Garden bounty puts finishing touch on harvest meals

The gardening season is nearing an end but there is still lots of fresh produce to be enjoyed in a variety ways. Roasting or grilling vegetables gives them a depth of flavour. Enjoy these vegetables as a side dish or added to soups, stews or casseroles.

All of our tomatoes are in boxes, covered with newspapers, in the garage waiting to ripen. This year I have roasted tomatoes on the barbecue with delicious results. The tomatoes can be used in pasta sauces, chili, pizza, stews, soups, omelets, salsa, salads or any dish you like to add tomatoes to.

Garden Harvest Stew

Serves six to eight.

When all of the garden vegetables are harvested in the fall this is a great way to enjoy them. Use whatever vegetables you have. For added flavour roast a large batch of vegetables in the oven or on the barbecue and then use to make a harvest stew that can cook on low in a slow cooker for half the day.

  • 1 small butternut or zucchini squash, cubed
  • 1 medium turnip or kohlrabi, cubed
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped in large chunks
  • 4 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 c. broccoli stem, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 cobs of uncooked corn, kernels cut off the cob
  • 1 onion, quartered and separated into pieces
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 c. canola oil 60 mL
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar or lemon juice30 mL
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary 30 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 2 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 1 mL
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef 500 g
  • 1/2 c. green lentils, sorted and washed 125 mL
  • 3 c. beef broth 750 mL
  • 1/2 c. green beans 125 mL fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 c. peas 125 mL fresh or frozen

Preheat oven or barbecue to 475 F (245 C).

In a large bowl, combine all of the vegetables, except for the lentils, green beans and peas, add balsamic vinegar, oil and seasonings. Toss to coat the vegetables. Spread vegetables evenly on a large baking sheet.

Roast for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven or barbecue, stirring every 10 minutes, or until vegetables are browned, they will continue to cook in the stew.

While the vegetables are cooking, brown the ground meat and sort and wash the lentils. Place the meat and lentils in a large slow cooker along with the broth.

Add the grilled vegetables and cook on low heat for four hours or until vegetables are tender.

For the last hour of cooking turn the slow cooker to high and add the green beans and peas.

Our family likes dumplings cooked on top of stew. The dumplings also help to thicken the stew.


  • 2 c. flour 500 mL
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder 22 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 2 mL
  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened 30 mL
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley 15 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. milk 375 mL

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium size bowl. Using a fork mix in butter and parsley, until evenly distributed. Add milk stir to combine.

When the stew broth is bubbling quickly drop medium size spoonfuls of batter onto the hot stew, cover slow cooker with lid and cook undisturbed for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately when dumplings are cooked.

Fire Roasted Tomatoes

  • 2 lbs. Roma tomatoes (4 or 5 large Roma tomatoes are about 1 lb.) 1 kg (Other varieties of tomatoes can be used but they will be juicier)
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil 30 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 2 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper 2 mL
  • 20 garlic cloves
  • sprigs of basil, rosemary or oregano

Preheat barbecue or oven to high, 450 F (230 C).

Rinse and slice each tomato lengthwise. Arrange herbs and garlic cloves on a parchment lined baking sheet, top with sliced tomatoes and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper.

Barbecue method: barbecue until charred, turning to char both sides, about five to 10 minutes total depending on size.

Oven method: roast 40-45 minutes or until tomatoes are charred.

Remove from barbecue or oven and allow to cool.

Or, place the hot tomatoes on a bed of baby spinach. The warm tomatoes will wilt the spinach slightly, creating a wonderful salad.

Use in any recipe or freeze in an air-tight container for up to four months.

Fire Roasted Tomato and Feta Pasta with Shrimp

Sautéed shrimp are bathed in a basil-flavoured fire-roasted tomato sauce, sprinkled with feta cheese and served over pasta.

This is a delicious and quick meal. Easy enough for any night but fancy enough for company.

Yield: two servings but easy to multiply to serve more.

  • 1/2 lb. linguine or fettuccini 500 g
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil 15 mL
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb. fire-roasted tomatoes 500 g
  • or 12 oz. jar fire-roasted tomatoes 300 mL
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil 15 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 1 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper 1 mL or to taste
  • 1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese 125 mL

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for eight to 10 minutes or until al dente then drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about one minute.

Add the shrimp, and cook until opaque, about three to five minutes. Pour in the tomatoes and heat through.

Season with basil, salt and pepper.

Toss the cooked pasta in the sauce, and sprinkle with crumbled feta.

Serve with a salad and garlic bread.

Note: purchased fire-roasted tomatoes are expensive, stewed or Italian stewed tomatoes could be substituted. Adapted from

Carrot cookies

This is a delicious cookie that makes use of fresh harvested carrots. This recipe is from a dear friend that is no longer with us.

  • 1 c. butter 250 mL
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar 175 mL
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 c. carrots, grated 375 mL
  • 1/4 c. orange zest 60 mL (Zest is just the orange outer layer of the skin, use a grater to remove, do not include any of the white because it will give a bitter taste.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla 5 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract 1 mL
  • 2 c. sifted flour 500 mL
  • 2 tsp. baking powder 10 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 1 mL
  • 1/4 c. butter, softened 60 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. icing sugar 375 mL
  • 2 – 2 1/2 tbsp. orange juice 10 – 12 mL
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. orange zest 22 mL

Cream butter, add brown sugar and beat until well blended and creamy. Add egg and beat until well combined. Add carrots, orange zest, vanilla and almond extract, mix just until combined. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to the butter and carrot mixture, mix until all flour is combined. Drop by spoonful on to a greased baking sheet.

Bake at 325 F (160 C) until golden, about 12-15 minutes. Cool.

For icing, cream butter and add icing sugar.

Add the orange juice to the icing sugar butter mixture to thin the mixture to a thin spreadable consistency.

Ice cookies and garnish with orange zest.

Adapted from: Daily Bread, A Celebration of Friendship, Food and Faith, Rosetown Alliance Church P 60 Alice Belanger

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