Out of the garden and into the kitchen

The summer vegetable crop is slowing down.  Yes, we’re still distributing padrone peppers around the neighborhood, but the tomatoes, yellow squash and green beans are grinding to a halt.  With the weather turning fall-like, a crazy downpour yesterday, and the calendar marching forward, it can only mean a few things:  1)  time to think about planting winter vegetables, and 2) time to harvest what’s left!  No one likes soggy tomatoes – let’s eat them now before it’s too late!  So out into the garden I go with my trusty clippers and colander.

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Here’s what we like to make with the late summer bounty:

Pasta pesto is the best!  Actually, anything with pesto on it is delicious – bread, tomatoes, mozzarella, minestrone soup, a spoon….  I like to make my pesto with the Cuisinart immersion blender attached to its special bowl.  It’s just the right size and the clean up is easy.

Tabbouleh is one of our favorite dishes and a great way to use tomatoes, cucumbers and parsley from the garden.  In this tabbouleh I chose quinoa for the grain but bulgur wheat is good too!

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Panzanella, the Italian bread salad, is another summer favorite.  Not only can you incorporate abundant tomatoes and cucumbers but you can also throw in the baguette that dried out on the counter last night!

If you happen to like eggplant, here’s another easy summer dish for you. Dice your eggplant into one inch cubes and spread it out on a greased cookie sheet.  Spray the eggplant chunks with an oil spray until it is lightly coated.  I love this new Coconut Oil spray from Trader Joe’s! Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or so, until the eggplant is golden brown and soft in the middle.

Bon appetit and happy Fall!

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