Sunday, September 30, 2018

Week 16 Newsletter 2018

Hello Everyone,  

I hope in the coming week you are able to join us at the farm to celebrate apple season and the last week of the CSA for 2018.

You are invited to come to the farm and fill your last bin/bucket of the season with the items below plus extra produce. We will be meeting in the Peak Season CSA garden on Wednesday. (10/3/18) 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.

* 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 available in the hoophouse. Of course, your own cardboard box/ tote bags would be ideal for this pick-up.

For those members who are unable to come to the farm I will put bins/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 Senior Center on Thursday morning.

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

I included your Beyond the Bin tally with your Week 15 Bin. It works best for me if you can plan on paying me this on Wednesday either at the garden or to Joe at the Governmental Center. For those who will be picking up at the Senior Center or Mark's House 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 2019 season. If you sign up for next year by November 1, 2018 by including a $ 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 hoophouse on Wednesday.

What to expect to find in your bins this week:

Honey Crisp Apples
Asian Pears or Purple Plums
Bok Choy
Sweet Peppers
Jalapeno Peppers                                                                                         
Red Onions
Cabbage
Winter Squash
Rosemary & Sage
Garlic

or in your bucket:

Honey Crisp Apples
Red Onions
Sweet Peppers
Winter Squash
Rosemary & Sage


Here are a couple of recipes that include produce you will find in your bins/buckets this week.


Roasted Potatoes With Sage and Garlic

MOLLY O’NEILL 
YIELD 4 servings
TIME 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ pounds small creamer potatoes, halved
⅓ cup flour
1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped sage leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a large, heavy skillet or roasting pan in the oven to heat up. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold salted water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer 5 minutes.



Stir-Fried Chicken and Bok Choy

MELISSA CLARK
YIELD Serves 2 to 3
TIME 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
¾ pound boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch strips
2 tablespoons finely chopped gingerroot
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
½ pound bok choy (1 head), trimmed and thinly sliced
2 leeks (1/2 pound), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
Pinch chile flakes
Salt, as needed
Cooked rice, for serving

PREPARATION

In a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar. Pour half the mixture over the chicken, along with half the ginger and half the garlic. Let stand 20 minutes.
Heat a large, 12-inch skillet over high heat until extremely hot, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil and the chicken. Cook, stirring constantly, until meat is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining peanut oil to the skillet. Add the bok choy and cook 1 minute. Stir in the leeks and chili flakes; cook, tossing frequently until bok choy and leeks are tender, about 1 minute. Stir in the marinade and a pinch of salt. Move vegetable mixture to the border of the pan. Add remaining ginger and garlic to center of pan and cook, mashing lightly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return chicken to skillet and combine with ginger, garlic, and vegetables. Serve immediately, over rice.


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Week 15 Newsletter 2018

Hello Everyone,  
Honey Crisp

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 are not fond of the gale like winds and hope that the weather settles down for the next few weeks. 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. (10/3/18) 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
Smoothies

Once again ... I will be offering an early sign up option for the 2019 season. If you sign up for next year by November 1, 2019 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. (10/3/18)

 What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Macintosh Apples
Purple Plums
Beets
Lettuce
Red Onions
Sweet Peppers
Garlic
Kuri Squash
Tomatoes

... and in your buckets:
Jonagold

Macintosh Apples
Tomatoes
Sweet Peppers
Kuri Squash
Garlic

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


Original Plum Torte

MARIAN BURROS
YIELD
 8 servings
TIME 
1 hour 15 minutes


INGREDIENTS

¾ to 1 cup sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt (optional)
2 eggs
Empire
24 halves pitted purple plums
Sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon, for topping


PREPARATION

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.
Spoon the batter into a springform pan of 8, 9 or 10 inches. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon.
Bake 1 hour, approximately. Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired. Or cool to lukewarm and serve plain or with whipped cream. (To serve a torte that was frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.)



Roasted Squash and Red Onion Gratin With Quinoa


MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN
YIELD
 Serves 6
TIME
 About 1 hour 15 minutes plus 10 minutes cooling time


INGREDIENTS

1 ½ pounds butternut or kabocha squash, peeled, seeds and membranes removed, and cut in small dice (1/2 to 3/4 inch) (about 4 cups diced)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
½ red onion, chopped
1 leek, white and light green parts only, cut in half, cleaned thoroughly, and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
2 ounces Parmesan, grated (1/2 cup)
3 eggs
½ cup milk (2 percent)
½ cup cooked rainbow or black quinoa

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Toss squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on baking sheet in an even layer. Place in oven and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until tender and caramelized. Remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 350 degrees. You should have about 2 cups roasted squash.
Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a medium skillet and add onion. Cook, stirring, until it begins to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add leek and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until onion and leek are tender, another 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Remove from the heat.
Oil a 2-quart baking dish or gratin. In a large bowl, beat eggs and add salt and pepper to taste (I use about 1/2 teaspoon salt). Whisk in milk. Add onions and leek mixture, squash, Parmesan and quinoa, and combine well. Scrape into the prepared baking dish.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until set and the top is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes or longer before serving.

Tip
Advance preparation: The roasted squash will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator. The gratin will also keep for 2 to 3 days. Reheat in a medium oven for about 20 minutes.








Sunday, September 16, 2018

Week 14 Newsletter 2018



Hello Everyone,     

We are making our way through a deep pile of ripe tomatoes. After another incredibly warm weekend it looks like there will more vine ripened tomatoes that will be ready to be picked this week. Yes, the bays may be getting a little cooler in the middle of September but we are swimming in produce this time of year!

What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Purple Plums
Nectarines
Melon
Tomatoes
Spaghetti Squash
Peppers
Leeks
Carrots
Arugula/Lettuce

and in your bucket:                                                    

Melon
Carrots
Tomatoes
Peppers
Arugula



Here are a couple of recipes for this week.



Carrot Cake Muffins

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN
YIELD 12 muffins
TIME 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 ½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
⅓ cup raw brown (turbinado) sugar
⅓ cup canola oil
1 ⅓ cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅔ cup golden raisins tossed with 1 teaspoon unbleached all-purpose flour, or 2/3 cup chopped pecans
1 ½ cups grated carrots

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the upper third of the space. Oil or butter muffin tins.
Sift together the whole-wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Using a whisk or a spatula, stir in the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Do not beat; a few lumps are fine, but make sure there is no flour at the bottom of the bowl. Fold in the raisins or pecans and the carrots.
Spoon into muffin cups, filling them to just below the top (about 4/5 full). Place in the oven, and bake 25 minutes until lightly browned and well risen.

Tip
Advance preparation: These keep for a couple of days out of the refrigerator, for a few more days in the refrigerator and for a few months in the freezer.



Tomato and Carrot Marinara Sauce

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN
YIELD 2 1/4 cups (about eight servings)
TIME 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ pound carrots, peeled and finely diced 1/4 inch dice or smaller, or finely chopped in a food processor fitted with a steel blade 1 1/2 cups
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds tomatoes, seeded and grated, or peeled, seeded and chopped; or 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, with juice
⅛ teaspoon sugar
1 sprig of fresh basil, if available
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon dried oregano (optional)

PREPARATION


Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, wide nonstick skillet or saucepan. Add the carrots. Cook, stirring, until tender, five to eight minutes. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to a minute until the garlic begins to smell fragrant. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the sugar, basil sprig, salt, tomato paste and oregano. Stir, and turn up the heat. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until thick and fragrant, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the basil sprig, and wipe any sauce adhering to it back into the pan. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Week 13 Newsletter 2018

Hello Everyone,              

Oh, the times are a changing! It seems that regardless of where you are in your life, if you have been out of school for 30 years or are just starting your first year of kindergarten, the beginning of the school year is an exciting time of year. I hope you have eased into September and have found creative ways to use all of the produce that you brought home on Wednesday or Thursday.


What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Melon
Nectarines
Asian Pears
Red Onions
Peppers and more peppers
Tomatoes
Lettuce
Cucumber or Radishes

...and buckets:

Melon
Nectarines
Peppers
Tomatoes
Garlic

Here a couple of recipes to use all of those peppers!

Sheet-Pan Roasted Fish With Sweet Peppers

MELISSA CLARK

YIELD 3 to 4 servings
TIME 40 minutes 


INGREDIENTS

1  small bunch fresh lemon or regular thyme
1 ½  pounds hake fillets
½  teaspoon fine sea salt, more as needed
 Black pepper
3  large bell peppers, preferably 1 red, 1 orange and 1 yellow, thinly sliced
4 ½  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
¼  cup pitted, sliced black or green olives, or use a combination
1  teaspoon sherry vinegar
1  garlic clove, grated
1  cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaves, chopped

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pull 1 tablespoon thyme leaves off the bunch and finely chop.
Season fish all over with a large pinch or two of salt and pepper and rub with chopped thyme leaves. Let rest at room temperature while you prepare peppers.
Spread peppers on a rimmed sheet pan and toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the black pepper. Top peppers with the remaining thyme sprigs. Roast, tossing occasionally, until peppers are softened and golden at the edges, 15 to 20 minutes.
Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. Push peppers to the edges of the pan, clearing a space in the center. Lay fish out on that empty space and drizzle with oil. Scatter olives over the top of fish and peppers. Roast until fish turns opaque and is just cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine vinegar, garlic and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, then whisk in parsley. Taste and add more salt or vinegar, or both, if needed. Serve fish and peppers drizzled with vinaigrette.

Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwich

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN

YIELD 1 serving
TIME 5 to 10 minutes 

INGREDIENTS

2  thick slices whole wheat country bread or 1 ciabatta roll, split
1 ½  ounces goat cheese (about 1/3 cup), at room temperature
½  tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, parsley or chives
⅓ to ½  large grilled or roasted red pepper (see note)

PREPARATION

If using whole wheat bread, lightly toast it. This will prevent sandwich from becoming soggy. If using a roll with a hard crust, there is no need to toast.
In a bowl, mash goat cheese with a fork or spoon and stir in chopped herbs.
Spread equal amounts of goat cheese on each slice of bread or on both halves of roll. Top the bottom half with roasted pepper and cover with other slice of bread or half of roll. Cut in half if using bread, or into quarters if using a ciabatta roll. Wrap each piece tightly in plastic if transporting. The sandwich keeps well for 2 days.

Tip

To quickly grill a pepper on an indoor stove, light a gas burner and place pepper directly over flame. As soon as one section has blackened, turn pepper, using tongs, to expose another section to flame. Continue to rotate until pepper is blackened. Place in a bowl or plastic bag and seal or cover tightly. Allow to sit until cool, then remove the charred skin. You may need to run pepper briefly under faucet to rinse off final bits of charred skin. If so, pat dry with paper towels. Cut pepper in half and remove seeds and membranes.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Week 12 Newsletter 2018

Hello Everyone,

It is remarkable how plants react to a few rainy days. Even with the days getting shorter it seems like many plants doubled in size in just a few hours. I hope everyone is getting a chance to enjoy the vibrant colors that are marching along after the rainy days.

You will be receiving a couple of melons in your bins this week. It has been a great year for melons. I intentionally grow ice box size watermelons so they will fit in the bins, this week you may receive a red or a yellow watermelon. The cantaloupe variety is Sarah's Choice and I grow these for their sweet flavor and solid texture.

This week the farm crew has been putting fishline around the Honeycrisp apple trees.  The clever crows have discovered this variety of apple and the fishline encourages them to move along. The large cooler has been completely emptied of cherries, cleaned from top to bottom in preparation of the "next big thing" ... apple season!


 
What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Watermelon
Cantaloupe
Nectarines
Peppers
Carrots
Lettuce
Arugula or Cherry Tomatoes
Tomatoes
Garlic


...and in the buckets:

Watermelon
Lettuce
Peppers
Tomatoes
Carrots

Here are couple of my favorite tomato recipes.


Salsa Fresca

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN
YIELD
 2 cups
TIME
 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

¼ small white or red onion, minced
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 pound fresh, ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1 to 3 jalapeño or serrano chiles, to taste, minced (and seeded, if you would like a milder salsa)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, more to taste
1 to 3 teaspoons fresh lime juice (optional)
Salt to taste
PREPARATION

Place minced onion in a bowl and cover with cold water. Add vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes or longer. Drain and rinse with cold water.
In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir in onions. (If your tomatoes are full of flavor, you won’t need lime juice.) Ideally, let stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before eating so that flavors will blend and ripen.

Garlicky Tomato Toast (Pan Con Tomate)

DAVID TANIS
YIELD 4 to 6 servings
TIME 30 minutes 


INGREDIENTS

3 or 4  very ripe medium tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1  pint cherry tomatoes (about 12 ounces)
4 to 6  large slices sturdy sourdough bread, about 1/2-inch thick
4 to 6  garlic cloves, peeled
 Salt and pepper
 Extra-virgin olive oil
 Basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

PREPARATION

Cut 2 tomatoes in half crosswise. Place a box grater in a shallow bowl and grate the tomato flesh from the cut sides, pushing through the large holes. You should have 1 cup or so of coarse tomato purée. Set purée aside, and discard tomato skins.
Cut remaining large tomatoes into 1/4-inch slices. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Set aside.
Toast the bread until nicely browned and crisp. (Toasting over a charcoal grill yields a rich, smoky flavor, but a toaster, toaster oven or broiler works just as well.)
With your fingers, rub the top of each toast with a garlic clove. You will see the cloves get smaller as the garlic is dispersed, pushed into the bread. (For a less garlicky toast, press lightly when rubbing.)
Place toasts on a platter or individual plates. Spoon and spread a heaping tablespoon of tomato purée over each toast. Then arrange tomato slices and cherry tomatoes randomly on top.
Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil per toast. Garnish with whole or torn basil leaves, if using.

Tip
If you don’t want to bother with grating tomatoes, rub the toasted bread first with garlic, then with 1 or 2 halved tomatoes, until top surface is quite juicy, then continue with Step 6.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Week 11 Newsletter 2018

Hello Everyone,


Ah, sun kissed tomatoes are the best! It seems like we have had many chances of rain pass us by this past week. Of course, everything in the garden enjoyed the gentle showers the past few days and the landscape has taken on a rich green color. The warm loving plants seem to be standing tall. The tomatoes continue to show more brilliant color everyday. Yes, it is certainly harvest season in the vegetable garden.


What to expect to find in you bin this week:

Watermelon
Cantaloupe
Mixed Greens or Arugula
Cucumber or Zucchini
Jalapeno Peppers
Sweet Peppers
Eggplant
Tomatoes
Leeks

.... and in the buckets:
Cantaloupe
Eggplants
Arugula
Leeks
Tomatoes








Here are a couple of recipes you
may like to try this week.


Melon With Red Chili Flakes, Salt and Lime

JEFF SCHWARZ AND GREG KESSLER
YIELD
 4 servings
TIME
 About 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 muskmelon (honeydew or cantaloupe), rind and seeds removed
8 six-inch skewers
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 jalapeño, finely diced (seeds removed)
½ lime

PREPARATION

Cut the melon into 1-inch cubes.Skewer the melon pieces (about four pieces for each skewer), and place them on a serving plate.
Place the salt and red chili flakes in a coffee or spice grinder and pulse until finely ground. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of the salt/chili mixture over the melons, followed by the diced jalapeño.
Squeeze the lime over the melons, and serve.

Greek Baked Squash Omelet

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN
YIELD
 Serves six to eight
TIME
 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts, cleaned and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ pound winter squash or zucchini, cut in 1/4- to 1/3-inch dice
Salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
8 eggs
½ cup drained yogurt or thick Greek-style yogurt
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the leek and cook, stirring, until tender, about three minutes. Add the garlic, stir together until fragrant, about 30 seconds, and add the squash. Cook, stirring, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes for winter squash, about 8 minutes for zucchini. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the dill and the mint. Remove from the heat.
Place the remaining tablespoon of oil in a 2-quart casserole or in a 9-inch cast iron skillet, brush the sides of the pan with the oil and place in the oven. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Whisk in the yogurt and the Parmesan. Stir in the squash or zucchini mixture.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and scrape in the egg mixture. Place in the oven, and bake 30 minutes or until puffed and lightly colored. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Week 10 Newsletter 2018






Hello Everyone,


Did you notice the surprise in your bins/buckets last week? After a very long wait, finally the continuous heat ripened the tomatoes. I hope you enjoyed your first CSA tomatoes for 2018. This week will kick-off what we hope will be another tomato tsunami. They have grown into a wall almost as tall as your friendly gardener! From heirloom to grape tomatoes, there are lots of varieties to look forward to!
This week the melons ripened as well and they are super sweet. It looks like there will be plenty of melons for everyone for  next couple of weeks.



It is a beautiful time of year in the garden with lots of colorful peppers, eggplants and flowers popping up everywhere! Most of our crew has finished for the season except for the year-round crew and a few extras to help with the upcoming apple harvest. With cherries behind us, we are beginning to hand thin the apples from the apple trees and making other preparations for the apple harvest. It looks like it is going to be a big crop this year and we would love to see some rain to help size up the fruit.


What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Watermelon
Cantalope
Lettuce
Peppers
Tomatoes
Eggplant
Zucchini
Cucumber
Basil

....and in the buckets:

Watermelon
Peppers
Tomatoes
Eggplant
Cucumber


Let's have some lucious summer salads this time around!


Tomato and Watermelon Salad

SAM SIFTON
YIELD
 6 to 8 servings
TIME
 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

4 to 6 large tomatoes, ideally heirloom varieties, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1 small seedless watermelon, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup feta cheese, torn into large crumbles

PREPARATION

Combine the cubed tomatoes and watermelon in a large, nonreactive bowl and toss gently to combine. Add salt and let stand 5 to 10 minutes while you prepare the dressing.
Whisk together the oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the cheese to the tomatoes and watermelon, then the dressing, and toss gently to combine.



Grilled Eggplant Salad

MELISSA CLARK
YIELD
 about 1 1/2 cups
TIME
 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 large eggplant
1 plum tomato, diced
1 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Black pepper, to taste
Capers, for garnish, optional
Grilled pita bread, for serving

PREPARATION

Heat grill to medium high. Prick the eggplant all over with a fork, put in on the grill and close the cover; cook, turning occasionally, until eggplant is very soft and skin is blistered, about 15 minutes.
When cool enough, scoop out the insides of the eggplant and coarsely chop. Transfer to a bowl and toss with tomatoes, vinegar, salt, oregano and garlic. Stir in oil and parsley; season with pepper and more salt if needed. Garnish with capers if you like them. Serve with warm pita bread.


Cucumber Salad

PIERRE FRANEY
YIELD
 6 servings
TIME
 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

4 cucumbers, about 2 pounds
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons white vinegar
Salt to taste if desired
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill

PREPARATION

Trim off ends of each cucumber and cut in half lengthwise. Scrape away and discard seeds. Cut each cucumber half into thin crosswise slices. There should be about 6 cups.
Put sour cream, heavy cream, vinegar, salt, pepper and dill in mixing bowl and blend thoroughly. Add cucumber slices and toss.