Recipes @ August 2011

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Garden Harvest

When late summer rewards gardeners with a bounty of fresh produce, they can finally savor the fruits of the labor that began last winter when they planned their gardens. Now is also the time for gardeners to contemplate their successes and failures, and start thinking about next year's gardens.

Enjoy a colorful array of eggplants, like violet-colored Japanese, orange-tinted Turkish, and crisp white varieties like Solanum melongena 'Snowy.' Or try exotic 'Blue Cocoa' string beans, which turn a familiar green when cooked. Experiment by making a simple stew of white and orange beets flavored with celeriac. Your own vegetable garden should foster pride and offer any culinary possibilities.

Preserve your cornucopia by canning, pickling, or freezing--come January, you'll be very happy that you did. And don't forget your friends, who will appreciate baskets of vine-ripened treats that are still warm from the summer sun. A summer harvest also frees up space for a late planting of baby lettuces and herbs, which mature quickly, or hearty cabbages and root vegetables like radishes and carrots, which can withstand the first frost.


Heirloom seeds

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
P.O. Box 170
Earlysville, VA 22936

Preserving Herbs with Salt

If the advent of winter leaves you longing for fresh herbs, this Tuscan technique will preserve plenty of basil, rosemary and sage--even as snow covers your garden. Alternate half-inch layers of herbs in a covered glass container, beginning and ending with coarse salt. The salt absorbs mold-breeding moisture and stalls the action of enzymes that turn fresh herbs brown. Refrigerate. Before using, rinse the herbs with water, and pat dry. You'll be savoring the flavors of August well into December.