7095 GA Hwy 155 N
Ellenwood, GA 30294

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Grilled Okra

Okra was a hot topic this past Saturday at Peachtree Farmers Market. Certain people just can't get enough of it and have hundreds of ways to prepare it; others shared horror stories of terrible okra recipes. Everyone seems to love fried okra, but few people want to go through the hassle or calorie binge. Stewed okra with tomatoes, served with white rice and hot sauce, is a classic. A few people told me about brushing whole okra with some oil/butter and seasoning and then putting it under the broiler. My favorite shared recipe, especially for these hot summer months, is grilled okra. This is super easy and delicious. Highly, highly recommended...check it out!

1/2 lb. okra, cleaned
2 TBSP olive oil (substitute butter or mix together, if desired)
2 TSP lemon juice
¼ tsp of cayenne pepper
½ tsp of fresh ground pepper
½ tsp of coarse salt
skewers (soaked in water if using wood)

Trim okra stems without cutting into the pod. Whisk together olive oil and seasonings and toss with okra to coat. Skewer the okra (make it look like a ladder) to make it easier to flip and less likely to fall through grill grates. Grill 2-3 minutes per side (longer for larger okra), until you've got some nice grill marks.

Let's get creative:
***I'm sure many different seasoning combinations would be great -- try a grill seasoning mix or come up with your own combination.
***Putting some cherry tomatoes in between the okra pods on the skewer would make for a tasty variation and colorful presentation.
***If you're feeling sinful or trying to please the little ones, serve this with some ranch dip on the side.

Easy Potato Leek Soup

Whenever you find yourself with potatoes and leeks, the next logical step is always potato leek soup! Here is an easy and delicious recipe that avoids cream and meat, for all you veggies and vegangelists out there. It may be simple but it packs flavor, especially when you use fresh, TaylOrganic ingredients. If you're looking for something richer, add some cream and/or butter. Soups are incredibly forgiving and improvisation is encouraged!

(Tip: the best way to clean leeks is to soak 'em in some water)

1 lb. potatoes, diced 1 in. or smaller
~4 leeks, white and green parts, cleaned and sliced thin
1 qt water (you could substitute broth or add bouillon)
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme, tied together
salt and pepper
optional: cream, butter, bacon
1 bunch chives (1/2 cup), sliced thin

Place all ingredients, except chives, in a pot. Cook 20-30 minutes until potatoes are soft. Remove thyme and bay leaf. For smoother soup, add mixture to blender (make sure soup isn't too hot when you do this; if you have an immersion blender, this would be best). For chunkier soup, use a potato masher right in the pot until soup has reached desired consistency. Serve hot or cold in bowls with chives sprinkled on top. (The chives pack a bunch of flavor so don't forget 'em!)

Serve with a salad for a filling and healthful summertime meal.