Preserving – Thai Basil Pesto, Oven-Dried Tomatoes and Pickles

I have so many tomatoes, we cannot keep up with eating them raw. So, I slow-roasted two baking sheets of tomatoes for a few hours (at 325F, but that was too hot, so I reduced it to 250F) and then packed them in olive oil and stored them in the fridge for use in pasta sauces and on pizza.

I had a ton of Thai basil on my back porch and turned it into Thai basil peanut pesto. I served it over pan-seared trout last night for dinner. Delicious!

And I made more quick refrigerator pickles with the pickling cucumbers form the plot. Yum! The cucumbers are coming to an end, it seems.

Garlic Scape Pesto

I made a small batch of garlic scape pesto with about half the scapes I harvested (15) and home-grown basil leaves (the basil leaves from the porch are huge!). I just pureed all of it with olive oil and salt. No cheese, no nuts. More versatile this way. I froze the surplus for future use. This pesto is so great on pasta, pizza, roasted veggies, or mixed into a pesto mayo for sandwiches …

Garlic scape pesto topped off with olive oil for the freezer (the color is kind of strange on the screen; it was bright green)

Eating from the Garden in January

Just before going into the oven

I used up the last two home-grown butternut squash to make squash soup. As usual, I roasted the squash (with fresh herbs stuck in the cavities) cut-side down to bring out its caramelized flavor before adding it to a pot of sweated onions. I just added water and seasoning and let it simmer for 15 minutes before pureeing it. Served the soup topped with grated Parmesan and chopped (home-grown) parsley.

Freshly cut open
After roasting
Soup is ready!
Yum! Served with Gruyere toasts on crusty bread.

Apple Picking


We went apple picking yesterday. We always go to Honey Pot Hill Orchard. It was super nice and since it was a Monday afternoon, not crowded at all. We came home with half a bushel of apples (Cortland and Mutsu only, as these are the kids’ favorites). The sandwiches we had at the orchard were delicious (I used the homemade pickled green tomatoes I made yesterday). It was baguette spread with salted butter and grainy mustard, topped with sharp cheddar, apple slices (from just harvested apples), pickled tomatoes and lettuce. So good! Sadly, I forgot to take a picture.

Canopy walk new England style

Fall Harvest

I went to the garden today to check in and harvested some carrots, an eggplant and some green tomatoes. The tomatoes were quick-pickled to top tomorrow’s sandwiches – I am taking my teenagers apple-picking in the afternoon and we will have cheddar/apple slices/grainy mustard/pickled green tomato sandwiches aka Farmers Lunch Sandwich (No. 9) as served by City Feed and Supply around the corner.

That carrot weighed in at 6 ounces!

Some Summer Dinners from the Garden – 2020

Harissa-rubbed chicken breast over arugula, heirloom tomatoes, peaches and parsley with tahini dressing – Aug 12
Zucchini/parsley frittata with cherry tomatoes – Aug 13
Roasted chiogga beets and goat cheese over arugula topped with toasted pepitas – Aug 21
Pizza with garlic scape pesto, kale and roasted shallots (all home-grown), cherry tomatoes (not home-grown) and mushroom. Before it was topped with cheese and went into the oven – July 17
Not a dinner in itself but a dinner condiment – quick refrigerator pickles – Aug 22
Lemony zucchini and pepper stir fry with fresh herbs and Aleppo pepper
(served topped with feta over rice) – Aug 25
Kale pasta with sausage, peppers, garlic, feta and toasted pine nuts – Aug 27
Zucchini potato gratin with tomatoes and fresh herbs (all veggies and herbs except the potatoes were home-grown) – Aug 31
Zucchini potato gratin (see above)
Roasted Ping Tung eggplant with goat cheese, pine nuts and parsley – Sep 13
Heirloom tomato feta sandwich with tahini and parsley – Sep 11
Korean bibimbap bowl with sesame Swiss chard from the garden – Sep 18
Thai basil chicken with hot Thai peppers, garlic and basil from the garden – Sep 24
Lunch: Egg on a bed of sauteed home-grown kale, tomato and garlic – September 28
Tomato tart with fresh heirloom tomatoes and roasted heirlooms on a bed of arugula pesto and cheese (all veggies except the arugula are home-grown) – October 5

Not pictured: countless Caprese sandwiches, creamy cucumber salad (with sour cream dressing), Swiss chard frittata.

Roasted Tomatoes

Tomato tart with fresh heirlooms and roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic on a bed of home-made arugula pesto and cheese

I roasted two sheets of tomatoes today. 250F convection oven (on bake) for 30 minutes. They were grape to cocktail size, and that was the right amount of time. I used them to top a tomato tart I made for dinner. So yummy!


Yesterday’s Harvest

The Ping Tung eggplants will be roasted and turned into a salad with goat cheese and pine nuts, and the chard will be turned into sesame chard (a riff on sesame spinach) to accompany Korean steak, served with kimchi, quick-pickled carrots and rice tomorrow. The tomatoes (together with other previously harvested ones) will be used to make a simple sliced tomato salad with basil and parsley to complement Spanish tortilla with chorizo tonight.