Tag Archives: from the garden

Gad-zukes! Trudy warned me …

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… and sure enough, she was right: There’s always a zucchini that gets away from you.

It was a stealthy sucker hidden in the deep abyss that I like to call the “squash patch”. It’s a place where small children should never venture, at least never alone. It looks pretty and lush with it’s beautiful bright yellow blossoms, but has teeny tiny thorns that’ll prick you and create a rash on your arm. It has hidden hollows were the local garden animalia gather to play cards, smoke cigars and drink whiskey. It’s a dark place with secrets.

Somehow I missed harvesting this particular zuke—we’ll call him Ed—when he was still a middling, which is, in my opinion, when the zukes taste best. I didn’t discover him until it was too late. He was HUGE. I would show you a picture of him, but I have momentarily lost my phone (with which I took his photo), a situation that is verging toward traumatic and I’m trying hard not to think about it. If I ever find the phone again (wah!) I’ll show you the picture of Ed placed next to a banana for scale. The poor banana, once confident and righteous about its size was made to feel puny and insignificant compared to the ginormousness that was Ed. Ed was BIG. And swarthy. Ed was intimidating and just a wee bit sexy if you know what I mean.

I stared at Ed and wondered, “How in the world am I going to use up all that zuke? It’s too much! It’s too huge!”

Snicker. (It is not often that a girl gets to say that with total dismay.)

Of course, Trudy’s recipe (and warning) came to mind. But I had a feeling that just one recipe wasn’t going to be enough. And I was right.

Ed yielded over 15 cups of shredded zuke. FIFTEEN CUPS!

The average GENEROUSLY proportioned zuke recipe calls for 2 cups. What the hay balls was I going to do with 15?

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From the garden: Avocado lime soup

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I’m on a desperately-grasp-the-last-days-of-Summer kick. Did I mention that school starts in—gulp—two days? And I already have homework. How’s that possible? NO! I’m not ready! I’m still on vacation!

In order to prolong that vacationy feeling, I ask you, what says Summer more than avocados? Hmmmm? Even better: Avocados and margaritas. Oh, yeah. Life is good, my friends.

Here’s a super quick and easy recipe for avocado lime soup that is rich, creamy, and fresh. It has the perfect blend of avocados and margarita (also known as lime.) And it’s super healthy for you. Not bad, huh?

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From the garden: No-dough, no-bake summertime tarts

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The most prolific tomato plant we have is our cherry tomato bush that sits outside our back door. And these little babies are so sweet and juicy; they’re perfect for a sweet-savory summer tomato tart.

I love tarts: fruit tarts, veggie tarts, layered lasagna tarts … mmmm. Plus, they’re the epitome of summer.

What I don’t like is the flour and butter of the traditional tart crust. If you feel the same then try out this No-dough, no-bake tart shell that is made from ground nuts and dates. It’s delicious! And bonus, it’s super fast and easy to throw together. Here we go >>

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From the garden: Giardiniara

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This week brought a bumper crop of red hot cherry peppers. I love these little beauties; they have a sweet hot punch. I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of a good use for them. And then I remembered Giardiniera: an Italian sweet hot pickled vegetable mix typically used as an antipasto. Perfect! And oh, so delicious!

Once you’ve tasted this deliciousness you’ll discover a million uses for it. Here’s a simple, but scrumptious bruschetta … I hate to admit it, but I ate almost a whole loaf of this perfectly toasted sourdough bread topped with Giardiniera for dinner along with handfuls of sweet cherry tomatoes from the tomato bush outside my door. Oh, I was so stuffed, but man was it good! The flavors of summer are intoxicating.

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Or you can top an Italian sub sandwich (as they do in Chicago), or layer it on pizza, or a bagel with cream cheese, or mix it in with your salad. Or eat it straight out of the jar. Whatever, you’ll love it!

And it’s a great way to use up your summer veggies. A win-win in my book.

Oh, and did I mention it’s ridiculously easy to make? Uh, huh. Follow me.

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