The UC Davis Student Farm Harvests Striped Tomatoes and Pumpkins

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Today is the first week of Fall quarter at UC Davis and the Student Farm has harvested some glorious vegetables.

The tomatoes in the CSA (community supported agriculture) basket today came mostly from the farm’s Seeds of Change variety trial. The green striped, red striped, orange, dark striped, etc. tomatoes represent only a fraction of the 75 varieties the farm trialed
this year. There are a couple of red slicers in the mix as well. In their newsletter, the Student Farm crew (Eric, Larisa, Sasha, Ari, Ethan and Raoul) asks us customers to observe how the trial tomato varieties compare to the hybrid red slicers in terms of flavor, texture, and degree of softness.

Today’s baskets include: peppers, okra, onions, garlic, chard, basil, tomatoes,
cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, figs, grapes, zucchini, Chinese Long
Beans, green beans, and pumpkins.

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The Student Farm recipe of the week is from chow.com. Pumpkin Curry.

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When cooked, pumpkin becomes sweet and makes the perfect partner for fiery chili and warm spices such as cumin and turmeric. Despite its quick cooking time, this dish has a rounded flavor. Serve as a vegetable aside to meat and fish dishes or by itself with steamed basmati rice or flatbreads and maybe an accompanying salad.

INGREDIENTS
• 1 pound pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 2 1/2 cups water
• 7 ounces freshly grated coconut
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
• 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
• 8-10 curry leaves
• 2 small red chiles, split in half lengthwise
• Salt

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Put the pumpkin or butternut squash in a saucepan with the
turmeric, smoked paprika, and the water. Bring to a boil and simmer
gently for 6-8 minutes or until tender.
2. Grind half of the coconut in a spice mill or a mortar and pestle
with the cumin seeds. Stir this into the pumpkin mixture and stir and
cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. In a small, nonstick frying pan, heat the oil until hot and add the
mustard seeds, curry leaves, and red chiles. Stir and cook over high
heat for 1-2 minutes, then pour this mixture over the pumpkin curry.
Season and serve.

CHOW note: We tried this recipe with dried, grated, unsweetened
coconut (available in health food stores), and it was delicious. Do
not use sweetened shredded or flaked coconut.
Beverage pairing: Finding the perfect wine to pair with curries can be
daunting, because the spices will clash with many wines containing too
much tannin. And because of those same spices, high alcohol levels are
also to be avoided. An off-dry Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley will
not overpower this dish and also pairs very nicely with the
sweet/earthy pumpkin component. Try the 2005 François Pinon Vouvray
Cuvée Tradition.

The Market Garden at the Student Farm is CCOF Certified Organic.

Follow Pamela Ronald:
Pamela Ronald is Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis, where she studies the role that genes play in a plant’s response to its environment. Her research focuses on the genetics of rice. With her husband, she co-wrote Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food. She writes a blog of the same name.