Monday, January 7, 2013

Summer harvest stew - get it into ya

Like many people at this time of year, we currently have a crazy abundance of tomatoes (all shapes, sizes and colours) and zucchini (big and stripy - not sure of the variety). We also have a well-stocked roadside stall bursting with corn, so Jude Blereau's recipe for Calabacitas (summer harvest stew), with some just-dug, jacket roasted potatoes and Palarang lamb chops, is perfect for us right now.
We've been trying to really focus on what we want our long and short term goals to be, so we can refine and have a clear vision of what we want to achieve from our land and living. One thing we're aiming for is to get all our food either from our own hands - grown, raised and killed, harvested, or foraged - or directly from the person who grew/made/raised and killed/harvested the food. Sometimes we feel like this is a ways off, other times, like last night, we're pretty much already there! Zucchini, potatoes, tomatoes and herbs were all from our garden. Corn, leeks and meat were bought directly from the farmer. Yay!


Our meal was pretty simple and so so delicious, super-fresh (and therefore healthy!) mostly chemical-free, and supportive of a couple of local farmers in that what we paid them for their produce is their price, not a wholesale price set by a big business or supermarket. 

We're probably having these kinds of meals several times a month, and it gives us a thrill to literally taste our food-eating goals, and to know that what we're eating is supportive of our local farmers, because so much food is just plain exploitative - of growers and workers and the earth.
So here, without further ado (or ranting) is Jude's recipe for Calabacitas. Give it a go! I'm sure if you have a veggie garden you'll at least have some zucchini, and hopefully some tomatoes too. And if you have a local grower's market, you can get some farmer-direct (and hopefully local) corn, potatoes, and maybe even some meat, if you're that way inclined. Enjoy!

Calabacitas on the way to the table.

 1 corn cob
1 ripe tomato or 150g ripe cherry tomatoes 
30g butter 
2 green or yellow zucchini or one of each (we used 1 giant how-did-that-get-so-big-so-quickly zucchini from our garden), sliced 1cm thick (or whatever size your little helper deems appropriate) 
5 chives (we used 3 baby leeks), finely chopped 
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves (we left this out because it had bolted)
 4-5 basil leaves, finely chopped.

Zucchinis are perfect chopping practice for little hands, firm, but not too firm, and usually in massive abundance in summer time

Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the corn cob and place in a bowl. Run the blunt side of the knife along the cob to remove any remaining milk and germ, and add to the kernels. Jude says to peel your tomatoes, but ours were mostly cherries so we just chopped them in half and chucked them in. Heat butter in a big frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is hot, add the zucchini and cook for 2 mins, or until lightly browned underneath - it's important this happens fairly quickly so the zucchini doesn't stew. Turn and brown on the other side for 1 minute. Stir in the corn and add some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste - smell that corn! Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the tomato and herbs. Cook for 5 minutes or until the corn is tender. Then serve it up and taste that yummy!


  1. Sounds delicious. On a side note hoping that the bush fires we see in the Bega area are a long way from you. Keep yourselves safe.

    1. Thanks Jane. A couple of the fires were actually pretty close, and we have a few good friends in Brogo (where the big fire was), so we were anxious for them. We were very lucky.