Garden Inspired Dishes

It’s that time of year when gardens are in full bloom and the produce is plenty.  The only problem is, you can only make a tomato mozzarella salad so many times.  But have no fear, I have some great recipes for you to use the spoils of your garden (with maybe some help from your local farmer’s market, too).  Here are my absolute favorite garden inspired dishes:



So, are you ready for my family’s famous shish kabob recipe?  My mom would kill me if she knew I was sharing this with you.  But then again, she isn’t technologically savvy enough to follow my blog. It the perfect way to spice up any and all types of meat, as well as highlight the spoils from your garden.


¼ cup soy sauce

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons Worcester sauce

Handful of minced parsley

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ cup oil


I’m not going to lie…this marinade is like MAGIC.  Bathe steak, chicken, pork, seafood, your right hand (just kidding) in it for at least three hours but preferably overnight.  It is so incredibly delicious.


As for the kabobs, be sure to make a separate kabob for meat than veggies.  Yes, I know it makes for a less pretty Instagram photo, but it ensures that your meat and veggies will both cook thoroughly without burning.

For the veggies, I love to slice chunks of pepper, pineapples, zucchini and mushrooms and put them together.  Add thinner cuts of onion (since it takes longer to cook) and cherry tomatoes.  Avoid very thick and solid veggies such as potatoes since they tend to take FOREVER to cook and then their veggie kabob buddies will get overcooked and burned.


Here in the Midwest there is a surplus of corn, and by this point in the summer we are sick of regular old corn on the cob. This corn fruit salsa is perfect to serve with chips, on top of fish or chicken, or even on top of scrambled eggs for a flavorful breakfast.


Corn cut off the cob of 4 different ears

1 cup diced red onion

1 ½ cup diced red and orange peppers

1 cup diced tomatoes

2 diced peaches/apricots/apples  (simply go with whatever is in season)

½ cup minced cilantro

Juice of two limes

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together all ingredients in a grill pan.  Saute with olive oil for 5-7 minutes.  Serve with chips, on top of any protein such as meat or fish, or simply as a side dish.



Is your basil plant going crazy?  Mine too.  So trim some leaves before they start to flower and make this delicious pesto pasta (sans nuts since so many of our friends suffer from peanut allergies). It takes five minutes or less to whip up and easy and fresh pasta, which will keep for up to one week in the fridge if in an airtight container.


2 cups fresh basil

1 cup fresh kale

3-4 cloves garlic

½ cup Parmesan cheese

½ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

In a blender, mix together the basil, kale and garlic.  Slowly add the cheese and olive oil.  Add seasonings, and add more if necessary.  Pluck a few fresh tomatoes from the garden and half them.  Cook angel hair pasta for eight minutes.  Reserve about ½ cup of cooking water from the pasta to add to the pesto.  Slowly spoon the hot pasta into the pesto—not the other way around.


Try this new spin on the tradition caprese salad. Adding the salty & sweet combo of fruit and prosciutto definitely takes this dish up a notch.

1/2 cup fresh basil

2 sliced tomatoes

2 cups sliced fresh mozzarella

2 sliced peaches

1 cup sliced prosciutto

1 tablespoon honey

Salt and Pepper

Arrange the tomato, basil, and mozzarella in a line, and then arrange the peach, prosciutto and mozzarella in a line next to it. Drizzle the tomato group with olive oil and honey over the peach assortment. Finally, give a healthy seasoning of salt and pepper over the entire dish. Enjoy!




Hope that these recipes provide some variety to your garden inspired meal and provide some last meals out on the patio before the leaves start to fall.

Looking for other recipes?  

Bon Appetite!
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  1. Lauren Harmon says

    First I need to start the garden, but I hope to eventually make these dishes from my garden! Thanks for sharing the healthy, delicious inspiration to get my garden started. 🙂

  2. Elizabeth O. says

    I normally make salsa and pesto, although I’m a bit sad because the basil we’re growing recently died. Ugh.

  3. Kristen says

    I am doing a kabob bar for my friends wedding shower ( in the burbs) next week. I am gonna have to take that recipe!

  4. Maria says

    We have huge basil plants in our backyard and I usually make a pesto and use it with pasta, or instead of sauce on pizza. The rest I freeze.

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