Cooking Ideas for Unusual or Plentiful Vegetables
- By Diane Mincher
Summertime brings an abundance of many different types of vegetables. In addition to what you grow in your garden, you can purchase vegetables at a farmers market, co-op, farm stand or market or through a CSA (community-supported agriculture) share.
What's available at these outlets may not be what you typically grow or buy. So it's a good way to try some of the more unusual locally produced vegetables.
Do you have an overwhelming amount of green beans, carrots or other vegetables in your garden this year? You can enjoy these throughout the colder months if you store them properly or process them for freezing, drying or canning.
Or search in cookbooks and web sites for recipes using a particular vegetable, whether it is zucchini, yellow summer squash, turnips, beets or leafy greens such as chard, kale, collards and spinach. Some web sites have a recipe search engine that allows you to search by ingredients you have available.
Be adventurous and try some new recipes. Here are some ideas for cooking with summer vegetables to get you started.
These are a great substitute for potato chips. You will be surprised at how simple these are to make and how delicious they taste.
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt and/or herbs and spices
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a non-insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear the greens into bite-size pieces.
Rinse and thoroughly dry the kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and spices. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, about 10 to 15 minutes.
You can substitute or add any type of root vegetable to this recipe.
Serve as is or add hot or cold pasta, rice or quinoa.
- 1 small butternut squash, cubed
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 3 Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
- 1 red onion, quartered
- 3 beets, quartered
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 Tbsps. fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsps. balsamic vinegar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the squash, red bell peppers, beets, sweet potato and Yukon Gold potatoes.
Separate the red onion quarters into pieces and add to the mixture. In a small bowl, stir together thyme, rosemary, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss with vegetables until they are coated. Spread evenly on a large roasting pan. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring every 10 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through and browned.
Although this version of the classic Italian egg dish uses ham, you can mix and match any veggies and meat you have on hand.
- 8 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 Tbsp. fresh basil, snipped, or 1 tsp. dried basil, crushed
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 2 Tbsps. olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups vegetables, chopped, such as summer squash, broccoli, tomatoes and sweet peppers
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1/2 cup chopped cooked ham or substitute cooked kielbasa, chicken, turkey or pork sausage (crumbled)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Swiss cheese (2 ounces)
In a medium bowl, combine eggs, basil, salt and pepper; set aside.
Heat oil in a large broiler- proof skillet; add vegetables and green onions. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat about 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in meat. Pour egg mixture over vegetable mixture in skillet. Cook over medium heat.
As the mixture sets, run a spatula around edge of skillet, lifting egg mixture so uncooked portion flows underneath. Continue cooking and lifting edges until egg mixture is almost set (Surface will be moist.). Sprinkle with cheese. Preheat broiler. Place skillet under the broiler 4 to 5 inches from heat. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until top is just set and cheese is melted. Or, bake in a preheated 400 degrees F oven for 5 minutes until top is set. Serves 4.
For more recipes, visit University of Vermont Extension's Eating What We Grow web site at www.uvm.edu/extension/food/?Page=grow.html&SM=sm-healthyeating.html.