My garden was a bit of a disaster in 2022. Admittedly, mostly due to my work travel and not being able to check on it and care for it like I should have. As I was working through the 2022 Spring and Summer gardening season, I was pretty frustrated with myself and my garden.
Of course weather patterns did not help, and low and behold, 2022 was a bad tomato year for everyone. Our weather went from too cold to too hot within a week, followed by a 6 week draught, followed by floods and hurricane season. All this combined did not make for a good tomato harvest. AT ALL!
Our peppers, okra and roselle did wonderfully however. Which was my saving grace after a rough gardening year. I was at a point where I decided that I will simply not do a spring garden in 2023. Well, scratch that! There is no way I can look at an empty garden and not feel guilty or cheated. So, off we go to start seeds.
The Harvest Before the Freeze
Before the icy air moved in with the arctic blast, we needed to cover our crops which are still growing and harvest what we can. We currently have an assortment of brassica (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages and kale) growing. In addition we have some arugula, which would do ok with a frost, but not a hard freeze. So, off we go to safe what can be saved! We cover with sheets and straw, we water in, we wrap pool noodles around small tree trunks, we harvest citrus fruit and the greens we can.
Now what? It's not enought to set up for canning, and too much to eat for one family meal. Hmmm, I guess we will need to figure some things out and do some creative cooking.
Have you ever tried Arugula on pizza?
My absolute favorite pizza EVER is thin crust with prociutto and arugula. If you have never tried it, give it a go! You can simply grab some instant dough from your local grocer, or can go all out and make a sourdough crust. More on sourdough some other time. Here we are talking abour pizza!
Once you have your dough rolled out and your oven pre-heated to around 400F, cover with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh pepper, then slather some tomato paste or pizza sauce onto the dough, sprinkle with fresh mozzarella, basil and oregano.
Then add your prociutto and arugula, as much as you like, add some garlic and a bit extra mozzarella. Bake to perfection for about 12-15 minutes to a nice golden brown. DELICIOSO!
The beauty here is that you are able to easily make all the basics ahead in bulk for quick access. I like to use my own pizza dough. It's as easy as making bulk dough and freezing it for future use. In addition, I make my own pizza and pasta sauce each year, and it's simple enough to can enough away for delicious pasta and pizza nights with the family.
For simplicity and ease, you can also just grab some canned goods from your favorite local grocer.
- pre-made pizza dough
- 1 can tomato paste or pizza sauce
- sliced prociutto
- 1 bundle arugula
- mozzarella (fresh, shredded or powdered)
- sliced or diced garlice to taste
- basil and oregano to taste
The best thing about pizza is the simplicity. You can make it as simple or as complicated and fancy as you like and customize your toppings to your liking. It's a quick and filling meal, especially paired with a good mixed salad and is sure to make everyone in the family a happy camper!
Happy home cooking!