Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bumper Crop of Tomatoes and Late Summer Veggies? Roast Them!

This is one of those "occasional detours" I reference in the description of this blog.  As the signs of autumn begin to show themselves (some leaves on the trees in our neighborhood are all ready turning color), the tomatoes, squash, and other late summer vegetables are really starting to come in.

Chile pepper waiting to turn red.


Italian flat green beans

Waiting for these sweet bell peppers to turn red before I pick them.
The onions have been harvested and are drying in the garage.

Roma tomatoes

A squash blossom -- a promise of more zucchini to come.

Yellow summer squash hiding among the leaves.
A medley of fresh herbs -- sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram.

Every day, I pick yet another basket full of tomatoes.

What to do with all this good stuff?  If you are like me, and you don't like having to peel and seed tomatoes to cook with them, and you don't have hours to spend with lots of steps, then this recipe is for you.  I created this recipe as an easy way to make something yummy out of the overload of late summer veggies.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but it is wonderful!  Even my husband (not a big fan of vegetables) thinks it is great.  He likes the combination of flavors.

Roasted Summer Squash, Tomatoes, and Green Beans

2-3 medium-size yellow summer squash or zucchini (about 10 inches long) - halved length-wise and then sliced into 1/4 inch slices (half-rounds)

1 large onion - thinly sliced and then slices quartered and separated

About 6-8 small to medium ripe tomatoes - cored and cut into wedges (I used a mix of plum and regular)

2 handfuls of green beans (snap off the stem end/ if large, break in half)

2-3 cloves of garlic, pressed through a garlic press

5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt (to taste)

pepper (to taste

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  

Spray the bottom part of a broiler pan (top rack portion removed) with cooking spray (you could use some other type of shallow roasting pan -- I found the broiler pan to be the perfect size to allow me to spread the veggies out).  Thoroughly stir all of the ingredients, except the cheese, together in the prepared pan.  Roast uncovered in the oven for 40 minutes, until the vegetables reach their desired tenderness.  Stir half way through the cooking time.

After removing from the oven, stir in the parmesan cheese and serve.

In addition to creating this recipe for Roasted Summer Squash, Tomatoes, and Green Beans, I also found a fantastic, extremely easy recipe for making tomato sauce to use up even more of my tomatoes: Slow Roasted Plum Tomato Sauce. It's from the cooking blog, Cuizoo. Be sure to follow the link and check it out. Like my roasted veggie recipe, this Cuizoo recipe does not require you to peel or seed the tomatoes.  It takes only one pan, and although it has a long cooking time, it requires very little time or effort from you. You just throw it together, put it in the oven, and forget about it for several hours (other than pulling it out to stir it a few times). The taste is amazing -- it has character, zest and depth.  I think it may be my new favorite pasta sauce.  And the recipe makes enough that you can eat some for dinner and still have plenty to freeze each time you make it.

As the summer winds down and the harvest comes in, I am not quite ready to give up gardening.  I've planted a second crop of green beans, some broccolini, some cauliflower, more kale and lettuces.

The new bean plants are doing well.

The stems on this Russian kale will become more purple as it grows.
So, I will still have a couple of months of fresh-from-the-garden produce.

If you try these recipes, please leave a comment and let me know what you think.  I'd also like to hear about any ideas you have for using bumper crops of summer veggies.

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