There comes a time every year–usually around Labor Day–when summer is winding down, and your garden just doesn’t seem to take a hint. All winter we wait around for our favorite fresh vegetables to show their faces at the farmers’ market. But after meal upon meal of caprese salads, zucchini carpaccio, and corn salsa, sometimes as cooks, we have to say: enough already! Give us pasta, simmering sauces, and stews–food that will hide our veggies so we don’t feel like we’re constantly grazing on rabbit food. Below we’ve shared some ideas for how to use up all those persistently delicious, yet somehow still pesky, vegetables in dishes that will help you emotionally segue into fall.
**Tips and Tricks**
Tomatoes. For heaven’s sake, give the gazpacho a rest. There are plenty of ways to use up the last for those ripe, beautiful tomatoes by concentrating their flavors in the oven. For larger vine tomatoes, try Roasting Tomatoes and making them into Soup or Quesadillas. Use up a whole pint of cherry tomatoes with this Roasted Yellow Tomato Capellini. You can go retro and bake plum tomatoes them with bread crumbs and lots of herbs, or with eggs for a savory brunch. Best of all, lock some away for the colder months, when you’re craving really good, fresh red sauce. See our crushed tomato canning tips here!
Zucchini & Summer Squash. If you wind up with a few huge summer squash (you know, the prize winning country fair kind) that’s you’re too intimidated to tackle, the answer is: roast, roast, and roast. Make squash chips or roasted parmesan potatoes and squash, and your 5-pounder will shrivel away into a bowl of caramelized goodness.
Eggplant. If you’re sick of ratatouille by now, why not try a deconstructed spin on another classic dish: eggplant Parmesan. (If you’re not of course, try our grilled ratatouille!). If roasting is your bag, try using up your eggplant in these white bean sandwiches, on top of a chard frittata, or as part of a hardy Israeli couscous salad. Or, you can always take the BGSK easy route by spreading some roasted eggplant on top of a toasted piece of bread, and calling it crostini. We’ll have an awesome eggplant lasagna recipe coming your way in September!
Corn. Sure, it might not be part of your personal harvest, but it certainly is hard to resist buying up every last ear of corn from the farm stand. If you do, try making succotash with edamame, or tomatoes. Remove the kernels from the cob and add it to classic dips and puddings. Or go the Mexican route and stuff your succotash into quesadillas, or wrap those kernels into mini corn and leek flautas.
Herbs. Your herb garden is at its peak during the summertime, so it’s best to find ways to use up those last sprigs and leaves that will last you through the fall. The best way to do so is through condiments. First and foremost, pesto. Try different combinations like our Chive-Cashew, Three-Herb, and Basil-Arugula versions. There are a host of great toppings for your meat and seafood like Salsa Verde, Green Sauce, and Raita. And finally, use up your basil in a lemon vinaigrette for your salad and your tarragon in a dressing to top other vegetables.