L to R: Yellow Squash, Baby Potatoes, Italian Peppers, Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes, Eggplant, Swiss Chard, Scallions, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Chile Peppers, Kohlrabi, Slicing Cucumbers, Dill, Beans (Green, Purple, Yellow), Pickling Cucumbers.
Well. The vegetables have really taken over here. We can’t possibly eat them all before they move past their prime, so the only thing to do is eat as much as we can hold, and preserve the rest.
I have begun this year’s canning journey, with the first batch (4 pints) of Quick Dill Pickles, and a beautiful batch (5 pints) of giardiniera, with vegetables from three different farms, none of them more than 2 miles from my house. These will sit quietly in the basement, developing complex flavors over the next few months, and then adding such welcome variety to our wintertime dinner table.
The vegetable bounty at this time of year tends to send me scurrying about the Mediterranean, flavor-wise. We eat inconceivable amounts of fresh tomato/jalapeno salsa, giant antipasto salads topped with tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella, green bean/olive/tomato salad with lemon juice and olive oil, eggplant or zucchini chickpea hummus, tabbouleh with cucumber, tomato, parsley and lemon, and pasta with a vegetable-laden marinara sauce.
Here’s a new take on my usual pesto; I toasted the pine nuts, and following a tip from America’s Test Kitchen, roasted the garlic, before I sent all the ingredients spinning wildly in the food processor to join them in savory bliss. The result is a pesto with a mellower, richer taste, without the garlicky “Hello!” at the end. I strongly encourage you to give it a try. While you do that, I’m going back in the kitchen to start a big pot of marinara sauce. Pictures to follow. See you on down the Road.