Posted (Lori) in News


Once the tomatoes start coming, everything falls into place. For the first few weeks, gazpacho, ratatouille, and chopped salads are enough to fill out most meals; the sauces and more complicated soups and salads—you’ll find many of them in Recipes from America’s Farms—come later.


There are very few recipes that I follow exactly, but this is one of them. It’s from The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas. Gazpacho can be made more simply, leaving out the step of adding the egg and heating the soup—but this is better.

1 small onion, chopped

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced

1 small green pepper, seeded and diced

3 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced (I sometimes don’t peel)

3 eggs

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup vinegar

1 cup tomato juice

1-2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Cayenne or hot sauce to taste

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill weed

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Watercress, croutons, &/or chopped vegetables for serving

–Puree all the vegetables in a blender with the eggs, oil, vinegar and tomato juice. Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to do this in two batches. Add all the remaining ingredients except the mayonnaise and croutons, etc. and blend again briefly.

–Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat very slowly over medium heat, whisking constantly, no longer than 3 minutes. This step “cooks” the egg. Remove from heat and keep stirring occasionally while the soup cools. Add the mayonnaise, then transfer the soup back to the blender  Blend one more time at high speed for just a few seconds, then transfer the soup into a big bowl. Cover and chill.

–To serve, top each serving with watercress and croutons, if using. Pass bowls of chopped dill, tomatoes, and cucumber.


In this case, I don’t follow a recipe at all. I just heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and add the following, in whatever quantities I have, in this order, sautéing each until it’s soft:

Chopped garlic and onion

Diced eggplant

Diced bell peppers

Sliced mushrooms (not part of classic ratatouille)

Diced yellow or green summer squash

Diced tomatoes

Just before it all gets mushy (or just after, if I miss the moment), I add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste (from a can, from the store—I always feel like I’m cheating, but it pulls the whole thing together). Taste and add salt and cayenne/hot sauce. Add chopped basil or any other herb, toss for another minute or two.

I usually make a lot of this as soon as I unpack my share. It’s great as a side dish with any meal; in an omelette (bring to room temperature before adding, sprinkle with cheese); over pasta or rice. I’m going to try it with braised kale and cannellini beans this week (see recipe below). It will keep for three or four days in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator—maybe longer, I always use it up by then.

Here’s an article with more info on and other versions of ratatouille:


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced (or chopped garlicscape)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups kale, washed, stems trimmed and chopped
2 cups of cooked beans (canned or cooked dry beans)—cannellini, pinto, kidney, or others

1 tablespoon chopped summer savory or other herbs to taste
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven.

Add onion and garlic slices. Saute until tender about 3 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and salt and pepper; stir until fragrant. Add the kale and let saute until it cooks down slightly. Add the beans, summer savory, and the chicken stock.

Cover and let cook for 10 minutes.


Braise kale as above, but leave out the beans.

Brush a slice of bread with olive oil and rub with a clove of garlic. Toast the bread. Spread the kale on the bread, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and broil for a minute or less, until the cheese is browned.


–Mash into potatoes; add to tomato sauces

–Sprinkle into any bean dishes; it’s known as the “bean herb”

–Use in any braised vegetable dish, such as the braised kale and beans above

–Several recipes here:

–Three Onion-and-Summer Savory Vinaigrette, from The Cook and the Gardener, Amanda Hesser
1/2 standard vinaigrette
1 shallot lobe, minced (Walla Walla Sweet Onion can be substituted)
1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped (or garlicscape)
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 T freshly chopped summer savory leaves

Also—with all the eggplant we’ve been getting, babaganoush is becoming a mainstay. This week, I’ll add summer savory and basil.

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