Vegetables last stand…

Can you believe we have been eating out of the garden for four glorious months? Can you believe we have ONLY one month left of fresh-from-the- vine-red-ripe tomatoes? A killing frost is but one calendar page away, and it will take with it the fresh full ripe fruits of the earth and table.

This week is the second to last for my vegetable/herb/fruit subscription to the Garden of Earthly Delights. Every gorgeous vegetable is relished and honored and treated like the gem it is.

Here’s the week’s bounty:

Pintung Long eggplant (two): Enough to make a hearty ratatouille, the savory eggplant dish that combines the best of everything from the garden at this time of year.

Summer squash (zucchini, yellow crookneck, pattypan): Yup, these go in the ratatouille. It’s better the second day so make a big batch. And don’t worry about sticking to the recipe.

Joe’s Long Cayenne pepper: Long and skinny, perfect to add to any saute to kick up the flavor.

Tolle’s Sweet Italian pepper : Use like a bell pepper. I especially like it sliced and added to pesto pasta dishes with sauteed onion and garlic.

De Milpa tomatillos: To be chopped with some garlic and a couple fresh tomotoes for a crispy, bright green salsa.

Tomatoes (Italian heirloom, Brandywine, Gold Medal, Martino’s Roma): As I recall, gluttony is a sin except when it comes to eating huge batches of the season’s last tomatoes.

Lemon cucumber: slice, douse with rice vinegar, a little kosher salt and fresh pepper, serve immediately.

Bright Lights Swiss Chard: Standard practice is to chop coarsely and sautee it quickly in a little garlicky oil or add it to hot pasta or sauteed eggs. I just planted some at my house in a big ceramic pot. It may even winter over.

Italian parsley: Tasty when added to potatoes or squash/tomato simmers/sautees, or in ratatouille.

Basil (lettuce leaf, dark opal, fino verde): Of course, basil goes with those lovely tomatoes. Don’t forget to make even a small batch of pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays. Spray the trays with vegetable oil to ensure the frozen pesto cubes pop right out. Then toss them into a freezer bag so you can pull out one or two at a time and add to sauces during the darkest days of winter.

Red potatoes: There really is nothing like a fresh potato. We’ll boil them and serve with a little butter and salt and pepper.

White and yellow onions: These can be sliced and sauteed with the potatoes if you like.

Lastly, magic garlic, which goes with darn near anything! And it keeps a looooong time.

I have already signed up for the soup and bread subscription. More on that next week.

RATATOUILLE (recipe courtesy of Casey O’Leary, Earthly Delights Earth Mother) 1. Start by cubing your eggplant and squash into -inch cubes and cook them in olive oil in a skillet until tender and slightly browned (10-12 minutes) 2. Remove and cook chopped onion until soft in the same pan. 3. Add garlic and peppers and saute for a few minutes more. 3. Add salt and pepper to taste. 4. Add chopped tomatoes (about 1 cups per eggplant/zucchini). 5. Add eggplant/squash back in, cover and simmer until tender (about 20 minutes). 6. Add chopped fresh basil/parsley at the end of the cooking time .

Earthly Delights is a community supported agriculture farm in Boise that provides 18 weeks of produce and other farm products to subscribers who signed up last fall. I am a member. Subscriptions spaces are being reserved now for next year.

For more info: sign up for email updates and find the garden closest to you at www.localharvest.org/