This is where the benefit of the internet comes in. Tired of your tried and true tomato mozzarella salad and want to find something new to do with your bumper crop of Big Boys? Google “fresh tomato recipes” and come up with dozens, if not hundreds of recipes. Take the best and store them in Paprika, my app I use to store all my recipes. So quick and easy.
Our conveniences, however, can turn into a curse. The problem comes in knowing what a good recipe is, which recipe sites are great and what has the potential to ruin your next barbecue. Searching can get overwhelming.
That is where I step in.
For this search I had a few rules. The criteria? They have to be recipes that you can use ingredients straight from your own garden (or farmer’s market). They need to be seasonal of course and they need to be healthy (no processed foods or anything with mysterious ingredients). Here are five straight from the garden recipes that I found and will be making this summer.
Tomatoes. I plant all types of tomatoes, from cherry tomatoes to giant yellow and red tomatoes. I plant too many, I can’t help it, and then have bumper crops that need big ideas. I found this recipes for Herbed Tuna in Tomatoes, which reminded me of something we used to make when I was a kid. And it uses all those giant tomatoes so nicely.
Zucchini and Yellow Squash. The plants look so tiny – until they grow up. Last year I had about 100 summer squash and I had to get creative, fast. I created recipes for a Summer Squash and Goat Cheese Gratin, a Corn Bread (hidden squash inside!) and a Summer Ratatouille. Click HERE for those recipes, I will be making them again this August.
Cucumbers. On the list of anticipated bumper crops: cucumbers. One year I made homemade pickles, which were fun. I also love cold soups in the summer. This recipe for Chilled Cucumber, Basil and Mint Soup will use my fresh herbs as well.
Bell Peppers. I love the versatility of bell peppers and there is life beyond simply sautéing them. I used to make a version of this Red Pepper and Walnut Pesto eons ago and I plan on having a go at it again this summer. Just FYI, pestos are not only so full of goodness, they are so versatile as well. You can use this pesto over whole grains, pasta, on top of fish or chicken or even as a dip.
Basil. I am highlighting basil here because, from talking to many of you, if you don’t have a garden, you at least have a basil plant growing in a a container on your deck. I like this idea for a Basil Vinaigrette, where basil is the star and eggplant still shines through. Sounds delicious.
Okay, that was more than five and I hope they inspire you to get into your own gardens this summer, plant and cook.
Now I would love to hear from you, do you have any great recipes you would like to share? Post your ideas below, we all need inspiration from each other!