I had in my mind that I didn’t like minestrone. I probably got that idea from the numerous cans of it I’ve eaten over the years, with their suspicious cubed carrots and potatoes. All the chunks have the same texture, except the beans, which are mealy. And the taste of tin pervades each bite. Restaurant soup, with few exceptions, isn’t much better. It tastes like nothing more than tomato, holds no surprises, and is still a bit tinny. So I was convinced minestrone itself was deeply flawed.
Folks, I was wrong. (See, honey, I can admit it.) Continue reading Stone soup. Not really, it’s Minestrone.
Today I thought I’d give you a brief update on the garden. Above are the beets I transplanted last week. They are among the few things that have taken well to the garden. The various cabbage and cauliflower seedlings I planted have been walloped by the bugs. Seeing these tattered leaves is very humbling. It gives me a whole new appreciation for the challenges organic farmers face, and crop losses they must endure. It’s evident why organic is more expensive! I certainly don’t begrudge them their prices after seeing my poor results. Continue reading Garden update
With the zucchini harvest up to 60 pounds now, I have been scrambling to find new ways to prepare it. They’ve all been great, and so diverse (zucchini quinoa cakes, zucchini muffins, relish, soup, stir fry). But sometimes you just want an old favorite. This recipe is one my mom included in the book she made for me when I went off to college, complete with adorable illustrations. Continue reading Italian-style sweet & sour zucchini
We are pretty hooked on muffins around here. We eat them at least twice a week. When I’m really on top of my game (or drowning in produce) I have three different kinds in the freezer at any one time. Of course these days, one of those has to be zucchini. At last check, my single zucchini plant had grown to 13’ by 9’ – completely overtaking the sidewalk. To get the visual, click through. Continue reading Zucchini muffins with walnuts. And another confessional.
In my never-ending quest to use the 60 pounds of zucchini my wonder plant has produced I have trolled the internet and my cookbook library to find a wide variety of preparations that showcase the versatility of this vegetable. (Click here for the ever-growing list of recipes I’ve posted.) So far, I think this is my favorite. Continue reading Stir fried zucchini with oyster sauce
After making zucchini fritters I had some leftover grated zucchini. I also had some leftover cooked quinoa in the fridge. I don’t love quinoa, but I’m trying to work on our relationship as I know it is a worthy staple. Inexpensive, fast, easy and nutritious. Gotta love that. Just not the taste and texture so much. But I thought I’d give it a second (er, twelfth?) chance as a supporting character and with a twice-cooked approach to alter the texture. Big improvement. Continue reading Zucchini quinoa cakes
This recipe was inspired by the last gasp of my summer garden. It combines several tomatoes (both green and red), a zucchini and a few small eggplants. I seasoned the veggies with balsamic vinegar and basil, for a ratatouille meets caponata style stew. Optional add-ins include wine (1/4c) and either capers (2T) or sweet corn (1c). Since capers are one of the few foods my husband truly cannot tolerate, I opted for corn. But since changing his mind about pickle flavors after eating my piccalilli, who knows? Capers may be next off the “Do Not Fly” list. Continue reading Summer Vegetable Stew
Two events coincided to provide the opportunity for me to create this recipe. Being two and a half weeks into my $200 grocery month challenge (see a future post on this), I’m digging deep into the freezer these days. Recently my hunt yielded a bag of frozen, cooked rice. Couple that with the fact that my miracle zucchini plant is still producing more than 5 medium to large zucchinis each week, and you get zucchini rice cakes! Continue reading Zucchini rice cakes
Even as the harvest season winds down I have an abundance of fresh vegetables that I would like to preserve for the coming months when the garden production has slowed. For my convenience, I prefer to have as much of my preserved bounty in complete, meal-ready form. For tomatoes, that means spaghetti sauce. Continue reading Roasted tomato sauce – Take II
We are deep into zucchini season now, and my monster is still pumping out 3-5 lbs of fruit a week. At last count we had 24 pounds stashed in the freezer. As nice as it is to have an enormous supply of garden fresh vegetables ready to cook into something delicious, I find it even more helpful to have my freezer stocked with meals I have already prepared. Continue reading Zucchini soup two ways. And a confessional