Monday, August 18, 2008
The garden is not only producing, but overwhelming me. For weeks now dinner has been planned around what I simply have to use up. We had two weeks of beans, beans, beans. There's still a big bag in the fridge, but the plants have been pulled up to make room for the squash and cucumbers. Now the cucumbers are coming on like gangbusters and the tomatoes are ripening faster than we can use up in salads.
So what do you do when you have piles of cucumbers and tomatoes on the counter? One word: gazpacho! I got the idea from a story in the Cape Cod Times that listed 12 things to do with tomatoes. It gave me the basic proportions of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and peppers and then I improvised on the rest. The idea to add carrots came from my dear friend Candy, who used to make gazpacho all the time.
It wasn’t an entirely homegrown recipe. Unfortunately, I ran out of space to plant onions (next year!) and since I couldn’t find yellow pepper seedlings when I was planting the garden, I planted from seeds. This was a mistake. The seeds took forever to germinate and even though I planted a whole row, only five plants came up. Even worse, my yellow pepper plants are currently the size of green pepper seedlings I saw at Agway in early June.
It will be a miracle if they produce a single pepper before frost comes and kills them. The biggest thing I’ve discovered from this garden experiment is that it is a “live and learn” experience.
And there is still all those cucumbers…
Garden Fresh Gazpacho
4 cups tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup cucumber, chopped fine
1 cup yellow pepper, chopped fine
1/2 cup Vidalia onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup carrots, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill until time to serve. Great the next day too.