Summertime, the salad garden's about shot, but the real veggies are coming on; we're getting some out of our yard and lots more from the farmer's market up at the corner.

The other night we had so many veggies around that, at Mary's request, we had an all-vegetable dinner, preparing two big dishes of two vegetables each, done not in the modern raw-crisp style but good old-fashioned long, slow cookery with a little dab of butter to give it flavor.

For the first dish, I boiled about a pound of pole beans (wide green beans) in salted water with a small onion and a couple of cloves of garlic for a good 45 minutes. For the last 20 minutes, I threw in two servings of small red new potatoes (the larger ones cut in half). Just before serving time, I drained off the liquid, added black pepper and a tablespoon of butter and let it sit over very low heat for a minute or two until the butter melted through the vegetables.

The second dish featured a couple of dozen tiny white onions about the size of large marbles. I heated a small amount of olive oil in a sautee pan and browned minced garlic and dried-red pepper flakes, then added the onions, turned them to coat with oil and start browning; then added a scant amount of water (1/2 cup?), lowered heat, and let them cook for about 20 minutes. Added one fat sliced summer squash, salt, and a little more water, covered and let cook for 20 more minutes until the onions and squash were very soft. Salt to taste, remove cover, raise heat to medium and add a tablespoon of butter. Let it simmer until the butter melts and the remaining water is just about gone, and serve.

We certainly could have had a meat dish with this meal, but we really didn't need it. Even the butter doesn't really count when you have so many veggies to make a righteously healthy dinner ...