Friday, August 24, 2012

Victory Garden 2012 Log - August 13th

Food Day!  One of the more fun days of the annual workshop - everyone gets to make a dish using their grown produce as part of the ingredients, and share in a pot luck meal.  Work in the garden, then come in to enjoy some food and fellowship.  Recipes follow.

Chunky Tomato Salsa (From Taste of Home)

• Prep: 45 min. Cook: 1-1/4 hours + chilling
• Yield: 16 Servings


• 3-1/2 cups peeled chopped tomatoes (about 4 large)
• 1 large green pepper, chopped
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
• 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 2-1/4 teaspoons salt
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
• 1/4 cup white vinegar
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• Baked tortilla chip scoops


• In a large saucepan, combine the first nine ingredients. Stir in the tomato paste, vinegar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring frequently. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Serve with chips. Yield: 4 cups.

Pesto Pasta Salad


4 cups uncooked spiral pasta
1 cup fresh basil pesto
2 Tbsp chopped green olives or olive tapenade
1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted (or fresh if you can get them)
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
Several fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper


1 Cook pasta according to instructions on the package. Make sure the water is salted (at least a half teaspoon per quart). Remove pasta from heat and strain when pasta is cooked, but still firm (al dente).

2 Put pasta in a big bowl. Mix in fresh basil pesto, green olives, and nuts. Gently mix in cherry tomatoes, peas, fresh basil leaves and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Chill or serve at room temperature.

Yield: Serves 6-8.


Use the most thick walled jalapenos you can get.
cut off tops and remove core and seeds (I use a potato peeler)
mix together grated cheddar, and bacon bits - about half and half
stuff into chilies

Stand chilies upright

Bake at 350 for about an hour

Zucchini & Summer Squash Gratin with Parmesan & Fresh Thyme.
For the onions:

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium onions (14 oz. total), thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
To assemble the gratin:

1-1/4 lb. ripe red tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
3/4 lb. (about 2 small) zucchini or other green summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices on the bias
3/4 lb. (about 2 small) yellow summer squash or golden zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices on the bias
3 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. coarse salt
1-1/4 cups freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

To cook the onions: In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until limp and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low if they're browning too quickly. Add the garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes Spread the onions and garlic evenly in the bottom of an oiled 2-qt. shallow gratin dish (preferably oval). Let cool.

To assemble the gratin: Heat the oven to 375°F. Put the tomato slices on a shallow plate to drain for a few minutes and then discard the collected juices. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini and squash slices with 1-1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil, 2 Tbs. of the thyme, and 1/2 tsp. of the salt. Reserve half of the cheese for the top of the gratin. Sprinkle 1 Tbs. of the thyme over the onions in the gratin. Starting at one end of the baking dish, lay a row of slightly overlapping tomato slices across the width of the dish and sprinkle with a little of the cheese. Next, lay a row of zucchini, overlapping the tomatoes by two-thirds, and sprinkle with cheese. Repeat with a row of squash, and then repeat rows, sprinkling each with cheese, until the gratin is full.

Season lightly with pepper and the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Drizzle the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. olive oil over all. Combine the reserved cheese with the remaining 1 Tbs. thyme and sprinkle this over the whole gratin. Cook until well-browned all over and the juices have bubbled for a while and reduced considerably, 65 to 70 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 min. before serving.

Vegetable Frittata

I like to think of a frittata as a quiche with no pie crust. Basically, just saute a bunch of fresh garden veggies (squash, peas, beans, eggplant, broccoli, tomato, peas, asparagus, potatoes, mushrooms, spinach - etc., depending on the season) in olive oil, butter, or my favorite, bacon fat, add an egg/milk mixture, season with salt, pepper, fresh herbs (thyme works well), add shredded cheeses - I've used cheddar, Swiss, gouda, brie, parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), feta, goat, etc. - basically any cheese handy, and in any, multiple combination of your fancy and finish in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or so. Brown the last two minutes using the broiler. Remove from the pan using the two plate method and serve. I think it's best served warm. Also good cold the next day.

Sorrel Soup

1 quart duck, chicken, or vegetable stock
2 cups (1/4 pound) picked sorrel leaves, washed and stemmed
1 leek, the white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
4 large egg yolks
1 cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste
4 small sorrel leaves for garnish

Bring the stock, sorrel, and leeks to a boil in a saucepan, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes. Puree in a blender, or food processor in batches, or use an immersion blender. Mix the yolks with the cream and add spoonfuls of the hot puree to the cream mixture a little at a time. Then add the cream to the soup, correct the seasoning, and serve either hot or cold. Garnish with fresh sorrel leaf.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 ½ Cups Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp salt
½ Cup Cocoa
1 ½ tsp Baking Soda
2 Cups Sugar
3 Eggs
2 ½ Cups Ground Zucchini
¾ Cups Butter
½ Cup Nuts (Optional)

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa, baking soda, sugar, eggs, zucchini, butter and nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes in a 9X 13 inch pan

Other recipes not pictured:

 Fire Roasted Pepper Soup

(Note from author: None of these ingredients are exact. Add more or less, as you like)

1. Cut up green peppers, slices of egg plant and onions. Toss in olive oil and roast over a wood fire until soft and slightly scorched

2. Cut up tomatoes, scallions, garlic. Toss in parsley, rosemary, a little basil pesto, and simmer until the tomato skins fall off and everything is soft. Strain through a colander, saving all the juice. Some seeds and pulp are ok

3. Puree in small batches the first mixture, adding the second mixture, and tomato paste to thicken, as you blend

Reheat the whole mixture in a large saucepan or crockpot. Add a little milk or cream, and a pat of butter. Enjoy!

Linda’s Baked Corn

2 ½ Cups Sweet Corn
2 Eggs Beaten
2 Cups Milk
3 Tbsp. Butter (melted)
½ pkg Saltine Crackers (crushed)
1 Tbsp Sugar
1/8 Tsp Salt
1/8 Tsp Pepper

Cut kernels off of fresh corn cob, or use frozen corn. Beat eggs. Crush saltines and melt the butter. Mix all ingredients together and put into a 2-quart baking dish or double recipe for 9X13 inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Fettuccine Primavera

1 cup broccoli flowerets
1 cup sliced zucchini½ cup diced green peppers
½ cup chopped onion
½ tsp dried basil leaves (1 tsp fresh)
¾ cup margarine or butter
2 medium tomatoes cut into wedges
½ cup sliced mushrooms
1 (12 oz) pkg fettuccine noodles, cooked and drained

In skillet, over med-high heat, cook broccoli, zucchini, green pepper, onion, and basil in margarine or butter until vegetables are tender. Stir in tomatoes and mushrooms. Toss vegetable mixture with hot fettuccini. Serve with Parmesan Cheese, if desired.


2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup slivered almonds
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups flour
3 tblsp. cocoa
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. soda
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup raisins or chocolate chips (neither of which were in the recipe today)

Mix dry ingredients together
Beat eggs, sugar, oil, nuts, and zucchini together.
Add to dry ingredients a little at a time. Add raisins or choc. chips and almond extract
Pour into 2 greased and slightly floured bread pans

Bake 350 for 55 minutes

Tomato and Sweet Onion Crumble


• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 sweet onions (about 1 lb. total), such as Walla Walla or Oso, peeled and thinly sliced
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
• 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, rinsed, cored, and sliced (1/4 in. thick)
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
• Salt and pepper
• 4 slices crusty artisan-style bread (each about 1 in. thick and 3 by 5 in.), cut into chunks
• 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter
• 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


1. Heat oil in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add onions and garlic. Stir frequently until onions are limp and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Pour into a 2- to 3-quart baking dish with sides at least 2 inches high, and spread onions level. Top evenly with tomato slices, basil, and oregano. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

2. In a food processor, whirl bread with butter and cheese until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over tomatoes.

3. Bake in a 350° oven until topping is golden brown and juices are bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and serve warm.


4 lg garlic cloves
1 med white onion
Olive oil
3 small zucchini
3 small yellow crookneck
4 Tbsp butter
4 med tomatoes
Freshly grated Boar’s Head Parmigiano-Reggiano
Freshly grated Boar’s Head provolone

Squash and cut up garlic and add to olive oil in pan. Start cooking. Cut up onion and add to pan. Cut up zucchini and crookneck and add to pan with butter. Cover. Slowly cook until squash is somewhat cooked. Get a glass of wine. Add peeled and cut up tomatoes. Add oregano. Cook until incorporated and tomatoes have cooked down. If tomatoes are juicy, remove cover and cook off some of the liquid. Put into casserole dish. Top with cheeses. Bake 350 for 30 minutes. Drink more wine.

All was not just fun and food, there was work to be done, but we had some special help this week, since our leader, Darl, was also babysitting his grandkids:

Help harvesting zucchini.

Help harvesting tomatoes.

We all pitched in with the beans.

Harvesting basil.

Harvesting Eggplant

Harvesting pole beans

And more tomatoes.


  1. FULL HARVEST!!! Its so cute to see the lil ones helping around gardens. I believe gardening is the most bonding I've had with my family, it has been whats brought us together for the majority of the time me and my wife have been together.

    -Tony Salmeron

  2. Hi Tony. Thanks for commenting. Yes - having the young ones involved is fun and rewarding, and sows the seeds (so to speak) for the future. Regards, Ray.