Dinner tonight is fresh from the garden. Tomato herb tart topped with fresh goat cheese, and a bowl of mixed greens.
The tart is made with a herb crust that was blind baked for 20 minutes so it stayed crispy. After letting the crust rest for 10 minutes I topped it with chopped mixed herbs, sliced tomatoes, fresh goat milk feta, basil salt, pepper, and finished the layers with a drizzle of olive oil. Then baked the tart at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. The resulting tart had a flaky crisp crust and juicy topping.
With the very warm wet summer this year we have a bumper crop of green beans, tomatoes and eggplant. This morning I used 12 pounds of our tomatoes and 4 pounds of eggplant to make some lovely jars of aubergine pasta sauce.
The recipe I use is as follows. Please keep in mind that the canning method is the one that I use in my house. Please follow the canning method and times that are appropriate for your household.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion , chopped
- 6 garlic cloves , chopped
- 1 large bell pepper , chopped
- 2 lbs eggplants, cubed
- 8 cups tomatoes , peeled & cubed
- 1/4 cup tomato powder or 1-6 ounce can of tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons dry oregano
- 1/3 cup date sugar (can substitute brown sugar)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup dry red wine
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add onion and garlic; cook until the onion is soft.
- Add tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, tomato paste, basil, oregano, hot pepper flakes, sugar, salt, pepper, and wine; stir.
- Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Blend mixture with an emersion blender.
- Put into hot jars and add prepared lids and rings. Screw rings on until finger tight.
- Process in hot water bath for 40 minutes.
No matter how much canning I do, the reduction in volume when fresh produce is processed always amazes me.
Our gardens are starting to produce fairly well so I have been doing a lot of canning and dehydrating of vegetables, which has also produces a lot veggie scraps. By the end of this weekend I had enough to fill a large crockpot and make a batch of vegitable broth this afternoon.
I find that making my own vegitable broth saves us a fair amount of money and taste better than any brand I have found in the market. To make your own broth fill a slow cooker with vegitable scraps. For this batch I used onion, mushroom stems, celery, tomatoes, beets, kale stems, broccoli, cabbage, carrot tops, and green bean tips (keep in mind that you can always store scraps in the freezer until you have enough to make a batch of broth). Cover the scraps with water until it is about an inch above the scraps, add salt, pepper and herbs to the pot and cook on low for about 10-12 hours.
Run the cooked scrap mixture through press to render as much liquid as possible and then pour through a fine mesh seive to remove the larger vegitable particles that made it through the press.
Place the pressed scraps in to your compost container.
Pour the the warm broth into prepared canning jars and pressure cook for 75 minutes at the pressure recommended for pressure in your area.
We are currently living through the wettest summer in a good number of years. The upside is that we have not needed to water our crops in almost two months and we are seeing a bumper crop of all types of green beans, pinto beans and kale. The downside is our tomatoes are splitting, cabbage is starting to rot, and the pumpkins and butternut squash are slow to produce, and slugs are starting to become a real problem. In an effort to reduces some of the water related issues we have let the ducks loose in the fields to help with bugs, have been canning and running the dehydrators at least twice a week, covered every flat surface in the house with tomatoes that need to finish ripening, and cooking all types of kale and Swiss chard dishes. For dinner today I made a Pistachio, Farro and Kale Salad with hot water cornbread. The dish was very easy to make, used several items from our gardens and was very tasty. If you would like to try the salad recipe it can be found at https://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/farro-kale-salad-recipe/
How are your gardens doing?
Thanks to a nice neighbor who lets us pick blueberries in their orchard, I was able to process 18 jars of berries in a very light syrup for snacking fall through spring. I just love the pinging sound the lids make when they seal.
The next picking of berries will be mixed with our raspberries and turned into juice.
It is time to start vegetable fermentation today. Each year a portion of our veritable are set aside to be fermented. This process provides very healthy products that require little or not refrigeration.
I wanted to try a different flavor profile for sauerkraut so a small batch taster was started. If we like the flavor I will start a large stone crock of the flavored sauerkraut, if not we will make a large batch of a more traditional flavor. A jar of spicy green beans was also started. It is to bad that we have to wait three months to dig into those lovely green gems.
Tomorrow I will start carrots and korhabi fermenting. What type of vegetables do you ferment?
We have finally arrived at the Time in the growing season hat we can eat mainly out of our gardens. This morning I picked eggplant, sweet peppers, green beans, tomatoes and onions. A number of the fresh veggies noted earlier, and a block of tofu made by a local farm were used to create a Sriracha-spiced Stir-Fried tofu with eggplant and red bell peppers for dinner. There is nothing quite like the taste of garden ripened produce to make a very memorable meal.
If you would like to try this dish the base recipe can be found on Kalyn’s blog.
I made some minor adjustments to her recipe to fit what I had available in my gardens. I replaced the Thai basil with fresh Italian basil, the green onion with a freshly picked shallot, peanut oil with canola oil, and stevia with maple syrup. I also sliced the fried garlic and added it back to the dish at the same time as the sauce was added,
New project start. Shades of Plum by Northern Expressions Needlework. Stitching on a gray 20 count fabric using Threadworx threads.
This morning I needed to stay in the kitchen while the pressure cooker processed our first batch of green beans for the season, so I baked a gluten-free double chocolate banana bread. The bread is easy to make and allowed me to use some of the almond pulp in my freezer from making almond milk and a couple of overripe bananas. An added bonus to this recipe is that it is only about 155 calories per slice and contains very little fat.
Point your browser to http://thetoastedpinenut.com/double-chocolate-banana-bread/ If you are interested in trying the recipe.