Friday, July 9, 2010

Bring on the Bounty!

When we finally got home from Sarnia the gardens had exploded! We were blessed with near perfect weather while were away but here in Toronto it rained almost everyday which was great for the veggies. Everything was lush and well ahead of seasonal from all the earlier heat and thanks to the rain I didn't lose a single plant even though we were gone for over a week.

Since we've been back I've been harvesting almost every day. The Ditmarsher cherry tomatoes are the first tomatoes this year as expected- tiny pinky red globes of goodness!

but my Sasha's Altai, a Russian heirloom is right behind- early ripener indeed!

I also harvested the last of the peas, strawberries and rhubarb. A few lettuces are still handling the heat, hidden in the shadow of the tomatoes.

The herbs are fantastic- I cut some dill this week to use in our CanJam project ( more on that later this month) and it was almost 5 ft tall!

Right now the cukes are flowering like mad and I have a few tiny pickles-in-waiting! But the winner this week is the green beans- bushels of them! I've been harvesting them everyday and we've eaten them in various ways.

This bunch was delicious served cold as fasolakia lemonata- a Greek dish I love on a hot day. This recipe is adapted from Christine Cushing-she uses chopped red pepper in hers but I prefer tomatoes- the cherry tomatoes work well and ripen at the same time as the beans.

Fasolakia Lemonata ( Beans in Lemon and Dill)

  • 4 cups green beans
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 1 fresh green onion, sliced, thinly
  • 1 fresh garlic clove, crushed and chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Trim and wash beans.
  2. Place beans in a pot of salted boiling water
  3. Cook green beans for 4 to 5 minutes in boiling water.( I actually did this step in the microwave because it was too hot to boil anything our kitchen this week. 3-4 minutes on high left the beans cooked but still crunchy)
  4. Drain beans and run cold water over them to stop cooking process.
  5. Drain again. Place green beans in a bowl, and add the tomatoes, dill, onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  6. Toss together until coated well
Let flavours mingle for at least an hour. Serve cold.

There's tons more beans to come and I'll be doing sweet pickled beans and dilly beans as soon as the kitchen cools down a bit.

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