Sunday, August 5, 2012

Salsa, Zucchini Quiche, and Tomato Salad

It's been a slow start to the canning year.  We had a bizzarre spring and late frosts, so the berry crop was awful.  There was not a single mulberry on my tree!  George planted me some new trees, a mulberry of my own and a quince too!  Hopefully the deer will leave them alone, but time will tell.

Homemade Salsa

The beginning of the canning season is usually my Homemade Salsa, which I always get compliments on.  Sometimes people cannot believe it is canned and not made fresh!  I am pretty sure the secret there is that this is only cooked for 10 minutes and I strain it as I can it, which results in a chunkier salsa.  I can the juice seperately and use it in soups.  One time we tried it for bloody marys, but it was too strong for that. It makes a good chili base or a nice bean soup broth. So here's the recipe:

15 c peeled cored chopped ripe roma tomatoes
4 large green bell peppers, chopped
3 large sweet onions, copped
6 jalepenos, chopped*
1 1/4 c cider vinegar
3 T minced garlic
2 T minced cilantro
3 T salt
3 T lime juice

Combine all ingredients, bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer 10 min.
Pack hot into hot jars.
Process 15 min in boiling water bath.

*Tips: Wear gloves then chopping hot peppers, reduce heat by taking out the seeds.  Peppers are usually hotter in dryer years and later in the summer.

Zucchini Quiche

Last week my freind Paula made Zucchini Quiche for beer club, immeadiately claiming the Zucchini Queen title and intimidating me to the point where it will be a long time before I make zucchini anything for one of our pot lucks.  She was good enough to share her recipe, and as good as it was, I couldn't resist tweaking it just a little.  Here is my version:

4 c shredded zucchini
1 c diced sweet onion
2 T olive oil
1 T garlic paste (fresh elelphant garlic ground up and preserved in olive oil)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t itailian seasoning
1/4 c half and half
1 1/2 shredded jalrseburg or swiss
1/2 c shredded parmesan or asiago
2 eggs
1 pk crescent rolls

Bloom the garlic in the olive oil. 
Add onions and saute until translucent. 
Add spices.
Add zucchini and saute until excess liquid is gone.Cool.
Spread crescent rolls in greased 9 x 13 pan.  Spread mustard over.
In a large bowl, combine the veggies, half and half, cheese and eggs.
Spread over crust. Top with drained tomato slices.
Bake 30 min at 375.

This was great!  As I am currently low-carbing though, next time I think I will leave out the crust and call it frittatta.

Tomato and Corn Salad

Like I said, Paula took the Zucchini Crown last week, so I had to come up with something good this week.  I have made the standard Tomato Mozzarella Salad many times.  People like it, but no real raves.  I thought and researched and shopped and thought some more and this is what I came up with:

4 c seeded chopped red and yellow tomatoes (chopped to the same size as the cherry tomatoes)
2 c whole red and yellow cherry tomatoes
3 ears fresh sweet corn, shelled
1/2 c red onion, sliced long wise into slivers
1/2 c fresh mini basil leaves
1/2 c fresh mozzarella, cut into about 1/2" x 1/4" rectangles
1/2 t salt
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 T cider vinegar

Seed the tomatoes by cutting them in half cross-wise and then squeezing slightly to remove extra liquid and seeds.
Combine the tomatoes and the raw corn and refrigerate 4 hours to allow the acid in the tomatoes to slightly cook the corn.
Add the rest of the ingredients just before serving.  Toss.

Unfortunately, Paula didn't even show up this week....oh well.