A Day in the Life of a Hopeful Gardener & Chef
Fall is upon us, and I don’t know about you, but my garden has just recently started producing. So, as of late I have been scrambling to harvest, and use EVERYTHING I possibly can. This can be a challenge with a household of 3. I have made it my mission to get creative in the kitchen with some of these end of summer veggies, and am doing my best to use every last piece of food that the garden grants me.
Here are some of the things I have been doing, for some I have included ingredients and instructions, others I have linked directly to the recipe I used. Enjoy!
Zucchini Lasagna (click for recipe)
My only advice with this one is to let your zucchini strips sit on some folded paper towels for a while before assembling your lasagna. Zucchini has a lot of water in it and can make for a watery, gross lasagna if not allowed to sit on a dry towel for some time.
Again, zucchini holds a lot of water, so similarly, for this recipe after you process or grate your zucchini, use a cheese cloth or a couple of paper towels to squeeze some of the water out to avoid a soggy fritter.
(pink/red coloring in the pasta is from the beets)
This is great for a night you have no dinner plans but have some garden goods to put to use. I have no recipe listed here because it is very simple and puts to use whatever you have in your pantry (or garden):
Boil noodles until al dente (not fully cooked)
Chop veggies (whatever they may be) into small, bite size pieces. *I recently read an article in the Washington Post’s Lifestyle section about how to make a salad that everyone will enjoy, and the author recommended cutting all veggies into bite-size pieces, so that one could more easily put together a bite with all flavors. I have applied this to other areas than just salads in my cooking world. I encourage you to use this tactic with your “pantry pasta”.
Throw some EVOO, butter or vegetable oil (whatever you have on-hand, this is why they call it pantry pasta) into your sautee pan, add your chopped veggies. Add salt and pepper.
Once veggies are cooked to the texture you prefer, throw in your al dente pasta with a little of your pasta water and then a little more butter or EVOO, if you like. The noodles will continue to cook in your pan. Season to taste and serve.
Raw Garden Salad
Again, a very simple recipe. The dressing is where the detail comes in.
For this, I used collard greens, swiss chard, kohlrabi, beets and plums (plums not from the garden). I cut greens into strips and everything else into bite size pieces (see Washington Post article reference in previous recipe). Throw it all in a big bowl.
For the dressing, I did:
Fresh lemon juice
Finely chopped shallot
I cheated and added a splash of a pomegranate balsamic vinegar I had in my pantry
Dress your salad and eat!
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