the gregarious homebody

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Harvest

The tomatoes are coming! 
The tomatoes are coming!

I'm so excited.  Tonight's dinner, with the exception of the pasta, the olive oil and the salt, came from my garden! I love that.  The basil plants have been bursting and the tomato plants have had a crap-load of green ones for awhile but tonight I could finally pick a few and a cucumber*Squeal!*

Behold, the mighty harvest:

Okay, so it's not exactly "mighty" but any gardener will tell you that the first of anything is downright thrilling.  Especially for the novice gardener who not only cannot remember what the heirloom tomatoes are called that she is growing but is also still astounded that seeds grow  into what is usually bought in the supermarket.  Amazing.

So this is what I made:

No, that's not *skin on top of the's shaved parmesan

It's practically a non-recipe but here's what I did anyway:

Gnocchi Pomodoro

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
a huge handful of fresh basil, chiffonade-style
2 large tomatoes, chunked
Salt and pepper
 Gnocchi that has been boiled in salted water and is about to float to the top

Saute the garlic slowly over medium heat until good-smelling.  Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Simmer until the release a good amount of juice and then add basil.  Simmer for awhile until very mushy.  Puree in a blender if your annoying children refuse tomato chunks.  Season with salt and pepper. (I would also add a dash of crushed red pepper if said children were not eating with us).

Add cooked gnocchi to the mix, letting it simmer awhile together.  
Add some cold cooked chopped broccoli from last night's dinner to add some more veg.
Then, to top it all off, use a vegetable peeler to shave some parm from the hunk.

And stuff is really growing.  I got my cucumbers planted (from seed) pretty late but it looks like I'm probably going to have to make some {refrigerator pickles} so none go to waste. And those cucumbers are DELICIOUS. So delicious in fact that I didn't adorn them with anything even though I usually make a nice vinegary cucumber salad.  They were delicious plain, right off the vine (although I did peel them because those suckers are SPIKY).

But that's not all.  I made something else delicious that I hesitated to post because NOTHING came from my garden to make it (although the raspberries were from Judy's--thanks, Jud!).  But this is so yummy and (bonus!) pretty, that I feel it is a public service to spread the word.  

 from Domesticali

 See?  Pretty!

The recipe is not my own. I got it {here} so I invite you to pop over to get it.  Even though it makes something really refreshing for summer drinking, I think it's so pretty that I'll probably make some bottles to give for holiday gifts. And, when added to seltzer, it makes this:

 refreshing, delicious, and pretty!

The only change I will make next time I make it (and there will be a next time!) is that I think I'm going to add more lemon and bring it to a boil on the stove and then let it steep like Ali says to.  I think I'd like to get more flavor out of the lemon and ginger.  Other than that, it's perfect for a hot sticky day after you've just weeded the goddamn thistles in your vegetable garden and want to sit back and enjoy the bounty that is yours. Awesome.

*Yeah, The Girl asked if the carefully shaved cheese was skin.  The boy asked if it was a carefully-placed piece of paper towel.  Nice.


mamacita said...

So jealous. Our tomatoes gave up in June.

What gnocchi do you like?

jen said...

What a bummer about your tomatoes. Too hot? We had a tomato blight last year....beautiful plants, tons of tomatoes and then suddenly everything on the plant got black. It was weird.

To tell the truth, the gnocchi was not that great. It was super gummy. Not sure if I undercooked them (but they were floating! That's what the bag said!!) or what. Not sure I want to tell you the brand (if I could remember it). The sauce was fantastic though so it saved the day.


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