Eggplant, Peppers and Tomatoes Oh My!

Over the past two weeks I made it a goal to clean all the garden and farmer's market produce out of my fridges (thats right I have two fridges), to get a fresh start on fall. My CSA started last week and I know I will be wanting to make that transition to more comfort type and large batch meals.  If you are interested in learning more about Fall CSA's check out my last post. Below are the recipes I found that use up all my produce, a ratatouille, green tomato soup, and fermented cayenne pepper hot sauce!

Normally at this time of the year you will have a little bit of everything on hand. I had eggplants, peppers, ripe tomatoes and unripe green tomatoes to use up. My first thought to use most of these ingredients up was Ratatouille. I did some recipe research earlier this fall and found so many variations of this classic french dish. I narrowed down my search by looking for the least timing consuming option. I have to say this dish impressed me with it's ease and flavor-fulness. 

Ratatouille

2 medium eggplant

2 medium zucchini

2 ts salt

1 large yellow onion

2 peppers - red or green

1 lb cherry tomatoes or 1 jar homemade/store bought marinara sauce

4 tb olive oil

2 cloves garlic

handfull basil

If using cherry tomatoes start here, if using pre-made sauce start on the next step. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash tomatoes and place in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil. Peel garlic and add to the dish. Bake for 30 mins. 

Wash and slice eggplant and zucchini into coins. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with salt about 2 ts to start sweating the water out. Let sit for 20 mins

Wash and slice peppers and onions. In my pictures below I sliced these lengthwise, the second time I made this I sliced widthwise across the vegetable. It was easier to layer in the dish. Once the eggplant and zucchini are done, start to arrange all the vegetables and basil evenly throughout the dish. Add the cheery tomatoes or tomato sauce to the top.  

Bake for 40-50 mins. Let cool and enjoy with a nice red wine.


Onto the 10 pounds of green tomatoes... I had never used green tomatoes in a recipe before. I know you can pickle and fry them, but that wasn't going to work with the massive amount I had. I found a recipe by Sherri, from the blog With Food and Love, that would be perfect to use up all these green beauties. I highly recommend following the whole recipe including the extra herb oil and garlic-cashew cream sauce. Very tasty! 

For her recipe click here!


My husband Steve loves heat in his food, whether thats hot jalapeños or hot sauce on everything. I already canned pickled jalapeños for the winter so I thought I would try my hand at the hot sauce. This was my first time fermenting and I discovered it is so easy! Basically you just let it sit and do it's thing for a week, making sure to remove any mold that develops. Pretty hands off. I will advise that when attempting to ferment, always follow a recipe for food safety measures. 

Fermented Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce - Recipe from Pick a Pickle, by Hugh Acheson

1 lb cayenne peppers

2 tb water

1 1/2 ts pickling salt

2 c distilled white vinegar

 Cut stems off peppers and place in a food processor with the water. Chop until they are a little smaller then diced size pieces. Add salt and pulse a few more times. Place in a sterilized quart sized mason jar. Cover the top with a clean cloth and place the ring on the jar to secure the cloth. Let sit in a dark place at about 70 degree for 48 hours. 

After 48 hours, check for mold at the top. If there is some remove and give the mixture a stir. Do this every 2 days for a week. 

After a week, make sure to remove any mold at the top. Pour into food processor with the vinegar and pulse until smooth. Before placing hot sauce into it's final container, you will need to strain the liquid into a mason jar removing all the pulp. Once strained transfer to final container and seal. This will keep in your fridge for up to a year.