Tuesday, August 27, 2013
The late summer garden means baskets full of food and crowded kitchen counters. Our dining table makes me claustrophobic lately, covered with bowls of tomatoes and zucchini squash and not always enough time to deal with it as quickly as I should. I won't even talk about the fridge full of beans and cucumbers. I won't lie, it's a little overwhelming sometimes.
This week I hope to do some canning, but in the mean time we've been as creative with meals as time allows, and loving the fact that produce never enters our grocery bags.
I wanted to share a few tasty things we've been especially enjoying recently.
Our favorite summer treat is slow roasted tomatoes, which we add to sandwiches, pasta, pizza, and anything else we can think of. Seriously, we talk about roasted tomatoes all year long, in anticipation of the next tomato harvest. They're a little bit like bites of ketchup (did you add ketchup to everything when you were a kid, too?) only 6.9 million times better. Natalie talked about her method here last week.
I was turned on to a recipe for zucchini pizza crust recently, and have since made it twice. I doubled the batch the first time, and tripled it the next. It's a great way to use up a couple large summer squashes, and it makes a delicious, moist-yet-crispy crust. Make extra because leftover pizza is always a great idea.
The recipe seems pretty forgiving, and flour substitutions have worked well for me. I use a combination of brown rice flour and flax meal, in place of the almond meal called for.
I've also been blending up improv tomato sauces. This one was made with a mix of fresh and roasted tomatoes (mostly orange, hence the color), fresh picked Walla Walla sweet onion, ground sunflower seeds, sea salt, dulse and fresh oregano, thyme and savory. This particular sauce was pretty thick, making it a versatile sauce or spread.
So in the end, I guess growing a garden all comes down to pizza (just kidding). But really, these have been some of the most satisfying pizza pies I've ever made. Almost completely home grown, and so representative of the season right now. And one single place to combine all our favorite things. Don't forget the pesto!
What are your favorite summer meals?
(And, any favorite ways to preserve green beans?)