My Kentucky Wonder green beans have been taking off. I love having beans this late in the season. They grow slower now that the days are shorter and cooler meaning that I can harvest more at the same time (as opposed to a handful every day in the height of summer, which I find less useful in terms of using them to cook). The flowers also are finally in a really good place, which makes me happy as I now will have flowers until the first frost. This is the perk of getting a late start this season, ha! (The beans were planted in mid-July. On purpose.)
I did some weeding this beautiful Saturday morning and also thinned the carrots. Many tomato and cucumber plants seem to have recovered from the heat waves, the corn is tall, the beans are flowering, the winter squash are (finally) growing. Some tomato plants are looking very sad though: Black Strawberry and Ananas Noire have dried, brown leaves; Ananas Noire even has fruit rotting on the stem. There is still lots to come from my plot this late summer and fall: green beans, Swiss chard, kale, corn, squash, salad greens, beets, carrots, leeks.
We had rain yesterday. Finally! And more rain is in the forecast for tonight. Most of Massachusetts has been in a severe drought for weeks. I went to the garden to pick some tomatoes earlier today. I now have a lot of different varieties in a rainbow of colors.
The first Striped German tomato (the yellow-red striped one in the bottom right). I am very excited. Plus, finally more flowers.
The garden is brimming with tomatoes. Pictured above is yesterday’s harvest, and I harvested almost as many tomatoes the day before. Time for a second batch of oven-roasted garlicky tomatoes and basil “pesto”. To keep it versatile, I make the latter only with basil, olive oil and salt. I leave out cheese and nuts to add in later depending on the use. Sometimes, I like to mix it with goat cheese for a pesto-goat cheese-spread or use it in a compound butter, which would not need Parmesan. I also found that it freezes better this way. For the tomatoes, I only use red ones and no big slicers. If the larger tomatoes are very juicy, I blot them with paper towels before they go in the oven. I roasted this batch at 275F for two hours and packed it in olive oil. This batch will go in the fridge, the last one went in the freezer for use in a few months. I like to use those in pasta sauces, on pizza or as toppings for sandwiches or savory crepes. It is amazing how a baking sheet packed with tomatoes gets reduced to a single half-pint canning jar.
Some more basil pesto for the freezer:
Not quite as pretty as I had hoped but very tasty. The innards look a bit like a pineapple though …
It has been a stellar year for tomatoes so far. I am having friends over tonight to help me eat them, and we are having a neighborhood block party tomorrow, for which I plan to bring a fattoush that will feature some of the cherry tomatoes (plus the parsley and mint) I harvested today. In addition to the tomatoes, I have four or five zucchinis that need to be eaten, so on the menu tonight is an antipasti board (including Caprese skewers and sauteed zucchini), a zucchini/(home-made) basil pesto/goat cheese pizza and a tomato salad with peaches, pesto and whipped feta.