A few weeks ago we discussed what to do when your frugal garden produces too much bounty. This week, we are talking about what to do when your frugal garden produces too little bounty. I think everyone has had this problem – you know when the green beans are almost done, and you just have 5 beans? what are you going to do with 5 beans? Or when you have half a giant squash wasting away in your fridge and don’t know what to do with it? What about all those veggie scraps we thoughtlessly throw out nearly every day?
Here in the Silly Simple household our simple solution is to create a freeze-able vegetable stock. This recipe is based on one I read about in Urban Pantry: Tips & Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable & Seasonal Kitchen.
1 clove garlic
Vermouth (about 1 shot’s worth–this is my favorite part)
* Note about Vegetable Scraps: The reason this recipe is simple is that you use vegetable scraps from your kitchen that would otherwise go to waste. You can not only use things like green beans, and squash from your garden, but also too small/too few carrots, shavings from vegetables (like carrots). Don’t go to the store and buy veggies for this project (except for onions, you need the onion).
- Roughly chop veggie scraps and onion, place in large stock pot with olive oil and allow to cook on medium-high heat. DO NOT stir the veggies, just let them cook and turn brown in the pan for 20-30 minutes.
- When the veggies are clearly browned and little bits have started sticking to the bottom of the pan, remove the pan from the heat and poor in a splash of vermouth– use this to deglaze and scrape up the little bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Cover the vegetables with 2 inches of water and return to the heat. Add in the bay leaf, herbs and salt/pepper to taste.
- Cook for another 1.5 hours. I prefer a thick condensed vegetable stock one that can be frozen easily, so I usually try to boil away as much of the water as I can.
- Pour the stock through a strainer to remove the vegetable bits, and allow to cool in the fridge. Then pour into ice cube trays and freeze.
- Expect this recipe to keep in your freezer for 4-6 months.