Friday Recipe Exchange: Garden Fresh

Oh, boy, recipes two weeks in a row, we might be starting something here.

I spent the afternoon taking care of some fresh veggies that had been sitting on my counter all week. I love this time of year, when the garden provides harvest every morning. But it is difficult to keep up. Today I fire-roasted tomatoes, pureed and froze for soups and sauces this winter. I also did refrigerator jalapeno pickles to use up a few of the many jalapenos.

JeffreyW does some amazing recipes with his peppers, here are two: Candied Jalapenos (here) and Hot ‘n Sweet (here)

Tonight’s menu takes advantage of all the garden-fresh ingredients available now.  I really like this one because it’s a quick skillet taste treat that elevates a weeknight meal.

On the board tonight:

Skillet Lasagna (recipe below)
Patty Squash Sauté (recipe here)
Italian Bread

Skillet Lasagna

  • 6 oz Mafalda (mini-lasagna noodles) or bowtie pasta
  • 1 lb lean ground beef****
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ green pepper chopped
  • 1 tsp basil, crushed
  • 1 tsp oregano, crushed
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce (or 1 lb fresh tomatoes, chopped or pureed)
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 4 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 oz grated parmesan


In saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions, cooking to al dente (slightly chewy), drain well.  Meanwhile, in skillet brown beef, onion & pepper. Add spices, garlic, carrot and sauté for 1 minute.  Add sauce, paste, stirring well into meat mixture.  Add pasta, stirring gently to mix.

Mix together ricotta and spinach, spoon evenly into the mixture (do not stir in, you want to create little cheese balls), top with mozzarella, cover and let simmer on low until mozzarella is completely melted.

Serve with parmesan.

Just a note, this menu and recipes are from my Summer into Fall Cookbook.

That’s if for this week. If I get a chance to upload the roasted tomato photos this weekend, I’ll post them here. What’s on your plate this weekend?

Hit to comments to share your recipes.

Otherwise, open thread.

****ETA: Thanks to Ohio Mom for reminding me I was going to say, you can easily omit the beef. I have substituted zucchini and or mushrooms and left the meat out entirely. It’s a great vegetarian dish.

23 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Looks delicious 😋😋

  2. 2
    Ohio Mom says:

    I’m thinking maybe if I use vegetable crumbles for the chopped meat (Ohio Dad does not mix meat and milk), and leave out the vegetables Ohio Son won’t eat (carrots, spinach and onions, I’ll use onion powder), this could work for us. Sounds a lot easier than traditional lasagna.

  3. 3
    Yarrow says:

    That is so pretty.

    I’ve never cooked patty pan squash. Is it easy to cook?

  4. 4


    Had Filipino food for dinner, which nobody eats often enough, except perhaps for Filipinos. ‘Twas quite good.

  5. 5

    @Ohio Mom: I personally have made it without the ground beef. I’ve also substituted zucchini and/or mushrooms. It’s great vegetarian. Thanks for reminding me, I meant to put it in the original post.

    ETA: And I’ve now added it to the original post.

  6. 6

    @Yarrow: Yes, just take a bit longer than summer squash to soften up. You can also roast it.

  7. 7
    Yarrow says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Thanks. I’ve never tried it although I think I’ve been served it at restaurants.

    I’m eating chicken soup tonight. Something I ate yesterday did not agree with me at all and I’m recovering today.

  8. 8

    Okay, I have to run out for a bit. But I’ll check back if anyone has more questions.

  9. 9
    debbie says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    I bet substituting with cremini mushrooms would be awesome!

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    Could readily be adapted to a pasticcio di pesce (seafood lasagna), using a bechamel sauce in place of tomato. In that case, personally, would leave out the green pepper* and the carrot and plug in asparagus (already cooked to al dente, then chopped) in their place.

    *maybe substitute the green with a red pepper to get flecks of color in the dish

  11. 11
    Sure Lurkalot says:

    Lactose issues…eat dairy but sparingly, this recipe looks like a lasagna I could eat (was one of my favorites way back when). Is this recipe about 4 servings? I have family members who will love this and I’ll pass it on. Thanks for your delicious posts.

  12. 12
    prostratedragon says:

    Or eggplant. The red & green peppers should work well there. Not that the beef version isn’t great.

  13. 13
    dnfree says:

    @TaMara (HFG): I am so used to adjusting for vegetarian that as I looked at the recipe, I immediately thought either Morningstar crumbles or just leave out the hamburger, but I need to remind myself I can also just put more vegetables in.

    My favorite recipe this time of year is no-cook pasta sauce. There are numerous variations, but the main ingredient is fresh tomatoes. You just cut up tomatoes, garlic, onions, green peppers, summer squash, or whatever else you want in a fresh pasta sauce, mix it in a bowl and let it blend for a while. Cook pasta, drain it, and stir it into the tomato mixture with some fresh basil. There’s dinner room temperature, and that’s the whole story. (Okay, maybe some Parmesan or other cheese.) I don’t even make cooked pasta sauce when fresh tomatoes are available.

  14. 14
    Raven says:

    I’m posted about the found pup downstream, she’d been missing for 10 days.

    she was between two fences but i dont think she had been there more than a little while, it was getting ready to storm as a matter of fact I got soaked and so did she before I got her home. I had worked on their porch on Boulevard for quite a bit and already knew Rosie but while working there i played with her most every day and talked to her a lot so I knew she wouldn’t be afraid of me. I think it helped that she knew me and that helped calm her. I am just glad we were there at the right time, A couple had actually spotted her between the fences and we live very close to each other.

  15. 15
    debit says:

    @dnfree: I’ve made this no cook sauce a few times now and can’t stop putting it on everything. For those who can’t get past the paywall:


    1 pint cherry tomatoes, stemmed, each cut in half
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
    1/4 cup pine nuts (may substitute walnuts)
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste


    Combine the tomatoes, oil, basil, pine nuts, mustard and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a blender; puree until creamy and smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender jar as needed. Taste, and add salt if needed.

    Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid; use right away, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

    I add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to brighten i up a little and have used it on salads, cold pasta, warm pasta, roasted and smashed potatoes, directly from a spoon, etc. Super good, and a great vegan option for dressing.

  16. 16
    NotMax says:

    As it fits here, What to eat in Greenland.

    And because the chef is so cute, preparing Greenlandic suassat (a meat soup), a national dish.


  17. 17
    MomSense says:

    Thanks, Tamara and Ohio Mom for the veggie option.

  18. 18
    Yarrow says:

    I’ve never heard of candied jalapenos. I checked out the recipe. Very cool.

  19. 19
    Mary G says:

    @Raven: Her owners must be so happy.

  20. 20
    CathieFonz (used to be Cathie from Canada) says:

    Hey, I didn’t realize you had published some Kindle cookbooks! They look great.
    I know what you mean about online and Kindle recipes — I seldom refer to any of my old cookbooks anymore, just look up everything on line.
    However, I have found that when I am cooking I really do prefer following a printed recipe rather than trying to follow one on screen.
    Several years ago after I retired, I retyped all my favorite recipes and created my own personal cookbook because I got tired of trying to remember which cookbook or website my favorite recipes were in (Joy? Bittman? Benoit? Martha? NYT? my mom’s old recipe cards? etc).
    So now I have all my recipes typed and printed in my own little 8 X 5 book, which I add to as I find something new. I also posted everything to DropBox so I can read them on my phone when I am at the store or away from home.

  21. 21
    karen marie says:

    @dnfree: That sounds fantastic. I would throw in a can of Genovo tuna packed in oil . So delicious!

  22. 22
    karen marie says:

    @Yarrow: Candied jalapenos sound fantastic! But cream cheese? Really? When brie or goat cheese are easily obtained? That’s criminal. Save the cream cheese for stuffing celery. Nom!

  23. 23
    Sab says:

    TaMara: This was really good. My only screw-up was to not use a full size skillet, so the pasta didn’t fit, so I had to transfer everything to the sauce pan, which meant melting the mozzarella was not done under ideal conditions.

    Still it tasted great, and next time it will be perfect. So easy. Thanks.

Comments are closed.