Archive for the ‘Tomatoes’ Category

Pasta with Sauce of Uncooked Tomatoes and Basil

Monday, May 25th, 2015

Everybody must have a favorite version of this easy supper for a hot summer night. Here’s mine:

Tomatoes fresh from the garden
Generous amount of olive oil, maybe about 1/3 cup
Salt & Pepper
Linguini or spaghetti

Optional: minced garlic added to tomato mixture, crumbled Feta or fresh mozzarella cubes as a topping before serving

Dice the tomatoes into a bowl. Add a generous amount of torn fresh basil leaves. Add salt (this draws juices from the tomatoes and makes part of the “sauce”). Add a generous amount of olive oil — it becomes the second part of the sauce. If you are using it, add the minced garlic.

Let this sit on your kitchen counter for a couple of hours to exchange flavors while you sip iced tea in front of the fan.

When you are ready to eat, cook the pasta and drain, then stir hot pasta into the tomato mixture. The heat from the pasta warms the sauce and releases the fragrance of the basil.

For a more substantial meal, crumble feta or toss fresh mozzarella cubes on top of the pasta.

Green Beans & Potatoes in a Thin Tomato Broth

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

When I first joined the garden in 2008, I shared half a plot with Linda Marucci. Linda gave me this recipe from her mother, who used to prepare green beans and potatoes this way for her family. To me, it is the ultimate comfort food and I make it often when green beans are plentiful. Simple and delicious!

Green beans cut in 1 inch pieces

Potatoes, cut in a 1 inch dice (peeled or not as desired)

1 or 2 tomatoes

Splash of olive oil

Salt and pepper

Skin the tomatoe(s) if you like, then chop, add enough water and simmer until you get a light tomato broth. Season with salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil.

Add the green beans and potatoes and continue simmering until done.



Technicolor Salads

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

The gorgeous colors of fresh fruits and vegetables are great for composing “designer salads”, but the colors are also an index of healthy phytonutrients which are a hot topic in research these days.

Anthocyanins are red/blue/purple — think beets, red grapes (and red wine), strawberries, cherries, red cabbage, pomegranates, plums, cranberries, blackberries, blue berries and raspberries as well as dark leafy greens like chard, kale & collards (the red pigment is hidden by the chlorophyll). In plants, the anthocyanins absorb visible and UV light to minimize oxidative damage from solar radiation. In animals and humans who eat plants, the anthocyanins protect against oxidative damage caused by free radicals. They also reduce inflammation, protect against cancer…

Lycopene is red — think tomato, watermelon, pink grapefruit as well as apricots and pink guavas. They reduce the risk of several types of cancer.

Carotenoids are bright orange/yellow, present in carrots, pumpkins, mangos, apricots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes. They are antioxidants that also help improve communication between cells.

Lutins are green but considered a sub-class of carotenoids. They are present in collards, kale, peas, spinach & romaine lettuce. The reduce the risk of macular degeneration of the retina.

So go wild with color in your salads — technicolor combinations of veggies equals healthy! But don’t stop there. It turns out that herbs are packed with curative compounds, too — so a tablespoon of chopped basil, parsley, sage, thyme or tarragon will not only taste delightful but pack a nutritional punch as well.

Elizabeth Coleman’s Pasta with Pesto & Cherry Tomatoes

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Early this morning, Elizabeth Coleman was in her plot picking cherry tomatoes and basil and getting ready for a trip to North Carolina. When I happened by, she gave me a favorite recipe from her mother which she planned to make the first night at the beach. It sounded so good and so easy that I made it for lunch today.

* Pesto (Elizabeth makes her own, but you can also buy it ready-made from Claudio in the Italian Market)

* Pasta (I got something called “festoni conditi” from Claudio’s, which is a big beefy pasta full of nooks and crannies and colored with tomato, spinach, beet, and squid ink powders, but almost any pasta would work. I’m not sure what kind Elizabeth uses — she didn’t say)

* Cherry tomatoes

Cook the pasta till al dente and drain. Melt a generous dollup of pesto into the hot pasta and sprinkle with lots of halved cherry tomatoes. When I tried it for lunch today, I garnished it with a bit of fresh basil from the garden and some toasted pine nuts. It was delicious.

Lebanese Beans in Oil

Friday, July 1st, 2011

A recipe I have been making every summer for all of my adult life. It is a cross between a condiment, a salad, and a veggie side. It can also function as an appetizer if you serve it with wedges of warmed pita bread, and is perfect for late-night refrigerator raiding.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup (or more) chopped onions
3 cloves (or more) garlic, coarsely chopped
1 lb fresh garden green beans, left whole
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns or to taste, coarsely smashed with a hammer or cracked in mortar/pestle
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup water or tomato juice
Fresh lemon juice from 1 or 2 lemons

Sautee the onions and garlic in the olive oil until transparent. Add the green beans and continue gently sauteeing until the beans change color to a bright green (do not rush this step, it seems to concentrate the flavor of the beans). Add salt, cracked peppercorns, tomatoes, and water. Cover and cook over low heat until the beans are tender. Remove from heat, cool slightly, add lemon juice to taste and adjust salt and pepper. It should have a nice lemony zing.

Serve lukewarm or cold. It will keep in the fridge and gets even better the second day.