Friday, July 6, 2007

Back In The Game!

All week long I've been planning tonight's post. After a whole week away, I wanted the post to be insightful and wonderful. My initial plan had been to post about a bar cookie that I made for last weekend that is really out of this world. But first, I feel it necessary to bake a fresh batch so that I can have a photo for you and really give it a proper introduction. When we arrived into town around 5:00 pm tonight, we had every intention of stopping at the grocery store for the few ingredients I needed, as well as a few frozen pizzas for dinner. (Hey-sometimes we're entitled to a cheat night!) Then Zander spilled water on himself as we rolled into town and we opted to head straight for home. And once home...well, going anywhere sounds like an awful idea.

After a week of camping in the Wisconsin Northwoods, we have one massive pile of laundry and four filthy individuals needing some bathing, but before we got to any of that, we were all itching for a peek at the garden. We had asked a neighbor to water while we were gone if it didn't rain, and I was a little concerned with what we would find. What we actually found was dinner...and then some. My garden literally exploded! Tonight's cardboard pizza quickly turned into the most local dinner I can put on the table. Here is a photo of my garden gleanings.

I have a bucket full of pickling cucumbers which are past pickle prime, but are oh-so delicious for eating out of hand. I found a monster zucchini along with three smaller sized ones. Abigail was beyond excited to see the bean bushes were full of green beans. She immediately began munching away like a little bunny. I also pulled a few beets, lettuce, and a few baby carrots- real baby carrots, not the processed pretend baby carrots we can buy at the grocery store. Sadly my tomatoes are not doing very well- they appear to have a blossom end rot, and I can only hope that all my plants are not affected. But the rest of the garden looks fantastic and really was the best thing we could have come home to. (Well, almost, ideally we would also have had a message announcing the arrival of a new nephew...any day now!)

The salad was easy and showcased sweet beets in a way I've never eaten them before. I washed the greens and sliced the cucumbers and placed them in a bowl. I boiled the beets to slip their tender skins and sliced them on top of those. For a finishing touch a few cubes of forgotten Irish Cheddar and a simple red wine vinaigrette.

The pasta was just as simple.

Garden Fresh Pasta Primavera

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 small zucchini, cut into coins
5 baby carrots, thinly sliced
1 cup tender green beans, stems removed, snapped to bite size
1/2 pound whole wheat pasta, cooked to al dente
salt and pepper to taste
basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, zucchini, carrots, and green beans. Saute for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cooked pasta, salt, pepper, and basil. Serve immediately, topped with Parmesan cheese.


Alanna said...

Now that's 'local' -- I started to say that 'supper almost made itself' and then realized that before supper, you'd tilled the ground, planted and fertilized and watered and weeded and lined up someone to water while you were away and -- so many more tasks, yes?!

It all looks beautiful, especially, the beets! :-)

Rachel said...

yummy! now i really want fresh-from-the-garden veggies. *sigh*

Jeanna said...

You have all that already! I'm jealous.

Erika said...

Alanna, meals like that are certainly well worth the work involved! And the beets were fantastic!

Rachel, I've had huge success this year with peppers and tomatoes in could try that sometime and see how it takes if you have a sun facing patio.

Jeanna, I planted early this year. I was waiting and waiting to be past frost danger and decided to just plant it all and if it froze I would re-seed. I planted at least two weeks early and it worked great this year. I'm beginning to contemplate a fall planting now.