managing the produce

DSC_0013My vegetable garden is in full production this time of year, and I’ve come up with some strategies to not waste a bit of it.Tomatoes, Pillows, L & T Homecoming 001Tomato pie is a favorite. It gets a layer of goo over it before I cook it, but that wasn’t a pretty picture.Dill veggies, apple crisp, kitchen 022Green beans, daikon, and cucumbers all get thrown into the same brine. I don’t trust my canning skills, so I just put them into the fridge. I also toss hot peppers into an empty jar of pepperoncini (save the brine). This preserves them until we get around to eating them.DSC_0059I make pesto out of the basil and freeze what I don’t use.

Salsa and IngredientsI keep a big bowl of salsa in the fridge all season long. We eat it with pizza, eggs, pasta AND Mexican food.DSC_0036Lastly, I just chop it all up to add to salads, sandwiches & cooking. Whatever’s left over gets frozen and added to soup in the fall. What do you do to manage the produce?

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Tomato Harvest

I’m picking all kinds of tomatoes daily now, and have found lots of yummy ways to use them.Tomato SaladGrape and cherry tomatoes retain their shape well, so I use them with onions and green peppers and lots of herbs in Tomato Salad. I pretty much always have a bowl of this in the fridge.salsa and ingredientsI also keep a bowl of fresh Salsa at all times. I take it easy on the jalapenos, because not everyone likes it as spicy as I do.Tomato QuicheOn the days when I don’t pick many tomatoes, I’ll make an Herb and Tomato Quiche.Tomato PieIf I pick a lot, I’ll make Tomato Pie.Garden Vegetable SoupIf I am overwhelmed with tomatoes, I’ll chop them up, saute with onion & garlic, and add anything I have in the vegetable drawers. This has cabbage, mushrooms, corn, and, of course, lots of fresh herbs. I don’t fuss much with it now, I just freeze it all for later. Some cold December evening I’ll thaw a container and add some cooked chicken or beef or lentils. I’ll adjust the seasoning then, and think back on the days when my garden was bursting and it was too hot for soup.