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Adventures in Urban Homesteading

Neglected Garden = Improvised Meal

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Our 475 square foot garden has been left to run wild for the last couple of weeks or so. Finally, as it looked like the weeds were about to swallow the pepper plants, I decided it was time to get out there and do some work. Harvesting wasn’t really on my mind, but as I weeded I discovered lots of food.

Harvesting with my garden helper.

Harvesting with my garden helper.

We took a few beets and carrots, lots of peppers and eggplants, zucchini and yellow squash (of course), pickling and slicing cucumbers, and all of the basil that was in desperate need of clipping.

Lots 'o basil, with a little sage and dill thrown in.

Lots ‘o basil, with a little sage and dill thrown in.

I spent the harvesting time brainstorming dinner ideas, with the goal of using as many different veggies as I could.

First up: roasting the beets and carrots.

Doesn't get much prettier than that!

Doesn’t get much prettier than that!

I also threw in a few peppers to roast.

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Meanwhile, I turned the zucchini and summer squash into noodles.

Draining in the colander.

Draining in the colander.

For the meal, I took the roasted root veggies…

Bull's Blood and Cylindra beets, carrots, Golden and Chioggia beets

Bull’s Blood and Cylindra beets, carrots, Golden and Chioggia beets

…and plated them along with a roasted garlic-sage cashew cream and some balsamic reduction.

I blended the roasted peppers and basil with caramelized onions, garlic, a little chicken broth, and a bit of parmesan & mozzarella cheeses to make a spicy pesto-y sauce for the steamed zucchini noodles.

(It definitely doesn't photograph well, but it was really tasty!)

(It definitely doesn’t photograph well, but it was really tasty!)

And finally, I sliced up the cucumber and served it with some thinly sliced kale, dill, vinegar, the last of the garden peas, and the few tomatoes that hadn’t been eaten right off the plants.

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It was a fun work-with-what-you-have experiment, especially since before I went out to the garden this morning I had planned on running to the store to grab a pizza for tonight’s dinner.

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So, we made a dent in the veggie haul. Next up will be fried shishito peppers and broiled miso eggplant!

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