This week's features: cucumbers and hot peppers, plus a contribution from a fellow CSA member. - Debbie
Raita (cucumber yogurt salad)
This is another one of those recipes for which everyone has their own version. It is a wonderful accompaniment to hot and spicy Indian food. The main ingredients are cucumber (peeled, and either diced or grated) and yogurt, in proportions of roughly 1 cuke per cup of yogurt. All recipes season with salt, pepper and a bit of cayenne. Some add cumin, others swear a key ingredient is chopped fresh mint. Some like to remove the seeds from the cucumber. Some strain off excess liquid from grated cukes before mixing with the yogurt, while others put the yogurt in a strainer or cheesecloth to remove its excess 'wateriness'! I say do what suits you. If you like it thicker, do some straining. If you're in a hurry, don't bother. It'll taste good either way!
Penne with shrimp and fresh chilies
4 main-course servings, "ready in the time it takes to boil the pasta"
exerpted from "the All New Joy of Cooking"
1 lb. penne
1/4 C olive oil
8 cloves garlic, chopped
zest of 1 orange, minced
1 - 2 fresh hot chilies, seeded & diced
1 lb. shrimp, peeled, deveined & diced
Boil pasta in ample salted water. Meanwhile, sauté garlic, zest, and chilies in oil 'until garlic turns blond', then add shrimp and cook, stirring, until barely firm, about 3 minutes. Remove 1/2 C of pasta water and stir into shrimp. Drain pasta and toss with shrimp mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Vaiva Bichnevicius says this recipe from "Moosewood Cooks at Home" is a favorite wherever she takes it. (I edited it slightly to fit the paper version. - Debbie)
Not your mother's green beans
1/2 C pine nuts (Vaiva used almonds, which she broke up after roasting)
1 lb. green beans, washed & trimmed
1 lg. shallot or 1/4 C chopped scallions
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1/4 C olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped parsley, chevril or basil
Toast nuts about 10 minutes until golden. Boil green beans in salted water until just tender, 3 to 6 minutes. Combine shallots or scallions, vinegar, oil, and herb in a medium bowl. Drain beans thoroughly and toss with the dressing. Stir in toasted nuts, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, or chill for 20 minutes.