Monday, August 11, 2008

More Than Veggies in My Garden

We have been enjoying the onions, green beans, the first tomatoes,
chard, cucu
mbers, beets, the first peppers, and red and white potatoes.
All of these have been very high quality.

The red potatoes are ready and we are harvesting them as they are

We are now getting tomatoes every day.

The edamame soybeans are getting close to harvest time. But since we've
never had them before, we're not really certain when to take them.
There are a mess of them. Some plants varieties produce over a long
time (they are "indeterminate"), others produce all their fruit at once
("determinant"). Machine harvesting requires the determinant type.
Anyway, these edamame appear to be strongly determinant, so we will get
one or two giant harvests and that will probably be it.

Fortunately, we can freeze the excess, but we'll enjoy as many fresh
ones as we can. I learned to appreciate them on my trips to Korea a few
years ago. Below
are a few WWW notes on edamame soybeans:


Edamame is of Chinese origin and was developed in Japan especially for
eating out of the pod. Edamame is a variation on the same yellow and
black field soybean that is transformed into many popular soy products
such as tofu, miso, and soymilk. However, because of its recent
introduction into the U.S. market, only a small percentage of U.S.
soybean fields are devoted to growing edamame.

Some call edamame the super or wonder vegetable because it is the only

vegetable that contains all nine essential amino acids. This makes
edamame a complete protein source, similar to meat or eggs.

Edamame also contains isoflavonoids. They are found in all soy products
and are being studied for their health benefits.

Edamame is rarely sold fresh, but is available frozen all year.

To eat beans right out of the shell, boil them until they are al dente
(still slightly firm). Rinse to cool slightly, and season as desired.
You can easily suck the al dente beans out of the shell. Beans may also
be shelled and added to other dishes, such as salads. Beans are easy to
shell after they are boiled briefly.

Edamame and Corn Salad

1 cup cooked and shelled edamame
1 cup sweet corn

2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 green onions, sliced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (basil or parsley will also

work. Avoid dry herbs in this recipe.)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at
least one hour. Makes 4 servings.

This weekend, since it will be so pretty, we may finally get around to

planting some fall crops.

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