Friday, July 25, 2014

CSA - Summer Week 2, Cucumber Salsa, and a Picnic Blog Hop

I swear, I may be one of the only people who gains weight in the summer.  Most people are watching what they eat, concerned with "swimsuit season" and such.  Meanwhile, I am stuffing my face with all the delicious fresh bounty that summer brings.  Between my garden, the CSA, and the local farmers markets and farm stands, I have plenty to work with!

The best is when I find a way to use a lot of different fresh foods together to make something delicious that I can share with others, like this creamy cucumber corn salsa, which is one of my favorite picnic snacks.



Backtracking a bit, let me show you what we got for the last CSA share:


Garlic scapes, zucchini, summer squash, scallions, cucumbers, beets, and fennel.  We traded in a head of cabbage to double up on garlic scapes.  My kids were dumbfounded that anyone wouldn't want garlic scapes.  They just crack me up.  "No, seriously Mama...why would they leave them in the trade box????"

The legendary scapes are headed to make pesto, including a vegan version for a friend.  The zucchini was used to make a delicious zucchini butter with thyme, fantastic spread on crusty bread.  The summer squash went into a pasta sauce with onion, tomato, basil, and garlic sausage.  The fennel will be sweetened up into a side dish, the scallions slip into salads and sauces, and the beets will be roasted and frozen for later.  The cukes are going into lunches, but I saved one aside to make this salsa.


There is so much to love about this one.  The ingredients make me happy: fresh corn, cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, onion, hot pepper...all straight from the harvest!  Add some seasoning and a creamy base and BOOM!  A unique salsa, perfect for a summer picnic!


Grab a large cucumber and chop it into pieces about a half inch square.  Chop a small red onion into pieces a bit smaller.  Grab a half cup up sweet corn, blanched and off of the cob (You can use thawed frozen corn, if you'd like.).  Chop up a few cherry tomatoes or a Roma tomato.  Carefully chop a jalapeno pepper into a small dice.  You can use anywhere from a quarter of a pepper to the whole thing, depending on how much spice you like.  I usually go with about a half a pepper, and I avoid the seeds, which bring in more spice.  Chop some cilantro and parsley.  Combine all of that in a medium bowl.


Add a half teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of cumin, and the juice of one lime.


Give it all a stir, then stir in 2 tablespoons of sour cream.  Mix it well, taste it and adjust for seasoning, and then serve with tortilla chips.


You can let this sit in the fridge for a few hours to meld flavors, or pack it into a seal-able container to go in a cooler to bring to your picnic.

The flavor is clean and crisp, full of fresh summer flavor!  The sour cream adds just enough richness to round out the flavor and provides a foil to the spicy jalapeno.  The cucumber is the star of the show, but the sweetness of the corn won't be ignored.


This is seriously one of my favorite summer snacks.  I have been known to eat it with a spoon, like a salad.  It's also not too shabby rolled up into a tortilla, with a little cheese added for fun.  But most of the time?  It's my go-to impressive summer snack.  One of those dishes where when I bring it, people are constantly asking me for the recipe...which, I have to admit, I kind of love that.  Especially when it's a recipe so full of great, healthy veggies!

For more picnic food and fun, check out the other bloggers on the #Foodelicious Picnic Blog Hop:

Mooshu Jenne - Picnic Pasta Salad

Feed Me Seymour - Single Serving Lavender Lemonade

Touch of Modern Hospitality - Broccoli Salad

Mrs. Criddle's Kitchen - Mango Kiwi Salsa

The Baking Fairy - Berry Panna Cotta