Well, September is almost over and my summer garden is fading away. As such I’ve been using up and enjoying the last of my tomato harvest in as many different ways as possible. First was a nice and spicy vegetable soup from one of my favorite little cookbooks, Perfect Mexican. This was really satisfying and I made enough to enjoy for several days, almost all with local squash, potatoes and corn along with my own tomatoes.
Then I tried an absolutely delicious recipe for Halibut in Tomato and Pine Nut Sauce from Simple Italian Cooking (Chuck Williams Collection). The only change I made was using fresh fennel fronds from my garden in lieu of fresh dill, which I’m not as crazy about. But the combination of lemon, tomato, fennel and toasted pine nuts was so good, I have to make sure this recipe goes into my regular kitchen “rotation”.
Of course, pizza is always a great way to use up tomatoes! I had two very successful ones recently, the first using fresh tomatoes, onions and mushrooms along with dried porcini and fresh made mozzarella. Classic but hard to improve upon.
As an experiment – and because I had some rainbow chard from the farm market I needed to eat up quickly, I tried an experiment by making Rainbow Chard Pizza. Cooking the chard first in olive oil with garlic, onion and lemon juice, then topping the pie with a little tomatoes and parmesan, worked out really well.
I still have some things hanging in there in my garden: the fennel which I planted later hasn’t bolted and is actually starting to form some nice bulbs; the purple cabbage is starting to form heads; I started a late crop of lettuce and radishes which hopefully I can harvest before the frost hits. I’ve also got an excess of fresh basil and sage to use up – but some ideas for those will be featured in a coming blog post in the weeks ahead.