We’ve reached a bittersweet milestone in our garden; after a couple months of tomato harvesting frenzy (and canning in self-defense before the tomatoes engulf us!), I finally took down our tomato plants. That means we now have a plethora of green tomatoes to use! Kevin canned a big batch of the green tomato-based relish chow chow, which we will savor with black eyed peas throughout the winter. We’ve grilled some green tomatoes, allowed others to ripen, and I used them in this tasty and filling chili!
The green tomatoes add a nice bit of tartness to the rich and savory flavor balance of Z&B Chili Seasoning, making for a warming yet bright dish to say goodbye to summer and usher in sweater weather! And if your beans are already cooked, it’s a really quick meal to throw together.
This chili is especially good paired with Chesapeake Roasted Okra (see below!), using Z&B’s new Chesapeake Blend. The complex coastal flavor of this classic blend is intense yet really versatile. It’s great in chowder and in this crazy-good Parsnip Mash, but roasting okra is one of my favorite things to do with it! And don’t worry, okra-phobes, it isn’t slimy, just delicious!
These were my ingredients for the chili:
· Splash of olive oil
· 1 medium onion, diced
· 2 cloves garlic, minced
· 2 tablespoons Z&B Chili Seasoning (you could also use some Z&B Firestorm Blend here if you like heat!)
· ½ pound bell and/or poblano peppers (or use some hotter peppers if you like), diced
· 1½ pound green tomatoes, diced
· ¾ pound ripe tomatoes, diced
· 3 cups cooked black beans (or 2 15.5 oz cans, rinsed and drained)
· 1 tsp salt
· Cilantro or parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)
· Chesapeake Roasted Okra (instructions below)
I sautéed the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until the onions were translucent. Then I added the Chili Seasoning and peppers and cooked for a few minutes over medium heat. I added the green tomatoes and cooked for another few minutes. Then I added the ripe tomatoes, black beans, and salt, and kept cooking until the beans were hot. I served it over brown rice with a little parsley and Chesapeake Roasted Okra on the side. Yum!
This recipe serves about 4.
To make Chesapeake Roasted Okra:
I washed and trimmed the stems off 2 pounds of okra and tossed in a drizzle of olive oil, 2 teaspoons Z&B Chesapeake Blend, and about ¾ teaspoon salt. I roasted the okra on a baking sheet at 450° for about 15 minutes.
Fellow gardeners, how are your gardens winding down? What are your favorite ways to use end-of-season vegetables to celebrate the coming of autumn?
Recently, Kevin was the featured chef for a food demo at the Franklin County Farmers’ Market, and he made an ultimate farmers’ market dish: Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry! He started his morning at the market by going from farmer to farmer, shopping for ingredients for the curry. Zelda & Bramble’s Thai Yellow Curry Seasoning brought together the flavors of summer squash, bell peppers, green beans, cabbage, okra, scallions, and even blue potatoes, as well as basil and cilantro from our fellow vendors Salad Days Farm, Happy Jack’s Farm, Blackberry Heaven, and Cedar Ring Greens. With the help of volunteer Amy, Kevin chopped and stir-fried up a storm, while samples flew off the table! (Not literally, don’t worry.)
Folks were impressed by how easy it was to prepare such a flavorful dish, and how flexible it can be based on what vegetables are in season. Many were excited for some new inspiration in their farmers’ market shopping and summertime cooking. And more than one person said that it was the first time they had actually enjoyed okra! I’d call that a success!
When you make this recipe yourself, play, experiment, have fun, and try something new! That’s half the fun of cooking, after all!