What To Do With All Those Garden Veggies

As we move into mid-summer our gardens are beginning to yield large quantities of beans, beets, onions, cucumbers, summer and zucchini squash, peppers to name a few. With busy schedules, we many times don't have time to squirrel things away for the cooler months ahead, yet it's such a shame to let them go to waste. Here are some of my favorite vegetarian treats that will help you serve up the bounty of your garden and satisfy even the hardiest of appetites.

GAZPACHO (my recipe)

1 8oz can of tomato sauce, or puree your own with

fresh from the garden

1 6oz can chopped tomatoes with jalapeño peppers

1 medium size fresh tomato chopped

1 small onion chopped or 3-4 green onions, tops and

all, chopped

1/2 each red and yellow bell pepper chopped

1 cup green beans steamed until tender

1/2 cup whole kernel corn, fresh off the ear uncooked

1/2 cup grated cucumber

10-15 ripe olives, sliced

1 Tbps chopped garlic, or 1 tsp garlic powder­­ more if


1/2 tsp dried red pepper optional

1 tsp dill weed

3 Tbsp quality cold pressed olive oil

fresh dill or yarrow or other sprig of herb for garnish

Mix all ingredients allow to stand at room temperature for one hour. Serve with pita bread or blue corn chips. This is one of my favorite cold summer soups you can bring it together in about 20 minutes. It's always a hit with friends or family.


2 cups fresh green beans, whole

1 large beet, save the leaves

1 large onion sliced in strips

1 large red and yellow bell peppers, sliced in strips

1 large tomato chopped

6 small new red potatoes

1/2 lb flavored pasta, such as lemon and pepper, or

tomato basil

1/2 cup quality olive oil Italian salad dressing

1-2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, cold pressed

Sprig of dill for garnish

Steam all vegetables except the tomato until tender but not limp. The beets and potatoes will need to be fork tender. Allow them to cool. Slice potato and dice the beet. Marinate all vegetables except for the beets in a shallow pan for 1-2 hours at room temperature before serving. Marinate the diced beets in a small bowl in red wine vinegar for 1-2 hours also. To make a beautiful spread, arrange beet leaves on a large round shallow tray. Then arrange the marinated veggies separating the beets in a small bowl in the center. Garnish the red beets with the green dill sprig. Boil pasta, rinse until cool. Oil the pasta with olive oil to keep it from sticking and serve cool. Delicious!


3 medium ripe tomatoes

2-3 green onions

2 cloves garlic

handful of parsley

handful of cilantro

1/2 c green pepper

1 jalapeno pepper seeds removed

1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste

1 Tbps lime juice

Chop finely, peppers, tomatoes, onions, parsley and cilantro. Mix all ingredients, allow to sit for at least two hours before serving. Serve with blue corn chips, or use to jazz up some of your favorite recipes. Will stay fresh refrigerated for a few days.

Don't be afraid to experiment with recipes. Take mine and add your own flare, or make up your own. The best way to do this is to open up the refrigerator and see what's there. It helps if you keep a well-stocked spice rack and a few fresh herbs. Don't forget to use the eatable flowers in your yard and garden, if they've not been chemicalized, as garnishes in salads or on ice creams and sorbets or other deserts; they can make something very ordinary look beautiful. Have fun!

Till next time, Rebecca

This article posted to Zephyr online July 26, 1997
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