Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Late yesterday afternoon while walking through the garden, my mind on dinner, I noticed some yellow and red cherry tomatoes. Running back to the house for a picking basket, I then picked about 2 pints ( the very last) of the small red and yellow tomatoes. I also picked a few mildly hot peppers, sweet peppers, 2 ears of corn,some basil and parsley. At first I thought of just making a quick saute served over pasta, and then thought of oven roasting all of the veggies along with some garlic. After all, the tomatoes are not at their sweetest, so why not coax some sweetness out of them by a slow oven roast?

To cut or not to cut?
I was afraid if I didn't cut them they would just turn to mush, and implode. So I halved the tomatoes, cut the kernels off the corn cob ,diced the peppers, minced some garlic and herbs, and mixed them all in a bowl with some olive oil ( just enough to lightly coat all the veggies), and into a pan they went.

They baked( uncovered) in a 375 oven for about 45 minutes, till they were lightly brown, and the kitchen was filled with the wonderful aroma of garlic and tomatoes.

When I cook pasta I like to think about the sauce and pick the proper shape. I love campanelle, and orchhetti to cradle the pieces of vegetables. Campanelle was on hand, so the choice was easy
Right before the pasta was done I took out about 2 cups of the pasta water to help make a sauce.
To finish the whole dish, I drained the pasta, put it back in the cooking pot, threw in the roasted veggies, 1/2 a cup of grated Parmesan, and enough water to make a sauce.

Then I put the cover on it so it could rest a minute. I then gave it a stir, added a bit more of the hot pasta water, and dished it into bowls.
Any veggies will work for this recipe.
There is still time for fresh produce. Go to your local farmer's market. By something fresh, and support your local grower!
As Barbara Crooker says in her wonderful poem
" Vegetable Love":
Quick, before the frost puts out its green light,
praise these vegetables,
earth's voluptuaries,
Praise what comes from the dirt

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mid September Gardens

The gardening season left me rather speechless. It was long growing season full of sadness... the loss of lettuce to hail, and a whole crop of our various tomatoes ( cherry, plum and regular) to blight. Not just the lost income, but all the work that went into growing them. But now, it's mid September. The days are shorter, and the weather has been crisp, clear, and sunny, and I feel like my speech is returning. In many ways it is the most glorious time of the year. All the crops are either harvested or still in the ground.. no more planting, except for some cover cropping. The shortness of the days make the blue sky somehow more intense, the annual flowers more brilliant.

The garden marches on. The shallots have all been harvested and are curing in the greenhouse.

We've been harvesting loads of huge red peppers ( a fact not many know: red peppers are ripe green peppers ), and soon we'll fire roasting them for salsa, and for drying. Its been very dry, so we've been watering all the lettuces and broccoli.
Along with this stretch of fine weather has come a barn full of beautiful hay. All the rains of June and July led to verdant. lush hay fields. And that led to sweet smelling green hay, and lush pastures too- the cows are still out to pasture, and will be for a while.
It is such a wonderful time of year. And, I'm so glad to be writing about all this again.