Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Congrats to GG Winner - Plus, Fresh Food Tips From Readers

We're pleased to announce that Lara Zelman of Massachusetts has won a free, autographed copy of Grocery Gardening. Congratulations, Lara!

A warm thanks to all who participated in this random drawing. I loved reading everyone's favorite ways to eat fruits, vegetables and herbs. Although I know it wasn't easy to pick just one...

As Lara (@GoodCookDoris on Twitter) wrote, "So hard to choose a favorite! I love cilantro ... mixed up with fresh avocado and lime juice. It has such a bright, vibrant flavor."

Photo Credit: The Marmot on Flickr

Basil was a particularly popular herb, receiving most of the responses. Annica Janes (@rootsandflowers on Twitter) says she likes to grow "tons each summer and make it into pesto which I freeze in ice cube trays and then transfer to freezer bags. This way we have garden goodness all winter long." She tosses the pesto cubes into tomato soups or homemade pasta topped with chicken and roasted red peppers.

Sara uses basil with eggplant. "One of my favorite things from the garden this year," she wrote, "was a slice of grilled Japanese eggplant, with a tomato on top with fresh basil and some mayonnaise and garlic dolloped to hold it together." She said it tasted so good, "I couldn't stop eating them."

From California, Susie Johnson throws basil into her bruschetta, which she makes with hybrid 'Big Beef' tomatoes she grows herself in summer. Susie mixes together diced tomatoes, chopped basil, garlic, a bit of balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and ground black peppercorns.  Then she toasts baguette slices and spreads them with soft feta cheese... before spooning this tomato mixture on top and serving this yummy dish.

Some folks just liked their produce plain and simple. Right off the vine. At the peak of their perfection, taste and nutritional value. And who can blame them for that?

But one of my favorite responses came from Alicia. She wrote, "It's nigh near impossible to pick ONE favorite fruit or vegetable, as most of them are so delicious and guess I must say onions, as they are so versatile, and so essential to so many dishes, adding so much flavor, variety and nutrition."

Alicia slices onions, separates the rings and sautes them. In fact, she puts this member of the Allium family in almost anything "but dessert."

Well, I must admit I agree with Alicia. Onions are the first thing I pull from my pantry when I begin almost any dinner. Yet, it's such a food staple, it's easy to take the old onion for granted. Experiment with different types of onions, like leeks too. Lovely leeks are one of my secret ingredients for vegetable soups. But don't tell anyone...

Thanks again everyone for participating!  Keep eating those fresh foods, regardless of the season.

Learn more about Grocery Gardening.


  1. Thanks, Teresa, for stopping by. By the way, I LOVE your name! He he. Teresa