Fall Dinners

I am still incorporating vegetables from my garden into our dinners. Here are a few from last week. I made this delicious spaghetti with brown butter and butternut squash, for which I used squash and garlic from my garden plus sage and parsley from my back porch. I adapted the recipe and roasted the squash to bring out its sweetness.

We also had our DIY salad bar, where the last cucumber of the season found its end. Other ingredients were tomatoes, roasted carrots, hard-boiled eggs, leftover chicken, avocado, cheeses and lettuce, all topped with a creamy white balsamic vinaigrette. The garlic ciabatta was made with garlic from my garden.

I made a veggie pizza where I used up roasted broccoli, carrots and onions from another meal. These veggies were nestled on a bed of sauteed garlicky Swiss chard (the last of the season) and topped with cheeses. Chard and garlic came from my garden. I always make the pizza dough according to this recipe.

I also made quesadillas that were filled with sauteed peppers from the garden (plus onions and fresh tomatoes), another batch of butternut squash soup, and rice & beans with garlic from the garden and the last home-grown bell peppers.

The season of home-grown meals is coming to an end. I now only have butternut squash, shallots and garlic in my pantry and leeks in my garden as well as herbs.

End of the Season

Today’s harvest minus one squash, which I gave away before I took the picture

I spent three hours in the community garden today harvesting the last five squash (a total of 12 lbs. 2 oz., bringing the squash total to 34 lbs. 1 oz.!!!), (green) tomatoes, peppers and cucumber (!), and weeding, pulling lemon balm and mint, and spreading hay. I also planted a few tulips and more garlic. I think this might be the earliest I have ever gotten my plot ready for winter. The only thing still growing is Swiss chard, leeks and onions (I will likely overwinter both of those), and some fall greens.

Swiss chard, leeks, onions and fall greens. Asparagus foliage in the background.

I also cleaned our back porch and harvested the last jalapenos.

Squash

Yesterday, I harvested four more squash. They now cure in our back hallway. The night before – a very rainy and windy Sunday that my poor 17-year-old daughter spent outdoors at the last rowing regatta of the season on the Merrimack river – I had roasted three of the five previously harvested squash and turned half of the roasted pulp into a very tasty butternut squash soup with fried sage and cheese, adapted from this recipe. The soup was the perfect ending to a wet and raw day. I froze the other half of the pulp for future use.

All in all, I have harvested nine butternut squash so far. They weighed in at a total of 21 pounds and 15 ounces. I gave two of them to my neighbor and five are still on the vine – a total of 14.

Brushed with olive oil and stuffed with thyme and sage
Roasted at 425F for 40 minutes
Dinner is served

Garden Work Day

Fall bouquet – dahlia, Jerusalem artichokes, parsley flower, pokeweed

We had our fall work day in the community garden this past Saturday. We mostly weeded, cleaned and got the garden ready for winter. There was a big patch of Jerusalem artichokes in the flower bed we adopted and we needed to take them out. Some of them came home with me and made it into this small bouquet.

Parsley
These are the last green beans. (The bell peppers and the black hot peppers are from another gardener’s plot who recently moved away)

Fall in the Garden

I went to the garden late this afternoon and harvested 10 oz. of green beans, 4 butternut squash (10 lb. 14 oz. total), a big handful of Swiss chard and the last dahlia. I only took the squash that had brown stems, the remaining 9 (!) still have green stems, so they might grow and ripen a bit more. I need to carefully watch the night temperatures though.

Roasted Tomatoes

Before

I still have a lot of tomatoes coming in from my community plot. For tonight’s dinner, I slow-roasted some with minced home-grown garlic and fresh thyme (90 minutes at 300F). I then chopped the tomatoes and added them to sauteed (home-grown) shallots and (store-bought) crimini mushrooms. I served everything over penne pasta, topped with grated cheese and fresh basil. No photo of the final dish – it was gone to quickly.

After

End of September

I watered the garden this morning and harvested 2 pounds of green beans and a handful of tomatoes.

The plot is looking pretty good. The beans are still growing strong, I have twelve butternut squashes going, and a jungle of Swiss chard. Still some tomatoes. Sadly, only one dahlia came up, and the leeks are still small for the most part (too much shade from the chard). The fall greens are being eaten by flea beetles, they have tons of tiny holes in the leaves.