SPRING ISLAND BLOG

5/18/2019 Farm Update - Another big work week coming. Plus - Why the "Big Zucchini" deserves some respect

Farm Update from Jim Basara- OK folks, we’re in our final phase of the big work for the summer farm. We still need tomato tying and we’re going to start driving stakes for the electric corn fence. For the tomato tying, please reach out to me if you have 30 minutes at any time. Because it is a strain on the back, it’s better to do this in small doses so we’re looking for people who are willing to tie a row or two and walk away. For the electric fence, I’d like to have one volunteer for an hour to help me mark for the fence posts on Monday. Then, I’d like to get a group together to start pounding posts on Wednesday. Please let me know if you can help. We’re almost there. We will have our normal hoeing day on Tuesday at 0830. We hope you can make it out Respect the Big Zucchini!!! I’ve been having this ongoing debate with some of you for years, and I’m not giving up. Today, Chef Jeremy had a sous vide class, which was fabulous. One of his dishes was a sous vide ratatouille and, during his presentation, he remarked how great the large zucchini were at Waterfall Farm. A few hours later, I was at the farm specifically to pick some large zucchini for tonight’s dinner. As I did so, another member was there and remarked, “It breaks my heart.” as though I was harvesting some obscene, inedible, disgusting thing that had to be put out of its misery. Internally, I laughed, because the large zucchini was exactly what I was looking for. So, here I am with another attempt to convert you nonbelievers. First, there are two types of large zucchini. Type 1 is the zucchini that has been left on the vine for weeks in the heat and it has grown fibrous and tough. This is usable for stocks and stews if you peel it well, but not much more than than that. The 2nd type is zucchini that is still young, but has grown rapidly due to optimal growing conditions. This type is just as flavorful and just as succulent as the small zucchini because it has not sat long on the vine getting tough. It simply grew very fast. While it does now have seeds, the flesh remains as flavorful and moist as its smaller brethren, and it is a waste to discard it as unusable. I use large zucchini in two ways. First, they are fantastic stuffed. A quick search for stuffed zucchini on Google will present with all kinds great recipes. I just did a Mediterranean lamb stuffed zucchini this week that we excellent. Second, I love to use large zucchini for “zoodles”, or zucchini noodles, that I use as a pasta substitute or in stir fries. If you haven’t tried zoodles, you are missing out on an amazingly healthy alternative to pasta. Now, I know that all you spiralizizers out there are saying that large zucchini are too big for your machines, but those machines aren’t the only way to skin a zucchini. Introducing the much-cheaper-than-a-spiralizer julienne peeler. I love my spiralizer. You can do some really creative things with it. But when it comes to making zoodles for stir fry or spaghetti-replacement dishes, nothing compares to a large zucchini and a julienne peeler. I literally can have a bowl full of zoodles in less than 30 seconds (okay add another 10 seconds for cleanup). Tonight, we did a shrimp scampi zoodle and I took a few pics to persuade some of you to give the large zucchini a chance. ere I’m starting with a semi-peeled large zucchini and my peeler. Semi-peeled is simply my preference. You can keep the entire peel or peel it entirely. Your choice. Then I use the julienne peeler just like I would peel a potato and get beautiful long zucchini noodles. You just can’t do this as well or as efficiently with a spiralizer. I stop peeling when I see the seeds and in less than 30 seconds, I have a zoodle pile for two. It’s really that simple. There is zero quality difference between these fast growing large zucchini and small zucchini when used for this purpose. Sure, if I’m grilling them for a nice presentation on a plate, I’ll go with small zucchini every time. But for stir fries and pasta dishes, not a chance. Give me a fresh, fast growing, Waterfall Farm large zucchini and I’m very happy to avoid messing around with multiple smaller fruit. Here’s a pic of tonight’s Shrimp Scampi with Zoodles, topped with Waterfall Farm basil.

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