Monday, May 30, 2011

The Garden is In

All Manners of Tomatoes

After a long delay due to rain and being very patient to harden off our seedlings, the garden is finally in and we're really excited.
This year, we've decided to have some fun. Our CSA, Nature's Route Farm is so fantastic. The prices are reasonable, the amount of food is generous and we've realized it can free us up to have some fun in the garden, instead of planting out of necessity. We did away with garden plans and schematics and threw in the types of vegetables we love to indulge in. Over 20 tomato plants went in, from a couple heirloom varieties, to Roma, cherry tomatoes and sweet clusters.

Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplant Sharing Space
We really like to utilize every square inch, so tomatoes, peppers and eggplant share space with peonies and thrive in the nice, south sun and the warmth of the house.

Our Garden Patch


The rest of the garden has lettuce, three varieties of beets (including some heirloom yellow ones, yay!), a French pumpkin, a fancy type of zucchini and our raspberry canes at the back that are still in their infancy. We used the support beams for the grape vines to grow climbing beans and that's all. A much scaled back version of last summer's garden, but given life with a toddler and growing a mini-locavore, we need simplicity. Who knew vegetable gardening could be so liberating!

There's only one dish you can make to celebrate spring and it's delights:

Pasta Primavera
Truthfully, I've only had Pasta Primavera once. With a gluten intolerance, I rarely eat at Italian restaurants and was delighted when one restaurant finally served gluten free noodles. They served their Ode To Spring pasta in a tomato, not cream, base. I prefer this and find it very refreshing and light. It was delicious and the best part - Honey Bear ATE it! All those vegetables! We actually sat down and together ate a meal that didn't require a million substitutions. Happy Spring!

Pasta Primavera
Serves: 4

1/2 recipe of basic tomato sauce (recipe follows)
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3/4 a bundle of asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 red onion, diced
salt and pepper
Parent Additions: parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes

Throw everything together and simmer until vegetables have softened and add to pasta.

Basic Tomato Sauce

This was borne out of some Pinot Noir that had to be used up, as Jeff wasn't fond of it. It's fast, delicious and versatile.

Basic Tomato Sauce

2 onions, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, diced
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
1 cup of red wine
2-28oz cans of diced tomatoes
small can of tomato paste (optional)
2 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp brandy

1. In a large pot, heat oil over low-medium heat and sautee onions for 10 minutes.
2. Add in diced garlic and basil and sautee together for 2 minutes.
3. Add in wine and reduce by half.
4. Add in tomatoes and seasonings and if you're in a pinch for time, add in your tomato paste. Finish with the splash of brandy and lemon juice.

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