This time of year the Accidental Locavore finds that cooking one thing invariably leads to another (and another…). For the recipes, just click on the links. I wanted to take advantage of the gorgeous leeks from this week’s farm box and knew there were potatoes in the fridge, so it seemed like a perfect excuse for vichyssoise. The Locavore used the fingerlings from Paul, even though peeling potatoes the size of a thumb was not my idea of fun, but luckily some people’s thumbs are bigger than others.
Taking an idea from Chef Kerry of Café Miranda, the vichyssoise got potato “croutons” in the form of tiny fingerling potato chips (his were French fries tossed on top of fish chowder) and snips of fresh chives from the garden, a more traditional garnish. Tasted great, although next time I may make a vegetable broth from the potato peelings and green part of the leeks, to heighten both flavors, instead of the traditional chicken stock. What do you think?
Paired with the vichyssoise, a BLT. What better to do with local bacon, tomatoes at the peak of ripeness and great lettuce from Stokes Farm? Oh, forgot about the homemade mayo. Hungry yet? If, like the Accidental Locavore, you haven’t had a BLT in a long time, you owe it to yourself to remember how good they can be, especially with great ingredients.
What else did the Locaovore cook? With the summer squash, I made stuffed squash with yogurt sauce. It’s essentially an easy dish (to mess up), just time consuming. First you have to hollow out the squash, stuff them with a lamb and rice mixture, and slowly cook them in yogurt without breaking (separating) the yogurt. However the end result is delicious and well worth a little effort.
Then, Farmer Paul asked for some recipes for cranberry beans. The Locavore had some that I had dried last summer, so I soaked them and then cooked them, getting ready to do a gratin I had come across. When I went to the farm to return my box, Paul gave me a bunch of fresh beans, which tonight will be a salad, or a riff on ful medames to go with pork chops. They’re so pretty, it always seems a shame to cook them because they lose their speckles.
On the uncooked front, a pair of beautiful, perfectly ripe, little cantaloupes, or “candy-lopes” according to Paul, just cut up, made a delicious breakfast. A watermelon the size (and weight) of a large bowling ball was just amazing and reminded me how much I really like watermelon. And the first of the heirloom tomatoes, when they weren’t gracing the perfect lunch, were great in a traditional salad with mozzarella and basil.
Don’t you just love summer?