Friday, July 30, 2010

CSA Share Week 10 and Herbed Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes


Those were my exact words as I sauntered up to the farm to pick up my share this week. The bushel size box could not hold all the produce.

Peaches (10)
Green Beans (2 lbs)
Cabbage (1)
Assorted Squash (8)
Oriental Eggplant
Green Bell Peppers (2)
Purple Pepper
Hot Peppers (cherry bomb (2), jalapeno (4), ancho (2), white fire (2), serrano (2), long hot (2), sweet banana (2) I am canning sweet/hot pepper jelly this afternoon.
Sweet Corn (8)
Bi-color sweet corn (8)
Tomatoes (4)
Nectarines (3)
Swiss Chard
Musk Melon

I spent a little time (39 minutes, I timed myself**) yesterday afternoon peeling, par boiling and stripping sweet corn. I now have several bags, about 12 servings in all, sitting prettily in my freezer waiting for a cold winter day when I will microwave that corn and get a taste of East Coast Summer.

I like to think about the circle of life of this corn. The corn will feed my family today, tomorrow and this winter. These husks will go into my composter, which will feed my garden next spring in the form of fertilizer. The produce from my garden will feed my family next spring and summer and so on and so on and so on.

While I was peeling the corn I put some Kale in the oven to crisp up. Oh, you never heard of that? YUM. Heat the oven to 400. Spray the kale with a little olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and bake for about 10 minutes. Check it. If it's crisp it's done. If not, bake for another 2 or 3 minutes. Cool. Tastes like potato chips. TBHITW likes a few red pepper flakes sprinkled on his. He's a spicy kind of guy.

This afternoon I am making my first ever batch of Pepper Jelly. I love this little relish served with cool cream cheese and spread on a cracker, it is like eating the Fourth of July! If it gets good I'll share the recipe.

My kitchen window is filling up with tomatoes and eventually I will make marina sauce that will either go into the canner or freezer but for now we haven't had our fill of fresh, garden sweet tomatoes. Having tomatoes on your window sill make dinner planning easy. Something fresh, something fast, something satisfying.

Things that make me happy, fresh tomatoes and basil

Herbed Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes: serves 4

1/4 cup assorted fresh herbs (I used basil, rosemary, sage and thyme), chopped (reserve 1 tablespoon in a medium bowl)
5 cloves garlic, sliced
3 tablespoons good olive oil
3 tomatoes, diced (try to save all the juice by cutting over a bowl) Place tomatoes in the same bowl as reserved 1 TB herbs.
12 ounces cavatelli pasta
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Pour olive oil into a small skillet. Heat over medium flame and add the garlic. Cook just until the garlic sizzles.

Immediately, remove from heat and add herbs. Set aside.

Mix the tomatoes and reserved fresh herbs in a medium bowl. Add a splash of very good balsamic vinegar. Set aside.

Now put a pot of salted water on to boil. Add the cavatelli and cook according to package directions. Drain and toss with the olive oil / herb mixture. Place in a bowl and pass along with the tomato mixture. To assemble, place some pasta on your plate, top with the tomato / herb / vinegar mixture and top with fresh parmesan. It's like a summer party in your mouth!

A Cook's Notes: You can serve this as an appetizer, main course or side dish. A simple grilled chicken breast or grilled shrimp round out this dish beautifully.

**I am not OCD. I timed myself because I was curious to see just how long processing a dozen ears of corn actually took me. In thirty-nine minutes I could not get into my car, drive to the grocery store, and buy frozen corn and drive home. Certainly the frozen, store bought corn would not be as good - both in flavor and nutrients as my homegrown, home frozen corn. Just saying....


  1. The Kale idea is brilliant and I LOVE kale. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for always providing inspiration. (the husband thanks you too)

  2. I agree the Kale idea is awesome and I will have to try it soon. All your pictures makes me want to hurry down to our farmers market and cook. Thanks.

  3. My family loves pepper jelly! My husbands favorite snack is pepper jelly, cream cheese, and a crackers.

  4. I have seen pepper jelly around, but I have never tried it. I'm curious to hear how it comes out. It sounds lovely with cream cheese and crackers.

  5. Marci - You are welcome! We ate the kale as an "appetizer"

    Odie - You are welcome too! I'm glad my posts makes you want to hurry out to the farmers' market. Go. Buy. Cook. Eat. Great ingredients make for a great life.

    Linda - my girlfriend was here as I was just pulling 10 pints out of the canner. She asked, "how do you eat it". I handed her a jar and told her to go buy some cream cheese and crackers. I know she'll become an instant Pepper Jelly convert!

    City - I will post the recipe tomorrow. The house smelled incredible and we will be sampling the first pint tonight.

  6. You always make me hungry! My tomato plants have slowly died off without producing for some reason, but my basil and rosemary is growing like crazy along with the green pepper. I am not a big fan of really hot peppers, but I do like pepper jelly and cream cheese on toast....I even like it on pumpernickle toast!

  7. 不會從失敗中找尋教訓的人,成功之路是遙遠的。.................................................

  8. It looks like you may have to share some of that box, LOL!

    The recipe looks perfect for a light summer dinner. Maybe tomorrow night for us.

    I like it when you time things, because then I know it's not as big a deal as I think it is - and the outcomes are worth the time spent.


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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