posted in: gardening, in the kitchen | 9


The late summer garden means baskets full of food and crowded kitchen counters. Our dining table makes me claustrophobic lately, covered with bowls of tomatoes and zucchini squash and not always enough time to deal with it as quickly as I should. I won’t even talk about the fridge full of beans and cucumbers. I won’t lie, it’s a little overwhelming sometimes.

This week I hope to do some canning, but in the mean time we’ve been as creative with meals as time allows, and loving the fact that produce never enters our grocery bags.

I wanted to share a few things we’ve been especially enjoying recently.

tomatoes_2Our favorite summer treat is slow roasted tomatoes, which we add to sandwiches, pasta, pizza, and anything else we can think of. Seriously, we talk about roasted tomatoes all year long, in anticipation of the next tomato harvest.  They’re a little bit like bites of ketchup (did you add ketchup to everything when you were a kid, too?) only 6.9 million times better.


zucchini_crust_0I was turned on to a recipe for zucchini pizza crust recently, and have since made it twice. I doubled the batch the first time, and tripled it the next. It’s a great way to use up a couple large summer squashes, and it makes a delicious, moist-yet-crispy crust. Make extra because leftover pizza is always a great idea.

zucchini_crust_1The recipe seems pretty forgiving, and flour substitutions have worked well for me. I used a combination of brown rice flour and flax meal in place of the almond meal called for.

zucchini_crust_2I’ve also been blending up improv tomato sauces. This one was made with a mix of fresh and roasted tomatoes (mostly orange, hence the color), fresh picked Walla Walla sweet onion, ground sunflower seeds, sea salt, dulse and fresh oregano, thyme and savory. This particular sauce was pretty thick, making it a versatile sauce or spread.


So in the end, I guess growing a garden all comes down to pizza (just kidding). But really, these have been some of the most satisfying pizza pies I’ve ever made. Almost completely home grown, and so representative of the season right now. And one single place to combine all our favorite things. Don’t forget the pesto!

What are your favorite summer meals?

(And, any favorite ways to preserve green beans?)

9 Responses

  1. Marri

    Yum! — and beautiful to boot!

    I’m sure you’ve already made a bunch, but spicy dilly beans are a favorite in our home!

  2. asonomagarden

    I’ll have to try the slow roasted tomatoes! We pickle & can our green beans. This year my husband added shredded zucchini to homemade mac and cheese and it was so good! You could barely see it or taste it really, but it made the dish so much moister!

  3. zumbida

    Great post, Abby! That yellow sauce is lovely. I will be trying that pizza crust for dinner…anything to use up more zucchini!(at least the ducks LOVE those overgrown ones). Our tomatoes are still mostly green,;I’ve crossed fingers that we’ll get enough sun to ripen them, cause slo-roasted tomatoes are my fave. In bean-land, I made some lacto-fermented dilly beans; green bean hummus, and we’ve been enjoying roasted green beans. Mostly I do the ol’ blanch & freeze…easy and quick to deal with a giant pile;)

  4. jodi

    I can definitely relate to feeling a bit overwhelmed by the late summer bounty, Abby, but what a nice problem to have! (I just wrote a very similar post.) Like others, I love making and sharing dilly beans throughout the year. You might also like to trying pickling some of your abundant supply of zucchini. Let me know if you’d like recipes, I’d be glad to share them with you.

  5. Katie

    I know what you mean about food being everywhere! We have sheets on the floor in the dining room where we store tomatoes that are ripening and waiting to be put up.
    My favorite summer meal? Fresh salsa and corn chips straight from the deep fryer. (at least that’s this weeks fave). I bought a food dehydrator and am planning on making sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil. I can see that becoming a staple in our home.
    I freeze green beans and sometimes make dilly beans. We eat a lot of them fresh, stir fried in the wok with sesame seeds. I wish I knew some other recipes for them.

  6. Liesl

    Oh, that pizza looks delicious! I have some almond meal—maybe I’ll give it a try!
    We have trays of tomatoes that get re-organized every day—“need to be eaten right away”, “can wait another day”, etc. The “need to be eaten right away” ones seem to go into a fresh tomato sauce mostly—with chunks of onions, squash, peppers, garlic, basil.

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