When the Garden Gets Going…

by Sherri Koehler on August 4, 2009

…the Going Cook Creative.

Uh, yeah. Or something like that.

This week I’ve made gaspacho and tonight something I’ve dubbed “tabouliesque” in response to the ever increasing amount of produce coming out of the back yard garden. Tonight I forced cucumbers on the neighbor and sliced up about 2 quarts worth of them to put into rice vinegar before they got all mushy.

I haven’t even been able to deal with what’s in the fridge and Christie asked me, “Did you go pick some more?”

The gaspacho involved a quart of veggie juice, about a half cup of little pieces of all the cherry & grape type tomatoes that are going crazy, 1 long cucumber (“Suyo“, a fave of mine), 2 cloves of garlic, 2 stalks of celery, half a red bell pepper, some sweet onion, white wine vinegar, sea salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Then I forgot that it is a Spanish dish, or ignored it because the basil in the fridge was wilting, and tossed in about 1/3 cup basil cut into thin ribbons (chiffonade). I thought it was awesome and then recalled the whole Spanish Dish thing and decided to garnish with smoked parprika. Wow, was this good!

Tonight’s dish involved more tomatoes and was topped by the cucumbers I chopped up then put into seasoned rice vinegar. I had leftover red quinoa and decided to try that out in place of bulghur wheat for tabouli. I had a lemon and some Italian parsley on hand in addition to the tomatoes, so it seemed perfect. To make it even a little more hearty & filling for dinner I cooked up some green lentils and tossed those in there as well (which reminds me of an Ethiopian dish that reminds me of tabouli with brown lentils in place of bulgher).

Kind of went a little off the track with the tabouli, aside from the quinoa & lentils, and added a little balsamic vinegar to the mix in addition to the lemon juice, sea salt & black pepper. Sliced up the remaining grilled summer squash from last night (also from garden) and topped it with some diced avocado (because there was some of that leftover too).

The garden’s been pretty exciting this year. I suspect this is the first of many posts about creative dishes. We’re a little scared of all the winter squash looming at the back of the garden, trying to push the fence down. Be prepared for all kinds of creativity around that crop! Types of winter squash planted: spaghetti, delicata, sweet dumpling, and hubbard. We may also get a watermelon and will have a few cantalope too!

I’ll write down the actual recipes and post… sometime this month, maybe (lots of travel).

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