This is the time of year when I could be happily vegetarian. Give me that good squash, beets, greens, corn, tomatoes and beans and I can sauté, roast or grill my way to a wonderful meal.
But I live with a meat-lover—the kind of man who would be happy with a steak as big as his plate, a slice of bread and potatoes of any kind. That’s not my idea of an appealing or healthy meal. So, the past few weeks have been challenge time. Can I actually prepare dishes that are so good that they don’t leave Jim asking for that plate of steak?
He tells me I’ve been doing well. I’m even on a streak of preparing dishes he rates a “10.” So, here are a few of the things I’ve been cooking with our garden vegetables:
Broccoli and cheese soup—it’s an Emeril recipe that includes butter; you can’t go wrong on flavor with that.
Zucchini soup—a favorite I became familiar with in Mexico. You sauté, add broth and boil until soft, puree then add a little cream. It works with any vegetable.
Yellow squash casserole—I like the recipe from The Joy of Cooking. Jim even said it tastes like his grandmother’s.
Swiss chard and ricotta pie—adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook, I turned one of my favorites into one of Jim’s by adding leftover, shredded chicken.
Blackberry cobbler—made with wild berries, which Jim insists tastes better.
None of the recipes are complicated; the leftovers are good. None of them have unique ingredients. But I made them all with freshly harvested, locally grown vegetables and fruits. That adds flavor you can’t buy, flavor that will please even a meat and potatoes man.