It was nice to putter in the kitchen this weekend preserving some of the harvest that is now coming out of the garden. Early Sunday morning was much cooler than it has been so I wanted to get some baking done.
One of the harvests that needed attention was the zucchini and summer squash that had accumulated during the week.
Some zucchini was grated up, measured out into 2-cup increments and frozen. I use the grated zucchini mostly in breads and muffins during the winter months. I thaw out grated zucchini before using it for baking but also add it frozen to soups, stews, and casseroles.
Of course I baked a couple loaves of zucchini bread while I was at it. Once cooled, one loaf was wrapped and frozen:
While the breads were in the oven, I sliced and froze some zucchini and summer squash. I don't always blanch my summer squash when freezing. I often just slice them up, lay them out on a cookie sheet, and place it in the freezer. Once the squash is frozen it is scooped into a freezer bag. It will be really nice to add squash to pasta meals, stews, and soups over the winter.
|Frozen Yellow Summer Squash and Zucchini|
|Squash bagged up in freezer zipper bags|
The basil in the garden was starting to form flowers so it was trimmed to hopefully encourage the plants to continue to grow and bush out. The trimmed leaves along with some freshly harvested garlic were used to make some basil pesto base for freezing.
I just add a bunch of leaves, garlic, and a little olive oil to a food processor and pulse until it is blended.
The pesto base is frozen flat in small zipper bags. This makes it easy to snap off a frozen piece to use.
For pesto, I thaw out the pesto base and add more olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese, ground walnuts or pine nuts, and anything else I may want to include at the time.
Preparing dinner on Sunday was easy after preserving the harvest this week. A little pesto base was reserved along with some zucchini and summer squash. These were combined with some onion, pasta, and sweet Italian sausage.
|Summer Squash Sausage Pasta with Pesto|
This is one of my favorite and simple summertime meals. The ingredients vary depending on what is available, but here is how I prepared it this weekend:
Summer Squash Sausage Pasta with Pesto
2 Italian sausages, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow summer squash, sliced
1 small onion, diced
8 oz pasta of your choice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons pesto
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta. When cooked, drain pasta and return it to the pot. Add 1 Tablespoon of pesto and combine.
Add olive oil to a large sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until onion begins to soften. Add the sausage to the pan and cook covered for about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and summer squash cover and cook until softened and cooked through. Add 1 Tablespoon of pesto and combine.
Add the pasta to the sauté pan and combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Plate up and sprinkle liberally with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Join others at “Thursdays Kitchen Cupboard” at The Gardener of Eden and share what you've been baking, cooking, canning, drying, or how you have used some of your preserved garden bounty.