Farm Feast 2018: This summer, I took a little visit back to our family farm in California. It was the height of the growing season and the produce was bursting with flavor and variety. It struck me this visit, exactly what we in “land locked Switzerland” truly miss out on during the bountiful summer growing season. Sure, we have fruit and veg in Switzerland, but it’s always usually lacking in variety, flavor, and most importantly…did I say variety?! We grow tomatoes in Switzerland, but I’m not impressed. They are usually sandy, and tasteless. The california grown corn is hard to beat! This summer’s variety was a sweet heirloom white corn-I nearly died when I bit into it. How I miss these lovely vegetables from our California summers. It’s a trade off for me. One that I found myself heavily weighing in on. Life is different across the pond, especially when you come from California. There’s nothing comparable to it-never has been, and never will be.
Something I love to channel while I’m home visiting is the creativity that the farm’s bounty instills in me. Our fields were full of several heirloom varieties of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, beets, beans, and squash. Our solution to all this was to throw a farm feast. We assembled all the goodness from our fields and put it on the table for a feast (all but the tri-tip).
My mom decorated the table with a lovely vintage Italian linen table cloth, while my sister, my mom and myself began to cook up what the farm had to offer. You can see the delight the colors from the field bring to the table. The tomato dish was a mixture of heirloom “cherry” tomatoes which included the ‘black plum’, ‘yellow pear’, ‘coyote’ and ‘super snow white’. They were as amazing as they look & sound!
The beets were out of this world. They are an heirloom variety as well, and were sweet, golden and delicious. We love preparing the beets in a steamer (or pressure cooker for 15 min.), peel, dice then mix together with fresh parsley, sliced red onion, salt/pepper, and the topper of olive oil and balsamic.
The green beans were fresh from the bush. So fine, delicate and cooked the good old Italian way…slightly sautéed in a pan of olive oil, garlic, and onions.
The new addition this year was the grill smoker. My dad slow cooked the tri-tip on his new toy. Yes, it takes longer, and is cooked above a bed of wood chips, but the end result and taste is truly spectacular. This method allows different finished products in one application-you had medium rare, to medium, to well cooked meat.
Plan yourself a farm harvest with all your bounty’s of work from the garden. You don’t have to live in California to be inspired, your summer gardening efforts can be shared and enjoyed by Inviting your favorite guests, preparing a nice cocktail (perhaps the whiskey sour) and cook up an array of your own vegetables and make a lasting impression on your taste buds.