The CSA Chronicles: Tomatopalooza

About the author: Jolene Howard (left) is a Tribeca resident, Southern transplant, mother of a turnip-eating two year old, full-time marketer, and part-time author of citybaby :: a blog about baby food.

A significant contributing factor to my decision to join the Downtown CSA at 92YTribeca this summer was the prospect of delicious, juicy, ripe tomatoes every two weeks, especially considering how expensive and flavorless they are at the grocery. Of course, there are no guarantees when it comes to crops, but my optimism paid off. We are deep in tomatoes this year and given my building’s no-gas situation, the timing couldn’t be better. These are, after all, the salad days of summer.

We’ve been away for the past two weeks and I’ve missed my CSA. The color palate has changed dramatically since my last pick-up. Previous weeks have included many shades of green (kale, lettuce, basil, chard, turnip greens, broccoli) but my pick-up this past Wednesday consisted of vibrant yellows and luscious ruby reds. We’ve hit tomato pay dirt!

This week’s Katchie Farm bounty:
• 2 cucumbers
• 2 enormous onions (how I wish I could halve these, grill them, and sprinkle them with sea salt)
• 3 tomatoes (I chose three different types—one resembled a dimpled pincushion)
• 2 zucchini
• 1 bunch spinach or chard (I chose spinach)
• 1 bunch very fragrant basil with gorgeous blooms pretty enough to put in a vase
• 2 very light green bell peppers

Confetti Salad

1. Chop the ends off one cucumber and one zucchini. I coarsely peel my cucumbers, but it’s completely discretionary. Slice each cucumber and zucchini in half lengthwise, then slice those halves lengthwise again.

2. Strip the seeds out of the cucumber using a knife or spoon.

3. Chop into consistent bite-sized pieces and drop into a large bowl. Salt, pepper and add a small amount of olive oil. Toss.

4. Cut the bell pepper in half, remove the seeds and ribs, and slice into thin strips. Add to the bowl.

5. Coarsely chop two tomatoes into bite-sized pieces.

6. Chop 1/4 lb. of Greek feta cheese into bite sized pieces. Toss with chopped tomatoes and add mixture to bowl.

7. Chiffonade 6 to 8 large basil leaves and chop a few blossom stems. Add to the bowl.

8. Drizzle balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon on top of the salad. Toss all ingredients together. Voilà! Confetti salad!

This salad will yield a hearty quantity and is quite versatile. I topped a bed of baby arugula and bean sprouts with confetti salad for dinner the night I made it, then stuffed a pita with dollop of hummus and a handful of sprouts and confetti salad the next day for lunch. On a really hot day, this type of meal really hits the spot.

Previous CSA Chronicles:
Presto, Pesto!
• Deep Greens


Comments are closed.