I’m in the final stages of finishing my coffee master training for Starbucks, and have been lucky enough to go through the entire process with another coworker. She and I were able to get together at her house recently to work on our final “project” for the store.
After working on our project for a little over an hour I decided it was time for a break, meaning it was time to explore her property. She lives on a small farm fully equipped with cows, chickens, a goat, and best of all a small organic garden. Talk about bliss.
I was absolutely ecstatic when I was offered to take some of the luscious bounty home with me. Local, fresh, organic, free produce!? You betchur britches I wanted some! With a bowl the size of a small horse completely filled with green goodness, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to get crazy wild in my kitchen.
For starters I baked 4 small loaves of zucchini banana bread. I used this recipe and made a few alterations. It was very mild, and definitely needs something on top such as a nut butter or fresh berries.
The real winner of this harvest was my roasted zucchini & carrot black bean salad with a creamy kale and walnut pesto sauce. I wanted to make something that would use almost everything I was gifted.
Items from my bowl used for this meal were:
- snap peas
I also got some cilantro that I used for some taco salads, but I digress.
Roasted Zucchini & Carrot Black Bean Salad
For the salad:
- 3/4 cup roasted zucchini
- 2/4 cup roasted carrots
- 1.5 cups boiled sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup black beans
For the pesto:
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1/4 cup + 3 tsp water
- 1.5 tblsp olive oil
- 1 tblsp + 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 medium sized kale leaves
- 3 medium sized lettuce leaves (or more kale)
- 5 medium/large basil leaves
- 1/4 cup snap peas (just the peas, and this is optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- Slice your carrots and zucchini into desired size (you can see what I did in the photo above) and lay flat on a roasting tray. Roast for about 45-60 minutes. The zucchini didn’t roast well and was a bit mushy, but still edible of course.
- Chop about two smaller sized sweet potatoes and fully submerge them in water to boil. Boil for about 20 minutes, be sure not to over boil them or they will fall apart.
- While everything is cooking you can make your pesto. Combine all your ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor and combine until smooth. You may want to add more water depending on how thick you like your pesto.
- Once all your veggies are done combine everything into a large bowl. This makes enough for 2 people with a bit leftover.
Note: The veggies are all very soft, so something like crunchy chips or lettuce leaves will round out the texture of this meal.
I used the rest of my lettuce leaves and I put just a dollop of the pesto sauce on top because I’m not a huge sauce fan. With chips on the side.
I am amazed by the powerful taste of garden fresh produce. 10x better than anything in the store, but I suppose that’s a given! It took me all of three days to rip through this produce. I need a garden!
Q: Did you garden at all this year? I tried to plant some cilantro, but the slugs got it…no excuses for next year! OH or winter veggies!
44 thoughts on “Garden Harvest – Summer Veggie Salad Recipe”
Hmmmmm this friend of yours, seems to be amazing. That is so awesome that not only does she have curious farm animals but also a killer garden. Pirate has been gardening and has had an abundance of tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucc…… which brings me to your amazing zuc-banana-bread! AHHH looks perfect. I would just eat a loaf or two for dinner 🙂
Your pesto looks so schmancy fancy lady!
That is exactly what I did, I ate an entire mini loaf with some nut butter on top for dinner. So yum. I want to raid Pirates produce. We met in real life so we’re basically best friends now.
Yummm! What an awesome experience. 🙂 So glad you had fun and took some great pictures! I’ll have to put this recipe on my to-do list!
Lauren @ ihadabiglunch
I love the idea of throwing sweet potatoes into a salad . I don’t do that enough even tho I love them. Now I really want to make zucchini bread lol. Also I can’t imagine living on a farm like that – how cool! I couldn’t do it for very long haha but I would totally is it weekly for all those goodies
Lauren @ ihadabiglunch
Lucie Elizabeth (@CollectingLight)
You are the cutest – what a fab experience to be able to pick veggies like that. And that zucchini bread? Ohhhhh, TO DIE FOR!
Gorgeous bounty, and that cow makes me swoon! They’re such beautiful animals. We don’t garden, but I wish we did. Not only would it not work in our space, but I also kill all of my plants. I love plants! I don’t know why I’m so bad at them. My husband had potted zucchini and pepper plants (that I wasn’t allowed to touch – see above) when we lived in CA, and that was great. Eating your own grown food feels incredible!
Amy @ A Desert Girl
You know I love me some pesto! You made out like a veggie bandit!!! Well done.
Rach @ This Italian Family
Girl! You got so much good stuff and made it SO delicious! I didn’t even attempt a garden this year (we never use it all when I do garden because it’s summer and we travel so much and I hate waste). I do have some herbs that are growing on my front porch, though. That counts for something, right? 😉
YES, of course that counts!! As I mentioned I TRIED to grow ONE herb…one simple herb. I failed so miserably. HA. Thank goodness for friends and large gardens.
Talk about friends with benefits!
And talk about healthy! That walnut and kale pesto?
EAT ALL THE SUPER FOODS!
I want to know what you’re doing for your final stage of coffee master training (and I”m hoping it involves good cheese for some reason). Also that walnut and kale pesto looks amazing. I have to make some this week!!
We have to do some kind of project for my store based around what would benefit us as a whole, so my coworker and I made a poster board of some coffee knowledge for our partners to have more information to better sell and know about the coffee. Then we are coming up with a strategy to improve sales (this is more her area, I’m all about the knowledge haha) and we have to take a test to be certified! Oh and of course we get to do multiple final coffee tastings with our manager.
Nothing too crazy!! No cheese though. 😉
One of our girls did her coffee master and brought in some gouda to pair with a coffee instead of the traditional desserts — it was SO good! Your project sounds super fun!
Yum! So many good things in one place! I wish I could garden, but living in a tiny apartment makes that hard. One of my coworkers has this huge garden he always talks about and it makes me excited for when I can have an actual garden someday in the future.
I do not garden (small apartment, second floor, city) but there are so many farmer’s markets and other local gardeners that I don’t feel the need to! My favorite veggie this time of year is ANYTHING ROASTED! I wish I had a grill because I would love to grill some summer squash. I’ve recently over done it on the brussel sprouts so I need to detox on them. Sweet potatoes (or any potato really) have been really popular for me lately. If only I could grow them in a window box!
first if all, congrats on almost being done with your training! i swear you’re always working toward about 9 things – running, school, training, baking, photography, etc – and it always inspires me to try.. well.. more!! and that zucchini banana bread??? YUM!
Your comments always fill my head with too much air. Thank you once again for your sweeeeet words my friend!
Ahhhh, all of that organic garden produce looks WONDERFUL! I’m LOVING all of your creations too! Now I’m craving zucchini bread AND pesto!! The combination of everything in your salad looks AH-Mazing!
My parents’ garden is spitting out zucchini like crazy! I cannot wait to make some zucchini bread in the upcoming weeks. It is definitely one of my favorite breads to make. So tasty!
Awww!!! Hi cows!! I actually grew up next to this huge pasture (totally random; it was placed right next to our residential area), and the owner kept cows for many years. We’d feed them our slightly-too-old-to-eat produce, like celery and carrots, and I talked to a 3-day-old calf once! It was too young to fully recognize its mother’s moo, so when I moo’ed at it, it moo’ed back. For a full 20 minutes. BEST cow experience of my childhood. (Ice cream excluded.)
Cows, conversations, and ice cream!!? HECK YEA!
kathy@vodka and soda
hell to the yes for organic produce! i raid my FIL’s garden weekly. this year was tough on his tomatoes, grapes and lettuce but he has a crap load of cucumbers and fresh herbs. i decided that i’m going to start my own garden in the spring….and by “I”, i obviously mean my husband haha!
Davida @The Healthy Maven
I killed my cactus…so not a chance did I garden. I just need to make great friends like yours. Share?
I bet you were totally lovin’ that organic garden!! So amazing! Also, I can’t wait to hear about your coffee master training!! I hope you blog about it 🙂
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
Ugh. I -wish- I could garden! But I live in a condo so I don’t exactly have the space, aaaaand I’m notorious for killing plants… so there’s that. My parents do a little bit of gardening so I ninja tomatoes whenever I get the chance, but it’s something I’d love to be able to do myself one day… especially since I love the smell of dirt.
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
Look at those courgettes (that is what we call zuchinni over here). We have a fairly big garden, but didn’t plant much this year. I am looking forward to pulling all our carrots up though.
An Unrefined Vegan
Thank you for sharing the link to the Coffee Master Training – I was going to ask you what it meant and now I know. VERY cool! Here’s to you donning a black apron soon!
omg allll that was free?? lucky duck!! and this salad is seriously gorgeous! And I cant garden due to a pup of mine who likes to eat my veggies [I could kill her] but maybe one day when I get a place of my own!
can you please come cook for me?!
Choc Chip Uru
It is winter right now but I don’t care – I need this gorgeous salad in my life 😀
Choc Chip Uru
Matt @ Runner Savvy
free! gosh! sounds fun!!!! And your food always looks so delicious. Can’t wait to see you master the training for the black apron! 🙂
rawr!! why does it change to afm15 idk … sigh. long day. haha
Haha!! I always know it’s you, at least your photo pops up with it! 😉
GiGi Eats Celebrities
Do you think that pesto would taste good over the cookies I should NOT be baking!? LOL!
WHAT DID WE DISCUSS ABOUT BAKING!?
GiGi Eats Celebrities
LMFAO – exactly – I AM ADDICTED… Just like I am addicted to “something else” I need to go to rehab for! LOL!
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Wonderful harvest!!! There is seriously nothing like garden fresh produce. Especially when you can pick it yourself. Looks lovely 🙂
The Vegan 8
Omg that salad is my kind of salad…sounds delicious, especially with all of that amazing, gorgeous pesto all over it!! I’m super jealous of your friend’s garden and all the free produce you got. Score!
Talk about a score. Um can you say jackpot?!
So I take it you’ll be visiting this friend often this summer?
Love the use of the produce. You should definitely look into growing your own. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing, yet I’m having a blast giving it a try and sometimes I actually get rewarding for my haphazard efforts.
We always do a small garden of tomatoes and cucumbers! In the past we’ve had lettuce and other veggies too! Plus sometimes strawberries!
Beautiful courgettes and greens! I saw some zucchini flowers in Torino and they look crazy pretty! Did you use a bread-maker machine to make bread? What a lovely salad, Britt, love walnut & greens pesto! I’ve never gardened before, but I love shopping at organic markets and farmers’ markets!