Friday, September 17, 2010

Cooking from the Garden and Farmer's Market

This time of year both my garden and the local farmers' markets are over-flowing with bounty. I am positively inundated with eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and cucumbers, along with copious amounts of fresh herbs.

So, as you can imagine, just about every meal during the week focuses on using these fresh ingredients. But let's get real here, we all know that when you have a house, kids, and a job there's often not a lot of time during the week to cook--much less peel, chop and roast vegetables.

So this time of year, just about every weekend, I'm cooking so that I don't have to during the week. When you have to finish up work, then run your daughter up to ballet, and not get home until after six, it's nice to know you have a pot of minestrone in the fridge just waiting to be heated up.

One frequent weekend project is just cooking down vegetables for use during the week. I can chop throw all "need to use them now tomatoes, peppers and eggplants from the garden before they go bad" into a large baking dish with onion, garlic, olive oil and a little vinegar, bake at 400 degrees for 60 minutes and have an Italian vegetable roast that can be tossed into pasta or used as a side dish for during the week.

I also like to use this vegetable roast to make vegetarian calzones. It's easy. I buy whole wheat, uncooked, pizza dough from the market, roll it out, fill with my roasted veggies and mozzarella (and maybe some fresh basil), seal and bake at 425 for about 25 to 30 minutes. I then top it with tomato sauce (also freshly made from the garden but you can use jarred as well).

My vegetable calzone makes a yummy, vegetarian dinner that even my husband doesn't complain about because there's no meat. He actually usually loves to take the left-overs to work for lunch, so I score two vegetarian meals for him!!


  1. Ooh, can you share your recipe for the vegetable calzone? I'd love to make that for dinner sometime :)

  2. Unfortunately, I have no recipe. I just sort of throw everything together and cook. I'll try to measure and write everything down the next time I make it so that you can have something to go by.