It’s been a great year for Colorado peaches. Zoë brought me a twenty pound box last month and Bud’s assistant, Evan, a keen bargain hunter, has scored several boxes for himself and me. We’ve eaten many pounds of fresh peaches on our granola, with ice cream and out-of-hand. I have made a dozen jars of sunny peach salsa to eat on cold, grey winter days and I’ll make a peach pie this week with the last of the crop.
Zoë makes this salsa and kindly shared her recipe.
After peeling and chopping 12 peaches add 1/2 cup white vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, 4 chopped jalapeños, a chopped red pepper and 1 1/2 cups chopped red or yellow onion, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, a handful of chopped cilantro. Mash some of the peaches. Cook until thickened 5 – 10 minutes. Put into hot jars and process in a hot water bath for 22 minutes (or 15 minutes at sea level). Makes 4 pints plus some for eating right away.
I don’t have many specialized tools in my kitchen but this jar lifter and wide funnel are invaluable when canning.
As the summer slowly turns to fall, my zucchini plants have sprawled over their garden bed. Big, prickly leaves hide just the right size squashes – if I spot them before they become unwieldy clubs. The stealthy giant zucchini is a challenge for all of us vegetable gardeners.
My considerate plants have put out fruit at a reasonable pace. I can keep up with their production if I am vigilant in my harvesting. The fat one on the right was hiding.
One of our favorite zucchini dishes comes from Yotam Ottolengi’s cook book Plenty, a marvelous compendium of vegetable recipes.
Zucchini and Hazelnut Salad
(This recipe is for two-three servings but can easily be multiplied.)
Cut 2 medium sized zucchini into long skinny strips 3/8 inches wide, either diagonally or along their length. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Heat a grill pan or a cast iron skillet until very hot. Lay the zucchini on the dry pan and sear until grill marks appear, just a minute or two on each side. You don’t want to cook the zucchini but rather barely soften it and get a bit of char.
Spread the strips on a platter and sprinkle with a teaspoon of your best balsamic vinegar. Top with ¼ cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts, shaved parmesan and torn basil leaves.
A zucchini frittata makes a delicious lunch or supper. For two servings saute a smallish zucchini, a yellow squash and a small onion, chopped, and some slivered beet greens in olive oil until tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add a bit more oil or a hunk of butter to the skillet tipping the pan to oil the sides. Beat together 4 large eggs and add to the skillet, shaking the skillet to distribute around the veggies. Dot with crumbles of goat cheese and cook over medium heat until edges are almost set. Put skillet under the broiler for a couple minutes to finish cooking the eggs. They will continue to set off the heat so don’t over broil.
Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Buon appetito.