Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Salsa Verde and Cucumber Soup

I need to stop going overboard at the Farmers' Market. I didn't think I got that many veggies last night, just carrots, two bags of basil, cucumbers, green beans, fresh corn, baby artichokes, and pie cherries, along with some focaccia bread, hummus, pork chops, and sausage. I spent most of the morning making pesto, salsa verde (oh, yeah - I found the tomatillos at the Co-op when I went to buy parmesan and pine nuts for the pesto), and cucumber-yogurt soup. Pesto freezes well, although the basil darkens, so I put three jars in the freezer and kept the rest out for dinner later this week. I finally gave up on eating the last batch of fava beans, so I shelled, blanched, and froze them; given how large most of the beans were, they will be better in soups this winter than in salads now. I plan to trim the artichokes, then sautee them in butter and lemon juice. For the corn, I'll peel back the husks, remove the silk, add butter, chili powder, and some lime juice, close the husks back up and tie them, then grill them; I haven't done it before, but it sounds good.

The salsa verde is really easy to make: pull the papery husks off the tomatillos and pop them in a pot of boiling water. Let them boil for about as long as it takes to read three sections of the local paper; they are done when they are yellowish green and one or two of them have split open. Carefully fish them out with a slotted spoon and drop them into your blender. Add finely sliced or chopped hot pepper (serrano, jalapeno, etc) and chopped onions. Blend until pureed. Then decide how to eat it - with tortilla chips, in pulled pork, on tacos, or on a spoon. If you have the will power, freeze a jar or two for later.

The cucumber soup was more challenging because I can't find the recipe I used last year and I had to work from (faulty) memory. I took peeled and chopped cucumbers and blended them with plain yogurt, buttermill, dill weed, minced garlic, and salt. It's not quite like the one I made last year (I'm wondering if the recipe had some lemon juice in it), but it's still pretty good. It will be a nice complement to pulled pork with salsa verde tonight.


Valli said...

I have fond memories of eating the meals associated with your Farmer's Market plunder. I personally dont think you go over board at all, because of all the freezing/ makes it all worth it. I am definitly going to try the salsa verde recipe, as I have already been using Kevin's Pesto recipe for years!
Also, I have tried the corn treatment with chili powder and butter and it works VERY well. I have also tasted it with curry powder...not to my liking as much as the chili.

The Magpie said...

The corn worked out pretty well, although I need to find a better way to get the butter in. I added chili powder to lime juice and spooned it over the corn, then flanked the corn with two pieces of butter and tried to wrap it all back up in the husk. For some reason, the husk didn't come together the way it should, so the butter leaked out. Maybe a little melted butter on the table to add is best. I also need to add salt to the spicing. But four of us ate 13 pieces, so it worked.

The Magpie said...

If you have riper tomatillos, ones that are splitting their husks and are yellow-green instead of grass-green, you might want to add a little lime juice to keep the tang of this salsa.