It’s now harvesting time around the Pacific Northwest and while our peace shoots, snap peas, and spinach have died out, we are now harvesting the fruits of our labor throughout the summer such as squash, corn, apples, tomatoes, and pears. These are probably the most common types of fruits and vegetables will harvest around September and October but what do you do with all those veggies?
If you’re like me, you’ve probably planted an abundance of cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes, three of my favorites. But when you’ve got zucchini coming out your ears and piles of tomatoes on the counter, how can you use them up? Well, you can always can all of these ingredients. Cucumbers make the best pickles but you can also pickle and can zucchini as well. Simply quarter them, chop them up, and can them like you would any other veggie. But what if you’re not into canning?
If you’ve already exhausted leaving zucchini on everyone’s doorstep in the neighborhood, it’s time to put that to some good use. Here are some great recipes for zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes this fall season.
- Baked instead of fried, Ellie Krieger’s Zucchini Parmesan Crisps (pictured above) are a light snack or side dish for any occasion.
- Frittatas are great ways to use up whatever is in the fridge. Try the Frittata with Zucchini for any meal of the day, and add in other vegetables hanging around the house.
- Giada makes Fried Zucchini with panko, while Alex Guarnaschelli makes her Fried Zucchini with Italian breadcrumbs. Either way, you’re frying up something delicious.
- Carpaccio is usually an Italian dish of very thinly sliced raw meat or fish. Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos make a vegan version, Zucchini Carpaccio.
- Meatless Monday calls for Zucchini Meatballs, made with zucchini, breadcrumbs, grated Pecorino and smoked scamorza, which is a cow’s milk cheese similar in texture and flavor to mozzarella.
- Paneer is a fresh milk cheese, similar to farmer cheese, popular in South Asia. It requires only two ingredients and is easy to make at home. Toss with some zucchini and spices and serve over rice, and you’ve got Bal Arneson’s Zucchini Paneer.
- Vegetarian Zucchini Chili is a cozy lunch option for these first few fall days. Rachael Ray packs in flavor with some roasted poblano peppers, hot chiles and a bottle of beer.
- For the days that still feel like summer, make Bobby Flay’s light and fresh Zucchini Salad.
- Giada lets her Marinated Zucchini and Summer Squash set overnight in a white-wine-vinegar-based marinade for extra flavor before grilling.
- Sneak vegetables into dessert with Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread with Pecans.
- Risotto-Stuffed Peppers and Zucchini can be a side dish or a full meal. Use a melon baller or ice cream scoop to easily hollow out the zucchini.
- Turn zucchini into a pasta replacement. Thinly slice zucchini with a mandoline, vegetable peeler or vegetable noodle maker. Try Ellie Krieger’s Zucchini Ribbon Pasta, which adds some zucchini ribbons to whole-wheat pasta, or make an entire meal out of zucchini noodles.
- Frittatas are a great way to use up whatever odds and ends you have in the fridge. Zucchini Frittata is a good place to start, but you can also add other vegetables like tomatoes and eggplants to the mix.
- Healthify your breakfast by skipping the potatoes with Sunny Anderson’s Zucchini Hash.
- Keftedes, Greek fritters, can be made with anything (tomatoes, chickpeas or ground meat). Michael Symon likes Zucchini Fritters with Feta and Dill, topped with a bit of Greek yogurt as a simple appetizer. Be sure to squeeze out all of the liquid from the shredded zucchini for best frying.
- Fall may be upon us, but it’s always warm enough to grill. Shrimp and Zucchini Skewers marinate overnight, but they take only about 5 minutes to go from grill to dinner plate.
- The easiest way to use up the rest of summer’s zucchini is Emeril’s Zucchini and Summer Squash Casserole, which is held together with a few eggs and some cream, making for a hearty side dish.
- Koftas are Middle Eastern meatballs, served either on skewers or with a spicy sauce. Serve Bal Arneson’s vegetarian version, Zucchini and Onion Koftas, with a Traditional Vegetable Curry for a full meal.
- Risotto is often viewed as a difficult dish to make, but it’s really simple. The only hard part is continually stirring the rice while it cooks; add a little bit of water or stock at a time, only adding more when it’s all dried up. Use short-grain rice like Arborio to make Shrimp and Zucchini Risotto.
- Bobby Deen lightens up potato skins, a traditional (and indulgent) game-day snack. Roasted Zucchini Skins are stuffed with turkey bacon, vegetables and farro, and topped with reduced-fat cheese and a bit of reduced-fat sour cream, which achieves all of the flavors you want from the snack, without the calories.
- End of summer brings green tomatoes, or tomatoes that haven’t fully matured. Although they’re normally fried, try Baked Green Tomatoes and Zucchini for a healthier take on this end-of-summer specialty. [Source Cooking Channel TV]
- Tomato sauce makes one of the best uses for leftover tomatoes, especially those that might be a little bit bruised or darkened. You want to boil the tomatoes for just a minute, peel them, chop them, and let them simmer in a variety of seasonings such as garlic, keepers, crushed red pepper, and anchovies.
- Tomato jam is another great option where you can roast or simmer tomatoes with sugar, salt, lemon juice, and spices until they are jellied.
- Bruschetta is also another option where you can roast your tomatoes or you can chop them up fresh and mix them with seasonings, basil, herbs, and ability mozzarella
- of course, tomato soup is a great option and you don’t even need a recipe. Simply sauté some onions, garlic, leeks, or shallots in all of oil and add your tomatoes and go to seasonings. A little water or chicken broth will send it out and make it the right consistency. Simply blend until smooth.
- Salsa! Who doesn’t love chips and salsa? Blend up those tomatoes with some onions, garlic, jalapenos, cumin, cilantro, and lime juice and you have yourself a fantastic salsa.
- The spot shows also that summer favorite when it is hot outside. Simply chop up tomatoes, garlic, onion, and any other vegetables or even add in zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers, and watermelon, blended up and serve it with a crusty baguette.
- Of course you can throw tomatoes in a cheesy baked pasta, a tomato frittata, savory bread pudding, or even scalloped tomatoes adding French bread, Parmesan cheese and garlic. Check out Food 52 for more great tomato recipes.
- I have a plethora of cucumbers, and all different types as well from English cucumbers to pickling cucumbers and even lemon cucumbers. So what can we do with all of them besides pickling them?
- Create a cold, chilled soup. Tell us a couple of cucumbers with some yogurt and seasonings into a blender and you have a no-cook soup.
- Use it for your favorite beverages. How about a cucumber line martini, or adding cucumbers into your lemonade or ginger beer?
- A quick cucumber salad is always an old-fashioned favorites. This cucumber salad uses sliced up cucumbers, red onion, a combination of dill, sour cream, and yogurt and it makes an easy side salad.
- Have a Greek night with Tzatziki sauce. Greek yogurt, cucumbers, dill, and garlic with a little bit of lemon juice make for a great sauce for any type of pita bread or Gyro sandwich.
- Slice of those cucumbers and top with tuna salad.
- Come on cucumbers and melon with a little bit of chili and honey for a unique twist. Throw little Ricotta Salata cheese on top or Parmesan and you’ve got yourself a banging side dish.
- Honeydew and cucumber slushy! Need I say more?
- You can pretty much add cucumbers to just about any salsa, relish, salad, topping, flatbread topping, pasta topping, or salad dressing.
I hope I’ve given you a little bit of inspiration on what to do with three of the biggest harvests for the Pacific Northwest. Remember, if you need help cleaning up that garden, some extra landscaping this fall, or have questions on pruning and gardening, don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.