The harvest moon is up and fall is upon us. But, before you go full pumpkin spice, it’s time to take all those wonderful veggies and herbs you grew over the summer and turn them into storage-friendly recipes to get you through those cold winter months. Here are just a few of the sauces and syrups we love to make so that nothing in our garden goes to waste.
If you are anything like us, you are probably ending the season with a ton of extra basil. It’s such a great summer ingredient that we always tend to grow way more than we can ever hope to use. Enter the mighty pesto sauce, basil pesto to be precise. This nutty herb sauce is perfect on pasta, sandwiches, and just about anything else you feel like slathering it on. It’s easy to make, easy to freeze (it lasts up to 6 months) and just as easy to enjoy.
This lighter alternative to traditional pesto is super versatile. Obviously, it’s a delicious dressing for any salad, but you can also use it to add flavor to lighter mains like chicken or fish. Just like traditional pesto you can toss it with pasta or spread it on a sandwich, plus it lasts up to six months in the freezer, but i think the real joy comes from slopping it up with a slice of warm fresh bread.
Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce
Ok, so I have to admit this is more like a garden “dump” marinara sauce and it will change every time you make it. Essentially take all the veggies and herbs in your garden that make sense for marinara sauce and cook them into something delicious. That may sound vague and daunting, but this recipe gives you plenty of options to adjust the taste. Marinaras last up to 6 months in the freezer, so you’ll thank us when you are unexpectedly snowed in with that random box of dried spaghetti.
Homemade Hot Sauce
Like the marinara this is another choose-your-own-adventure recipe. You can use any variety of peppers you like from “wow that has a little kick” to “OMG, I need a f***ing gallon of cold milk NOW.” This version is fermented which we think makes all the difference in taste, so patience is your friend here and you’ll want to play around with adding different flavors like cumin or mustard seed to the final product. Did I mention it’s also a perfect homemade gift when you are headed to a holiday party or missed someone on your shopping list.
Herbed Simple Syrup
All of the above are great, but we couldn’t leave out a little something special for all you cocktail swilling heathens out there. Simple syrups are just like they sound – simple. You need 3 ingredients: sugar, water and whatever flavor you want to add. In this instance, we used some of our extra garden herbs. A simple syrup will last 1-2 weeks in the fridge, but did you know you can also freeze them!?! Yes, you too can have an ice tray full of frozen simple syrup ice cubes, a-m-a-z-i-n-g.
Jen & Liz