Marinara sauce

It won’t be long before you are harvesting fresh tomatoes from your garden if you’re planning to grow them this year. Nothing beats cooking with your own homegrown varieties over using canned tomatoes. Last year we had an abundant crop of heirloom, mushroom basket tomatoes – large, juicy, pink and sweet tasting. Amazing in salads, also great for pasta sauce. Enjoy the recipe below.


Olive oil
Onion, medium 1
Garlic cloves, 8 – 12
White wine, 1/4 cup
Crushed tomatos, 2 x 28 oz. can + 3 – 5 chopped fresh tomatos
Basil 5 – 8 leaves
Sugar, 1/2 teaspoon
Herbs:  Thyme, Rosemary, Herbe de Provence or Italian Seasoning, Parsley, Bay Leaves, Oregano…
Salt & pepper

Peel the onion and the garlic. Chop the onion finely and crush the garlic cloves. Sauté the onion in a pan of hot olive oil for 2 minutes (do not color).  Add the crushed garlic and cook slowly for two more minutes (light gold color), then pour the white wine to “deglace.” Bring wine to a boil, add the tomatoes tomato, Italian seasoning, chopped basil, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and let cook slowly while mixing sometime until the sauce thickens, 20 to 30 minutes. 

To Use Fresh Tomatos: 
Bring water to a boil in a pot. Wash the tomatoes, cut out the stem and slice a cross over the top. Put the tomatos in the boiling water for 15 seconds or until the skin starts to peel. Strain the tomatoes out of the boiling water and put them in cold water, then peel and chop the tomatoes. Proceed with the recipe as directed above, but cook for at least 45 minutes.

French Onion Soup

When life gives you a great onion crop, make onion soup.

Onion Harvest
French Onion Soup

Olive Oil
Onions, 6
Beef Stock 1 – 1/2 quarts
Salt / Pepper
Bread (Baguette)
Swiss Cheese (Gruyere) 1 lb.

Peel and chop the onions lengthwise.
In a pan, heat up some olive oil, add the onions and cook until caramelized (brown) while stirring with a wood spatula.
Add the beef stock, thyme, salt, pepper and cook for 20 minutes.
Pour the soup in individual bowls, add some sliced bread (better if toasted) on the top and cover with grated swiss cheese.
Place the bowls on a tray and in an oven at 375º F and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Serve hot.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Cut pumpkin in half from top to bottom. Scrape off the seed.
Lay face down in a tray place in the oven and cook until soft (30 min.)
Scoop out soft pumpkin and measure out.
Eggs, 2, well beaten
Light brown sugar, 2/3 c. 
Salt, 1 tsp. 
Pumpkin pie spices, 1 Tbls. 
Pumpkin, 1 3/4 c. (20 oz.) 
Evaporated milk (20 oz.), 1 1/2 c. 

Make your own crust or buy an unbaked pie shell.

Combine eggs, sugar, salt. Add spices, add pumpkin and mix, add milk. Stir until smooth. Pour into pie shell. 
Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.  
(Tooth pick test and use your judgement, ovens are different.)

Zucchini Parmesan Pancakes

Zucchini growing in the garden

1/2 c  Flour
1/2 c  Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp Italian herbs
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 1/2c  zucchini, shredded
1 Egg, beaten
1 Onion, small, finely chopped
1/2 Tsp. Garlic (optional)
3 Tbls. Olive oil (or water) to moisten mixture

Zucchini Pancakes on the plate

Mix all of the ingredients together. 
Olive oil, skillet, medium heat.
Drop mixture with laddle.
Press lightly to flatten.
Fry until golden brown.

Carrot Ginger Soup

Bowl of carrot ginger soup

▪ 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
▪ 1 c.chopped yellow onions
▪ 3 garlic cloves, smashed
▪ 2 c. chopped carrots
▪ 1½ tsp. grated fresh ginger
▪ 3 c.  vegetable broth
▪ Salt to taste
▪ dollops of sour cream optional

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over low heat. Add the onions and 2 pinches of salt. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, until transparent. Add the smashed garlic cloves and carrots to the pot and cook on low for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the ginger. Add broth. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the carrots are soft, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth.
Return to clean pot, bring to simmer, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with a a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Lentil Salad

1/2 bag of uncooked lentils
1 tomato cut in small cubes
2 minced shallots
1/3 of green bell pepper cut into 1/4″ small cubes
2 leaves of fennel, cut into 1/4″ cubes
4 leaves of raddiccio, largely chopped
4 Tblsp. balsamic vinegar
4 Tblsp. plumb vinegar
8 Tblsp. extra virgin olives oil
1/2 c. white wine
Salt to taste

Soak the lentils in cold water for one hour. Put the lentils in a pot with a large amount of water, white wine and salt and cook for 25 minutes, until al dente. Strain. Cool inrefrigerator for 1/2 hr. Stir in ingredients one by one. Chill and serve.

Summer Tomato & Mint Sauce

Wondering what to do with all that mint in your garden?
Join forces with your abundant tomato harvest!
This summer pasta sauce is light, flavorful and refreshing.
Best served with medium shells or orecchiette.
Makes about 4 quarts. You may also serve over grilled chicken or fish.
Freeze some for later…


1/2 c olive oil
128 oz canned tomato or pureed fresh tomato
1 large sweet onion
3-4 Bell peppers
2 C chicken broth
12 cloves garlic 2 T dried fennel seeds (optional)
1/2 c dry vermouth or dry white wine (optional)
2 c chopped fresh mint leaves – Spearmint or peppermint will be fine.
2-3 tsp. each: fresh oregano, basil & thyme
11/2 each if dried
1 T Salt
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Black pepper (optional)
Parmesan cheese

Use a large stock pot, heat olive oil over low-medium heat.
Add onion and pepper, semi cover and cook slowly until transparent, about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add garlic, cook slowly for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add fennel seeds, stir for about 30 seconds.
Add salt. Add tomato. Add broth. Add red pepper flakes (optional…to taste)
Add black pepper  (optional…to taste). Bring to a simmer – this may take about 1 hr.
Simmer about 15-30 minutes.. Note, this is not a thick sauce.
Stir in chopped mint. Simmer 10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Pour over pasta. Top with parmesan.

Sunchoke Chips with Warm Blue-Cheese Dip

sunchoke harvest

Greek Yogurt, 1 c.
Crumbled Blue Cheese, 4 T.
Ground Pepper, 1 tsp.
Salt, 1 T.
Rosemary, 1 1/2 tsp., finely chopped
Sunchokes, 2 lbs.
Fresh Chives, 2 T.
Vegetable oil

In medium saucepan over low heat, heat 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 4 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese and 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper for about 10 minutes, stirring well to combine. Keep warm. In a small bowl, toss 1 tablespoon salt and 11/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary to combine; set aside. Thinly sliced 2 pounds of well-scrubbed large suncokes. In a large sauté pan with thermometer attached, over medium high heat, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil until it reaches 375ºF. Working in batches, fry sun chokes until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain and immediately sprinkle hot chips with rosemary salt. Garnish warm blue cheese dip with 2 tablespoons chopped chives and a dash more pepper and serve alongside chips.

Per serving:
protein 6g ; fat  19g ; carbohydrate 2-g ; fiber 2 g ; sodium 1.256mg ; cholesterol 11mg ; calories 268.


by Carrie Purcell


Olive Oil
Onions, 10, chopped
Green Bell Peppers, 6, chopped
Hot Peppers, 4 chopped
Ground Beef, 10 lbs.
Garlic, 10 T. chopped 
Red Kidney Beans, 40 oz.
Canned or Fresh Crushed Tomato, 28 oz.
Chili Powder, 20 T.
Cumin, 8 tsp.
Coriander, 8 tsp.
Black Pepper, 6 tsp.
Chili Sauce (Heinz)

sour cream
shredded cheese

  • Heat olive over medium or low heat in a large soup pot. 
  • Add chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes. 
  • Add green bell peppers and hot peppers, stir and cook for 5 minutes
  • Add ground beef and break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for 6-7 minutes.

Add garlic and red kidney beans and stir.
Add crushed tomatoes and stir until well combined. 
Season with chili powder, cumin, coriander, black pepper and chili sauce and stir well.

Simmer for 20 minutes.
Let rest for 5-10 minutes and serve.


Buttercup Squash Soup

6 Buttercup Squash, 4 Cups 
Butter 2 T.
Flour, 2 T.
Chicken broth, 101/2 oz. 
Apple Juice, 1 c.
Half & Half, 1 c.
Nutmeg, 1/4 tsp.
Salt, 1/4 T.


Wash, peel and cut squash into cubes.
Melt butter medium heat, add flour gradually, stirring until smooth and bubbly.
Add chicken broth and apple juice, bring to a boil.
Add cubed squash. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until soft, about 20 minutes. Cool thoroughly then puree. Return to pot and stir in half and half, nutmeg and salt. Stir thoroughly and serve warm.

Makes 4 cups.