Tag Archives: Summer Squash

Chow Chow relish – water bath canning

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Chow Chow Relish

 

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Washing the days harvest

While it may be the end of summer for some, I am not going down without a fight. My garden is still giving me lots of veggies; it even has finally snapped out of it and we have fresh garden tomatoes. I have made a ridiculous amount of kosher dill pickles. My zucchini plants did not do well this year, maybe a dozen in total and only two of the were the HUGE ones.  I gave my Dad one so he could make his lasagna he loves. My daughter used up the other one and made something new to us but a keeper.

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sterilizing the jars in my dishwasher

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cut off the ends and toss, then slice as you want them, I do way more chunks then spears

 

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Heating up the water while I prepare the cucumbers and the pickling spices

Last week I mentioned that I was going to share a recipe that my daughter made a couple of weeks ago with the super large zucchini and some other garden goodies. While I don’t have any pictures of her ingredients and process but I did teach her how to can some of her chow chow relish.
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I did take pictures of the last canning I did with the cucumbers so I will share those photos with you. Canning using the water bath method is actually pretty easy and you can use this method with quite a few ingredients though not everything you grow or make with the veggies.

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about to go into the boiling water

Here is how the recipe described what chow chow is. It is finely minced pickled-vegetable relish that walks the line between tangy and sweet in each zippy bite. For gardeners faced with the daunting task of tackling a late-summer squash surplus, chow chow can quickly become a lifesaver. Looks like I will be buying more mason jars for next years harvest.

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covered with boiling water for 15 minutes

 

Chow Chow Relish
great on hot dogs and burgers
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Ingredients
  1. 2/3 pound tomatillos, minced (about 2 cups)
  2. 11/2 pounds squash, minced (about 4 cups)
  3. 1 pound red onions, minced (about 3 cups)
  4. 1/2 head cauliflower, minced (about 1 cup)
  5. 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  6. 1/4 cup kosher salt
  7. 1/4 cup spice blend (recipe to follow)
  8. 11/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  9. 11/2 cups raw sugar
Instructions
  1. Placed minced vegetables in a colander over the sink or a large bowl and toss with the salt. Mixing until well combined. Let the vegetables rest overnight, allowing excess water to drain off. Rinse the vegetables thoroughly and gently removing the excess salt. Pat dry.
  2. Place the spice blend in a square of cheesecloth and secure with a piece of string to make a small pouch. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, combine the vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the vegetables and spice bag.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables become tender and start to form a slurry, about 40 minutes.
  4. Remove the spicebag and ladle the chow chow into airtight glass jars. Filling each jar about three-quarters full. Chow chow will keep refrigerated for up to a week. To keep longer using the water bath method and store up to 18 months or longer if kept in a cool, dry place.
Notes
  1. Spice Blend
  2. 1 cinnamon stick, halved
  3. 3 bay leaves, torn
  4. 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  5. 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  6. 1 teaspoon whole juniper berries
  7. 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  8. 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  9. 1 teaspoon dill seeds
  10. Place all the ingredients in a lidded jar and shake to combine
Adapted from Summer Squash by Sarah Baird short stack vol 15
Adapted from Summer Squash by Sarah Baird short stack vol 15
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/

Summer Garden Salad

 

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Pretty hot this weekend – so far hottest this summer. Not only the heat but the humidity damn its gross out there! My phone is telling me that it is 91’F out and it also says it feels like 98’F. That means it is gross out there and hopefully you can stay inside with the air conditioner on or you are somewhere near a lake, pool or ocean. I am fairly certain that even I would go into the Atlantic ocean; which I very rarely ever do, it’s way too cold; if I was crazy enough to head to Hampton Beach today.

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Cooking on hot days is not really enjoyable and neither is eating on hot days so that generally means something light and easy. Friday night my husband made us salads and then we went out for ice cream. They counterbalance each other right?

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Best if you can make this first before you start whatever you are serving it with so it has time to meld and let the veggies soak up the dressing.

Summer Garden Salad
Serves 4
quick and easy summer salad
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Prep Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. ⅓ cup cider vinegar
  2. 2 tsp honey
  3. 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  4. ½ tsp kosher salt
  5. ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  6. 1 cup sliced cherry, grape or like tomatoes
  7. ½ medium cucumber, halved, seeded and sliced thin
  8. ½ medium yellow summer squash, quartered and sliced ¼ inch thick
  9. ¼ medium sweet onion sliced thin
  10. Kernels from 1 ear of corn
  11. 1 Tbs coarsely chopped fresh basil
Instructions
  1. Whisk the first 5 ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the next diced/sliced 5 ingredients; stir well to combine.
  3. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  4. Stirring occasionally before serving.
  5. Garnish with basil.
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/

Overgrown Summer Squash=Delish

This is the first time I can recall picking an enormous summer squash; zucchini I swear grows twice its size overnight and it’s not always my fault, summer squash I believe grows a little slower. I also get how I can miss a green zucchini but a bright yellow squash usually doesn’t get by me. I have never baked a bread or cake with a summer squash and the thought of all those large seeds just isnt appealing at all. I really don’t like throwing out; well anything so I went online to see how others dealt with their overgrown summer squash, I know I am not the only one that misses veggies in the garden.

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My son isn’t a fan of of summer squash in any way it is served but he said and I quote “it’s not too bad” which when I asked him to elaborate; he said he doesn’t like squash at all but this way “he didn’t mind it” I’ll take it. I have made this a couple of times this year; which is also an admittance that I missed more than one summer squash in the last couple of weeks; guilty!

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The first time I made this it was just me and my husband and his first question was did you remove the seeds? no I did not and we were both pleasantly surprised that you really don’t need to. It is also a very quick and simple way to make a side dish with ingredients you should have in your pantry and fridge. And it looks kind of cool too and tastes delicious.

1-2 Tbs Butter
Olive Oil
1 Onion 4-5 thin slices
Kosher Salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Parsley
3-4 tsp shredded Parmesan cheese

Slice 4-5 elongated slices
Place small slices of butter all over the squash
Drizzle with a little olive oil
Cover with onions
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic and parsley
Cover with shredded parmesan and bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes at 375°F

Summer Garden Salad

Well it is about time we are going to be getting some much needed rain here today in New England. Thankfully we have a well instead of being on town water so we; well actually my husband who I rename every summer to water boy; has tried very hard to keep our gardens and lawn looking a little less brown than others I see around town. But it will be nice to give our well and pump a little break today and yes my husband gets a little break from playing “where to place the sprinkler now”

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This is the first weekend so far this summer where I haven’t left the house yet, I will probably venture out a little later today just to pick up a few things for this week’s staple items for meals.  Or maybe I can get my daughter to do it wink wink!

 

My garden is still doing really well despite the lack of natural rain, I picked the rest of my garlic yesterday, we have 50-ish bulbs of various sizes which should last a little while. The cucumbers and squashes are doing excellent; I made 7 jars of kosher dill pickles yesterday and I was able to pick 7 heads of broccoli. Yeah that one stumps me too of what to do with it all. I know I should be staggering my plantings; but I don’t. I have yet to like what happens to my broccoli when I freeze it so I have been sharing our harvest with family and friends.

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If you need something quick and delicious with some of what you grew yourself or bought from a local farm stand or grocery store. This one’s a keeper!

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Best if you can make this first before you start whatever you are serving it with so it has time to meld and let the veggies soak up the dressing.

Summer Garden Salad

⅓ cup cider vinegar
2 tsp honey
1 small clove of garlic, minced
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup sliced cherry, grape or like tomatoes
½ medium cucumber, halved, seeded and sliced thin
½ medium yellow summer squash, quartered and sliced ¼ inch thick
¼ medium sweet onion sliced thin
Kernels from 1 ear of corn
1 Tbs coarsely chopped fresh basil

Whisk the first 5 ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add the next diced/sliced 5 ingredients; stir well to combine. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Stirring occasionally before serving. Garnish with the basil.

Grilled Steak and Vegetable Salad

Happy 4th of July weekend – I hope everyone had and is still having a safe fun filled weekend with family and friends.

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I was lucky enough to have 4 days off for the holiday! I played a little golf with my girlfriends; had lunch and relaxed on the patio on Thursday.  Friday I spent some quality time in my garden weeding. With my busy schedule I can’t always give my veggies the love and care they need, so when I do weed I do my very best to get ALL of the weeds out at least 3 times during the summer.  It becomes much more manageable; for me anyway.

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Cucumbers are starting to climb

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Strawberry and Broccoli

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Rosemary, chives, parsley and oregano

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cabbages getting a great start

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While out on the patio the other day I was reading one of my favorite magazines Fine Cooking. Every time I read this wonderful magazine there are at least 3 dishes I want to try and make. Friday was going to be the best day of the weekend and it did not disappoint; it was absolutely gorgeous out. After weeding I made my grocery shopping list for one of the recipes I found and headed out.

I am going to give you a glimpse of how busy and crazy my life truly is. When I left for the store, which is 20-25 minutes away; there were going to be 4 of us for dinner.  While in the 3rd aisle of the store my husband calls to say he invited 6 more people over for dinner on the patio. I just started to laugh. I thought about changing my plan since I have never tried what I wanted to make and wasn’t sure if I could pull it off but what the hell; I got this!

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Taken before I knew how many people were coming

The picture looked amazing and everything was cooked on the grill and thrown; OK probably placed nicely together on a platter. Sounded easy enough to me; and I seem to have no problem breaking rules of no testing recipes on company so why not AND they called it summer on a plate. When better than Fourth of July weekend to try “summer on a plate”

Skirt Steak and Grilled Vegetable Salad

I wasn’t off to a great start, the store didn’t have skirt steak; thankfully they had flank steak – I will prevail

Steak

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 large sprigs of fresh rosemary, bruised = crush with the dull side of the knife

3 sprigs of fresh thyme, bruised the same way

1 ½ lb skirt or flank steak, trimmed of excess fat

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Marinate the steak for at least 1 hour on the counter or up to 6 hours in the fridge.

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Combine the oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper in either a baking dish or zip-top bag large enough for the steak.

Vegetables

3 tbs chopped fresh basil

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

1 tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Veggie Vinaigrette

In a small bowl combine 2 tbs of basil, 1 tbs of oil with the vinegar, parsley and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

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2 red bell peppers, seeded and quartered

2 small yellow summer squash, sliced on a sharp diagonal ½ inch thick

2 small zucchini, sliced the same as the squash

2 ears of corn, husked

1 cup of cherry tomatoes, if you can get the different colored ones; they add a lot to the dish but don’t fret if you can’t

2 scallions thinly sliced on a diagonal.

Rub the peppers, squash, zucchini and corn with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. On a 400-470’ gas or charcoal grill Place veggies on the hot grates turning occasionally until tender with nice grill marks. Roughly 10-15 minutes. Arrange all but the corn on the platter and drizzle with the veggie vinaigrette.

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Remove the steak from the marinade, season generously with salt and pepper, and grill, flipping once, until grill marks are on both sides and is cooked to your liking, best if cooked to medium rare about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes.

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Cut the corn from the cob and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the tomatoes and remaining olive oil and basil. Season with salt and pepper and gently toss. Spoon half the corn and tomato mixture over the other veggies. Slice the steak against the grain into manageable pieces and arrange over the veggies. Scatter the remaining corn and tomatoes over the steak. Sprinkle with the scallions and kosher salt and serve.

Zucchini Bread

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Peppers in the middle on the garden closest to me just terrible

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Zucchini, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Butternut Squash all looking good!

broccoli - garden 046 Our gardens are doing really well this year for the most part.  The only disappointments are my peppers, both the bell and jalapeno’ peppers are just not growing or producing.  We have had a bumper crop of zucchini, summer squash and cucumbers.  We have been getting a ton of cherry tomatoes and plenty of roma; I fear all of my beef steaks will all turn red at once.  That will be another weekend of processing.  I am not complaining I am actually very grateful we are having a great year.  My favorite, for 20+ years, supermarket is on strike here on the East coast.

Fortunately I was able to harvest some garlic this year, the bulbs are much smaller than I would like but there were around 70 of them; I had planted 120 bulbs in the fall but I will take whatever I can get considering the last two years I lost all of it.

Today was pickling cucumbers and baking zucchini bread day.  I pickled 8 jars of kosher dill and 34 loaves of various sized zucchini bread – I doubled the recipe below 3 times to get the 34 loaves. So far so good!

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I started blogging a little over a year ago; a few of you, since there were just  few of you at the start; may remember me posting this zucchini bread recipe around the same time last year however SO many more people have come on board with me since.  Technology is a pretty amazing tool. I was just looking at some of my blog stats and just today I had 3 people from 3 different countries check me out.  Colombia, Brazil and Italy I find that SUPER cool. Also I had barely started my first paragraph tonight when my daughter faced time me from the Philippines; she is there vacationing with a friend of hers from Japan. The world is getting smaller and smaller.

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Zucchini Bread – bake 350’ 45 minutes or so – depends on what size the pan is.  The recipe easily doubles and freezes well

2 large eggs

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup apple sauce

2 cups sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp cinnamon

1 package vanilla pudding mix

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

3 cups AP flour

2 cups shredded zucchini that you have squeezed out most of the liquid – I put it all in a colander, place a plate and something heavy on it in the fridge few a couple of hours.  I still had to go to the store so it worked out great.

In a stand mixer add the first 8 ingredients and mix well, add the flour till combined and then add the zucchini.  Spray grease whatever you are using and fill to about ¾ full.  Bake for about 40-50 minutes and let cool for a bit, remove from your dish and wrap or bag.  These freeze really well.  We literally just ate our last loaf from last year just the other day.

If you are using a kitchen-aid with their 5 quart sized bowl you can double this recipe, however it will be very close to the top, so heed my instructions on when to add ingredients, it helps make sure all the ingredients get mixed well.

Thanks for listening

3 ingredient (no fuss) Eggplant

Building our patio a few years back was one of the best idea’s I pushed to get built.  Sometimes my husband needs a little nudge to start a huge project around the house – the carpenters house is never finished. I can’t truly say that as my house is awesome and more than 90% done. We were having a large family gathering and I wanted some place outside for everyone to gather. And even though he had plenty of notice he finished the blue stone patio the day before the event. 

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That’s all water under the bridge now; we have had so many gatherings out there over the years.  It is a wonderful place to talk, laugh, visit, relax and eat. On beautiful days and when we don’t have plans one of us sends the other a text to meet on the patio after work.  Some of my favorite nights are spent out there relaxing.  Keeping with the theme of relaxing, visiting and talking; dinner needs to be something that can be cooked on the grill, simply prepped and a not a lot of fuss. 

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Tuesday was such beautiful day out; I received the patio text and couldn’t wait. I was determined to make dinner an afterthought. We had some zucchini and summer squash from the garden, I had some Italian sausages in the freezer. I was thinking simple and light. My mother-in-law stopped over as I was heading out the patio with my glass of wine, and of course she joined me for a glass. She was planning on making one of her simple eggplant and spaghetti sauce dishes and had a fresh loaf of bread.  After a second glass of wine we called my father-in-law and asked him to walk over with the bread and the eggplant.

Dinner turned out excellent and I wanted to share my in-laws eggplant recipe with you all because it is 3 ingredients and NO FUSS. 

 

No fuss Eggplant

1 Medium or 2+ small (depending on how many for dinner)

1 jar of your favorite jar sauce

Half a package of mozzarella chopped 

Cut up the eggplant and place in your cooking vessel, I use my cast iron for the grill it works out great

Cover with sauce and mozzarella and then loosely with tinfoil and cook on medium low heat for about 10 minutes.

 

Squash Packet 

1-2 zucchini

1-2 summer squash

1 small onion

1 Tbs butter

Kosher salt

Fresh crack black pepper

Cut up all the squash in similar size pieces, you want them to all cook at the same time. Slice the onion and take a square of tin-foil (adjust size for how much you cut up) we are making a foil packet – I use these ALL the time on the grill and sometimes in the house.  Salt and pepper and add the butter and then fold 3 sides several times to create a packet.  They are very easy to grill; even flipping occasionally so they do not burn.  I like mine cooked to al dente so about 10-15 minutes and they are done. Leave the packet closed so they stay warm until everything else is done.