A Boatload Of Veggies

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Farmstands offer an abundance of garden-fresh produce, making it hard to resist overloading a shopping basket. This week I choose green beans, corn on the cob, zucchini, onions, garlic, potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, and herbs and started cooking.

Bon veggie appétit!

Green Beans, Fresh Corn, New Potatoes And Garlic(Serves 6)2 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 to 1½ pounds fingerling potatoes, cut in half

2 pounds of fresh green beans, washed and stems removed

4 large cloves garlic, minced

6 ears of fresh raw corn on the cob, kernels cut off

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

Optional: red pepper flakes, to tasteTo prepare:Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Coat the bottom of a baking pan with olive oil.

Add potatoes, drizzle oil on top and bake until the potatoes are brown on the edges and tender to the point of a fork.

Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Add beans and bring to a boil.

Cook until the beans are just crunch tender, about 10 minutes.

Drain and plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process.

Drain again.

Cut beans in halves or thirds and add to potatoes.

A few minutes before serving, coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and cook over moderate heat.

Add garlic and sauté until soft and aromatic, but not brown, about 4 minutes.

Add raw corn kernels and continue to sauté until just tender, about 4 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add potatoes and beans to the pan and stir until hot.

Take off the heat and stir in the onion.

Taste and adjust the seasonings and serve at once.Grilled Corn On The Cob With Shrimp And Zucchini(Serves 4)1/2 cup spicy prepared barbecue sauce

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1½ to 2 pounds peeled and deveined large raw shrimp, with tails on

5 fresh corn on the cob, shucked

2 medium to large green zucchini, halved lengthwise or quarters

2 poblano peppers

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bibb lettuce leaves

Optional: Tabasco sauce, to tasteTo prepare:Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Oil the grid of the grill with vegetable oil.

In a large bowl, whisk barbecue sauce, oil, vinegar and cumin (and/or Tabasco) together.

Reserve approximately half a cup of the barbecue sauce.

Grill corn, zucchini and peppers, basting with sauce and turning occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Dip shrimp in sauce and grill until opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Cut corn off cob into a large bowl.

Cut zucchini and peppers into even-sized pieces and add to the corn.

Toss vegetables with extra barbecue sauce, to taste.

Arrange Bibb lettuce on a large platter.

Spoon hot vegetable onto the lettuce and arrange shrimp on top.

Serve at once and pass extra barbecue sauce at the table. Eggplant And Tomato Saffron Gratin (Serves 6)2½ pounds Japanese eggplant

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 to 2 teaspoons thyme

1 teaspoon summer savory or Greek oregano

2½ to 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 eggs

1½ cup ricotta cheese

3/4 cup cream

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

1/2 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese

12 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade into thin slices (chiffonade)

1/4 to 1/3 cup grated Pecorino RomanoTo prepare:Peel and cut eggplant into quarter-inch thick slices.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Lightly brush both sides of the eggplant with olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet with a mesh or rack and bake for 5 minutes.

Set aside to cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Lightly oil the bottom and sides of a large oven-to-table gratin dish.

Lightly coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and cook over moderate heat.

Add onion and sauté about 1 minute.

Add garlic, thyme and oregano and sauté until aromatic.

Add tomato, then season with salt and pepper and cook until thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk eggs until frothy.

Add ricotta, heavy cream, saffron and Parmesan cheese to the bowl and mix.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble and bake, first spoon a small amount of tomato sauce over the bottom of the baking dish.

Starting and ending with eggplant, arrange a layer on the sauce until the eggplant is used. Make sure to scatter with Pecorino and basil in between the layers.

Pour the custard mixture over on top and allow the custard to set, about 5 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Serve hot or warm.

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