Monday, August 6, 2007

Eat What You Grow!

Within a few days, I expect to have a few more different tomato varieties to show. In the meantime, we've been eating the Super Bush and Azoychka tomatoes as they ripen. So far, we've been able to keep up with production.

Here we have dinner ingredients from a dinner last week. This is my first artichoke picked from my own plant! Of my six plants, all now have buds on them. Also included is a Super Bush tomato, six fingerling potatoes, and a bulb of garlic all from my garden.

Dinner ingredients scrubbed clean and looking pretty.

Gardening isn't all pretty pictures. Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty before you can taste the fruits of your labor. I had extra seed potatoes left over after I had filled my designated areas for planting potatoes this spring. I decided to put them in a container that I drilled drainage holes into and filled with soil. After the plants started growing, I filled the container further with straw. These containers are much easier for finding "new" potatoes when the urge strikes.

Those aren't my dirty fingers! Although they do resemble them, they are fingerling potatoes, aptly named.

Here is the dinner I made with those ingredients! Chicken stuffed with tomato and garlic, pan cooked potatoes with lemon and olives, and a steamed artichoke for sharing.

More ingredients than not are from my garden. Satisfying in more ways than one.

Here we have our tomato salad for dinner last night. This is my new favorite! For this I used Azoychka and Super Bush tomatoes, basil, Italian flat leaf parsley, and garlic from my garden. It's a concoction made with balsamic vinegar that is reduced down to a syrupy consistency. The reduction produces a thick sweet sauce. While that cools, mix olive oil, garlic, green and black olives, basil, parsley, black pepper and capers. Spoon the olive mixture over sliced tomatoes. Then pour the balsamic reduction over the whole thing. I let this sit at room temperature after assembling it before serving. It's sweet, it's salty, it's tomato heaven.

Tomato Salad... delicious!

With 1.5 pounds of Viva Italia Tomatoes, I was able to make Roasted Tomato Soup. A family favorite, we rarely have leftovers. The only soup I eat in summer! We don't have a picture since my anxious dining companions were awaiting it's completion.

Viva Italia are paste tomatoes. A designation given to meaty, less juicy, less seedy tomatoes that are good for use in cooking.

Okay, I admit it, I'm an over grower. My eyes are bigger than my garden and I grow way more than we can consume. These tomatoes are easy to share with friends and neighbors. I picked another batch of cherry tomatoes the same size two days later. These extra tomatoes will get added to the pot when I start making sauce soon. There's no such thing as extra tomatoes around here.

At all hours of the day, we snack on the ever abundant cherry tomatoes.

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