jalapeño, and sour cream.

Read the rest of the July 2016 Sprout!

 

 

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