Tomatoes and Green Chile.
Tomatoes because, yes, I KNOW they're a fruit, but let's face it: they TASTE like a vegetable, look like a vegetable, and smell like a vegetable. Plus, they are the most abundant crop of these here sweltering summer days.
The chile, well, that's native to my part of the world and crops down south around Las Cruces and Hatch are just now being harvested. The chile I used in the pizza recipe below is from last summer, kept safely frozen in Ziplock baggies for use throughout the year, because I won't be doing this for about another month. In some parts of the world, a pizza just isn't a pizza without pepperoni. In my world, it's nearly inconceivable to think of eating one without green chile on top.
The tomatoes in this recipe were sent to me by my father-in-law who lives and gardens in South Louisiana. They arrived along with about seven dozen fresh figs off his prodigious tree, but, alas, even packed well and sent two day air, by the time the figs arrived, they had composted down to a slimy stew appropriate only for the birds. Which gobbled them up greedily, so at least someone was happy. So, le sigh, still no fig tart por Moi. Or Eggy's savory fig bread. The tomatoes, however, were fine. And delicious. I ask you: IS there anything more tasty than a fresh-from-the-garden tomato? I say: no.
When cooking with garden fresh tomatoes, I think simple is best. Like this quick and easy pasta dish:
8 ounces (1/2 pound) spaghetti noodles
1/2 cup of virgin olive oil
Four large ripe, garden fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of fresh spinach, loosely packed
1/2 cup of fresh basil, loosely packed
1/2 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
8 ounces of feta, cubed
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil noodles to al dente stage. Strain through colander but do not rinse. Set aside. In same pot you boiled noodles, heat olive oil and saute garlic and tomatoes together until tomatoes are just soft. Be careful not to burn garlic. Add spinach, basil, parsley, and feta. Stir until heated through and spinach is slightly wilted. Add noodles and salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
Recipe #2: Grilled Pizza
A buddy of ours was up last weekend to train for La Luz (yes, here I go, again) and had the great idea to grill pizzas for one of the evening meals. I've never done it before (we have access to what I consider to be some of the best pizza around about 10 minutes to the east of us), but it's likewise easy and tasty.
Buy about one pound of pizza dough, either pre-made from the store or from your local pizzeria (or if you're really game, make your own), make some sauce (we made traditional red tomato and a white sauce, which is basically a bechamel to which I added a little nutmeg and some cooking sherry).
Roll out a quarter pound of dough for each pizza. Don't worry about getting it perfectly shaped. Rough and rustic is the goal here. Lay the dough out on a flat board or baking sheet and brush olive oil on both sides.
Prepare your grill. Once hot, grill the dough until golden brown on both sides. Then, add your sauce and toppings and grill until cheese begins to melt. If you think your crust is getting too toasty, you can always remove and finish cooking the toppings in the oven.
Toppings used: fresh mozzarella, provolone cheese, tomatoes, pepperoni, olives, grilled onions, peppers, roasted garlic, spinach, fresh basil, and roasted green chile.
And now, head over to Intuitive Eggplant's blog to see who else is up and running in the Smackdown.