I recently posted a request for my friends to share their favorite ways to use garden fresh vegetables in the kitchen. They did not disappoint!! In fact, in an effort to keep this post of reasonable size, I have selected only a portion of the recipes that were sent my way. Some shared family recipes while others shared their own secrets and others still shared links for tried and true “no changes needed” recipes that they had found online. There is a combination listed below that covers a wide variety of vegetables; you’ll make your way through appetizers, soup, salads, main courses, dessert and a few odds and ends. I hope that these inspire you to try new things and put those hard earned vegetables and herbs to good use in your kitchen. Enjoy!
Tomato Caprese – Kellie Heise
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Fresh basil leaves
Fresh tomatoes, sliced
Extra virgin olive oil drizzle
Balsamic glaze drizzle
Layer sliced cheese, tomatoes and basil horizontally on a plate or serving platter. Drizzle with EVO and balsamic glaze. Enjoy!
Stuffed Cherry Peppers – Emily Heise
Fresh cherry peppers (stems and seeds removed)
8oz cream cheese
8oz mozzarella cheese
12oz cooked bacon, chopped
6oz prosciutto, diced
Pesto (recipe available below)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Combine cheeses and meats until well mixed and stuff into cherry peppers. Drizzle with pesto and EVO then bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
Veggie Bars – Meaghan Patterson
2 Pillsbury croissant rolls
8oz cream cheese
2 tbps milk
1 packet ranch dressing (powder)
1 cup carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup broccoli, finely chopped
1 cup cauliflower, finely chopped
Roll croissants out flat on baking sheet and cook per instructions on package (should be golden brown). Mix cream cheese, ranch and milk and spread over top of cooled croissants. Sprinkle chopped veggies over top and serve chilled.
Blistered Peppers & Tomatoes – Andrew Kayserian
Shishito peppers (or variety of your choosing, Aleppo & Banana = chef’s favorites)
1 cup avocado or grapeseed oil (or any oil with a flash point greater than or equal to 400F)
1/8 cup chopped cilantro
1 bulb fresh garlic, finely chopped
Soak tomatoes and peppers (stems and seeds intact) in ice bath for 15 minutes prior to grilling. Combine garlic, cilantro and oil for basting. Charcoal grilling is recommended but gas will get the job done. Bring grill up to temperature, between 300F and 400F, and place tomatoes and peppers over the flame. Baste and turn frequently to ensure even flavor and charring. Final product should be cooked through but have maintained enough texture to serve as finger foods.
CrockPot Winter Squash Soup – Maura Dawley
1 acorn squash, seeded and sliced
1/2 butternut squash, seeded and sliced
1/2 blue hubbard squash, seeded and sliced
2 apples, sliced
12oz chicken broth
8-12oz heavy cream or coconut milk
Combine squash, apples and chicken stock in CrockPot; cook at low heat 8-10 hours. Before serving, use immersion blender to puree contents in CrockPot. Add coconut milk or heavy cream until desired texture is achieved.
Tomato Cucumber Salad – @earthymrsrice
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 cups diced cucumber (I grow burpless cukes but just about any variety will do)
1 small red onion
1tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp red wine vinegar
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Combine vegetables in a bowl. In separate dish, stir together remaining ingredients. Pour dressing over vegetables and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate; makes 4 servings.
Garden Salads – Jade McNeely & Megan Harvey
Greens serve as a base and these two ladies collectively recommended the toppings listed below. Jade also provided guidelines for a DIY blue cheese dressing and homemade maple bacon.
Garden fresh topping suggestions:
Blue Cheese Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 sour cream
3 dashes Worcester sauce
Salt & pepper to taste
Blue cheese crumbles
Combine mayo, sour cream and Worcester sauce with mixer, until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste; add blue cheese crumbles until desired texture is reached.
Cook bacon in skillet until browned, then drizzle with maple syrup (Jade’s is homemade!) and cook until caramelization starts to occur.
Note from the chef – “Only add syrup AFTER bacon is cooked as it will burn FAST!”
Zucchini Sausage Boats – Kellie Heise
3 sausage links (hot Italian recommended)
16oz tomato based pasta sauce of your choosing
1 large zucchini
2 tbps extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400F. Cut zucchini in half, lengthwise, and use a spoon to scoop out seeds. Drizzle flat fleshy side with EVO and back (this side up) for 20 mintues. While these are baking, cook your sausage and cut into bite sized pieces. Mix sausage and sauce. After 20 minute bake is complete, fill the “boat” with sausage/sauce mix and top with Parmesan. Bake an additional 20 minutes.
Note: this is a great way to use up those zucchini that get just a little too big.
Harvest Skillet Chicken – Ally Smiddy
CrockPot Beef Stew – @earthymrsrice
1.5lb cubed beef (chuck or rump roast recommended)
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 1/2 cups green beans
2 cups diced potatoes
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup flour
2 cups water
1 cup beer (browns, porters and stouts work best)
2 tbsp beef bouillon
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste (I prefer extra pepper)
Add beef, vegetables, salt, pepper and bay leaf to CrockPot. Combine flour and one cup water in bowl and mix until smooth. Pour over contents of CrockPot. Add remaining cup of water and beer to CrockPot and mix thoroughly. Cook on low heat 6-8 hours. Mixing throughout the day yields best results.
Chicken Pot Pie – Ally Delfino
1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup peas
1 cup potatoes, peeled and diced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
Preheat oven at 425F. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft (roughly 2 minutes). Mix in flour, salt and pepper until uniform. Stir in milk and broth and cook, mixing frequently, until thick and bubbly. Add chicken and vegetables. Remove from heat and transfer content of pot into pie crust in pie pan. Upon adding the top crust, be sure to include several holes for ventilation. Bake 35-45 minutes or until golden brown.
Baby Food – Jade McNeely
“I steam them and use the liquid to thin as needed I leave the peels on when I can. Using a vita mix purées it so nicely! And I freeze in ice cube trays!”
I know this isn’t exactly a “recipe” but this idea stood out as a very useful suggestion for all those millennials that are starting families right now. Endless options for your little ones; get them hooked on veggies early!
Basil Pesto – Megan Harvey
2 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup walnuts
2-4 cloves fresh garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Process basil, cheese, nuts and garlic in food processor until smooth. Mix in EVO until desired consistency is achieved. Enjoy!
Spicy Dill Pickles – @earthymrsrice
10 burpless cucumbers, sliced
1 bulb fresh garlic, coarsely chopped
2 large jalapenos, sliced
1 cup fresh dill, chopped
4 cups vinegar
2 cups water
6 tbsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
5 heaping tbsp pickling spice
2 tbsp mustard seed
2 tbsp black peppercorn
Combine brine ingredients and bring to a rapid boil. Combine other ingredients in a large casserole dish or distribute among mason jars. Remove bring from heat and allow to cool 5 minutes. Pour cooled brine over cucumber mix and store in refrigerator up to 3 months. Best if left to marinade for 2 weeks before eating.
Many thanks to the ladies and gentleman listed above who contributed recipes for our readers. If you have any questions or decide to give these recipes a try and want to share some feedback, feel free to comment below or reach out via my contact page. Cheers, friends!