Late summer garden bounty provides culinary inspiration

The seasoning on the pork tenderloin can be spiced up when serving it with this cantaloupe salsa. | Sarah Galvin photo

Find inspiration for autumn meals at the garden or farmers markets.

Peak of the season is bountiful with tomatoes, squashes, pumpkins, corn, potatoes and even strawberries. Yes, late summer strawberries were at the market when I went recently. I made a jar of quick strawberry jam.

And zucchini. Who doesn’t want a new way to serve zucchini? This stuffed zucchini recipe can be used with any sturdy vegetable such as peppers, onions or tomatoes.

Cantaloupes are at their juiciest. Serve them straight up, sliced or make an interesting salsa. Red onions are bursting with juice and add a nice tang to the salsa.

Stone fruits are abundant. Mix and match them in any recipes. They all work well together, whether peaches, plums, nectarines or late cherries. Pears will be ready by the time you read this.

Pork tenderloin with cantaloupe salsa

  • 1 large cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1/2 c. cilantro, chopped 125 mL
  • 1/4 c. fresh mint, chopped 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. lime juice 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil 60 mL
  • 2 tsp. salt 10 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper 2 mL
  • 1 pork tenderloin

Toss cantaloupe, onion, cilantro, mint, lime juice and oil in a bowl. Set aside. Heat a skillet over high heat.

Season tenderloin on all sides with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides and place in a 350 F (180 C) oven to continue cooking to an internal temperature of 150 F (65 C). The temperature will continue to rise as it sits.

Remove from oven and allow to rest on a clean cutting board, covered with kitchen foil, for five to seven minutes. Cut diagonally into thick slices and transfer to a platter. Spoon half the relish on top. Serve remaining relish on the side.

Costoluto tomatoes with burrata

It is pretty special if you can find this creamy-filled ball of cheese but a caprese salad with buffalo mozzarella is equally as tasty.

Use your best extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar.

Costoluto tomatoes are a heritage variety brimming with juicy flavour and not too much acidity. Again, thank your lucky stars if you find them. If you do, just buy them.

Middle Eastern style stuffed zucchini

This recipe is a bit long but worth the effort, just like making perogies. Make a big batch and freeze for future meals.

For stuffing:

  • 1/2 c. long-grain rice, rinsed well 125 mL
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef 250 g
  • 1 small onion, shredded
  • 1/3 c. chopped parsley 75 mL
  • 1/3 c. chopped dill 75 mL
  • 14.5 fl. oz. can diced tomato with juice 450 mL
  • 1/2 c. water 125 mL
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 30 mL
  • scant 1 tsp. allspice 5 mL
  • scant 1 tsp. garlic powder 5 mL
  • salt and pepper

For zucchini:

  • 4 large and very firm tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, sliced into rounds
  • 2 1/2 lb. small zucchini 1 kg
  • 14.5 oz. can tomato sauce 450 mL
  • 3/4 c. water 175 mL

In a large bowl, combine the stuffing ingredients of rice, ground beef, shredded onion, fresh parsley, dill, diced tomatoes, water, olive oil, allspice, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Mix by hand to combine.

Now, remove the top of three tomatoes and remove the core to hollow out the tomatoes making room for the stuffing.

With a knife, remove the very top of the zucchini, then cut each zucchini in half to make shorter zucchini for stuffing. Now you need to hollow out the zucchini to make room for the stuffing.

Insert your corer about three quarters of the way into the zucchini, making sure not to poke the bottoms. Twist the corer and pull out the zucchini cores or hearts. Do this a few times, and gently scrape the sides of the zucchini until you have hollowed each out, making room for the stuffing. You’ll want to leave about one-quarter inch (.5 cm) rim of zucchini.

Lightly oil the bottom of a large, deep cooking pan. Slice the remaining tomato and spread over the bottom of the pan. Add the onion slices and the cores or hearts of the zucchini. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

Using your hands, gently stuff the hollowed tomatoes with the rice stuffing. Then loosely stuff the zucchini with the rice stuffing almost to the top. Don’t over stuff.

Arrange the stuffed tomatoes in the centre of the cooking pan, then add the stuffed zucchini around them. Tilt the zucchini a little, this helps them cook nicely through using less liquid.

Now add the tomato sauce and water. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Place the pan on the stove and cook on medium-high heat until the liquid starts to boil. Turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 50 minutes until the zucchini is tender and the rice stuffing is fully cooked.

Transfer to a serving platter or individual bowls. Top with the sauce from the cooking pan.

Peach plum galette

Use any stone fruit that looks good to you, or combine two or three types as long as the total weight is two pounds (1 kg).

  • 2 tsp. cornstarch 10 mL
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lime zest 5 mL
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt 5 mL
  • 1/3 c. sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 lb. peaches, cut into thick wedges 500 g
  • 1 lb. plums, cut thick wedges 500 g
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice 15 mL
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 5 mL

For crust:

  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar 7 mL
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt 3 mL
  • 1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for surface 325 mL
  • 3/4 c. chilled unsalted butter 175 mL
  • 1 tbsp. heavy cream 15 mL

Softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).

Combine cornstarch, lime zest, salt, and 1/3 cup (75 mL) sugar in a medium bowl. Toss with your hands to combine, then add fruit and toss to coat. Add lime juice, vanilla and toss gently.

To make the crust, whisk all dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender or your fingertips until butter is evenly distributed. Turn the mixture on to a lightly floured countertop. Push into a mound and roll out.

If it breaks up, push it together again and roll again. Roll into a large circle.

Arrange fruit mixture in the centre of dough and spread out evenly, leaving a three inch (7.5 cm) border. Fold edges of dough up and over fruit, pleating as needed and being careful that folded edge of dough doesn’t tear.

Brush with cream all over dough. Sprinkle sugar evenly over dough.

Place galette in oven and immediately reduce heat to 375 F (190 C).

Bake, rotating halfway through, until crust is deep golden brown everywhere, fruit is softened, and juices are bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes. Let galette cool two hours before serving.

Serve galette with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.

Stone fruit roasted chicken and herbs

  • 4-6 chicken thighs, skin on
  • salt & pepper
  • garlic powder
  • dried oregano
  • Creole seasoning
  • olive oil
  • chicken stock or white wine
  • 6 -7 plums or other stone fruit, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • fresh herbs, like thyme

Heat oven to 375 F (190 C).

Season the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and Creole seasoning. Heat olive oil in an oven-safe skillet then sear the chicken, skin side down until browned. Turn over and put a splash of chicken stock or white wine in the pan to scrape up all the toasty bits. Add in the fruits, onions and herbs.

Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes or until the chicken has cooked through.

Serve with steamed rice.

Using The Garden Harvest

Harvesting the garden and storing the produce for the winter months are common fall activities. Most families have favourite recipes that are particularly enjoyed when made with freshly harvested fruit and vegetables.

We would love to share your family’s favourites. Please send them to Harvest Favourites at or mail them to:

The Western Producer,
1000–3530 Millar Avenue,
Saskatoon, SK S7P 0B6

All entries must be received by November 8, 2021.

Sarah Galvin is a home economist, teacher and farmers’ market vendor at Swift Current, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. She writes a blog at Contact:

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