I love the time of year when the vegetable garden is in high production. Neighbors are scoping out each other’s gardens and comparing the size of their zucchini plants (…among other things).
When we first moved to Oregon we were aghast that zucchini would not grow in our yard. For years the plants did nothing but grow flowers and wilt away before the zucchini itself ever appeared. In California, we couldn’t give our zucchini away fast enough. Since we discovered where the zucchini likes to thrive (in our front yard in a rock bed), we’ve been the happy parents of an abundance of zucchini over the last few years.
Today I’m making one of my favorite vegetable dishes that I use as a side dish, cold as a salad, and even as a warm meatless lunch or dinner. I grow all of the ingredients of this dish in the spring and summer. Yes, I do grow garlic, onions, and this year I added pepperoncinis to the pepper plant family in the garden.
In my impatience to harvest, I’ve pulled out a few garlic before their time. Oops! However, they are still good to eat. The smaller garlic pod from immature plants can be sliced and added to recipes (more like an onion). It has a milder taste than the mature garlic with distinct cloves, but good nonetheless.
The garlic scapes are edible (and even sold in local farmer’s markets). What’s a garlic scape you ask? It’s the green stem above ground that is part of the garlic growing below. Here’s an article that describes garlic scapes and how they are used in cooking. Garlic Scapes.
While the exact vegetables may vary over the summer (sugar snap peas being replaced by pole beans or scarlet runner beans later in the summer), cooked or uncooked (other than parboiling the hardier beans), the veggie salad is essentially the same. Be creative with the ingredients you favor most.