Right now I am excited for cucumber. Because I just ate my second cucumber of 2014. In 3 weeks I am sure I will be singing a different tune, but right now, I am in love. Crunchy, refreshing, versatile and truly a summer treat. Of course being a farmer and a chef I am going to be a food snob about seasonal ingredients but let me tell ya, cukes in season are where it’s at. I don’t do a cuke in the winter….I want fresh, I want crisp I want my own. I drew from my Sicilian roots and former California cuisine life for this one. A medley of summer veggies with sausage (optional) and a refreshing tzatziki to top it all off.
A mixed green salad with a citus-y vinaigrette is the perfect accompaniment here for me. You’ve got whole grain brown rice, cultured dairy, raw vegetables, protein and bite. Perfect for a humid summer night.
1 medium zucchini, diced into medium size pieces
1 pint green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 green onion, sliced thin
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 leaves basil, chiffonade, to garnish
In a medium saute pan or cast iron skillet, heat olive oil. Add zucchini, green beans and onion until softened and seared on both sides. Add brown rice and spices, fry until rice gets a bit of color/char. Add cherry tomatoes and cook til them are warmed through. Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with basil leaves.
Tzatziki with Cucuber and Local Greek Yogurt
1 small cucumber, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tablespoons greens of one green onion, sliced thin
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
1/2 cup fresh or store bought greek yogurt
juice of one lemon
salt to taste
Sometimes life hands you lemons (when you live in California) and sometimes life hands you homemade greek yogurt (when you work on a farm with dairy cows in East Tennesee).
Karen Millard boards her cow, Klara (who is due any day now, cute calf pics to come) at Rural Resources. She also makes some damn fine kefir, yogurt and mozzarella. And we are lucky to have such a talented and generous tenant over here. Before I even met Karen she was offering her house to me as a place to shower and get warm in the winter through the office her and she’s just been a kind person ever since. And I digress.
This recipe is so simple cause you are just gonna want to mix all these great ingredients together and generously salt it. Scoop this on top of your stir fry as you see fit.
Served aside some spicy sausage and crisp salad, this is the perfect summer porch meal.