Summer is winding down on the farm, and the transition to fall is underway. As summer veggies begin to fade out, new fall crops are beginning their lives as seedlings in the greenhouse. Kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, collards, and lettuce are just some of the things sprouting up and getting ready to move into the fields. Already in the field is our first batch of direct seeded fall crops–radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, rutabagas, parsnips, lettuce mix, and some other things I’m sure I’m leaving out. The burst of rain on Sunday was a welcome sight, giving those seeds a better chance at successful germination.
Summer is not yet behind us though. Our second succession of tomatoes is producing well, and our second succession of melons are sizing up. A second small succession of corn is tasseling and beginning to form ears, and the beans are still keeping us busy picking several bins worth three times a week. Enjoy the abundance while it lasts!
1) Tomato Basil Rolls
Dough: 2-3 med tomatoes, 3 cloves garlic, small handful basil leaves, 1 T sugar, 1 tsp salt, dash pepper, 2 T butter, 2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 packet), 3 c flour, 1/2 – 3/4 c milk or sour cream
Filling: 2 small onions, 1/2 c tomato jam or tomato sauce, small handful basil leaves, 6 oz grated cheddar cheese, crumbled feta cheese
Directions: Puree tomatoes, garlic, and basil in food processor or blender. Transfer to small saucepan and add sugar, salt, pepper, and butter. Heat on low until butter is melted and mixture is warm but not hot. Pour into large bowl, add yeast, and gently stir. Cover and let sit 5-10 min, until mixture is slightly foamy and bubbly on top. Add flour and just enough milk/sour cream for dough to come together. Knead 8-10 min, then let rise in greased bowl until doubled in size, about 2 hrs. (My dough didn’t seem to rise much during this initial rising, or during the second rising for that matter, but the rolls turned out soft and puffy after baking, so don’t fret if the dough gives you trouble.)
Plop dough out onto floured surface and roll out into 12 x 16 in rectangle. Finely chop or use food processor to pulse onions, tomato jam/sauce, and basil. Spread onto dough and top with cheddar and feta. Roll into log and slice into 12 pieces. Place slices in greased 9 x 13 casserole dish, leaving an even amount of space between them, and cover and let rise 2 hrs. Dough can also rise in fridge overnight–just bring back to room temp and pick up where you left off. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 min or until golden brown.
Thinly slice tomatoes, sprinkle with sea salt and basil, and place in dehydrator. Dehydrate 8 hrs for chewy chips or 12 hrs for crispy chips.
3) Veggie Medley Stir-Fry
Because sometimes a big old bowl of colorful veggies is just what you need. Snap some green beans, chop some onion and sweet pepper into thin little strips, cut some okra into little rounds, toss in some thinly sliced potatoes or cook some rice on the side if desired. Sauté veggies in a skillet over med heat with a little oil or butter, Cover skillet with lid to allow veggies to steam for a bit. Meanwhile in a food processor or blender puree up some tomato, red pepper, a little hot pepper depending on how spicy you like your food, a couple cloves of garlic, and a drizzle of soy sauce. If using potatoes, sauté veggies until potatoes are tender; otherwise just cook until veggies are as tender as desired. Pour in the pureed tomato mixture, add salt to taste, and let cook uncovered another minute or two on low. Then devour those beautiful, flavorful veggies!