Garden girl.

A few years ago, Matt and I joined a CSA (community supported agriculture), which provided us with tons of fresh and unusual veggies from a farm in Viroqua and ultimately inspired me to plant my own vegetables. My grandparents and parents have had vegetable gardens in the past, but until this summer, I’d never put one in the ground myself and taken care of it all the way from seedling to harvest.

The late spring almost destroyed my motivation, but Matt helped me till up a skinny little 3′ x 20′ strip along the south end of our yard. I picked up seedlings from a nursery near our house and willfully ignored the recommendations on how far apart to plant them. At this point, I’ve removed more plants than are left in the garden because things are growing like ca-razy.

Tiny garden on the right. Rain barrel on the left. I highly recommend getting a rain barrel if you want to grow things.
What the garden looks like now.

Our healthy garden has left us with lots and lots of produce. What to do with all of it, aside from foisting it on patient friends and family members?

Try some new recipes! 

I’m going to share a few here, just in case you’re looking for new ways to use your million extra zucchinis, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

First, zucchini pie. One of my new coworkers gave me this recipe, and it was tasty.

Zucchini Pie

In a pan, sautè:
2-3 cloves of chopped garlic
4 cups of thinly sliced zucchini in a little bit of butter
1 cup thinly sliced onion, until tender.

Sprinkle with oregano, basil, salt, pepper.

In a bowl, mix:
2 eggs
2 cups of shredded mozarella
Zucchini mixture.

In a pie tin, smush:
1 package of refrigerated crescent roll dough.

Paint the dough with mustard.
Pour zucchini mixture into the crust.
Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes.
I added cherry tomatoes and used fresh basil, and I skipped the onions (because I didn’t have them, not due to an aversion). I also used spicy honey dijon mustard, which was a great decision. My first try turned out pretty messy, so while I recommend this one, I also recommend draining the veggies before filling the crust. And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’d probably use a little less cheese too.

Second, zucchini galette from the fantastic food blog, Smitten Kitchen. I’ll let you follow the link for the full recipe and directions, but definitely make it: I loved this one. The filling is really easily multiplied, and I ended up making one pie with the galette dough from SK’s recipe (super easy, super yummy) and one with a pre-made pie crust. Both turned out really well.

Third, a yummy recipe from my friend Christine for my tons of cucumbers. 

Cucumber Salad

1 cup of sour cream
2 tbsp of white vinegar
1 tbsp of water
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of sugar
2 tsp of dill seed.

Sliced cucumbers
Maybe some red onion.

This one was so easy and really yummy. You can eat it as a standalone dish, or- this is what I recommend- you can use it to fill a whole wheat pita. Maybe throw some spinach or baby greens in there too. So good.

Last, a corn salsa. I loved the burst tomato/corn mix from the galette, and with the abundance of late summer corn around here, I wanted to find another way to use it.

Burst Tomato Corn Salsa

In a pan, sautè:
1 tbsp of grape seed oil
2 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes until they burst, and then
1 or 2 cups of corn cut from the cob, for about a minute.

While that cools, mix together:
1/2 chopped red onion
1 cup of chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of red pepper flakes.

And then toss it all together. I also threw in a small green pepper, just because I had one. Eat alone or with chips.

So there you have it! I’ve tried a few others too, but these are my recent favorites. End of summer treats from my kitchen to yours.

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