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Tehama Trail Blog

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15
Aug 2013

Managing a family farm is sometimes the hardest work around. But the Brandt family’s efforts are rewarded with unlimited access to the freshest fruits and vegetables in town.

The Brandt Family of Julia's Fruit Stand

Every year, the Brandts, owners of Julia’s Fruit Stand, are blessed with the opportunity to savor the flavors of juicy fruits, tender squash and vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes like Cherokee Purple, Valencia, Green Zebra, Black Prince, Kentucky Beefsteak, and Chocolate Cherry -- all sold at their roadside fruit stand. The Brandts relish the chance to combine colorful ingredients to create mouthwatering meals -- meals that are shared each evening as they gather around the dinner table.

Kathy Brandt shares three of her family’s favorite recipes -- all using six or less ingredients. In doing so, she shows that simplicity is often the best recipe for bringing out the unique flavors of fresh summer produce.

Party in the Mouth

Party in the Mouth is a spin off the classic Caprese Salad. Kathy’s version gives you an opportunity to incorporate local baked goods and bread dipping oil produced by Tehama Trail farmer and partner, Pacific Sun Olive Oil.

What you’ll need:

1 loaf of your favorite local baguette, sliced

3 - 4 heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced

1 - 2 Red Candy onion, sliced

Fresh mozzarella, sliced into rounds

Several basil leaves, rinsed and drained

Pacific Sun Olive Oil Balsamic Bread Dipper (or one of Pacific Sun's delicious extra virgin olive oils)

How to prepare:

Layer first five ingredients on salad plate in this order: baguette, tomato, onion, mozzarella and basil. Drizzle bread dipper over top and enjoy! It really is that simple and you’re going to love the flavor combo.

Cold Pasta Topping

Pasta sauce doesn’t get any easier or tastier than this. Al dente pasta is topped with a mix of juicy tomatoes, Red Candy onion, basil and garlic. Throw in a crisp salad and crusty loaf of bread and voila! You have dinner.

What you’ll need:

2 - 3 tomatoes, coarsely chopped (use a variety of heirlooms for a colorful presentation)

1 Red Candy onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

2 - 3 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste

Your favorite pasta

How to prepare:

Combine first five ingredients and refrigerate for 30 minutes. In the meantime, prepare your pasta. Remove topping from refrigerator and serve over fresh pasta. Sprinkle with a good Parmesan or other hard cheese if desired. Bon appetite!

Simple Sautéed Squash

Just as the name implies, this side dish is super simple to prepare and easy to enjoy with beef, chicken, pork or any vegetarian entree. If you want to add a little kick, mix in a touch of crushed garlic and fresh summer herbs.

What you’ll need:

Olive oil for sautéing

3 - 4 summer squash, sliced then quartered

1 Yellow Candy onion, chopped into bite-size pieces

Parmesan cheese, grated

How to prepare:

Sauté squash and onion over medium heat in olive oil until just tender. Top with Parmesan and serve with your favorite entree. Enjoy!

Though we still have many summer days ahead of us and plenty of time to enjoy the delicious produce this warm season brings, we can’t help but think about fall decorating and baking.

To get you in the autumn spirit, Julia’s will soon offer a variety of pumpkins, squash and gourds to make your holidays fun and special. Come the end of September, be thinking about Julia’s Pumpkin Festival which will be held on October 6, 11 am - 3 pm on their farm located at 11475 Highway 99E in Los Molinos.

Squatty, tall, bumpy, smooth, orange, white and green Curcubitas (that’s the fancy botanical name for squash or pumpkin) will be waiting for you and your family to take them home. While you’re hunting for that perfect pumpkin, you might spot James, Kathy, Julia, Jayne or Jordan in the pumpkin patch. If you do, say hello. The Brandts would love to meet you!

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