What to Do With Excess Vegetables From Your Garden

As summer comes to an end, you may be wondering what to do with the abundance of ripe fresh veggies in your garden. We have compiled some wonderful recipes for late summer that are a perfect way to use up the last of your summer produce. Transform your ripe tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, figs and eggplant into the delicious Italian dishes below.

This year, say goodbye to the summer in true Italian fashion by putting all of your beautiful vegetables to good use and creating a delicious feast for all to enjoy.

Zucchini Spaghetti with Arugula Pesto

Ingredients Preparation
  • Ÿ  3 zucchini (for 2 people, increase based on the amount of people you are serving)
  • Ÿ  1-1/2 cup arugula
  • Ÿ  1-1/2 cups basil leaves
  • Ÿ  1/3 cup walnuts
  • Ÿ  2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Ÿ  1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Ÿ  olive oil
  • Ÿ  salt
  • Ÿ  freshly cracked black pepper
  • Ÿ  coarse homemade breadcrumbs (toasted, to garnish)
Cut the zucchini to resemble spaghetti using with a spiralizer, a mandolin fitted with a julienne attachment, or shaved thinly with a peeler.

Place the arugula, basil, walnuts, garlic and cheese in a food processor and begin pulse. Slowly drizzle in Olive Oil and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add the zucchini and toss to coat in oil.

Add a few tablespoons of pesto and toss with the zucchini. Once the zucchini begins to take on color, transfer to a platter and top with the toasted breadcrumbs to taste. Serve warm or room temperature.

Roasted Tomato Tart with Olive Oil Crust

Ingredients: Preparation
Olive Oil Pastry:

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

Ricotta Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups Ricotta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper


  • Sliced ripe tomatoes (about 1-2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


To prepare the olive oil pastry, first place the olive oil in the freezer until it is almost frozen. Place the flour in a bowl and add the baking powder, salt, and dried oregano. In a cup, mix together the egg, vinegar and ice cold water.

Once your oil is almost solid, cut it into your flour mixture until you have pea sized crumbs. Add the vinegar/egg liquid slowly, mixing it into the flour until the mixture comes together as a dough. As with any pastry, be careful not to over handle the dough. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out thinly to fit inside your tart pan. There is enough dough to make a double crust pie, so wrap up the leftover dough and freeze it for another use. Lay your rolled sheet of dough into your tart pan, trimming the edges. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the tart, first preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove your tart pan from the refrigerator and prick the bottom all over with the prongs of a fork. Once the oven has reached 350 degrees, bake the pastry for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Mix together the ricotta, eggs and grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper and spread this mixture evenly over the bottom of your tart pan. Arrange your tomatoes on top, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with some salt and pepper and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the ricotta filling has set, and the pastry is lightly browned. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Risotto with Fresh Figs and Taleggio


Ingredients Preparation
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces fresh figs, about 10-12 figs
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Risotto Arborio Rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups chicken stock, heated
  • 1/4 cup diced Taleggio, about 1/8 pound
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Heat a third of the butter in a small saucepan. Dice the figs and toss into heated butter to sauté for about 5 minutes. Remove and set the figs aside.

Heat another 1/3 of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add the onion and cook until translucent and softened, about 8 minutes. Make sure not to brown the onions. Add the rice and stir to coat each grain and toast until they are opaque, about 4 minutes.

Add the white wine and cook until the liquid has adsorbed, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed. Continue cooking the rice by adding the broth one ladle at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to be absorbed before adding the next.

Continue this process until the rice is tender and creamy yet still firm to the bite (al dente), about 22 minutes total.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the grated Parmigiano, diced Taleggio and the remaining butter. This last touch of butter gives extra shine and creaminess to the dish. Gently fold in the figs. Ladle into flat soup bowls. Serve with additional Parmigiano.


Ingredients Preparation
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium eggplant sliced into 1/3 inch rounds
  • 2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 red peppers, roasted and peeled
  • 2 ripe red tomatoes
  • 3 large potatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • finely minced fresh basil and parsley
  • 3/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
Cook the onion slices in 2 tablespoons olive oil until they are very soft and beginning to brown, then season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the broiler and lightly oil a baking sheet. Place the eggplant slices on the baking sheet, and brush the tops of the slices with a little oil. Broil until fork tender and lightly browned on both sides, and then cook the zucchini and potato slices the same way.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a spring-form pan and begin by laying down potato slices slightly overlapping to cover the bottom. Mix together about 1/2 cup of olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of each of the minced basil and parsley. Add the oregano and season with salt and pepper. Lightly brush the top of the potatoes with the seasoned oil and sprinkle with a little of the grated cheese.

Begin to layer the rest of the vegetables on top of the potatoes in the same manner brushing with a little oil in between and sprinkling each layer with a little cheese finishing with a layer of potatoes. Place the spring-form pan into another larger dish to catch any juices that escape and bake for about 30 min. If it begins to brown too much on top, cover the top with foil. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

There are no comments

Add yours

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.