After being reminded by the listeria outbreak from Colorado cantaloupes, be sure to scrub the skin of melons with a vegetable brush before cutting – you can use a mild detergent solution or hydrogen peroxide followed by a water rinse.
If you are overwhelmed by the fresh peppers we’ve been receiving, roast and peel them like green chiles and put in ziplock bags and freeze. They keep well that way and are versatile used in many dishes.
These two recipes are from Indian Cooking, by Savitri Chowdhary; a well-worn cookbook my husband Tom brought back after months in Afghanistan, Nepal and India.
Garam Masala (can be purchased ready-made at the Marketplace, Vitamin Cottage or Ziggy’s International Market, but is much more flavorful and intense when made fresh) 2 T black peppercorns 2 T coriander seeds 1 ½ T caraway seeds ½ T ground cloves 20 large cardamoms with skins removed. Grind these together in a coffee grinder or blender till fine but not powdery. Add ½ T ground cinnamon. Store unused portion in an airtight jar.
Vegetable Curry (adapted for our share this week, all these veggies are traditional in Indian food)
Curry freezes well and will warm cold winter nights.
2 T butter, 2 T oil – heat in large cast iron dutch oven or other heavy pot Add one chopped onion and 2 small chopped red, yellow or green peppers (purple are fine too) Stir for a couple of minutes, then, add 2” piece of ginger, and 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine. Stir for one minute, turn down heat and Add 1 T garam masala, 1 T turmeric and 1 T (optional) red chile Sizzle together, stirring for a couple of minutes. Add 1 large can pureed tomatoes and 2-3 cups broth or salted water, turn up heat and bring to simmer. Add; in this order, waiting 4 minutes between each vegetable (vegetables should be similarly sized when cut) Cubed potatoes and green beans cut in small pieces, cubed eggplant (no need to peel) cauliflower cut in small florets, chard cut into bite- sized pieces. Cook until chard is done – all veggies should be tender. You can add chicken, lamb, shrimp, or tofu. Add the juice of a lemon just before serving.
Serve with rice (brown jasmine is best), fresh-made papadums and raita (yogurt, caraway seeds and coarsely grated cucumber), and fruit chutney. Papadums are addictive like potato chips, are made of lentil flour and spices and are available at Ziggy’s. Fry them in oil till they crisp, flip to other side and remove when golden brown, drain on paper towels.
Enjoy this beautiful autumn week and the bright bounty our farmers have grown for us.