Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Summer Style: Well-Dressed Pasta Salad, Lemonade, Five Easy Fresh Tomato Recipes & Front Garden Floral Displays

A capacious bowl of cold pasta salad is not only delicious like its steaming counterpart, there's also the benefit of a nice dose of resistant starch because letting pasta cool down, also cools down blood sugar spikes. Just mix ingredients, pop in fridge, sleep on it overnight, and the next day you got one lovely, exceedingly well-marinaded, and tasty concoction. If you made a hefty amount, it'll be there for you after doing chores or when you watch a video or welcoming you once the gardening is done for the day and beyond as it gets more flavourful through time. Since the dressing is what's going to permeate the pasta and give it an alluring oomph, choose ingredients you love. In my case: minced garlic, grated Parmesan, capers (Oh, how I adore thee!), olive oil, lemon juice, fresh basil, and silky, tart yogurt.

Romas from our potager are perfect for this salad as they are more meaty than juicy

For two meal-sized servings or four to six smaller ones: fistfuls of penne, 6; roma tomatoes, 8-10; yogurt, 8 T; extra virgin olive oil, 2 T; freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon; capers, 2 T; chopped fresh basil, 1 heaping T; finely grated Parmesan, 8 T; 2-4 garlic cloves, minced; salt (I used several tsp) and freshly ground black pepper (I did about 8 turns of the mill) to taste.  Toss penne into boiling water which should take about 12 minutes to become al dente, the perfect consistency for salads. Put all other ingredients except tomatoes into a large bowl. Whisk for about a minute.

No whisk chez vous?  A fork will do just fine instead.

Drain the pasta and let cold water run over the strainer so the penne does not cook any further. Give the strainer a few good shakes and then plop pasta into the bowl with the dressing. Can't be bothered to dig out a strainer or you don't have one? It's summer; let's keep it simple and easy. Use a slightly ajar lid or a plate to let out the water and keep the pasta in, fill with cold water, and drain again. Mix pasta and dressing well. Chop tomatoes and add to the dressed salad. Check seasoning. Remember that as it chills, the impact of seasoning fades a bit so it needs a generous hand. Cover and put in fridge for at least an hour. It goes well with lemonade, but then again most summery comestibles do: put 2-3 tablespoons of sugar in bottom of a glass (296 ml/10 oz), scant cover with hot tap water, stir till dissolved, add juice of a large lemon along with enough icy-cold water to bring the 'ade to the rim. During the summer we keep several water bottles in the fridge rather than bother with making ice cubes. If you got them, then float a few in your glass especially if the temperature is scorching.

Lemon waiting to be turn into 'ade

It's that time of the year when The Calm One and I get to enjoy tomatoes fresh from the potager every day till autumn. 


Here are some of our favourite dishes:

We put thinly sliced tomatoes on top of macaroni and cheese, add more cheese, and then broil till tomatoes are more sauce than not and cheese is bubbly.

Topping is a mix of edam and cheddar

The big ones, cored and stuffed with a mixture of chopped pulp, minced tuna/shrimp/chicken, and mayonnaise, are served over couscous.


Thickly sliced toms are placed on a bed of cooked brown rice which are sprinkled with olive oil, basil, parmesan, then put under the broiler.


Medium-sized, hollowed-out tomatoes are filled with a raw egg while the chopped pulp is placed on a bed of cooked couscous along with the filled toms, sprinkled with olive oil, thyme, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and baked covered for about twenty minutes.


They are added to salads and sandwiches, especially grilled cheese.

Pan-Grilled Tomato Basil Cheddar Sourdough Rye Sandwich

Potted tuberous begonias and dahlias which were started several months ago are brightening up our front entrance. Additionally, the cascading begonias are scenting that area with their remarkable, black-tea-morphing-into-grapefruit fragrance. Late July and August often see a dearth of flowers, so long-blooming varieties like these two, especially potted and placed in full view, can carry the garden into autumn. Since these beauties are working so hard and are not in the ground, they get a liquid feed weekly.

Deadheading in general is a good habit but is essential for showcased, potted flowers

À la prochaine!

RELATED LINK

The grand history of breeding fragrant begonias