Summer Vegetables

Summer means filling bellies not just with the freshest produce possible but also with preserved vegetables the rest of the year. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
If your garden isn’t in full swing yet, it’s about to be. Even here in Montana, with our long winters and short growing season, spring produce is beginning to wind down: Lettuces and spinach will soon be bolting, the asparagus crop has tapered off, and the strawberry bed has been picked nearly clean. In their place, summer produce is ready to burst forth, launching itself into the annual race to grow faster than I can harvest and process.

If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you’ve seen how I deal with spring’s vegetable bounty: #dailysalad. But with a large garden, summer vegetables need a different approach. The next few weeks are not just about filling bellies with the freshest produce possible but also about preserving those vegetables so that they can fill bellies the rest of the year. Here’s how I’ll be spending the next few weeks.
Read more about enjoying summer vegetables year-round

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Feel-Good Soup

Soup is the ultimate comfort food. By planning ahead, you can have it in a flash—even when you’re sick. Get Hot and Sour Broth Base and Soup recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Soup is the ultimate comfort food. It warms you from head to toe, even reaching fingertips wrapped around a warm bowl or mug. It can be pleasantly light or satisfyingly filling. You can load it with your favorite ingredients and flavors, and it makes brilliant leftovers. What’s not to love about homemade soup?

Some days, the answer is, “That I have to make it.” When you’re sick, soup can make you feel better, but not if you have to get out of bed, gather and chop the ingredients, and monitor the pot. When I’ve got a bug, I crave hot and sour soup. But one of my favorite recipes, Padma Lakshmi’s Hot and Sour Tomato Broth with Shrimp from Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet, requires specialty ingredients and effort. So I’ve developed a version can be frozen as a broth base. The essential work can happen long before you want the soup. When you’re under the weather, you can simply defrost and mix it into homemade stock. On healthy days, you can fill it out to create a full meal for everyone at the table.
Learn to make Hot and Sour Broth Base and Soup

Veggie Burgers

Homemade veggie burgers that taste delicious and freeze well? Yes, please! Get Black Bean Veggie Burger and Spiked Guacamole recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.I’ve always loved the idea of veggie burgers as easy from-the-freezer meals but dislike the standard brands. Most are like frozen pizzas: a couple of bites satisfy a craving, but I lose interest by the meal’s end, even when topped with fresh guacamole. My homemade veggie burgers, like pizza from scratch, are full of flavor but have always fallen apart when reheated—until now.

Several things make this week’s recipe work. Precooking the vegetables and draining them helps; if added raw, they release their water content as they cook and loosen the patties. But no amount of draining makes it possible to skip the binders, as with falafel. Most recipes call for an excessive blend of whole grains and flours that still leave the patties crumbly or gummy. Grinding all grains to meal gives the right texture and adhesion. The third factor is tightly shaping the patties. A wide-mouth canning ring is perfect; the burgers are the right size for buns, and uniform edges and surfaces are less likely to crack and crumble.
Learn to make Black Bean Veggie Burgers and Spiked Guacamole

Falafel

The trick to perfect home-made falafel is in the beans. Get Raw-Chickpea Falafel and Lemon–Tahini Sauce recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
If you’ve made falafel at home and been disappointed, you’re not alone. You might think you need special equipment, or some secret ingredient, or years of experience. The truth is far simpler.

I’ve tried many falafel recipes, and the results were so unsuccessful that my go-to “recipe” was dried commercial mix rehydrated with pureed soft tofu. The from-scratch problem was always moisture: cooked chickpeas, whether prepped at home or poured from a can, always made the falafel mixture too moist. I’d add binders, like flour or breadcrumbs, but these made the falafel too dense and doughy. Then I stumbled upon a falafel recipe that calls for rehydrated but uncooked beans. On my first attempt, the texture and density issues were gone. Practice led me to develop a flavorful, crisp, vegan falafel perfect for stuffing in Sourdough Pita Bread with a range of condiments and easily frozen for quick meals.
Learn to make Raw-Chickpea Falafel and Lemon–Tahini Sauce