Sunday, October 1, 2017

Week 16 Newsletter 2017

Hello Everyone,    


You are invited to come to the farm and fill your last bin of the season with the items below plus extra produce. We will be meeting in the Peak Season CSA garden on Wednesday. (10/4/16) between 4:30 - 6:30 pm.


 The easiest way to get to the garden is to head north on Center Rd (M37) and go about 12 miles, then turn left on Kroupa Rd. In 1/2 mile you will come to a stop sign, turn right on Peninsula Drive, drive another 1/2 mile,  then turn left on Phelps Rd. Drive about a quarter of a mile and you will see the hoophouse on the left hand side of the road. There are rows of large apple trees on both sides of the hoophouse.

* Reminder* - the Peak Season CSA address will take you to my house rather than to the garden. Be sure to pack the directions to the garden along with you for this adventure.

Also, confirm with me by email if you are planning to come to the farm this week by Tuesday afternoon.  I will be in the garden to assist with the bin assembly between 4:30 - 6:30 pm on Wednesday. There will be plastic produce bags and brown paper bags available in the hoophouse. Of course, your own cardboard box/ tote bag would be ideal for this pick-up.

For those members who are unable to come to the farm I will put bins and buckets together in cardboard boxes and Joe will be delivering the boxes to the regular locations on Wednesday. I will also be delivering to the other locations on Thursday morning.

* Big Reminder*  -  Please return all black plastic bins and blue buckets this week.

 If you sign up for next year by November 1, 2018 and include your $ 50.00 deposit you will receive a FREE 1/2 bushel of Honey Crisp apples for a full share or a FREE 1/2 peck of Honey Crisp apples for a small share. I have posted the 2018 sign-up sheet on the csafarm.org site and will have sign-up sheets and complimentary apples in the hoophouse on Wednesday. 

What to expect to find in your bins this week:


Variety Pack of Apples
Asian Pears
Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Sweet Peppers                                                                                            
Red Onions
Cabbage
Winter Squash
Beets
Garlic

and in your bucket:


Variety Pack of Apples
Tomatoes
Onions
Sweet Peppers
Carrots
Garlic



Roasted Winter Vegetable Medley

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  YIELD Serves 6  TIME About 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 medium butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeds and membranes scraped away, and cut into 3/4 to 1-inch dice
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (quarter at the fat ends, cut in half at the thin ends, then cut in thick slices)
1 large parsnip, quartered, cored, and cut in 3/4-inch pieces
1 medium-size fennel bulb, quartered, cored and cut in 3/4 inch pieces
1 medium or large red onion, cut in large dice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
 Optional: Chopped fresh rosemary, thyme or sage, about 2 teaspoons

Spaghetti With Cauliflower, Almonds, Tomatoes and Chickpeas

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  YIELD4 servings  TIMEAbout 30 minutes Save To Recipe Box 

INGREDIENTS

24 raw almonds (about 3 tablespoons), blanched, skinned* and chopped
1 small or 1/2 large head cauliflower, broken into florets
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
 1-14 1/2-ounce can chopped tomatoes in juice
¼ teaspoon sugar
 Pinch of cinnamon
 Salt to taste
½ to 1 teaspoon dried oregano (to taste)
 Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup cooked chickpeas (canned or freshly cooked)
¾ pound spaghetti
 Crumbled feta or freshly grated Parmesan for serving

PREPARATION

Fill a large pasta pot with water and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste and cauliflower. Boil 5 minutes, then using a Chinese skimmer, a strainer or a slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower to a bowl of cold water (do not drain the pot; you’ll use the water for the pasta). Drain the cauliflower and chop medium-fine. Set aside.
(You can do this step while you are waiting for the water to come to a boil for the cauliflower). Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet or a wide saucepan and add garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds, and stir in tomatoes with liquid, sugar, cinnamon, salt and oregano. Turn up heat to medium-high and stir often as tomatoes come to a brisk boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook, stirring often, until tomatoes have cooked down and taste very fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add pepper to taste.
Add cauliflower and almonds to the tomato sauce, along with 1/4 cup cooking water from the cauliflower, and stir together. Stir in chickpeas.
Bring water in the pot back to a boil and add spaghetti. Cook al dente, following timing instructions on the package but checking for doneness a minute before indicated time on the package. Set aside 1/2 cup of the cooking water from the pasta, in case you want to moisten the sauce more, drain pasta and toss with the tomato and cauliflower sauce and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add water from pasta only if you think the mixture seems dry. Serve, passing crumbled feta or grated Parmesan at the table for sprinkling.

Tips

To blanch and skin almonds, bring a small pot of water to a boil and drop in almonds. Boil 30 seconds and transfer to a bowl of cold water. Drain and slip off skins, then chop.

Advance preparation: The cauliflower and tomato sauce can be prepared through Step 3 up to 3 days ahead.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Week 15 Newsletter 2017

Hello Everyone,    




We are in full swing with the apple harvest. The cooler and the packing shed have a strong fresh apple aroma and the bins keep marching in from the orchards. We prefer a cool finish for the apples and are looking forwards to cooler temperatures for the apple picking crew to complete the apple harvest. 


*Save The Date*

You are invited to come to the farm and fill your last bin (Week 16) of the season. We will be meeting in the Peak Season CSA garden on Wednesday. (10/4/17) between 4:30 - 6:30 pm.

I will include your Beyond The Bin tally this week with your Week 15 Bin. It works best for me if you can plan on paying when you pick up your Week 16 Bin.  For those who will not be coming to the garden please mail the payment to me to this address:   

17017 Peninsula Drive,
Traverse City, MI  49686

One last thing... I will be offering an early sign up option for the 2018 season. If you sign up for next year by November 1, 2018 and include your $ 50.00 deposit you will receive a FREE 1/2 bushel of Honey Crisp apples for a full share or a FREE 1/2 peck of Honey Crisp apples for a small share. I will have apples and sign-up sheets available at the CSA garden on Wednesday. (10/4/17)

What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Honey Crisp Apples
One More Melon
Carrots
Eggplant
Red Onions
Sweet Peppers
Garlic
Red and Purple Potatoes
Tomatoes

... and in your buckets:

Melon
Tomatoes
Sweet Peppers
Purple Potatoes
Garlic

Here are a couple of recipes that include some seasonal ingredients.

Apple-Gruyère French Toast With Red Onion

MELISSA CLARK  YIELD 2 servings  TIME About 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 1 3/4-inch-thick slices challah bread from middle of loaf
3 ounces grated Gruyère cheese (about 3/4 cup)
¼ small red onion, very thinly sliced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small apple, cored, quartered and very thinly sliced
 Fried eggs, for serving, optional

PREPARATION

Place one slice of bread on kitchen counter, the bottom crust nearest you. Cut into bottom crust, parallel to counter, to make a pocket. Do not cut all the way to top of slice; bread should remain attached there. Tuck half the cheese and onion slices in pocket. Repeat with other slice.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour custard into a wide, shallow dish. Soak stuffed bread in custard, turning once halfway through, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half the apple slices in a single layer and cook for 1 minute. Place bread slices in pan, covering apples. Arrange remaining apple slices on top of bread; cook 1 minute more.
Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and increase heat to medium; cook until bottoms are golden, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn bread and apples and cook until bread is golden and cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve topped with fried eggs if desired.

Caprese Chicken Stuffed Peppers

 BY LINDSAY FUNSTON   TOTAL TIME: 1:15 SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

1Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
2 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella, divided
3/4 c. ricotta
1/3 c. shredded fresh basil, plus more for garnish
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 bell peppers, halved (seeds removed)
1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
Balsamic glaze, for drizzling

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350º. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add chicken and season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is golden and no longer pink, 8 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes, then dice.
In a large bowl, stir together cherry tomatoes, cooked chicken, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, ricotta, basil, and garlic and season with salt and pepper.
Stuff tomato mixture into peppers and sprinkle tops with remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Pour chicken broth into baking dish (to help the peppers steam) and cover with foil.
Bake until peppers are tender and cheese melty, 40 to 45 minutes.
Garnish with more basil, drizzle with balsamic glaze, and serve.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Week 14 Newsletter 2017

Hello Everyone,                        


We are on the home stretch of this year's CSA. It is hard to believe that there are only 3 weeks left of this season. The main garden is taking on a fall look and I did notice orange pumpkins in the garden this past week. The warm temperatures were welcomed which  helped the cantaloupe cross the finish line.


If you are planning to can/freeze or roast tomatoes, make tomato sauce or salsa......be sure to let me know. The Beyond the Bin will include 1/2 bushels of tomatoes and some of the other needed ingredients.


What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Macintosh Apples
Cantaloupe
French Melon
Sweet Peppers
Jalapeno Peppers
Tomatoes
Onions
Fingerling Potatoes
Eggplant

... and in your bucket:

Cantaloupe                                                     
Sweet Peppers
Tomatoes
Leeks/Onions
Eggplant

Here are a couple of recipes that include items from your bins/buckets this week.

Fresh Tomato Soup With Basil and Farro
 MELISSA CLARK  YIELD 6 small servings  TIME 1 1/2 hours

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
1 ½ cups farro
3 large sprigs basil, stems and leaves separated
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
3 ¼ pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
 Black pepper, to taste

PREPARATION

Pour 8 cups cold water and 1 1/2 tablespoons salt into a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium, add the farro and basil stems, and cook until grains are tender but still a little chewy, about 25 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in the leek and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook leeks until soft, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 cup reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes have completely fallen apart, about 30 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, blender or food processor, purée the tomato mixture until smooth (you may have to do this in batches). Add half the farro and pulse until the grains are broken down and the soup is a chunky purée. Stir in the remaining farro. If the soup seems thick, add more cooking liquid. Taste and add more salt if needed. Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Drizzle with oil; top generously with black pepper and torn basil leaves.

Baked Eggplant

Allrecipe.com JEZZI16  Prep 15 min Cook 30 min Ready in 45 min

Ingredients:

cooking spray
1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 tomatoes,
sliced 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Prepare a baking dish with non-stick play.
Arrange eggplant and tomato slices into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables; season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the entire mixture.
Bake in preheated oven until the cheese is beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. Switch oven broiler to high; continue baking until completely browned, about 5 minutes.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Week 13 Newsletter 2017


Hello Everyone,

I have been harvesting the lush green kale this week and marvel at how they start off from such tiny seeds.  The kale seed is the size of the tip of a pen.  This veggie is part of the Brassica family along with cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, turnips, radishes, and broccoli.  


Brassicas are a favorite host to the imported cabbage worm or looper worm.  The yellowish white moths flock to the rows of brassica to lay their eggs.  The eggs hatch into caterpillars that crawl into the head of broccoli or cauliflower to eat before it pupates into a new moth.  We can control them using a bacterium product containing bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki or Bt.  The bacteria are dusted on the crop leaves, then the worms ingest the bacteria that disrupt their digestion.  Bt was first used in the 1920s and is one of the most widely used naturally occurring bacterial products to control worm populations in food crops.

We rinse all of the produce that is packed in the bins and buckets and recommend items be washed before they are used in your homes. 

The watermelons for both the bins & buckets will be located in a "grab your watermelon" black crate at each delivery site.


What to expect to find in your bin this week:


Watermelon
Peaches
Tomatoes
Lettuce
Leeks
Shallots
Kale
Sweet Peppers
Red & Purple Potatoes

...and in the buckets:

Watermelon
Macintosh Apples
Tomatoes
Lettuce
Red Potatoes

Pasta With Kale, Shiitake Mushrooms and Sausage

DAVID LATT  YIELD 4 servings  TIME 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch black kale, washed, ribs removed
4 Italian sausages (mild or hot)
½ pound shiitakes (or brown mushrooms), washed, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
4 shallots, peeled, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chicken stock or pasta water
1 tablespoon sweet butter
 Sea salt and pepper
½ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 box pasta (spaghetti, ziti, penne, or fusili)
1 tablespoon kosher salt for the pasta

PREPARATION

Make the pasta in boiling salted water, drain (reserve 2 cups of the pasta water if you’re making the vegetarian version), drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt and black pepper, toss and set aside.
Sauté with olive oil or grill the sausages to put a crust on the outside, drain on a paper towel, cut into 1/4-inch rounds, then set aside. In a hot pan lightly brown the kale with the olive oil and remove. Add the shiitakes, shallots, and garlic, and sauté until lightly browned. Turn down the heat to medium. Return the kale to the pan along with the sausages, stock, and butter. Braise for 15 minutes. The liquid should reduce by half.
Taste and adjust the seasoning with sea salt and pepper. Add the cooked pasta, toss to coat with the sauce. Serve with grated cheese.

Olive-Oil-Braised Leeks with Thyme

By Tamar Adler Fine Cooking Issue 115

Servings: 4

Ingredients

2 lb. leeks (about 5 medium), white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise
12 small sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. dry white wine (like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)
Kosher salt

Preparation

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
Arrange the leek halves cut side down in a snug single layer in a shallow 8-inch square baking dish. Nestle the thyme sprigs among the leeks. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, wine, and 1 Tbs. water and drizzle over the leeks. Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.
Braise the leeks in the oven until completely tender and easy to pierce with a fork, about 45 minutes. Uncover the dish and continue to braise until the leeks are caramelized, about 15 minutes more. Remove the thyme sprigs and serve the leeks warm or at room temperature.

The leeks will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Make a light lunch: Chill, drizzle with mustard vinaigrette, and serve with a softly boiled egg and a piece of rustic bread.

Layer for an appetizer: Slice lengthwise into a few pieces, drizzle with fresh lemon juice, sprinkle with coarsely chopped parsley, and serve layered with fresh mozzarella.

Use to top fish: Coarsely chop and spoon over pan-seared striped bass or halibut.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Week 12 Newsletter 2017

Hello Everyone,

The harvest is coming in fast and furious, and we hope you are enjoying every bit of it. The bins and buckets were heavy last week and I do not expect them to be any lighter this week. We have made the bend when not everything will fit in the bins, so plan on making 2 trips to your car. I will be putting the watermelons in a "grab your watermelon" box this week. Please remember to take one when you pick up your bin.

What to expect to find in your bin this week:


Asian Pears
Watermelon
Cucumber
Tomatoes (all kinds)
Onions
Garlic
Purple Cabbage
Sweet Peppers
Kuri Squash or Sweet Dumpling Squash


....and in the buckets:

Watermelon
Tomatoes (all kinds)
Eggplant
Garlic
Sweet Peppers

Here are a couple of recipes that include produce that will be found in your Week 12 bins & buckets.

Grilled Garlic Bread                           


JULIA MOSKIN  YIELD 6 to 8 servings  TIME 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 large (or 2 small loaves) baguette or ciabatta bread, preferably whole grain
 Olive oil
2 garlic cloves, not peeled
1 large ripe tomato, halved (optional)
 Coarse salt such as kosher or Maldon

PREPARATION

Cut bread in half lengthwise, and cut in half crosswise if very long. Brush cut surfaces of bread lightly with olive oil. Under a broiler or on a grill, toast bread, turning a few times, until cut surfaces are golden brown. (If using a broiler, you can place bread directly on the oven rack.)
Remove bread to a work surface, grab a garlic clove with your fingertips and rub it lightly over the cut surfaces of the bread. (The papery skin of the garlic will come off.) When the bread is well scented with garlic, brush again with olive oil and toast again. If using tomato, rub the cut surfaces against the bread so the bread absorbs the juice. Oil and toast bread one last time, until golden and charred. Sprinkle lightly with salt and serve immediately.


Tomato, Fresh Fig and Blue Cheese Salad

MELISSA CLARK  YIELD 4 servings  TIME 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 large or 2 small ripe tomatoes, about 8 ounces, thinly sliced
½ pound fresh figs, cut into quarters
1 ounce crumbled blue cheese, like Fourme d’Ambert, more to taste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
 Black pepper

PREPARATION

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and salt. Whisk in oil.
In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast pine nuts, shaking the pan occasionally, until light golden, about 2 minutes.
Spread tomato slices on a large plate. Scatter fig quarters and pine nuts over tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese and thyme, drizzle with dressing and finish with pepper.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Week 11 Newsletter 2017

 Hello Everyone,

The End-of-August has arrived and everything is fruiting and ripening in the garden.  It is such a contrast - the rapid growth of spring and now the summer slows.  The tomato plants are giving their energy to the fruits and no longer reach for the sky, the bottom leaves are turning brown and falling off. The eggplant plants are also giving all their energy to the eggplants and the plants are no longer lush green and vibrant. We are harvesting the summer bounty: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, onions, potatoes & winter squash. 

I hope you are enjoying the flood of tomatoes! 


What to expect to find in your bins this week:
                                                                   

Nectarines & Peaches  
Tomatoes  
Cherry Tomatoes
Lettuce
Red Onions
Eggplant
Zucchini or Broccolini
Beets
Spaghetti Squash                                                                           

....and buckets:

Nectarines & Peaches
Tomatoes
Beets
Lettuce
Spaghetti Squash                                     


                   
This week's recipes are very easy.



Basic Roasted Beets


INGREDIENTS

1 pound small beets, (about 5), well-scrubbed

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wrap beets in 2 or 3 packets of foil. Place on a baking sheet; bake until beets are slightly soft to the touch, 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on their size. Cool beets in packets, then rub off skins.


Roasted beets pair well with a salad that includes feta cheese and red onions.


Easy Baked Spaghetti Squash


Time:
1 Hour 16 Mins

Yield: 4 to 5 cups


1 (3-lb.) spaghetti squash
1/2 cup water


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out and discard seeds and membranes. Place halves, cut side down, in a large baking dish; add water. Bake at 350°F for 45 to 50 minutes or until tender. Remove squash from oven. Turn cut side up; cool for 10 minutes. Scrape inside of squash with a fork to remove spaghetti-like strands.

I like to add a small amount of maple syrup and butter when the squash is cooling down.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Week 10 Newsletter 2017

Hello Everyone,



Yes, we do have tomatoes! The warm temperatures have kept the ripening process going and each day a few more change from green to orange to red. You will find a few bright red slicers coming your way this week. It looks like we will have nice supply of tomatoes to enjoy for the next few weeks. Please remember to store your tomatoes on your kitchen counter. Tomatoes do not like the cold temperatures and the texture and flavor will suffer if they are stored in the refrigerator.

You may have noticed that I remove the green tops from the carrots before putting them in the bins. Over the years I have found that they keep much longer if the tops are removed. Carrots "transpire"and this causes the crisp carrots to become limp and rubbery.

Hope you are enjoying a beautiful summer evening!



What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Nectarines
Tomatoes
Lettuce
Leeks
Banana Peppers
Carrots
Cucumbers/Zucchini
Beans 
Basil

and buckets:

Nectarines
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Leeks
Carrots
Yikes! There is an octopus in my bucket

Here are couple of my favorite recipes.


Salmon and Tomatoes in Foil

  MARK BITTMAN  YIELD 4 servings  TIME 30 minutes S]

INGREDIENTS

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ to 2 pounds salmon fillet, cut crosswise (4 pieces)
12 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
 Salt and pepper
16 basil leaves

PREPARATION

For each of 4 packages, place one 12-inch-long sheet of aluminum foil on top of another. Smear top sheet with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, and layer a fillet of salmon, 6 tomato halves, salt and pepper, 4 basil leaves and another half tablespoon oil. Seal package by folding foil onto itself and crimping edges tightly. Repeat to make other packages, and refrigerate until ready to cook, no more than 24 hours later.
When you are ready to cook, heat oven to 500 degrees. Place packages in a roasting pan. (Or they can be cooked on top of the stove in 2 skillets over medium-high heat.) Cook 5 minutes (for medium-rare) to 8 minutes from the time the mixture starts to sizzle, or roughly 10 to 12 minutes total.
Let packages rest a minute, and cut a slit along the top with a knife. Use a knife and fork to open the package. Spoon the salmon, garnish and juices onto a plate, and serve.


Panzanella With Mozzarella and Herbs

MELISSA CLARK  YIELD 6 servings  TIME 45 minutes 


INGREDIENTS

4 ounces ciabatta or baguette, preferably stale, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste
¾ teaspoon kosher sea salt, more to taste
2 pounds very ripe tomatoes, preferably a mix of varieties and colors
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn or cut into bite-size pieces
½ cup thinly sliced red onion, about half a small onion
2 garlic cloves, grated to a paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, more to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or thyme (or a combination)
 Large pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
 Black pepper, to taste
½ cup thinly sliced Persian or Kirby cucumber, about 1 small cucumber
½ cup torn basil leaves
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons oil and a pinch of salt. Bake until they are dried out and pale golden brown at the edges, about 7 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
Cut tomatoes into bite-size pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Add mozzarella, onions, garlic paste, 1 tablespoon vinegar, oregano or thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes if using. Toss to coat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, the mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and some black pepper to taste. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil until the mixture is thickened. Stir in cucumbers, basil and parsley.
Add bread cubes, cucumber mixture and capers to the tomatoes and toss well. Let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours before serving. Toss with a little more olive oil, vinegar and salt if needed just before serving.