In a desperate attempt to give my garden another few weeks of growing time, I dressed it in row cover. In the wind it looked like I was decorating for Halloween. I’m not sure how much it helped – apparently it froze a couple of days before I put on the row cover. Well, there’s always next year. I’ve started to clear the beds and need to find some horse manure for the fall feeding. In the spring I’ll dig in manure from the chickens.
In the meantime, in addition to the leeks and herbs, I got two snap peas and one pole bean before the vines died. I got three cucumbers, one stalk of broccoli (which was delicious), some Thai hot peppers and about 10 gallons of green tomatoes. I’ve got some in the window to ripen, but the rest went into various canning experiments: pickled tomatoes and onions, pasta sauce and our favorite: Salsa Verde.
This recipe is really more of a method than a recipe and can be adjusted for whatever amount of tomatoes you have, as well as how spicy you like it. Wash and slice the tomatoes. Sauté 1/4 of that amount of onions in oil and water until soft but not brown. Add tomatoes and sprinkle with salt. Cook until soft. Use an immersion blender to make it is as chunky or smooth as you like. Continue to cook and taste, adding garlic, oregano, and cilantro and lime juice to taste. Undercook a bit if canning, as it will cook more in the canning process. Cook longer if serving fresh. If you like it spicier, add in some pepper (ground) and chopped chili peppers of your choice. You can eat it fresh and it keeps in the fridge for a week or you can freeze it. To preserve: boil the jars and lids for 5 minutes. Add the salsa, wipe the rim of the jar and put the lids on very tight. Boil in a pot with water up to the lid for 15 minutes. Remove (carefully) and let cool. The top should pop down and not come up. If the lid does not pop down, keep refrigerated and eat within a week; the others will keep for years. Great with chips or over fish or chicken.
Easy pasta sauce: toss tomatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in a 350-degree oven for 25 minutes. Stir well and sprinkle garlic, oregano, basil and pepper over the tomatoes and bake for another 25 minutes until very soft. I also broiled mine for a few minutes to get a bit of roasted flavor. I used my immersion blender and canned as above. When we’re ready to eat it, I’ll cook it for about 20 minutes, add some cooked meat (chicken or ground beef) and serve with pasta and cheese.
Finally, huge apologies to Monica for getting the blood drive date wrong, and spelling your name wrong in my last column. Must remember to proof.
Reach Karen Brier at RuhenstrothRamblings@yahoo.com, or 790-0072.