Fresh-picked and ready to cook

Posted: August 23, 2007

Some recipes that put your end-of-summer garden cornucopia to deliciously good use.

STUFFED CHERRY PEPPERS

12 hot cherry peppers

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 pound Asiago or provolone cheese, cut into 12 chunks

1/4 pound prosciutto

2 tablespoons olive oil

Fresh rosemary sprig

2 garlic cloves

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut tops off peppers and carefully remove seeds. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil, add sugar and blanch peppers for 1 minute.

Drain and pat dry.

Wrap each piece of cheese in a small piece of prosciutto and stuff into peppers.

Put peppers into a small baking dish and drizzle with oil. Tuck rosemary and garlic in between peppers and bake for 20 minutes. Yield: 12 peppers.

Source: Pepper's Café.

PAN FRIED TOMATOES

2 large tomatoes

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pinch pepper

1/2 cup canola oil

Slice tomatoes into disks a half-inch thick, reserving the stem end and bottom for another use.

Add salt and pepper to the flour; place the eggs, flour and crumbs in separate bowls. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat until oil is about 375 degrees.

Dip tomato slices in flour, turning to completely coat the slice. Shake any excess flour off and dip into egg mixture, then coat with bread crumbs.

Place coated tomato slices carefully into the hot oil, fry on each side until golden, about 1 minute per side.

Place on paper towel to drain excess oil. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Source: City Grange restaurant, Westin Philadelphia hotel.

TOMATO AND ZUCCHINI SOUP

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 celery stalk with leaves, diced

2 large zucchini,

half-inch dice

1 pound large

tomatoes, half-inch dice

1 1/2 quarts chicken stock

1 teaspoon sea (or coarse) salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 teaspoon dry

oregano

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1/2 cup orzo pasta

Heat oil in a 4-quart pot on medium heat, saute onion and garlic until tender. Add celery and zucchini; cook 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock, salt, pepper and oregano and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add orzo and simmer an additional 8 minutes. Stir in fresh basil and serve. Makes 6 servings.

Source: City Grange, Westin Philadelphia.

BABY ROMA PANZANELLA

4 pounds tomatoes, cut into large chunks

1 English cucumber, sliced into

half-moons

1/2 red onion, chopped finely

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 cup sourdough croutons

Basil-Dijon Vinaigrette (see below)

Toss vegetables and with croutons and vinaigrette. Makes 6 servings.

BASIL-DIJON VINAIGRETTE

1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil

2 cloves garlic

1 shallot

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups olive oil

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine basil, garlic, shallot, mustard and vinegar in blender and puree. Add sugar, salt and pepper and slowly drizzle oil while blender is running. Makes 3 cups.

Source: Iron Hill Breweries.

GREEN TOMATO RELISH

5 green tomatoes, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

Mix liquid and dry ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Toss all vegetables in the bowl and let sit for one hour before serving. Makes 4 cups.

Source: Iron Hill Breweries.

TOMATO JAM

6 large ripe tomatoes, sliced

cup sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 sprigs basil

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

Put tomatoes, sugar and lemon juice in large pot over low to medium heat, cooking it down until syrupy, about 30 minutes. Add the basil and salt and pepper, cook another 5-10 minutes. Jam should be the consistency of a paste. Remove from pot and let cool to room temperature.

Puree in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate until thick and cold and use it as you would apple butter. Tomato jam makes a great base for salad dressing and is a good addition to a cheese plate. Makes 2 cups.

Source: Marshallton Inn.

ZUCCHINI-CUCUMBER KIMCHEE

2 1/2 pounds zucchini, sliced

2 1/2 pounds cucumbers, sliced

6 tablespoons salt

6 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped ginger

5 red chilies, chopped

2 bunches scallions, chopped

2 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Place zucchini and cucumbers in a large bowl. Dissolve 6 tablespoons of salt into 5 cups of water and pour over vegetables. Leave in brine for 8 hours. Drain liquid and set aside.

Place veggies in jars. Take liquid (brining solution) and add garlic, ginger, scallions, sugar, fish sauce and soy. Pour this mixture over veggies and cover.

Leave at room temp for one day, then refrigerate. Makes 2 quarts.

Source: London Restaurant.

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