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Gardening and Cooking – My July Harvest and Recipes

This summer has been quite hot, thus more challenging to keep the veggie and flower garden hydrated enough to keep it alive and productive.

We already enjoyed fresh strawberries, raspberries, and herbs from my garden, so today I will share my other veggies as shown in this picture.

Since I do not use any chemicals in my veggie garden, it is very pure and organic.

So you ask – “what will you be doing with all of these veggies you harvested”?

I will list each harvested vegetable individually, and link it to my favorite recipes posted previously, for your cooking convenience.

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This is my small garden, which keeps me happily busy, and produces all of these fresh veggies for our family.


These lettuce leaves are from Black Seeded Simpson seeds, by Liberty Garden.  The leaves are very tender and mild in taste.  I gently pick off the individual leaves from the main plant stem, so the stem continues to grow and produce new leaves.  A white milky fluid seeps out when snipping them away from the stem.  Perfect lettuce leaves to use in Tossed Salad, of Chef’s Salad.

Red Beets are a must in my garden, as my Eastern European recipes require these for soups and salads.  They have grown  from Detroit Dark Red, Moses’s Strain seeds, by Ferry-Morse.


Some of my recipes prepared with red beets are:

Ukrainian Traditional Christmas Borscht

Quick and Easy Ukrainian Borscht

Botvinka Soup (Borscht)

Red Beet Vinaigrette (Easter Burachky)

Exotic Red Beet Salad   (my favorite)


These Green Beans come in several varieties. You can select the bush kind, or the climbing type.

I usually plant the bush kind – Garden Bean- Greencrop- (Bush Snap) by Burpee.  I also tried the climbing one, which needs to be staked – Garden Bean- Burpee’s Tenderpod.  These pods are not as tender, and not stringless (not my favorite).

Cooked or steamed Green Beans are always a great accompaniment to a main meal, in a casserole, or as a Green Bean Vinaigrette Salad.


Most of you are probably not very familiar with the above leafy vegetable.  No, it is not Spinach, it is Sorrel.  It is not readily found at your corner grocer either, that is why I plant my own.

The closest you will come to it, is it’s byproduct, which you will find in a Kosher section, packaged in a glass jar, labeled as Shchav.  However, in my opinion, it is not as tasty as my recipe for Sorrel Borscht – Shchav.

Zucchini and Squash are also easy to grow, and produce in abundance.  Besides Zucchini Bread, this veggie is great in a delicious Zucchini/Tomato Casserole, or Zucchini and Goat Cheese FrittersMy mom loved zucchini and squash sliced,  and sauteed with onions and garlic, seasoned with salt, pepper, and Italian Seasonings.   Zucchini or squash are excellent, additional ingredients, in a vegetable soup, and great for grilling.

Tomatoes and Basil, are taking the center stage here, since they both are so versatile in usage in myriad of recipes. Every year I am trying different varieties of tomatoes, and this year I planted Early Girl, and Rutgers.  The Early Girl is doing very well, and producing lots of large fruits, but next year I will have to give a second chance to the Rutgers variety, since this year they are not doing as well.


It was very difficult to select only few recipes for this veggie, so I decided to share: HomemadeTomato Soup, Party Canapes (best party food ever), and Pesto Sun-Dried Tomato Cheese Spread, also my favorite.

Last, but not least, are the Yukon Gold Potatoes.  If you have been reading my posts, you already know that last year I had some FREE potatoes growing in my garden, but this year I actually planted these myself.  I chose this variety, because they are the most expensive to purchase at the grocer, and they are very tasty.

Potatoes to Eastern Europeans (and the Irish), are like pasta to the Italians…we can’t live without them!  Hence, the myriad of recipes this veggie is used in, but I will only link to three, as this post is already quite lengthy.


If you were patient enough to read the whole post, you finally stumbled upon the most popular recipes for:

Varenyky (Perogi)

Irish Potato Pancakes

Potato Balls (Knedle)

Now you know about the veggies I harvested, and have some of the links to my favorite recipes associated with them.

Please share your gardening and cooking stories in your comments.  Thank you.


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