It's that time of year again. Time for the ugly vegetables to start showing up--the ears of corn with kernels on only half a cob, the misshapen cracked, tomatoes, the yellowing cucumbers.
Truth be told, I've been dealing in ugly vegetables all summer long (if I've been lucky enough to deal in vegetables at all). This year the raccoons got our corn and the squirrels have taken nearly all my tomatoes. It's enough to make you cry. (Like, really--when you have a huge garden and all you've gotten is some green beans, a couple eggplant, cucumbers, and a few pounds of potatoes--oh, and lots and lots of weeds--it really it's something I shed tears over. So much work. So many weeds. So little anything else.) So we've brought in a few green tomatoes to ripen and relied on awesome friends to take pity on us and bring us some of their bounty.
Below are a few of my favorite recipes for rescuing and resescitating your ugly vegetables. I should warn you that not all of the actual dishes made from your ugly vegetables are super pretty either. But all of them taste awesome.
1. Ratatouille--Tomatoes, zucchini, pepper, eggplant, plus salt, herbs, and olive oil. Quick, ugly, good.
2. Vegetable Spread--Odds and ends into the oven to roast, then pureed. You'll be surprised how awesome this is.
3. Quick Pickles--You know when you get cucumbered out and they start hanging from the vines all fat and yellowing. This is what you should make. It extends their life by several weeks and these are great plain or on sandwiches or with salads.
4. Roast Tomato Sauce--I love this with my soul. The end.
5: Tomato Cucumber Salad--This can be made plain or creamy with a little mayo. It can even be made with just tomato or cucumber if you've only got one on hand. I know that kind of sounds weird, but it's a great way to add a little something to the veggies that are starting to feel (and look) blah.