Posts tagged ‘tomatoes’
This weekend feels like the end of summer. The weather is still warm, but it is changing, as is the light, which is thinner now and less intense. Shadows are more pronounced and I see them invading sunny places earlier in the day. I don’t mind – there is something beautiful about the dance of tree leaves in the shade.
The plants of summer are still growing – yellow impatiens, a pot of blue forget-me-nots grown from seed that are just catching their stride, green tomatoes, mint, oregano and chives – but they’re slowing down. Two strawberry plants joined the garden this year and I’m pleased about that: from what I’ve seen in other people’s yards, they don’t wither away in the cold. I’m hoping the Asian greens will stay with me, too, if I don’t eat through them before winter arrives. Gai lan (Chinese broccoli) is the one below with the beautiful white flowers.
I’m looking forward to spending the afternoon outside on the patio in my wicker lounger chair saying farewell to summer and enjoying the beginning of fall. Next weekend I’ll find a garden store so I can plant kale, chrysanthemums, and winter pansies.
It’s that time of year again. Green tomatoes on the windowsill time. Do you have them lined up on your windows, too?
At lunch today I did what I often do, which is to walk from my corporate office job down to the beautiful beach. I sat down on a bench on the seawall, and after about 10 minutes I was too hot. I got up and walked a few minutes further and settled myself against a piece of driftwood on the beach proper, near the water. Much better. My sandwich and I were quite happy to have such a wonderful problem.
It is downright chilly in the morning and the night now that mid-September has arrived, and I think this is the last hurrah for my tomato plants. I’ve done all right this year – a steady harvest of two or three cherry tomatoes every day for the last month, and I have another tomato plant with larger fruit that occasionally produces a tomato worth slicing.
I am beginning to wonder about the green tomatoes hanging on the plants. The minute I see a tinge of yellow, they are whisked inside where they can finish ripening in the warm, sunny window of my studio and not draw away any energy from the other tomatoes on the plant that still need more time. This is working well so far, but I am a little sad watching new tomato nubbins just beginning to form. I don’t think they’re going to have the chance to meet my sandwich or go to the beach.
As you might remember, I recently tackled what I long felt was a daunting recipe: homemade gnocchi. I’ve made it three times now and as long as you can summon your patience it is easy to make these beautiful potatoey pillows.
Cooking is a huge source of relaxation to me and this recipe really fits with that. There is lots of meditative prep work to do preparing the dough, an endless array of choices for dressing the gnocchi and the satisfaction of sitting down to something special and handmade.
We had this olive and tomato gnocchi last weekend. We weren’t doing anything special, but it was Saturday and there is more time for cooking. We spent the day painting the main floor of our house (a beautiful robin’s egg blue) and puttering around outside in the garden (finally a warm weekend!). There is a celebratory feeling about both of those things, so I thought it was a good night for a special dinner.
Olives are a wonderful match with a simple tomato sauce, giving it a good zing of salty, tangy flavour.
Tomato and olive gnocchi
Serves 4 (at least)
Doesn’t that sound easy and delicious? It is! I made the gnocchi from dough I had frozen in the freezer since I made more than we could eat the last time. This works perfectly fine, just defrost the dough thoroughly and use extra flour when you are making the little gnocchis.
Is fake bacon sufficiently inspiring as a blog topic? I don’t know, except to say look at this beautiful veggie BLT. Actually it’s a FBLAATC sandwich – fake bacon, lettuce, arugula (still growing in my garden even in January), avocado, tomato and cheese sandwich. Not quite as catchy as BLT, but every bit as good if not better.
We hosted a dinner party on New Year’s Eve and with that I decided to tackle a long held goal: to make homemade gnocchi. I consulted several recipe books for different variations on how to make the actual gnocchi pasta and landed on Mario Batali’s version, along with a sauce inspired by my affection for chanterelle mushrooms.