Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tomatillo gazpacho and other cold soups for hot weather

For our last dinner in Atlanta I made this fabulous tomatillo gazpacho according to a recipe from Eating Well, my favorite culinary magazine.

I changed the recipe somewhat, using lobster instead of shrimp and it was both divine and not prohibitively expensive: I bought a lobster from World Market ( a Dekalb County Farmer's Market in Atlanta, Georgia). They selll seafood (crabs, lobster) there at half price if they don't sell on the day defrosted: thus the big lobster for two, marked at $16.95 was only half that. A great deal.

We had a nice, crisp, very dry blanc de blanc with it.

I love cold soups in hot weather. I learned to love them as a child. Not only the traditional Polish/Lithuanian chlodnik (here in a simplified version) of red beets and cucumbers, but also Polish sour cherry or rhubarb cold soup , or any of famous international cold soups like vichysoisse, tomato or almond gazpachos, cucumber soup, etc.

And now, that I am joining the first (?) CSA farm in Puerto Rico, I hope to be able to make both the tomatillo gazpacho, an avocado cold soup and other fruit or vegetables cold soups in PR here, too.

Siempre Tres Vidas, the CSA farm of Silka Besosa is in Aibonito, but its first test market is in Rincon area.

Silka offers to deliver the weekly baskets (price at $30 each) to the homes of her subscribers in Rincon and - lucky for me - as far as Aguada Beach. I am sure she will deliver also anywhere between Aibonito and Aguada, so, if you want fresh organic veggies and herbs and would like to support a very much needed endavor NOW, in the deadest of season, please do not hesitate and email Silka ( right away. Then, on Saturday you could enjoy your first share of summer harvest, which has still six weeks to go.
Here is what Silka was delivering to her subscribers last Saturday:

Astro ArĂºgula
Brandywine Heirloom Tomatoes
Early Long japanese Eggplant
Flat-Leaf Parsley
Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans **
Magenta Magic Orach
Mustard Spinach replaced by Japanese Mizuna mustard green
Royal Burgundy String Bush Beans**
Roma Paste Tomatoes
Santo Cilantro
**These three items are available in very limited quantities. The Kentucky beans are on their last days of yield…being replaced by a new batch, which we expect to be producing in a few weeks. Purslane is extremely hard to germinate. We only achieved about 30% of our seeds. Sorry! Posibly after this first cut, it will gain strength and build itself up to a higher yield. The Royal Burgundy beans are really a test-run. They look beautiful! If it looks prolific and healthy enough in our environment, we will pursue a full crop next time.
It looks like the Corni di Toro stuffing peppers are in no hurry to mature! Sorry, guys, I hope by next week!
Other News From the Farm
The Asian Yamato Cucumbers and the Homestead Tomato transplants also look very healthy and promising!
Lima bean seedlings are looking great! We are waiting for the full moon this coming Thursday in order to transplant them to the ground.
Three other varieties of pepper seeds have also germinated, also going to ground on Thursday, together with Nasturtium (beautiful eatable flowers with peppery leaves) and Marigolds to help us with our un-welcomed critters…
Purslane ( Verdolaga/Portulaca)
Originally from India and the Middle East, considered a “weed”.
Can be eaten as a leaf veggie in salads or cooked like spinach. Also used in soups/stews.
Purslane contains more Omega-3 Fatty Acids than any other leaf vegetable plant! Also Vitamins C and B, Carotenoids & minerals. It’s 2 pigments are very rich in antioxidants.
Magenta Magic Orach
Deepest red of all, makes it a lively addition to any salad! Orach is originally from the Alps, often called Mountain Spinach.
Culinary Hints
An outstanding culinary expert within our group suggests lightly-sauteed mustard greens over pasta… a soft olive oil base…hmmm!

No comments: