One thing I can take-a-way from my first year of vegetable gardening is that I love vegetables! Perhaps it stems (pardon the pun) from growing and eating my own produce and having to come up with different recipes to utilize my overbounding harvest. Whatever the reason, I love vegetables AND I want to start eating more and more of them every single day.

Last night, hubby and I came up with a new pizza recipe. We decided to make our Friday night pizza using eggplant, picked fresh from my garden. I made the same pizza dough I always have. Hubby, however, lined the bottom of the pizza dough with a smattering of finely sliced tomatoes from my garden. On top of that he layered thinly sliced, raw eggplant (that had been laced with salt and strained to release some of the veggie’s water). All topped off with fresh slices of mozzarella, Parmesean cheese, my roasted red peppers and lots of olive oil and fresh parsley (also from my garden). This was the (delicious) result:

I still have a few tomatoes (especially plum tomatoes, still green) ripening on the vine, as well as 3 or 4 more eggplants to go this end-of-season to pick. My green peppers are just coming in now! I’m hoping the weather holds up. We still get 80sF during the day BUT at night it’s been dropping down to the 50s and high 40s (gulp!) I may have to harvest my remaining tomatoes early and let them ripen inside a cardboard box.

I started watching this fantastic cooking show, starring Jamie Oliver and his plethora of solely veggie recipes, entitled ‘Ultimate Veg‘ on PBS. Jamie travels the globe seeking out vegetable recipes and rightly so. When prepared properly and creatively, vegetables rock! Click here to see some of Jamie’s ‘veggie creations’. It just may inspire you to not only watch his show BUT also buy his book (I get it free from the library) and start cooking up some mighty fine vegetable delights. Mind you, Jamie (nor I) are vegetarians. We just love vegetables!

Jamie traveled to India where vegetables reign supreme.

Here are some other photos of mine depicting some of the vegetable meals I conjured up this summer. I got a chance to jar my roasted red peppers and my caponata (eggplant appetizer) for the winter, as well as make up a dish of baba-ganoush (eggplant dip, just perfect on toasted pita bread). I even made a dinner solely on a fried rice recipe complete with all my little chopped up veggies. I froze ten plastic containers filled to the brim with de-skinned San Marzano tomatoes and a basil leaf. Enjoy: