Rob warned me.
I was away last week and Rob was in charge of watering the garden. I knew one of our squash plants was not doing so well after the scorching heat wave. I was already mentally prepared for the loss of a squash plant. Four plants in a small planter was probably not the best idea anyways. Even if 1 of the plants die, at least I will have 3 squashes.
However, it turns out that we have probably lost 3 out of our 4 plants.
AND…. to make matters worse, of the 3 squashes, one was ripped off the plant and eaten. Another had a large nibble removed. Only one survives. Rob swears it wasn’t him. We blame the raccoons!
One of the reasons we didn’t plant tomatoes was because we had an abysmal crop last year and oftentimes the animals would munch on the tomatoes first, leaving us with a handful of cherry tomatoes at the end of the season. Stealing tomatoes, I understand…
But please, raccoons.. do you really need to munch on an unripe kabocha squash? Gah! I kept telling myself well if nothing else, we will have a huge kabocha squash by the end of the summer. Sadly, I don’t even see any more blossoms to do more self-pollination.
It really makes you appreciate farmers and their struggles.
Thankfully my kale, collards and herbs are growing strong. The backyard planter has had great plants, although our front yard still has smaller kales. I have a handful of arugula growing, too, which I used for this sandwich. Holey in all its organically-grown-in-my-backyard glory. Looking at the photos, you’d think it was a green jungle out there!
Inspired by Gena’s raw pizza, I cobbled this sandwich together after my trip.
First, I marinaded cherries in maple-sweetened balsamic vinegar. Then I made a rosemary-infused cashew spread. A handful of my backyard arugula tops a maple pumpernickle (sourdough rye) bread that I picked up in Calgary. The contrast in flavours worked really well together, although I had a hankering for a more sour cashew spread. I think I need to find some probiotic capsules to help me with that… Next time!
Balsamic Marinated Cherry, Rosemary Cashew Cheese, and Arugula Sandwich
Adapted from Choosing Raw
1/2 cup cherries, pitted and halved
2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar (whatever you need to submerge the cherries)
1 tsp maple syrup, or to taste
pinch of salt
1 cup cashews, soaked at least 4 hours, then rinsed and drained
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp fresh thyme
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
few grinds of black pepper
1 cup arugula (or spinach)
1. Mix together the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and salt. Add to the pitted cherries. Add more vinegar if needed to submerge the cherries. Allow to marinate at least a few hours, preferably overnight, in the refrigerator.
2. In a food processor fitted with its S-blade, blend the cashews, rosemary, thyme, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth and creamy. Add water to obtain desired consistency. I went for a spreadable consistency. Adjust seasonings to taste.
3. For your sandwich, smear with the cashew spread, top with arugula and balsamic cherries. Drizzle with remaining balsamic marinade, if desired.