SUMMER HARVEST

by Engrid Winslowsummer harvest

At last, the bounty of your summer garden is at its peak and you can gather all of those glorious tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, corn, chard, kale, summer squash, onions and other vegetables to enjoy at their freshest and most flavorful. But, ahem, some of us may plant more than we can eat in a day. Well, whether that is planned excess or not, here are a few tricks for preserving that bounty using just your freezer and pantry.

Onions – When the tops flop over onto the ground it’s time to pull them out and let them dry out in the sun or inside in a cool, dry location. Some onions, such as cippolini, are great storage onions but for the ones that aren’t…Ever tried onion jam? How about bacon and onion jam. You can refrigerate them and use them up quickly or pop a few jars into the freezer for a festive addition to a holiday cheese platter. Here are the links to two delicious recipes you can try:

http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/onion-jam https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1015978-bacon-onion-jam.

You’re welcome.

Ears of Corn

Corn – Shuck as much as you can and then flash boil for about 2 minutes. Let cool and then scrape off the kernels into a large bowl and scoop out two cups into a plastic bag or container for freezing. Add them to that turkey soup you make after Thanksgiving every year along with some of the frozen shell peas you harvested and froze in the spring.

Tomatoes – This technique works best with cherry tomatoes and is a little bit of trouble but OMG are these delicious. Add them to pizza, pasta, soups, sandwiches or serve on grilled bread as a quick crostini. The flavor of these will make you want to plant even more tomatoes next year. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Arrange cherry tomatoes on a lined, rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Let them “oven dry” for up to 2 ½ hours, checking frequently at the two-hour mark. You can also do this with large tomatoes which will yield a “saucier” result.

Fresh Zucchini

Zucchini – Use small, tender skinned, deep green ones. Shred and steam for 1-2 minutes. Freeze in desired quantities for adding to slaw, pasta, soups or your famous zucchini bread.

 

American Caprese Salad

From the Kitchen of Engrid WinslowHeirloom Tomatoes

This quick and easy take on the classic Caprese salad makes excellent use of the fresh tomatoes from your garden. It’s especially pretty when you use a variety of colored, heirloom, beefsteak tomatoes such as Cherokee Purple, Aunt Ruby’s German Green and Yellow Brandywine.

Serves 4

1 TBL extra virgin olive oil
1 TBL honey
1 TBL white Balsamic vinegar (or you can use cider vinegar)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 sliced heirloom tomatoes
4 ounces sliced or crumbled Humboldt Fog or Maytag blue cheese
1 cup torn herbs – just basil or a mix of basil, chives, cilantro and parsley
Flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together the honey, vinegar, Dijon and olive oil. Arrange tomatoes on a platter, drizzle with dressing and top with cheese and herbs. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.

 

PEPPERS STUFFED WITH CORN AND MANCHEGO

From the Kitchen of Engrid WinslowColorful Sweet Peppers

You can use any type of sweet pepper for this recipe but I recommend that they be orange or red for the best flavor. You may have extra stuffing, depending on the size of your peppers.

Serves 4 as main dish or 8 as a side dish

½ cup diced onion
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 tsp. finely minced garlic
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 ½ cup grated Manchego cheese
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbs. chopped fresh Italian parsley
8 medium sized sweet red peppers
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 and oil a baking dish that will hold all of your stuffed peppers.
Sauté the onion until soft and then add the corn and garlic. Let cool, then add breadcrumbs, cheese, thyme, parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the pepper in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and membranes and rub the peppers with olive oil and place in the baking dish. Fill each half pepper with the corn mixture, pushing gently so the stuffing fills the pepper and stays in place.

Roast the peppers for 25-30 minutes, or until they soften and begin to collapse.

If serving as a main course, add a salad and a slice or two of French bread to round out your meal.

fresh corn