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Green Spaces in Rural Places

Harvest Recipes

This harvest has been extra long for me. That’s because the crop is so poor we decided we couldn’t afford to hire our usual custom cutters (and we are sorry they are hurting, too) to cut a third of it for us. It’s just Dennis and me doing it all. We cut and fill the truck by noon, haul it in and have a quick lunch, then go back out to fill the truck and grain cart again. Sometimes we manage to get four truckloads in a day, but usually only three this year. (In previous years we would regularly get four, sometimes five in a day, but this year is anything but normal.)

So, again, the garden isn’t seeing much of me. I have tried to keep up with at least the tomatoes, but still will find a few that have been hollowed out or pecked full of holes by the birds.

I’ve been making tomato salads to supplement my evening sandwich. I’ve chopped up yellow and red tomatoes, along with beet greens, red onion and cucumber. I’ll throw in some chopped olives, sugared sliced almonds, grated reggiano cheese and Greek salad dressing. Or I’ll skip the beet greens, add chopped baby carrots and walnuts instead of the almonds, feta or mozzarella, and honey mustard dressing. Really, you can put together any combination you like. I’m adding crushed basil leaves today for a little more zing. I’d found one lonely red pepper the other day and chopped that in and added a spoonful of capers. I’ll put in marinated artichoke hearts tomorrow.

Once we are through harvesting the wheat, which should be soon, I plan to make and can some marinara sauce.

Balsamic Roasted Tomato Sauce

5# ripe tomatoes, cored

1 1/2 C Olive oil

1/2 C balsamic vinegar

1 C onion or shallots, sliced

12 large garlic cloves, sliced

1/2 C fresh oregano, chopped

2-3 C fresh basil, chopped

2 tsp salt

Coarsely ground pepper

Heat oven to 400°. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, tossing to mix well. Transfer to two 9x13” pans. Roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until blackened. Process until well blended. Freeze or can (process pint jars in a boiling water bath 10 minutes). [This recipe doesn’t call for the tomatoes to be skinned, but I didn’t like the bits of tough skin in my sauce, so I will remove the skins before roasting.]

What else can you do with your bounty of tomatoes? Here are some other ideas:

Marinated Herbed Tomato Salad

6 ripe tomatoes

3 Bell peppers, slivered (red and yellow)

1 sweet onion, slivered

1 C black olives, drained

12 oz fresh mozzarella (the small balls)

Put all the veggies in a glass bowl with the cheese. Make dressing.

Dressing: 1/3 C Olive oil, ¼ C red wine vinegar, 1/4 C chopped parsley or cilantro, 1/4 C chopped green onions, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 tsp sugar, 1 TBL fresh chopped basil, 1 TBL fresh chopped marjoram. Combine all in a screw-top jar and shake well. Pour over veggies. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 3-4 hours.

Remember you can substitute 1 tsp dried herbs for 1TBL fresh.

Tomato Herb Frittata

12 large eggs

1 C half & half

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 TBL fresh chopped chives

1 TBL fresh chopped parsley

1 tsp fresh chopped oregano

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 1/2 C (6oz) shredded Italian three cheese blend

Heat oven to 450°. Process first four ingredients in blender. Stir together herbs. Lightly grease 9x13” pan. Layer in cut tomatoes, 1 C cheese, and herb mixture. Pour eggs over top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until set. (Mix will rise an inch above the rim of the baking dish.)

Tomato and Feta Salad

4 tsp white wine vinegar

4 tsp Olive oil

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

2 TBL shallot, minced

1/4 C feta, crumbled

2 TBL fresh basil, chopped

Whisk together the first three ingredients, then add the rest and toss to combine.

Watermelon, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad

1/4 C red wine vinegar

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 C Olive oil

3 C watermelon chunks

3 C cucumber, coarsely chopped

3 C tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 C basil, chopped

1/2 C red onion, chopped

3/4 C feta, crumbled

Combine first four ingredients and whisk well. Gently toss everything else in a large bowl. Pour vinaigrette over and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Warm Tomato Spinach Salad

1/4 C sugar

1/2 C pecans

4 tomatoes, cut in wedges

1 (6 oz) pkg baby spinach

1/2 C balsamic vinaigrette dressing

4 oz cream cheese, cubed

1 small red onion, cut in wedges

Line a shallow pan with foil. Spread sugar in a small non-stick pan, top with nuts. Cook on med-lo for 5 minutes, or until sugar is completely melted and golden brown. Stir until nuts are evenly coated. Spread on foil to cool.

Nuke tomatoes and dressing for 3 minutes, or until softened and dressing is heated, stirring after 2 minutes. Cover a platter with the spinach, then too with hot tomatoes, then the cheese, onion, and nuts. Toss and serve.

Glazed Almonds

2 TBL butter, melted

1 egg white

1/4 C sugar

1 to 1 1/2 C sliced almonds

Heat oven to 325°. Pour butter into a 9” square pan (use a non-stick spray). Combine egg white and sugar in a small bowl and whisk until frothy. Stir in almonds to coat. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Cool on waxed paper, then break apart.


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