Eating Greeneville

Farming, bartering and foraging for meals in East Tennessee.

A to Zucchini, the Blog that never was.

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I’ve had the brilliant idea for several years now to start a blog entitled ” A to Zucchini”. “A to Zucchini” chronicles a season of summer squash, from the first day it’s harvested to the very last. Recipes along the lines of “anchovy aioli and fried patty pan”, “basil pesto and grilled zucchini”, “cocozelle and coconut curry” and, well, you get it…it goes on….and on. BUT every year I realize that while I am constantly picking, hauling, selling, culling and composting squash I don’t have that much time to eat it, nor do I want to eat it to the extent of writing that blog. But this is the first time we are including summer squash in the CSA and I thought I’d share one of my very favorite recipes for our perfectly round little eight ball squashes. My farming mentor, Bob Cannard, really does make the best version of these stuffed, but I try.

Eight ball squashes, stuffed and ready to bake.

Eight ball squashes, stuffed and ready to bake.

This is one of those "why I farm" kinda plates.  Stuffed squash, seared beans with bacon, fresh greens and cherry tomatoes with spring onions.

This is one of those “why I farm” kinda plates. Stuffed squash, seared beans with bacon, fresh greens and cherry tomatoes with spring onions and citrus vinaigrette.

On a side note here, I made dinner at my boyfriend’s house on Sunday night.  Roasted chicken with roasted new potatoes and squashes.  Green beans sauteed with green onions and pork fat.  And salad with tomatoes and onions.  I brought blueberry ice cream too.  He actually gasped at one point “how many vegetables are we gonna eat!?”.  I get over the top excited to pick the first crop of anything and I feel myself wanting to put everything on the farm on my plate at all times.  I just can’t help myself.  Fresh picked vegetables are the best and the level of satisfaction I gain from eating the vegetables I grew is unmeasurable.   I feel like overindulgence of vegetables can never be a bad thing.  That being said, I ate 2 hot dogs for dinner last night.  Because farming is also super exhausting and I’m human too.

Ok, on with the recipes.  Our CSA this week includes green beans once again and summer squash for the first time.  So I’m gonna include a recipe for both here.

Stuffed Eight Ball Summer Squashes

Eight ball squash, ruby red chard, green onions and cherry tomatoes, ready to go.

Eight ball squash, ruby red chard, green onions and cherry tomatoes, ready to go.

1 cup cooked short grain brown rice

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved,

a few large leaves of chard, chiffonade

1 green onion, sliced and caramelized in a hot pan

2 – 4 tablespoons basil pesto or just fresh basil, minced.

4-6 round squash

olive oil

salt

optional: queso fresco to top

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut a straight line across the top of the squash.  Using a teaspoon, hollow out the inside of the squash (this is great to use for zucchini bread).

Combine rice, cherry tomatoes, cooked onoins, basil and salt.  Mix well and spoon the mixture into the squashes.  Place in a baking dish and top with crumbled queso fresco if desired and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake until the squash is easily pierced with a paring knife and browned on top ( about 30 minutes).

Green Beans with Green Onion and Bacon

Bacon and beans, a marriage made in heaven.

Bacon and beans, a marriage made in heaven.

I know, I know bacon is in everything.  From ice cream to chocolate, I’m a little sick of it too.  BUT if you are gonna put bacon somewhere besides a BLT or a bacon, egg and cheese, this is it.

2 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2 chunks

1/2 lb. green beans, stemmed

1 green onion, sliced thin

In a hot cast iron skillet, combine the bacon, onion and beans.  Set heat to low and cover.  Lightly steam the green beans in the bacon fat for about 7 minutes.  Remove the cover at turn the heat up high to sear the beans, bacon and onions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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