Lynda’s Summer Garden Pasta Salad

Been enjoying my tomatoes this week!  Here’s a fun summer garden recipe for you!  Sorry, I have no pictures…

WE ATE IT ALL UP!

However, I’m sure you can imagine how beautiful it looks!

LYNDA’S SUMMER GARDEN PASTA SALAD  (all amounts are approximate)

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups pasta* (dry measure)
1 small zucchini grated
1/4 cup red or green pepper – diced
1/4 cup sweet Vidalia or red onion – diced
1 or 2 cloves of garlic – minced
1 cup sweet one hundred cherry tomatoes – cut in half (or any small, sweet, salad tomatoes)
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Your favorite vinegar and oil salad dressing.  Add enough to moisten, and if needed, add more before serving.  (I used Newman’s Balsamic Vinaigrette)

METHOD

While salted pasta water is coming to a boil, grate zucchini, mince onions and garlic, and halve tomatoes.

Prepare the pasta according to bag directions and cook until al dente.  Remove to colander rinse and drain.  Place in bowl and mix in the tablespoon of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking.

Add remaining ingredients and mix gently to incorporate.  Refrigerate for a minimum of one hour to allow flavors to meld.

ENJOY!

NOTES:

* For pasta choices you might like ziti, fusilli, spiral or bow tie as these hold onto the juices and dressing nicely!

This salad is easy, forgiving, and open to many variations in fresh vegetable choices.  Other vegetables I have tried are peas, corn, celery, carrot, etc.

You might like to grate some hard cheese, into the salad before serving.  Romano?  Parmesan?  ???

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DISCLAIMER:  This is my recipe, and I am sure that variations abound.  If you think it is yours, then all I can say is, “Great minds think alike.”

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Do you have a favorite summer salad recipe?  Feel free to share with us!

Spring Happenings: a mini tour

Spring came early this year and I was prepared.  My tomatoes and peppers were started in the kitchen window, lots of them, and as soon as I could I was out planting peas, broccoli, spinach, lettuces, rutabagas, turnips, beets and more!  All this work attracted the attention and the admonishment of a neighbor that, “We could still have a cold snap as late as April…” but I am feeling fearless because I have frost blankets to keep their little roots warm!

I even bought myself a new little tractor to help me get the job done!  Last year when I gardened I cried.  Literally.  I have a herniated disk in my lower back and getting down to ground level was a not working for me.  Hence my garden was not what I wanted or usually have here on the Farmlet.  However, now I have Violet to help me get the job done!

What!?! 

You’re laughing? Well hey, if men can name their cars then I can name my lovely new tractor assistant.

Meet Violet!

In this photo I was under the shade of my pop up to keep the sun from scorching my skin while I worked…  I went in to eat lunch and when I returned the pop-up was in the neighbors fence with broken legs…

!!! 😦 !!!

But I kept the poles to be used as tomato stakes! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, right?

OK, so how about I just quit talking and show you spring on the Farmlet?

So, without further adieu…

Little Dorrit  and one of the Hueys assist with the weeding of the onions and garlic.

A gratuitous dog picture.  Gotta have a dog in this post, and so I introduce you to Buddy, our other wonderful dog.  Isn’t he beautiful?  (It was brought to my attention that I have a tendency to overlook him in favor of the Little Dog.    This one’s for you Pam 😉 )

Remember this little hen?  Can you believe she’s the same one I almost lost last year? (read about that HERE)

Iris in the morning light.

These grow with abandon all over our little acre, and in many colors too!

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The following photographs are of the native plants I have growing here.  Growing what is native to the region in which I live is a passion of mine…

We have eight of these lovely trees here on the Farmlet.  We used to have more but we lost them to storms, age, and unfortunately, the new garage/barn.  We are loosing a couple more to termites as well.  I think I will replace them, but perhaps not in the same place.

You may also recall my visit to the Lovely Plant Lady last April?  (look HERE) Well, I was certain that the May Apples and Trillium hadn’t made it, but NO, here is the May Apple

and here is the Trillium!  So glad I haven’t lost my native garden gardening skills. Can’t wait to see this garden in bloom this year!

These are Red Bud blossoms.  Roughly the size of a small pea, they pop out from the bark to cover the branches.  It is stunning to see them all throughout the woods here.

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And finally…

These are Mystery Berries.  I have a whole patch of them in the front under the Pin Oak.  If you know what they are I would appreciate knowing so I can put them where they will be happy and productive.  (Currently, they are not.) The berries are the size of blueberries, the color of green grapes, with a bit of lighter striping from stem to blossom end.   Oh yes, and it is thornless!

The leaf and fruit form remind me of the RIBES family.  Anyone?

UPDATE:  The mystery plant has been identified as Clove Currant or Ribes Odoratum.   Thank you Lori at Day by Day the Farmgirl Way!

You can find out more here on Dave’s Garden:  http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/15424/

 

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Thank you for visiting today and come back again soon!

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NOTE:  Due to so many photos I kept them smaller to help with download time.   However, all photographs are clickable for a better view.   So, did it help?

Kitchen Sink Tomato Sandwich: gluten free style

Cover of "White Trash Cooking (Jargon)"

Cover of White Trash Cooking (Jargon)

It’s time for The Ritual of the First Tomato of the Season.   However, let me say right up front that this is not mine!  Oh no!  I comes from a little gem of a cookbook called White Trash Cooking by Ernest M. Mickler  (the recipe is to be found on page 74).

If you haven’t read White Trash Cooking, well then I know you haven’t discovered the delights of deep south white trash cookin’!

The recipe is simple enough, but I will tell you the authors version is more authentic and infinitely more entertaining!

Kitchen Sink Tomato Sandwich:  (my version)

Ingredients:

~ 1 very ripe, fresh picked, still warm from the vine tomato sliced THICK (book says refrigerated, but I like mine warm)

~ 2 Slices of Udi’s whole grain Gluten Free Bread (or your favorite)

~ Enough Mayonnaise to slather onto both pieces of your bread

~ Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Put the mayo onto your bread, add the tomato, salt and pepper, put the other slice on and press it down real good.  Grab it with both hands and eat it over the sink.

Why over the sink you ask?  Well, you don’t want to be wearing all that juice on your clothes do you?  I’m sure that the book references something about “…rolling up your sleeves and letting the juice run down your elbows into the sink.”

This is so simple.   If you haven’t had one, well, then I’m certain you will not believe how really good it tastes!

ENJOY!

NOTE:  Other versions online use Wonder bread and Miracle Whip, but I leave those details to your personal taste.  😉  Oh, and do follow the link for Miracle Whip… I had no idea about its history.  An interesting read!

***  This is NOT a paid endorsement, though I wish it were, I just happen to love this cook book! ***