Hambley Farms Heirloom tomatoes are back, specialty small tomatoes in pints. sweet candy onions (red and white), zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, sweet cabbage, burpless french cucumbers, american cucumbers, oriental eggplant, kale, green bell peppers, yellow sweet gypsy peppers, jalapeno, poblano, and sweet Italian fryer peppers are also in production. Everything you need to make ratatouille or cucumber salad is coming in to full season. Full, slicer, red tomatoes will be in by next week.
Ratatouille is a vegetable stew that originates in France. It includes many of the favorite summer vegetables that are quickly appearing at the market. Summer squash, eggplant, sweet onions, green peppers, red peppers and tomatoes are the key ingredients. Although red peppers and eggplant are not yet ready, ratatouille can be made with missing ingredients with little effect on the outcome. The Hambley’s recipe is simple and unique.
Start with a little olive oil in a skillet at medium heat. Throw in a sweet onion, garlic and peppers, sauté until onions are clear and peppers are soft. Add eggplant (optional), summer squash (we use yellow crookneck, as it has more flavor than yellow straight- neck) and cook ten or fifteen minutes. Don’t forget salt, pepper, basil and other herbs you like in a vegetable dish. Add peeled tomatoes (Charles and Elaine use a small can of diced Red Gold tomatoes for speed} and simmer for five to ten minutes.
Charles adds, “Since I am carnivorous meat eater, my wife and I compromise and grate our favorite cheese over the mixture, turn off the heat and let it set with a lid on to melt the cheese. I eat it over toast and Elaine eats it straight up.” You can search the internet for a more professional and more complicated recipe, but you won’t find it any tastier than the Hambleys. Their preparation time is only thirty minutes. And Charles leaves us with this, “Some recipes say 45 minutes, but they must think you have to learn how to use a knife.”
Visit the Hambleys on Facebook. Once red slicers are in, they will arrange pre-orders for those who prefer them. Information on how to advance purchase is forthcoming. See you on Saturday!