Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Quick Zucchini Relish

We are still harvesting zucchini from our garden and the plants look strong! They usually look pretty tired by September. Bored with the usual zucchini dishes and baked goods, I decided to make a relish. I'll shred and freeze the rest of the zucchini for baking in the future.

Quick Zucchini Relish

Shred one large zucchini (the kind you find hiding under a large zucchini leaf in your garden that grew and grew . . . ) and mince one large shallot and place in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon celery seed, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar), one tablespoon honey, salt and pepper to taste. Place mixture in a covered container in the fridge for about one hour to let the flavor develop before eating. Store in the fridge for about one week. Add the relish to anything you think will taste good with it!

On Labor Day, we enjoyed the zucchini relish with organic grilled hot dogs, whole wheat buns, garden salad, and potato salad.

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For the potato salad, I baked chopped potatoes in the oven at 400 degrees, instead of boiling them, with extra virgin olive oil, Herbs de Provence (I just love these herbs on potatoes), some fresh rosemary from our garden, and a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper. After the potatoes cooled, I removed the rosemary stems, pulled off some leaves and broke them up, sprinkling pieces of rosemary over the potatoes. I added a little more extra virgin olive oil and then a little white balsamic vinegar to taste.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Breakfast Tomatoes: Toast, Egg Sandwich

Garden tomato with extra virgin olive oil on toasted rosemary bread.

Garden tomato, extra virgin olive oil, toasted multigrain gluten-free bread, fresh ground pepper.

Garden tomato on toast with local mozzarella balls and freshly ground pepper.

Egg, garden tomato, and ham sandwich.

A day's harvest.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Garden Fresh Relish

This relish, made from some of my garden tomatoes, zucchinis, and parsley, was easy to make and delicious.

For this fresh summer garden relish, I diced two small tomatoes, two small zucchinis, and one orange bell pepper. The vegetables were tossed with a little extra virgin olive oil, a few sprinkles of white balsamic vinegar, juice from half a lemon, a pinch of sea salt, a little freshly ground pepper, and some chopped Italian parsley. The vinegar and seasonings were all added to taste. 

The relish was great on top of an open faced grilled local* beef burger on a grilled portabella mushroom.

Oh, and this book, Second Nature, by Michael Pollan, is very good reading. Especially by the garden!

For another meal, organic hot dogs, I freshened up the relish a bit with two small diced shallots and one diced celery stalk. We added some spicy ground mustard after I took this photo and that finished off these dogs with a zing!

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*The local beef is from Matthieu's Custom Cuttings, Vermont.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


More zucchini magic!


Here's an easy busy week day family style way of making this classic French dish without loosing the bold flavors.

Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion (your choice), roughly chopped
2 red bell peppers, or 1 red and 1 yellow for color
2-3 garlic cloves, depending on size and flavor you want, minced
2 medium zucchinis or 1 large, cubed 
1 regular box of medium sized mushrooms, halved 
1 medium eggplant, cubed the same size as the zucchini (peeling the eggplant is optional) 
1 25 oz. jar of organic marinara sauce (I prefer to use jarred sauces over canned tomatoes 
     when possible)
1 cup low-sodium organic vegetable stock (or organic low-sodium chicken stock)
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon marjoram, dried (or fresh if you have some)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup red wine

Peel and cut eggplant (peeling is optional), cube, and lightly salt. Place eggplant in a paper towel lined colander to draw bitters. Heat a stock pot over medium heat (I used a heavy cast iron pot for this recipe) and sprinkle in a little extra virgin olive oil to lightly coat the bottom and sauté onions and bell peppers a few minutes until onions are tender and peppers are just starting to soften. Add zucchini, mushrooms, and garlic and sauté just a few more minutes (not allowing the zucchini to get mushy). Pat down the eggplant and add to the pot. Add the marinara sauce and remaining ingredients. Simmer about 30 minutes, uncovered, or until the eggplant is slightly tender but, again, not mushy. Remove bay leaves before serving.

I served the ratatouille with gluten-free pappardelle, for some of us. And for the others who like bread, some nice rustic whole grain . . .