It’s a happy problem, but a conundrum nonetheless—you planted a few tomato plants and they really took off. Now your garden and kitchen are overrun with ripe summer fruits and vegetables like zucchini, tomatoes, corn, watermelon, peaches, and blackberries. What do you do when the produce is piling up and the clock is ticking?
Share the Fruits of Your Labors
There’s no better way to share abundance than with friends. And there’s no faster way to get your extra produce into their grateful hands (and mouths) than by collecting your extra ripe fruits and vegetables into beautiful baskets and gifting them as late summer presents. Give as a hearty welcome to a new neighbour, or pair with a bottle of wine for a thoughtful dinner gift. Or simmer blackberries, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cornstarch, and lemon on the Café Convection Range for a quick but elegant blackberry jam as a housewarming gift.
For a gift that travels well, trim fresh rosemary from your garden and make Roasted Rosemary-Scented Nuts (see recipe below). It’s simple to make and tastes delicious as a snack or as part of a charcuterie board.
Create Upscale Al Fresco Dinners
Summer is for eating outside, pleasant company, and delicious seasonal food. One of the simplest, and tastiest, ways to use plentiful root vegetables from your garden is by roasting them in the Café Five in One oven. Brussel sprouts, carrots, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower florets make an enticing colourful, warm dish when roasted together. Simply drizzle with virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 minutes, keeping an eye on the tops browning. Pair with baked salmon fillet or slow-cooked pulled pork and tender greens for a sumptuous dinner that’s as easy to prepare for two as it is for twelve.
For dessert, showcase the fruits of your labour with just-picked ripe peaches with ginger-infused honey or blackberries and vanilla bean ice cream. Dinner guests will love gushing over your garden’s ripe summer fruit—just remember to have plenty of napkins nearby.
Host A Party
Host family and friends in your home as an excuse to try out those new recipes you’ve been eyeing. Try a themed dinner party centred around seasonal produce from your garden and all the delicious ways it can be eaten raw, braised, broiled, blanched, sautéed, roasted—all with different results. Play with texture, colour, and proportions. Pair citrus with warm full flavours and starchy vegetables with pickled ones. Plate your bounty with an eye for bright colours, interesting garnishes like snappy parsley or fragrant dill, and a bit of whimsy and your guests will have as much fun as you did cooking your garden’s produce.
For a late Labor Day al fresco dinner, serve a trio of summery sides that hit every note: a simple but beautiful heirloom cherry tomato tart, a savoury charred corn salad with cotija cheese and radishes, and a refreshing watermelon salad with feta and mint.
Contributors | Interior Styling & Photo