It's September and I'm already beginning to feel fall in the air! We deserve an early fall after this very toasty summer. My summer garden is looking terrible and overgrown, and will soon be pulled out for an early fall/late summer garden. Amazingly my cucumbers and bell peppers are still producing. Since my garden is looking grim, I've been visiting the local farmer's market for most of my produce. Last weekend I purchased: green muscadine grapes, yellow squash, tomatoes, eggplant, okra and some green onions. Yum! I put up most of the okra and broiled the rest with onions, garlic, and olive oil. Delish! I know some folks don't like okra, since it's a bit on the slimy side, but it really is a versatile and tasty veggie. So, here are a few end of summer recipes to help use up all those tasty farmer's market finds.
Greek Baked Stuffed Tomatoes
2 large tomatoes
1 cup ground chicken (or not, to make it strictly veggie)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese
Salt/pepper to tast
First core your tomatoes, scoop out as much of the "guts" as possible, then salt and turn upside down to remove excess moisture. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, saute your chicken, adding onions, celery, garlic and salt and pepper. When cooked through remove from heat and add herbs and cheese. Stuff the tomatoes and place in a greased baking pan. Bake 20-30 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and cheese is bubbly. I made these with a side salad and sauteed summer squash. Yum!
I wish I could tell you how many pounds of okra I used, but I never measured it. A rough guess would be about a pound, but enough to fill four pint jars.
2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups water
8 TSP pickling spice
2 1/2 TBS canning salt or Kosher salt
4 cloves garlic
4 dried chile peppers (optional)
Sterilize four pint jars, throughly wash okra, and bring pot of water to a boil to seal jars. Bring vinegar, salt and water to a boil in a separate pot. Meanwhile add to each pint jar: one garlic clove, one chile pepper, 2 TSP pickling spice, and pack with okra. Pour boiling vinegar mixture over okra with 1/2 inch headspace. Seal and place in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. As always, once your jars cool the lids should "pop" indicating they are sealed. If they don't, no worries, just keep the jar in the fridge. These pickles should last up to one year.