Get creative with your second harvest
As the cooling rains fall, the dust is washed away from every surface it touches. The soil is pounded down while greedily sucking up every moist drop that it can contain.
Cold weather plants plead to live for one more month, while less resistant ones struggle to stay upright. Yes, the season of autumn has taken the throne and we must do its bidding.
The plants in our vegetable garden have granted us one more abundance for harvest – the last picking of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and yellow squash, and their mothering plants transferred to the compost bin.
Unfortunately it’s not enough for processing for winter storage, but it’s enough to create salsa for this weekend’s anime marathon.
Plus, it makes two meals popping with colors of green, red and yellow; Greek inspired vegetables; and a cheesy, vegetable loaded frittata.
I look at this as a prequel to when the leaves will be displaying their fall vibrant array.
Ingredients: 1 large zucchini, 1 large yellow squash, 1/8 cup olive oil, ½ cup cherry tomatoes which were cut in half, 1 tsp. crushed Greek oregano, ½ tsp. ground black pepper, Feta cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 350F; line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Slice the zucchini and yellow squash diagonally, place on top of foil, in single layers. Drizzle oil over slice, and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove vegetables to serving platter, top with tomatoes, and sprinkle with oregano and black pepper. Sprinkle with crumbled Feta cheese, to taste (we like plenty of it!).
This can be served as a meal serving two or as a side dish.
The next recipe is for a cheesy, veggie loaded frittata.
What is frittata? Frittata is an egg dish similar to an omelet or a crustless quiche.
It can contain ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables or pasta, and can be flavored with herbs and/or spices.
A frittata can be baked, but is mainly made in a skillet. When started on a stove top the frittata can be finished off in an oven, under a broiler, or flipped and finished in the pan.
The flipping technique can be daunting, especially if attempting the “up in the air” flip.
The easiest way is to slide the frittata onto a large plate, place another plate over the top, flip, then slide back into the skillet.
Or place the skillet over the plate and flip it over all together. Of course, with the second option, you have to be very careful, as the skillet will be burning hot. Oh, and remove the plate before finishing the cooking process.
Frittata preparation differs from omelet preparation in that the eggs are beaten with water and milk or cream to incorporate more air, where the eggs for omelets are less airy.
The additional air in the frittata mixture allows for a deeper filling and a fluffier result. Additional ingredients are added to the pan after the egg mixture and before the eggs are fully cooked.
A frittata is usually divided into slices and, while it can be served as a meal by itself, a salad or other side dish can be added.
Cheesy Vegetable-Loaded Frittata
Ingredients: 6 eggs, 3 Tbsp half n’ half, 3 Tbsp. butter, ½ cup each julienned red bell pepper, green bell pepper; thinly sliced zucchini, and peeled, thinly sliced yellow squash, 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1 tsp. fresh, minced tarragon (used crushed, dried if fresh not available), ¼ tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
In small bowl, whisk together eggs and half n’ half; set aside.
In a 10-inch, non-stick, skillet, on medium heat, melt butter and sauté all vegetables together, about 5 minutes; remove to bowl. In same skillet, pour in egg mixture and let eggs cook for 5 minutes; do not stir. Distribute the vegetables, cheese, tarragon, salt and pepper evenly throughout the partially cooked eggs; let cook another 5 minutes.
Slide the frittata onto a plate, cover with another plate and flip over; slide it back into the skillet and let cook another 5 minutes. Slide frittata onto clean serving platter, cut into wedges, either 4 or 6, to serve.
Makes 4-6 servings.