Having too many vegetables and herbs from your garden is a great problem to have, but can be overwhelming! Below are a few easy tips and tricks to preserve the extra harvest that you don't have time to cook with now.
Zucchini, Zucchini, Zucchini!
Who doesn't love Zucchini? This year, it seems as though all of my friends have given me that 'gigantic' squash, which is only really good for making bread. I've grown to love this recipe from AllRecipes.com. I modify it by adding fresh blueberries (which I've also had an abundance of) and a teaspoon of nutmeg. It is absolutely delicious and great for potlucks or to give away to friends.
Still, there is only so much Zucchini bread you can make! Once you've grilled several times, made Ratatouille, and STILL have three huge Zucchinis left in your refrigerator, I recommend grating and freezing for later use. Simply grate your Zucchini like you are going to make bread and put in a ziplock bag. Then, throughout the fall and winter months, you have plenty to bake with!
Basil, Cilantro and Parsley
Pesto is the obvious go-to for an abundance of Basil, and I usually use this recipe from the Food Network. I make triple or quadruple batches if possible and freeze the excess either in ziplock bags or in ice cube trays for easy, single uses later. This process is extremely easy and one of the best ways to preserve your fresh herbs for later use.
Freezing can also be done with excess cilantro and parsley. Pack the fresh herbs at the bottom of ice cube trays and drizzle oil on top to freeze. Throughout the fall and winter, use to liven up your soups, stews and stir fries.
One of my family friends has literally dropped off pounds and pounds of every different type of Cucumber imaginable. So, this year I had to get a little creative. One of my favorite recipes is really easy: Cut up an entire tray of Cucumbers and drizzle freshly-squeezed lemon juice on top, followed by freshly-chopped Dill. It's simple, but so refreshing! I've also been adding Cucumber slices to my water throughout the day and making a LOT of salads.
If you're a fan of pickling, try this simple "Quick Pickles" recipe from the Food Network. It's extremely easy and doesn't require the traditional canning process.