Summer Succotash with Bacon

Made with salty bacon, fresh tomatoes, and bright herbs, this easy succotash recipe creates a delicious summer side dish.

You’ll need:

  • 6 slices bacon, sliced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 4 corn cobs, husked and kernels cut from the cob
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup sliced chives
  • ¼ cup sliced basil
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

To make:

Cook the Bacon: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and set it on a paper towel-lined plate. Remove excess bacon grease, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the skillet.

Cook the Vegetables: Add the green onions and corn to the skillet and cook until soft, about 3-5 minutes.

Combine Ingredients: Remove the skillet from heat and add the tomatoes, chives, basil, feta, and white wine vinegar or lemon juice. Stir in the bacon just before serving so it remains crispy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve: This dish can be served warm or at room temperature.

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Pickles Made Easy

Pickling cucumbers is a great way to preserve the freshness of summer and enjoy the tangy crunch of pickles year-round. Whether you prefer classic dill pickles, sweet bread-and-butter pickles, or spicy variations, pickling cucumbers at home is easier than you might think. Here’s a guide to help you get started on pickling.

Choosing the Right Cucumbers
For the best pickles, choose cucumbers that are:
Small to Medium-Sized: About 4-6 inches long, firm, and blemish-free.
Fresh: Pick freshly harvested cucumbers for the best texture and flavor.
Pickling Varieties: While you can pickle any cucumber, pickling varieties like Kirby or Persian cucumbers hold up better during the pickling process.

You’ll need:

  • Cucumbers: Fresh, firm cucumbers.
  • Vinegar: White vinegar or apple cider vinegar for a tangy flavor.
  • Water: To dilute the vinegar.
  • Salt: Pickling salt or kosher salt (avoid iodized salt).
  • Sugar: Optional for sweet pickles.
  • Spices: Dill seeds, mustard seeds, peppercorns, and garlic are expected. For a spicy kick, you can also add red pepper flakes.
  • Fresh Dill: For dill pickles.
  • Jars: Clean, sterilized jars with lids.

To make:

  • Prepare the cucumbers by washing them thoroughly and trimming off the ends. Cut the cucumbers into desired shapes, such as spears or slices, or leave them whole for baby pickles.
  • To make the brine, combine vinegar and water in a saucepan. Add salt (about 2 tablespoons per quart of liquid) and sugar if making sweet pickles. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt (and sugar).
  • Place spices, garlic, and fresh dill at the bottom of each sterilized jar.
  • Pack the cucumbers tightly into the jars.
  • Pour the hot brine over the cucumbers, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace.

Seal and process the jars:

  • Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth to ensure a good seal.
  • Place the lids on the jars and screw on the bands until fingertip tight.
  • Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10-15 minutes for shelf-stable pickles.
  • If you prefer refrigerator pickles, skip the water bath and store the jars in the fridge.

Allow the pickles to sit for at least 24 hours to develop flavor, but they taste best after a week. For fermented pickles, leave the jars at room temperature for 1-2 weeks, then refrigerate.

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Herb-Marinated Steak

Herb marinades are a game-changer for steak lovers! Infusing steak with a blend of fragrant herbs adds a rich depth of flavor. The marinade’s acidity helps tenderize the steak, making it juicy and succulent. Pick up a variety of fresh herbs here at Back Home on the Farm. 

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • tablespoons fresh thyme
  • tablespoons fresh mint
  • cloves garlic
  • jalapeno seeded and sliced
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt
  • lemon lemon zest
  • ½ lemon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2½ lbs steaks

To make: 

Combine all ingredients except the steaks and place them in a food processor, then pulse until a paste forms.

Pat the meat dry and place it in a shallow baking dish or a freezer bag. Cover the meat with the marinade and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

When ready to cook, heat the grill to high. Use a paper towel to pat the meat dry, leaving on as much paste as possible. Grill over direct heat or under the broiler until browned on both sides, about 3-6 minutes per side if 1 to 11/4 inches thick and 6-9 minutes if 2 inches thick. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.

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Mini Spinach and Egg Frittatas

We love quick, nutritious breakfasts that we can grab before we begin our busy days here at Back Home on the Farm. These Spinach and Parmesan Egg Muffins are delicious and packed with protein and veggies to kickstart your day. They’re also a perfect way to use all that spinach you grew in your garden. 

You’ll need:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 4 cups fresh spinach (roughly chopped if putting in muffin tins)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

To make:

  1. Preparation: Start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees. This high temperature ensures your muffins get that golden-brown top. While waiting for the oven to heat up, generously spray a muffin tin with vegetable oil spray to prevent sticking.
  2. Mix Ingredients: Whisk the eggs and egg whites in a large bowl. Add the milk, chopped spinach, grated Parmesan cheese, and the seasonings (salt, pepper, and a dash of paprika). Whisk all the ingredients until well combined. 
  3. Bake: Pour the egg mixture into the muffin tins, filling them about 2/3 of the way. Slide the tray into the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they are firm to the touch and golden brown on top.

Serving Suggestions:

These egg muffins can be served warm right out of the oven or stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat them in the microwave for a quick breakfast. They’re also perfect for a protein-packed snack after a workout. Pair them with a small salad or fruit for a balanced meal.

Serve and enjoy!

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Bountiful Broccoli

Broccoli is a beloved vegetable that graces dinner tables worldwide. It may seem like a challenging crop to grow, but cultivating broccoli in your garden can be a rewarding experience with the proper knowledge and care.

Broccoli comes in various shapes, sizes, and colors, so choosing a suitable variety for your garden is crucial. We carry Green Magic, Durapak, Destiny varieties here at the greenhouse. Consider your climate, available space, and taste preferences when selecting a variety.

Broccoli thrives in cool weather, making it an excellent choice for spring and fall gardens. It prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade, especially in hotter regions. Ensure your soil is well-drained, fertile, and rich in organic matter. Aim for a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0 for optimal growth.

Depending on your preference and growing season, broccoli can be grown from seeds or seedlings. Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost date, or sow them directly into the garden bed once the soil is workable. Space broccoli plants 18-24 inches apart to allow for proper airflow and growth.

Broccoli requires consistent moisture to thrive, so water regularly, especially during dry periods. Avoid overhead watering to prevent the development of fungal diseases. Mulch around the base of the plants to retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.

Fertilize broccoli plants with a balanced fertilizer high in nitrogen to promote healthy foliage growth. Monitor your plants for pests such as cabbage worms, aphids, and flea beetles. Handpick any pests or use organic insecticidal soap to keep them under control.

Knowing when to harvest broccoli is crucial for optimal flavor and texture. Harvest broccoli heads when they are firm, dark green, and tightly packed, typically 60-90 days after planting. Use a sharp knife to cut the main head just below the florets, leaving the plant intact to produce side shoots for later harvests.

Once harvested, broccoli can be enjoyed in a variety of delicious dishes. Steam or roast broccoli florets as a simple side dish, add them to stir-fries, soups, or salads, or incorporate them into casseroles and pasta dishes. Broccoli is delicious and packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a nutritious addition to any meal.

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