By Beewench Farm
August is when I start looking for those juicy tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and watermelons at their peak of flavor. If you have never tried a dry-farmed watermelon, you’re missing out on what a watermelon should taste like. How something so tasty and juicy can grow without irrigation still baffles me, but they taste so sweet. Even though they are great on their own, I love making watermelon mint lemonade to cool off during the summer. Watermelon, mint, feta, and some lime are a great combo to top a fresh summer salad as well. You can find dry-farmed watermelons and just about anything else you might need at the local markets.
If you are looking for more in-season produce here is what to look for:
- Sweet Onions
- Green Beans
- Summer Squash
- Bell Peppers
- Hot Peppers
Ratatouille was probably the easiest and tastiest meal I made using all the amazing veggies in the basket. You can add just about anything to it, and it always tastes so good. It is still my go-to comfort food in the hot summer months and is an easy way to use all that produce you are never quite sure what to do with. I love making it and just enjoying it with some fresh sourdough bread. It’s also great over pasta, quinoa, or polenta or enjoyed alongside some grilled meats or fish. I put some into the blender until it was very smooth and served it over noodles as pasta sauce.
Topped with lots of parmesan cheese, my family loved it and I was happy knowing they were getting a big variety of veggies in one meal! If you have any leftovers, it’s great to add to an omelet or sprinkle a little feta cheese over it and enjoy cold with your favorite chips.
We hope you are having an amazing summer and enjoying all the amazing produce from our local, hard-working farmers!
Instapot Summer Ratatouille Recipe
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 onion peeled, halved and sliced along the lines
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium eggplant or 3 small Japanese eggplant, cut into 1” cubes
- 1 red bell pepper chopped in 1″ chunks
- 1 yellow bell pepper chopped in 1″ chunks
- 2 medium zucchini or squash of choice cut into 1″ pieces
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon capers
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
- Select the Sauté option on the Instant Pot and set it for 7 minutes, then add one tablespoon of the olive oil. Once the olive oil has heated, sauté the onion and garlic for 2 minutes until the onions are slightly softened.
- Add two more tablespoons of olive oil and the eggplant, and sauté 4 minutes more.
- Add the last remaining tablespoon of olive oil along with the bell pepper and zucchini, and sauté 1 minute longer.
- Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, herbs, salt and black pepper to taste and stir until well combined.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot securely and set to cook at High Pressure for 2 minutes. When the ratatouille is done cooking, quick release the pressure and remove the lid when the pressure has been released.
- Remove the bay leaf and herb sprigs, then stir in the capers, fresh basil and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
Serve with crusty bread or over pasta, quinoa or polenta. Enjoy!
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