Squeezing Life Out of Your Summer Garden
Does it seem like just yesterday when you planted your garden? You fertilized; you weeded, and you watered. If you were lucky, your hard work was rewarded with home-grown vegetables including tomatoes and herbs. But now, most gardens are down to their last gasp as the days become shorter. So what’s a gardener to do with those last tomatoes and herbs like basil, thyme and mint? We have some simple and tasty suggestions including a pasta, a vegetable sauce and a scrumptious new way to dress up your bread.
One of our favorite cooking class chefs, Melissa Pelkey-Hass, shared a mouth-watering recipe, which is perfect for the last-of-the-season tomatoes and basil
Baked Tomato Basil Gnocchi
- 2 packages gnocchi
- 1 ½ C diced tomatoes (substitute 1 can of diced tomatoes if you don’t have any fresh one, undrained)
- 2 cups cheese (cheddar or mozzarella work well)
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
- 1/2 bunch diced scallions
- 2 tbsp. Leaning Ladder Basil Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp. Leaning Ladder Oregano Balsamic Vinegar
Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl, or back into the cooking pot. Add all ingredients, reserving some basil to sprinkle on top. Mix well. Place into a greased 13×9 baking dish. Top with reserved basil. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
Artichokes, Lemon and Mint, Oh My!
Here is a super simple sauce for either grilled or steamed artichokes that uses fresh mint from the garden. To grill, steam the artichokes for approximately 15 minutes before grilling. As the artichokes grill (approximately 8 minutes total), baste them with this simple dressing and drizzle any remaining over the artichokes after you pull them off the grill :
1/3 C fresh lemon juice
3 T fresh mint, chopped
Better Than Butter Bread Spread
This is a great way to use up your remaining thyme, basil and rosemary.
Pour ½ C of any one of Leaning Ladder’s Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oils into a freezer-safe container. Add 2 T of your favorite herb or a combination of your favorites for a truly herb-a-licious concoction. Freeze overnight. The next morning, remove from the freezer and place in refrigerator to soften. Spread on French bread or crusty rolls. Be sure to store in the fridge or the mixture will liquefy.
Susan and Bridget