I've been trying to get out into the garden as early as possible each day. By 10am it's not fun to be outdoors doing anything physical in this heat. The tomatoes and zucchini love this weather and the eggplants are exploding on the plants. I'll cut my first eggplants of the year at the end of the week. I'm roasting tomatoes nearly every day to make soup and sauce for the winter and working my way through my list of Fifteen Ways with Zucchini in an effort to keep up!
I harvested a good garlic crop this year and it cured in about three weeks. The bush green beans just keep coming so I combined the two ingredients and am making this quick recipe for Spicy Green Beans at least once a week.
|Spicy Green Beans pair well with Baked Macaroni and Cheese ( Here's my recipe for Welsh Rarebit Mac and Cheese)|
2-3 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
1/2 lb Green Beans, ends trimmed.
Four cloves of garlic sliced thin, more if you like it really spicy!
Hot Pepper Flakes to taste
Pinch of Salt
Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet on pretty high heat. Add the green beans and toss constantly until the beans show some color and are tender, but still crisp. Turn the heat down a little and add the garlic, pepper flakes and salt. Keep tossing the beans for a few more minutes. Serve immediately.
Basil PestoI'm growing two kinds of basil this year - Genovese and Lemon, and both make wonderful pesto. My recipe for Basil Pesto is more by feel than precise measurements (for an unusual pesto try Shiso Pesto). I start with about a cup of basil tossed into the food processor, followed by two to three garlic cloves, a handful of pine nuts and about a 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese along with some salt and pepper. I pulse it all together for just a few seconds, then using the opening in the lid of the processor, slowly add olive oil a little at a time until the pesto reaches the consistency I want. Pesto freezes really well and I freeze mine in half cup portions.
I like to use pesto on salads during the summer and this recipe for a variation of a Nicoise Salad was a hit in my house this week. To cooked and cooled potatoes and green beans, I added halved grape tomatoes and tossed it together with some pesto. I served this along with quartered boiled eggs. My husband added olives to his plate as well.
Balsamic StrawberriesBalsamic Strawberries are a classic Italian way to serve strawberries. This is a very forgiving recipe, which I love. Core and slice strawberries and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with enough sugar to coat all the berries and drizzle a little balsamic vinegar on top. Gently toss and leave in the fridge for up to three hours. Serve with chopped mint. This is a delicious way to serve strawberries and the addition of whipped cream has been known to happen once in a while!
Three easy recipes for a busy time of year in the garden. What are you cooking this week?