Saturday, August 28, 2010
The Swell Season, Tomato-Feta Pasta Salad & Growing Things: Update
There are few things I love more than fall in New England. Being a mere 27 days away from it, I can barely contain myself! September brings the start to three months of unadulterated magic.
Oh sure, there's nothing like the bite of your first summer tomato grown in a pot (or from the ground) in your own yard, and other seasonal fruits and vegetables sprung from the same earth you call home, sweetest under the surrender of sun. I would never argue that. However, for me, that's where the allure of the burning season ends.
Only weeks away from the season where, leaves, in a final act of rebellion against their inevitable fall, rage into red, yellow and orange, and fade into the ground from which they began only to be reborn into spring two seasons from now, I am antsy. I am impatient with eager anticipation.
Nothing...NOTHING is more exhilarating than the wind dancing; The air, fig and harmony upon the dawn of winter; Perfume, thick and pregnant with glowing maple. September, October, if I should ever have a daughter I will name her 'November'. The swell season is nearly here. The commencement of once and sometimes twice daily workouts--something I dread in the summer but adore come fall. And the return of *Jason Mraz Sunday's. Sing. Dance. Eat. Rejoice!
*Jason Mraz Sunday's are characterized by dancing and singing along to Jason Mraz's entire discography and are primarily exclusive to Sunday's. During which time phone calls are not responded to. Sometimes ice cream may be involved.
Tomato-Feta Whole Grain Pasta Salad
Recipe Courtesy and Adapted from Ina Garten
I was excited to use the Homemade Feta from Last week's Post, Here, and home grown basil, parsley and cherry tomatoes to make this very tasty salad.
1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) whole grain pasta (or white) (I started with two cups dry)
Kosher or Sea salt
Good olive oil
1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced
1 pound good feta cheese, medium-diced (I used homemade)
6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
" For the dressing:
5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 garlic clove, diced
1 teaspoon capers, drained
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup packed flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup sweet basil, thinly sliced
In large pot of boiling salted water, add 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and pasta. Cook until al dente, or to your liking. Pour into colander to drain and set aside to cool.
In large bowl, add cooled pasta, tomatoes, olives, feta and diced sun-dried tomatoes.
" For Dressing:
In food processor, add sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt and pepper and, process until combined and tomatoes are broken up. Add dressing to pasta along with basil and parsley, and gently stir until completely combined.
Maybe some of you will recall my first Growing Things post, Here. This year we planted fruits and vegetables, a lot of which were new to us, and had very good success despite transplanting some things late in the season and our unfamiliarity with other things.
One morning last week I opened my front door and was greeted with a surprise, not only had one of the lavender sprigs grown four inches, but it also bloomed.
In Growing Things One, Here, these cucumbers looked hopeless. I transplanted and showered them with love. They gratefully recovered and grew strong and delicious.
In addition to plum tomatoes, we also grew yellow cherries. They were sweet and the tastiest tomatoes I've ever had.
The flesh of home grown bell peppers is usually thinner and the taste is more vibrant than most of their store-bought counterpart.
Everyday I would treat myself to freshly picked strawberries as I gardened.
Though the jalapeno's weren't transplanted until late in the season, we're going to get at least one good batch.