Are you swimming in summer squash like we are? While you can leave the excess on unsuspecting, non-gardeners’ porches, I’ve found the following one-pot recipe makes eating lots and lots of zucchini and other summer squashes so delicious the bounty ends up in your own belly instead.
- 1 medium summer squash of any type (as long as it’s straight enough to spiralize)
- 7 or more roma tomatoes
- salt, pepper, and oregano to taste
- a pre-cooked protein (ground beef is the traditional choice, but use your imagination!)
- parmesan cheese
Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze each one to release starter juices. Spiralize the squash and add it to a skillet along with the tomatoes. Cut through the mass of “noodles” a few times to shorten them. Add the salt, pepper, and oregano and cook on high heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have turned into a sauce and the squash noodles are al dente. Stir in the pre-cooked protein then garnish with parmesan and chow down!
How about you? Do you have favorite summer squash recipes that let you use up everything your garden produces?
Fourteen years ago, Mom sent me her family recipe for Gooseberry Fool. Foolishly, I waited over a decade to give it a try. I also tweaked the ingredients a bit based on other recipes on the internet (and on Mom’s memory that the Fool she ate as a kid was thickened with an egg).
The recipe I used:
- 1.5 cups of gooseberries, washed but with the stems and tails still on (plus a few raspberries)
- a bit of water
- 1 Tablespoon of sugar
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup whipped cream (ours was homemade, but I assume you could use the stuff in the can)
Cook the gooseberries and sugar over medium heat with just enough water so they don’t burn. Once the berries burst, remove them from the heat and send them through a foley mill (or use another method to get rid of the skins and most of the seeds).
In a separate container, mix the milk and egg well. Pour the eggy-milk mixture into the gooseberry puree and return to the heat, stirring constantly until it bubbles and thickens.
Cool the new mixture completely, then stir in whipped cream. Top with a raspberry if you have any left.
Then it was time for the taste test.
Anna: “It’s okay, but I like the raw berries better.”
Mark (who’s only so-so on raw gooseberries but hates to complain about food I put in front of him): “Hm. It’s… Um… Did you say there’s also the option of chocolate cake?”
I guess there’s a reason Gooseberry Fool isn’t a mainstream recipe any more…
When your harvest looks like this:
It’s time to cook this:
- 6 cups of cherry tomatoes (or 2.5 cups of stewed tomatoes)
- 1 chicken breast with bone in (or 3 cups of chicken stock and one cooked chicken breast)
- 1.25 cups of chopped sweet peppers
- 2.5 cups of carrots (or some combination of carrots and sweet potatoes)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika (I used unspicy, but you might like it spicy)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 cups of green onion tops, chopped into small pieces
- sugar (to taste, if your tomatoes are late season and sour)
Optional serving suggestions:
- Stirring in cheese is always yummy at the end. Parmesan works but an herbed goat cheese was amazing!
- Mark likes bread on the side.
How to make it:
This is a basic soup recipe, so you don’t really need to read this part. Here’s what I did:
- I cooked the chicken in the instapot with a bit of water for 10 minutes on the meat setting. Once this was done, I picked the meat off the bone and put the bones back in the instapot with three cups of water to cook for an hour to make broth. Cooking longer would have been better, but I was impatient.
- Meanwhile, I cooked the cherry tomatoes in just a little water until they were soft (about ten minutes). Then I ran them through the foley mill to remove the skin and most of the seeds. If I was using roma tomatoes I wouldn’t have bothered with this processing, but cherry tomatoes are very seedy! I suspect foley mills are not the modern way to do this — please comment if you use a different gadget to get the same result…
- Next, I mixed the processed tomatoes with everything except the chicken, the broth (because it wasn’t done yet), and the sugar. Cooking this mixture for about an hour on medium to low heat will soften the vegetables, at which point you can remove the bay leaves then use an immersion blender to create a relatively smooth texture. (If you prefer vegetable chunks, skip the blending step.)
- By this point, the chicken broth was done, so I added it into the main pot along with the cooked chicken breast (broken up into bite-size pieces). The soup probably would have been even better if I’d simmered it for about an hour with all ingredients in the pot, but I was hungry and it was delicious just thrown together like this!
I used the littlest carrots from the harvest (on the left in the photo above), which wouldn’t keep long in storage. If you have sweet potatoes, I’d recommend using half carrots and half sweet potatoes, in which case you shouldn’t need any sugar.
If you prefer beans over meat, chickpeas are your best option in this soup.
Soup color depends on tomato color. I usually make it with red, but our tommy-toes were yellow this year. It tastes the same either way.
What did you turn your last big harvest of warm-season goodies into?