Saturday, August 4, 2007

garden's bounty

After many tries with plants such as squash and peppers, the real success stories of our backyard garden are the tomatoes and basil. This year my parents sent us an Earth Box as a gift-its a a container that produces huge plants and lots of tomatoes. We have so many tomatoes that we are having tomato salads every other day and still giving them anyway to anyone that comes near our backyard. Once I figure out how to upload pictures I will take some pictures of the plants.

The best part of gardening is including Jove in the process. He is my official tomato picker, but he tells me the basil is too hard to pick. He does help me turn the basil into pesto, which is one of his favorite foods.

So, if you have lots of tomatoes and basil here are some great ways to use them up.

Tomato Salad
2-3 big tomatoes or 10-15 little ones cut into bite-size pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 oz crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Pesto Sauce
2-3 cups loosely packed basil leaves- rinsed and taken off the stem
1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (toast 'em in a fry pan on the stove, just don't forget about them or walk away or you will set off your smoke detector like I have many times)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup water
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste

put all ingredients in the blender and grind, this requires stopping and stirring a few times to make sure everything gets ground. use the sauce on cooked pasta or as a sandwich spread

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