Late Tomatoes

Late tomatoes never match midsummer fruit, but I treasure them as the season’s final flush. Get tomato recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Tomatoes are the last true summer crop that I grab from the garden. The shift comes as swiftly as the fall back to standard time: one deep temperature swing makes every green fruit still on the vine inedible. Each fall, I follow weather forecasts, gamble on their accuracy, and try to pluck every fully formed tomato before the first killing frost.

Even if I succeed, the reward isn’t the perfectly red, juicy treats I’ve been feasting on all summer. It’s boxes of hard, underripe tomatoes. Some I’ll eat or preserve while green, but most sit for weeks beside my desk, where I watch them gradually ripen.

These tomatoes never match the bright, sweet bite of sun-kissed midsummer fruit, but I treasure them as the season’s final flush. Rather than eating them out of hand, I’ve found that letting them cook slowly, like in this savory pie, maximizes their maturing flavor.
Learn to make Late-Season Tomato Pie and Herb and Cheese Pie Crust

Last Bites

A portion of my end-of-season harvest lands in my favorite fresh meals. Get the recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
It’s that time: Time to savor the last fresh bites from the garden. With the first new moon of October, I begin closely watching the forecasted nighttime temperatures. One clear night is all it takes to zap the remaining outdoor vegetables and threaten even the greenhouse goodies. Even though local weather stations recorded 79°F on Tuesday, I could be frantically harvesting before a potential freeze tomorrow night.

Fall’s weather swings are always unexpected, and every year I try—and fail—to time each plant’s final harvest just right. Instead of bemoaning the last round of beans that froze on the vine, I look instead to the boxes of produce all over my little cabin, ripening and waiting to be eaten and preserved.
Read more about enjoying the garden’s last bites

Filling Salads

Salads are so versatile: chop up some ingredients, toss them with dressing, and your fresh, one-dish meal is ready to eat. Get salad recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Salads dominate my harvest menu. They’re so versatile: chop up some ingredients, toss them with a bit of dressing, and your fresh, one-dish meal is ready to eat. I start making homegrown salads as soon as spring greens show true leaves and don’t stop until the ground freezes.

Most salads fit the “no recipe required” category. Once you find your preferred ratios, even the dressing can be made on the spot with whatever’s at hand. If you follow @twiceastastyblog on Instagram you’ll find plenty of my daily salads. But I still get enough requests for ingredients and proportions that you’ll find a couple dozen salad and dressing recipes on the blog and can even gather your friends for a workshop. Some of these recipes are traditional, like panzanella, sunomono, and the two American classics in this week’s post. But as you’ll learn, all of these salads can be adapted based on what’s in season and what you have on hand.
Learn to make Three-Bean Salad and Taco Salad

Flavors of Fall

Even though September means hours of putting up homegrown food, much of the garden will offer portions suitable for fresh meals. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Of all the growing months, September holds the garden’s greatest bounty. I’ll harvest the widest variety of produce over the next few weeks, some of it from plants that are in their prime but much of it from those that are yielding their final offerings. In my garden, many plants will release preservable quantities this month, including nightshades, cucumbers, squash, and if a frost hits before the month’s end, apples. Plums and pears will be the only new arrivals, but they’ll all be ready at once.

Even though I spend plenty of hours in September putting up homegrown food, much of the garden will offer portions suitable for fresh meals. Broccoli and even asparagus are still putting out a handful or two of new shoots at a time. Corn and snap beans just passed their peak but will continue to give up enough for immediate use. Cherry tomato and basil plants will keep reminding me of summer even as the days shorten and cool. So I’m taking a break from sharing canning recipes this month to pass on some of my favorite ways to savor the flavors of fall.
Read more about the flavors of fall