Garden fresh recipes

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If you are looking for some recipes to use your garden fresh vegetables, Susan Spicer offered a few examples from “Susan’s Kitchen.”

Mexican Rice
2 T. butter or margarine
1 large onion, chopped
1 green peppers, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked rice
1 tomato, peeled and chopped
2 cups of chicken broth
1 t. cumin
Salt to taste

Melt butter in skillet and sauté onions, green pepper and garlic over moderate heat till limp, about 5-10 minutes. Add rice. Cook and stir till rice is golden and onions are soft but not brown. Stir in tomato, broth, cumin and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring once or twice. Reduce heat to simmer; cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or till rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Serves six.
* This dish can be varied depending on your tolerance for fiery foods. Spicer wrote that she normally adds at least one chopped, hot pepper (jalapeño) with the onions and green peppers, but it is certainly not necessary. This goes well with tacos, burritos or any south-of-the-border specialties.

Pasta with tomatoes and basil
4 large garden-fresh tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 large green pepper, seeded
Approximately 20 leaves of fresh basil, torn into shred
One-half cup salad oil
1 T. mild vinegar
Several dishes freshly ground pepper
1 lb. pasta (your choices)
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

Slice tomatoes into thin strips and discard as many seeds as you can. Cut pepper in thin strips. Combine tomatoes, garlic, pepper strips, basil, oil, vinegar and pepper, and let stand at room temperature about an hour. Cook pasta; drain well and toss with the shredded mozzarella till the cheese begins to melt slightly. Add tomato mixture and toss again. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of each serving. Serves four to six.

Fresh zucchini-tomato sauce
1 lb. zucchini (about 2-3 medium) sliced
4-5 medium tomatoes, cut in small chunks
6 T. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 shakes of dried red pepper flakes
One-quarter cup fresh basil, chopped
One-quarter cup black olives, minced
Salt, pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

In skillet sauté zucchini in olive oil for five minutes. Add garlic and tomatoes. Sauté five minutes more. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 15 minutes or till vegetables are tender. Serve over hot pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4-6.
* Spicer noted that zucchini and tomotoes are always overabundant at the same time, so this is a tasty way to use up any garden surplus. With fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes, it’s not necessary to peel them, but you will need to peel store-bought  ones.