Winding Down the Season

Techniques that rely on freezing, dry storing, and dehydrating let you quickly save the garden’s last fruit and vegetables. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
This September, we’ve been lucky to have fairly warm days and nights in Montana, with just a couple of hints at a killing frost that we were able to protect against temporarily. But the garden is still winding down. In the main garden, I’m finding fewer cucumbers and snap beans, with vines starting to dry and lose leaves. In the greenhouse, tomatoes and tomatillos are putting all of their energy into ripening existing fruit. It’s time to grab the last of the garden’s treats and stash it all away for winter.

This week, in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, I share some of my favorite storage techniques for a range of vegetables. The article focuses on easy ways to save individual vegetables without needing to can or ferment them or changing their base flavor into a pickle or sauce. The techniques rely on freezing, dry storing, and dehydrating and can be done quickly with minimal prep.
Learn about winding down the season

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Veggie Shish Kebabs with Garlicy Marinade

Almost any vegetable can be speared on a skewer and grilled. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
We give the grill a workout every summer, often with small items that want to fall through the grate no matter how carefully they’re arranged on the open surface. I have two grill trays that work well when smoking cherries or cheese or charring large batches of thin asparagus spears. I also have a pair of copper grill mats ideal for sourdough pizza and other soft ingredients—we even grilled scrambled eggs and potatoes on one when I forgot to put a skillet on the sailboat. But for grilled meals with more emphasis on variety than quantity, I reach for skewers.

As I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, you can spear so many foods on a stick and cook them over an open flame. A simple marinade can tie the ingredients together, playing well with flavors that range from sweet tomatillos, to mild potatoes, to spicy peppers. Skewers are also ideal for grilling shrimp, scallops, meaty fish, and cubed meats.
Learn to make Veggie Shish Kebabs with Garlicy Marinade

Stir-Fry

 Stir-fries are quick, go-to meals that show off well-cooked tofu. Get stir-fry and tofu recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
When the garden is in full swing and sailing season is on, one of my go-to meals is a stir-fry. In the time it takes to cook a pot of rice, the rest of the meal can be chopped, cooked, and ready to serve from one pan as a single-dish meal. In spring, asparagus, early onions, young garlic, snap peas, spinach, and herbs dominate the stir-fry; at the height of summer, freshly harvested onions, peppers, carrots, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes take over. By late summer, corn, eggplant, and fall broccoli and peas are ready to mix in.

When you’re rich in a particular vegetable, you can let it solo in a stir-fry, backed by aromatics such as garlic, ginger, and chilies. But my favorite stir-fries are created with dibs and dabs of many vegetables and a protein such as tofu. To guarantee success, fry quickly, at high heat, in an order that lets the ingredients brown evenly, with plenty of movement. It’s in the name: stir and fry.
Learn to make Fresh Improv Stir-Fry and Pan-Fried Tofu