Need Your Favorite Recipes, Please

Face made of vegetablesWhat’s your favorite way to use the bounty from your vegetable garden?

Whether you’re a gardener who likes to cook or a cook who likes to garden, now’s the thyme to get busy in the kitchen.

August is when the fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables we planted in late spring start to come on strong.

Tomatoes and peppers and zucchini – oh my!

A vegetable garden is a lot of work, and we should celebrate the harvest as long as it lasts. I treat every home-grown tomato like a precious gem. Every eggplant gets the star treatment. Perfect peppers are sliced, diced, fried or dried.

One of my favorite simple salads is to cut thick slices of tomato, sprinkle them with ribbons of fresh basil and then drizzle with olive oil. I could also eat tomato, cucumber and cheese sandwiches (almost) every day. Squash that’s stuffed and baked is also a keeper.

But, like other foodie gardeners, I’m always on the lookout for creative recipe ideas. I know I’m not the only who wants fresh recipes that are quick, tasty and help make sure no garden-grown goodies go to waste.

How do you put your garden-fresh produce to use? Please share your favorite ways to serve up your homegrown treasures for appetizers, snacks, soups, salads, pasta , pickles, and anything else you like to eat. Ways to preserve the harvest count, too.

Use the “comments” section to add your own recipes and ideas or add a link to recipes you’d recommend to other vegetable growers.

Thank you!

By Jodi Torpey
A Denver Master Gardener

8 responses to “Need Your Favorite Recipes, Please

  1. Pasta, topped with tomatoes sautéed in olive oil and garlic and sprinkled with fresh basil and parmesan cheese!


  2. Farm Girl Beans: fry 4-5 pieces of cut bacon. Add a chopped small onion and sauté. bring 1” of water to a boil with the bacon and onion. Add fresh cut up green beans and some summer savory. Cover 20 minutes on simmer. Check for doneness. Serve with butter, salt and pepper.


  3. When I have too many zucchini or find one or two that have escaped my attention and gotten too big I turn them into a pasta sauce. Melt 1/4 c butter or olive oil and sauté 1 tablespoon minced garlic just until fragrant. Add 2 pounds of zucchini cut into 1/2” dice, no need to peel but discard the seeds if they are too large. Cook over medium high heat until the zucchini gets hot and steamy,reduce heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the zucchini is very soft, about 45 minutes. While the zucchini is cooking, mince enough fresh thyme to make 1 tablespoon, stir it in, add some dry white wine or water and purée all or just part of the mixture. Really tasty with Trader Joe’s lemon zest and ricotta ravioli. I freeze leftover sauce in 1 cup containers for a taste of summer in January.


    • Thanks for this great way to use up zucchini, Ann. I’ve never used zucchini as a pasta sauce, so I’ve definitely been missing out. Your recipe meets my cooking criteria–fast, easy and uses white wine! I especially like that leftovers can be frozen for quick winter meals.

      Thanks again,


  4. I neglected to add ‘season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper ‘ to the zucchini sauce recipe. So sorry!