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The Garden’s Bounty: Seasonal Recipes for September
BY Charlie Dobbin | September 5th, 2023
‘Tis the season for freshly harvested bounty to be eaten immediately or preserved for the dark winter meals – from plentiful herbs to the season’s sweetest corn and tomatoes.
Even if I don’t grow absolutely everything needed for these recipes, farmers markets are full of great, local produce. And now is the time of year to not only shop and support local growers, but also to really reap the health benefits of fresh food.
A couple of my all-time favourite plants to grow at home are basil, parsley and garlic. They combine beautifully to create the following recipe:
Charlie’s Top-Secret Pesto Sauce
2 cups fresh basil (or 1½ cup basil + ½ cup fresh parsley)
½ cup olive oil
2-4 tablespoons pine nuts
2 cloves fresh garlic (peeled)
1 tsp sea salt
Toss all of the ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. If not eating immediately, spoon the green paste into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, put cubes into a well-sealed freezer bag. Keeps well frozen for up to 6 months.
When you are ready to eat:
Cook your pasta of choice until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, thaw one cube per person.
Add to each pesto cube the following:
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp grated Romano cheese
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp of boiling water from the pasta pot
Mix the finished pesto sauce thoroughly with the hot pasta after you have drained through a colander.
What about all that sweet fresh corn we’re loving at this time of year? Why not try the following.
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
½ tsp kosher salt
2 cups cups fresh corn kernels
1 scallion, thinly sliced
½ jalapeño pepper, seeded, finely chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Sour cream and lime wedges (for serving)
With your food processor, pulse eggs, flour, Parmesan and ½ tsp. kosher salt in a food processor to combine. Add corn, scallion and jalapeño; pulse 2–3 times.
Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, cook heaping tablespoonfuls of batter until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side; season fritters with salt. Serve with sour cream and lime wedges.
And, last but not least, what to do with all those ripe tomatoes?
Gazpacho, of Course
6 ripe tomatoes, peeled (about 6 cups)
1 red onion, chopped
1 cucumber , peeled, seeded and chopped
1 bell pepper, and colour, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley
2 tbsp fresh chives
1 clove garlic
2 cups tomato juice
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp sugar
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Use an immersion blender or blend in batches, to desired smoothness. Or pulse a few times in the blender or food processor depending on how chunky you like it.
Adjust the seasonings to taste with more salt, pepper, sugar or Tabasco.
Place in a non-reactive container (tomatoes are acidic) to store. Chill several hours or overnight to allow the flavors to blend.
So delicious after a hot day in the garden!
Charlie Dobbin hosts The Garden Show With Charlie Dobbin on Zoomer Radio AM740 (a ZoomerMedia property) every Saturday at 9 a.m., EST.
A version of this story was originally published on Aug. 31, 2022