Home Recipes Readers share their favourite garden harvest recipes

Readers share their favourite garden harvest recipes

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Making use of the abundant fall harvest from our gardens was the theme of a recent contest in this column.

Our readers responded with a wonderful variety of their favourite fall recipes.

From all the recipes received, Tara Millar’s recipe for garden lasagna was selected. Millar will receive a copy of Cooking with Cherries from the Prairies, published by the fruit program at the University of Saskatchewan’s plant sciences department.

In addition to this cookbook, the Manitoba Canola Growers is providing a copy of the recipe booklets Share More Meals Together (2021) and Eat More Meals Together (2020). A thank you to Bob Bors (bo.bors@usask.ca) at the University of Saskatchewan and to the Manitoba Canola Growers (info@canolagrowers.com) for the donation of these cookbooks and a thank you to our readers who submitted recipes — they were all wonderful.

Garden lasagna

Submitted by Tara Millar of Morden, Man.

Tara said this is her “favourite way to use up a pile of produce in the fall and quantities are very flexible depending on what you have.”

Homemade pasta sauce and zucchini noodles could be substituted instead of store-bought sauce and pasta. She said, “we make a pile of these, freeze them and then enjoy them throughout the winter.”

Yield: six 9 x 12 roaster pans.

  • 2-3 boxes lasagna noodles
  • 10 lb. ground beef 5 kg
  • garlic
  • onion salt
  • oregano
  • basil
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 big onions
  • 1-2 peppers
  • 2 lbs. carrots 2 kg
  • copious amounts of garlic
  • 1-5 pkg. raw mushrooms
  • whatever other vegetables you have that look good to add
  • 10 – 23 oz. cans Hunt’s pasta sauce 10 – 680 mL
  • Swiss chard or beet greens
  • 5 – 750 mL cottage cheese 5 – 750 mL
  • Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Parmesan cheese

Editor’s note: Spinach could be used instead of Swiss chard or beet greens and ricotta cheese in place of cottage cheese.

Cook lasagna noodles as directed on package.

Fry ground beef with generous amounts of the garlic, onion salt, oregano, basil and Italian seasoning. Drain off fat and set aside.

Chop up and cook all the vegetables together. Add the meat and pasta sauce and mix together, set aside.

Chop up Swiss chard or beet greens, cook in a large pot, drain, and cool slightly. Stir into cottage cheese and set aside.

To assemble:

  • A skiff of meat sauce
  • A layer of noodles
  • A layer of meat sauce
  • A layer of noodles
  • A layer of cottage cheese mixture
  • A layer of noodles
  • A layer of meat sauce
  • A layer of grated cheese

To cook unfrozen lasagna, cover with foil and bake at 350 F (180 C) for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Uncover the last half hour to brown cheese.

To cook from frozen, cover with foil, and bake at 350 F (180 C) for 3 hours to 3 1/2 hours. Uncover for the last half hour.

Wheat salads savoury and sweet

Nettie Carut of Weirdale, Sask., submitted these wheat recipes. She started her letter with “what better harvest recipe could you have than a wheat dish served as a savoury salad or as a sweet dessert?”

Savoury wheat salad and sweet wheat dessert

  • 1 1/2 c. wheat kernels 310 mL
  • 3 c. water 750 mL
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature 225 g
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice 30 mL

Soak the wheat six hours or overnight in the water.

Cook gently for one to two hours. Do not boil hard. Drain and rinse the wheat kernels.

Add softened cream cheese and lemon juice and gently combine with the wheat.

For savoury wheat salad

To the cooked wheat, cream cheese and lemon juice mixture add:

  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise or caesar salad dressing 125 mL
  • 1/2 c. onion, chopped 125 mL
  • 1/2 c. red pepper, chopped 125 mL
  • 1/2 c. green pepper, chopped 125 mL
  • 1/2 c. celery, chopped 125 mL
  • 1 c. cherry tomatoes, cut in half 250 mL

Garnish with carrot slivers or radish slices. Chill and serve.

For sweet wheat dessert

To the cooked wheat, cream cheese and lemon juice mixture, add:

  • 1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding 153 g
  • 1 large tub Cool Whip 1 L

Prepare the vanilla pudding as directed on the package then fold it and the Cool Whip in to the wheat mixture.

Garnish with fresh fruit such as strawberries, kiwi or red grapes.

Stewed Tomato, Pasta, Shrimp Appetizer

Violet Lantz of Paradise Hill, Sask., shared her stewed tomato, pasta, shrimp appetizer.

She said, “it is absolutely delicious and looks awesome served in glass bowls.”

Yield: Four servings.

Use fresh garden produce

  • 1/4 medium onion
  • 1/2 clove elephant garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 c. celery, chopped with some leaves 60 mL
  • 2 tbsp. salted butter 30 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. tomatoes, skinned and chopped 310 mL
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice 15 mL
  • 1 tbsp. parsley, chopped 15 mL
  • 2 c. cooked, drained hot pasta 500 mL
  • 16 shrimp
  • cheddar cheese, grated

Sauté in one tablespoon of salted butter the onion, garlic and celery, until slightly softened.

Place tomatoes in a bowl of boiling water for a few seconds, lift out with a spoon and the tomato skins will slip off. Chop tomatoes and add to onion, garlic and celery mixture.

Add parsley. Simmer gently until thickened.

While tomatoes are cooking sauté 16 shrimp in the remainder of the butter, add lemon juice.

Place a half cup of pasta in four dessert bowls, add tomato mixture, top each bowl with four shrimp.

Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Note: Elephant garlic is not a true garlic, but a relative of the leek. It has a very mild garlic flavour. The bulbs are huge, about the size of a small grapefruit with about six large cloves.

Cloves can be ordered online to plant and the bulbs may be for sale at specialty markets.

In this recipe substitute a small clove of regular garlic.

Grandma Gladys’ beet relish

Donna Okkema of Vermilion, Alta., shared a beet relish recipe handed down from her grandmother Gladys (nee Wilson), hence the name.

Okkema said she makes this relish every year and her family and neighbors enjoy it. She gives away a number of jars every fall.

Donna said, “this relish keeps very well for at least a year and is a delicious accompaniment especially with any kind of cheesy pasta dish.”

  • 9 c. grated cooked beets 2.25 L
  • 2 c. pickling vinegar, (at least 5% acetic acid) 500 mL
  • 2 c. sugar (or less) 500 mL
  • 1 tbsp. table salt 15 mL
  • 1/2-1 c. prepared fresh horseradish 125-250 mL

Editor’s note: A purchased jar of prepared horseradish could be used instead of fresh horseradish.

Scrub beets with the peel on, trim all but two inches (five centimetres) off beet stems. Donna generally cooks the beets for 14 minutes in her pressure cooker. An alternative is to cook the beets in boiling water, until tender, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove beets from water and allow to cool slightly, the skins will easily slip off.

Use a cheese grater to grate the beets or use a food processor grater attachment. Put grated beets in a large pot and add the remaining ingredients. Donna generally uses two full cups of sugar and a whole cup of prepared horseradish.

To prepare horseradish, dig the roots, cut off tops and peel with a very sharp carrot peeler. Chop into inch long pieces and put in a blender with enough vinegar to allow it to chop, adding more vinegar as horseradish pieces are added to keep it blending. Be careful not to get this mixture near your face because it is very potent.

Place nine clean 250 mL mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180 F/82 C). Set screw bands aside. Heat sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180 F/82 C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.

Cook the beet mixture on medium heat about half an hour, stirring occasionally until it is well blended, thickened and bubbling.

Ladle relish into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Remove air bubbles with a narrow rubber spatula or plastic knife and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more relish.

Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing lid on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining relish.

When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1,000 feet (305 metres), process, boil filled jars, 15 minutes. For altitudes of 1,000-3,000 feet (306-915 metres), process 20 minutes and for altitudes of 3,000-6,000 feet (915-1830 metres) process 25 minutes.

When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait five minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. This short standing time allows the pressure inside the jars to stabilize and reduces the likelihood of liquid loss when the jars are moved. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours. Do not retighten screw bands.

After cooling check jar seals. Sealed lids curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands, wipe and dry bands and jars, replace screw bands loosely back on jars. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place.

Editor’s note: Canning instructions are from bernardin.ca.

Betty Ann Deobald is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: team@producer.com.



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