This post has all kinds of recipe links in it that you’ll want to keep for future weeks. You can find them again by searching the tags I have set up for “summer squash recipe”, “okra recipe”, “eggplant recipe”, and “chinese eggplant recipe”. These crops are available now and won’t stop until we get a frost.
SUMMER SQUASH. We grow a large variety of Summer Squash because there are so many different kinds to choose from! From week to week you will find:
Patty Pan (aka, flying saucers) – Sunburst, Ystar, Gstar, Bennings Green Tint (pictured below), and Patisson Panache Verte et Jaune. These are sweet and tender and perfect to eat raw when small. As they get larger their skin becomes hard and you can bake, or BBQ, as you would a Winter Squash.
Crookneck – Yellow Crookneck. As seen in the picture below. They can get quite large and they look like (inedible) Gourds. They are only a bit harder to cut through than usual and if you remove the skin they are just as sweet and tender as a smaller Summer Squash. I wonder if they will keep longer with the harder outer skin?
This post from last year has more information and pictures on Summer Squash.
OKRA. We grow 2 types – Clemson Spineless and Carmine Splendor (a red type we are growing for the first time) but with the way our luck went this year we lost of lot of the red variety so there are only a couple of plants. The way I prepare Okra is to dehydrate it and add it to a soup mix I make all Winter long, it’s a great thickener and is a beautiful star shape when cut. We have a friend who eats them raw or makes gumbo or curry. In the recipes section below you can find a variety of options on eating Okra and hopefully you discover your own favourite way to prepare Okra. You can find out what wikipedia has to say on Okra here.
CHINESE EGGPLANT. Not the same as the large Italian Eggplant (which will be coming along soon). Chinese Eggplant is long and slender and sweet. For our first year growing this type we chose Orient Express and Orient Charm. Some benefits of Chinese over Italian are discussed here.
FRESH EATING SNAP BEANS. I can’t sing the praises of Dragon Beans enough. They take longer to ripen but they produce all Summer long, have the most beautiful colouring, and taste better the larger they are! Look for our 2 other new snap beans – Red Swan and a filet-type Coban – as well as our our regular yellow, green, and purple poded beans.
Eggplant: Eggplant Cornucopia, Chinese Sauteed Eggplant, How to Cook Purple Chinese Eggplant, 7 Asian Eggplant Recipes. I will add more recipes for Italian Eggplant when they start showing up in the baskets.
Any of these veggies can be dehydrated or frozen and later added to soups and soups or stir fries. I had great success with freezing without blanching. Another idea is to grind the veggies after they are dehydrated to make a veggie powder that can then be added to anything and everything!
Wednesdays pick list (items may vary with availability and location):
Please share your favourite recipes for Okra, Eggplant, Summer Squash, or anything else you get in your baskets. Are there preservation tips you have? We’d love to hear how you’re enjoying your produce and would love if you share your successes with other members.