Need Some Ideas For What To Do With All Those Extra Veggies?

Do you have tomatoes coming out of your ears?  Peppers oozing from your pores? (Okay, that sounds gross, but you know what I mean).  IMG_0748

And we all know about the excess zucchini, squash and eggplant…IMG_0981

So what do you do with all these veggies?

You can give some to your friends and neighbors (assuming they don’t have the same problem).  You can freeze or can things to use months from now.  Or you can make some interesting condiments.

I had 3 weeks worth of cabbage – so kimchi it was.  And let me tell you that it was really good, super easy to make and halfway gone already.  (My recipe was a combination of several including this one.  But essentially I chopped the cabbage and soaked in salted water for a few hours, drained, added scallions, and then tossed with about 3 tablespoons of gochugaru and fish sauce. I omitted the sugar.

Next on the list were out of control peppers – both hot and sweet.  Since I’ve still got hot sauce from the peppers Kyle grew last year, I didn’t want to make that.  And I wasn’t in the mood for chicken with peppers.

So I tried a cross between a chutney and a relish — almost like a salsa, which was a big hit with football season starting.  (Again my recipe is not fine-tuned, but basically just cook down a bunch of peppers (seeded), add whatever else you also have too much of (a few tomatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and scallions), a bit of sweetness (golden raisins, agave and/or brown sugar …) and cook it down with some herbs and spices of your choosing.  Puree or blend a little bit so it’s not too thick but still chunky and then you’re golden.

The tomatoes were less challenging, but I’d already made pico de gallo and Sunday gravy a few times.  So I decided to try my hand at ketchup.  A huge success!  It was so delicious, that Heinz is ruined for me, not that I was a big fan before.  No scientific recipe for you here either.  Basically, I cooked down a ton of tomatoes that I had with onions and garlic, picked out the skins, and then added brown sugar and the other spices in this recipe.  I was lazy and didn’t strain, but my immersion blender did a good job with the seeds.  Now I want to put it on everything, it’s that good.

IMG_3546

Kimchi on the left, ketchup in the middle and what’s left of the pepper relish I made.

As for the zucchini, squash and eggplant – well – there’s always stuffed eggplant, eggplant parm, squash gratin, caponata and stir fry ….

If only I could give dips away as wedding gifts (since almost every weekend has been consumed with those too), then maybe I’d have a global solution to my vegetable over-abundance.  For now, I’ll just enjoy all the fresh and versatile ingredients.  Soon enough it will be back to kale and winter squashes and lots of braised dishes to warm me up in what is predicted to be another cold and snowy winter.

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