What's in the box? August 4, 2015

Oh, August! The heat continues. My patience starts to run thin. And I'm short on ideas in the kitchen...

Here's the moment when you, Dear Reader, swoop in with your ideas and recipes and save the day. Especially your ideas for all those peppers—please send them in!

Here's what was in the box this week:
2 eggplants
1 quart tomatoes
1 quart other tomatoes
2 heirloom tomatoes
2 purple peppers
5 banana peppers
1 quart chili peppers
4 red onions
1 cantaloupe
1 bunch basil
1 pint micro greens

This time of year the heat makes me reluctant to commit to anything, especially if it involves turning on my stove. So rather than my usual meal plan, here are some sketches of what I think I might be cooking this week.

Nearly every week I make a small batch of pesto as soon as I get my box. It only takes five minutes to make, and I then I have the most unbelievable fragrant pesto to add to pasta, pizza, and bruschetta for the rest of the week.

These will be a delightful addition to my lunch this week, probably on an Avocado Turkey Melt.

Honestly, I could just make the Eggplant, Tomato, and Feta Salad every week (and I do, because I also have eggplant growing in my garden right now). But this week, I'm looking forward to branching out and making Martha Stewart's version of Baba Ghanoush, which is a simplified version of more traditional methods and makes do with the ingredients we all have in our fridges.

I tend to eat cantaloupe plain or with prosciutto, but this week I want to try this Cantaloupe Yogurt Smoothie. I think even my kids will like it. Or how about this Cantaloupe Ginger Lassi for a change? It sounds really different...

I've been making a lot of my own tomato sauce lately using Ina Garten's recipe for marinara, but substituting the canned tomatoes for my own homemade stewed tomatoes. This sounds super-involved, but honestly the whole process takes an hour, and at the end I have the most decadent tomato sauce, which I add to everything I eat for the next three days.

A little pepper goes a long way, so I will be using up my peppers bit by bit in just about every dish I make. I'll add several to my Friday Night Pizza. I'll throw a few into the tomato sauce to make Penne All'Arrabbiata. I'll probably make a Sunday morning quiche or frittata that includes a few. Then, if at the end of the week I still have a cache of peppers, I'll clean out my fridge by making my Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink Salsa, because that's exactly what this recipe is good for.

Finally, if I can jolt myself out of my late-summer indolence this week, I'll hope try one of these:

Red Pepper Relish
Hot Pepper Jelly
Stuffed Poblanos