Pasta used to make up a huge percentage of our family diet. After my husband spent 2 years in Italy he came home an al dente master. One of his favorite dishes to make included lots and lots of fresh tomatoes tossed with pasta, egg, and cheese.
Since we made major changes in our diet, pasta has been eliminated from the pantry (well except for Annie’s Pasta for the kids on occasion). And though my husband still loves and adores his fresh tomatoes, there are fewer things for him to do with them. And so we have this kind of thing happening on regular basis:
We use them in salads, blend them in smoothies, slice and season them and eat them with avocado and hummus, but there is still a backlog. And yes, I still need to make salsa.
I thought we could try making ‘sun’ dried tomatoes in the dehydrator, so we sliced the cherry toms in half, seasoned with salt and pepper and some basil, and let them camp out in there overnight.
In the morning I filled 1 and a half jars, packed them with olive oil and garlic, and admired the result:
Gathering more goodies from the garden…
(not pictured… my gorgeous red peppers, onions, and cute little globe zucchinis)
I tried my hand at making ratatouille!
Is there ever a good way to take a picture of a casserole-type-dish that doesn’t make it look like barf? A job for a more talented photographer… anyway, it was delicious! I used cheese we made ourselves from our goat milk!!! (Does this merit me a trophy of some kind? Because I kind of want one). I wish I had an actual recipe for you, but it went something like this:
Read a bunch of differing ratatouille recipes online. Get thoroughly confused. Go into the kitchen and do this:
- Slice up a small white eggplant and a smallish-medium purple eggplant that are ripe to perfection from the garden. Cover the slices with kosher salt and weep them out in a colander over the sink.
- Blend up a medium sized onion in the cusinart to thoroughly pulverize ‘gross onion chunks’ for a certain 8 year old boy.
- Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet. Dump the onion in with a few healthy teaspoons of freshly minced garlic.
- Stir that around on medium low for a bit. Slice up a couple of red peppers and add those. Stir around until peppers are softened.
- Uncertain, dump everything into a 9×13 casserole dish, leaving some onion behind.
- Add 4 or 5 medium tomatoes from the garden, all sliced up. Smash them up and make kind of a tomatoey sauce. Add some salt and pepper, fresh torn up basil from the garden, and dried oregano.
- Slice up the globe zucchinis and add the slices to the tomato stuff. Let it simmer for a bit. Add more garlic, because that never hurt anyone.
- Rinse off the eggplant slices, and cut all the circles in half. Add those to the pan and let them simmer as well until the eggplant and zucchini are tender.
- Shred your mozzarella or goat mozzarella FTW and some sprinkle over your onion / garlic / red pepper mixture. About a 1/2 cup?
- Dump the rest of the onions, zucchinis, and eggplant on top of the other layers. Add more cheese (another 1/2 cup?)
- Top with homemade sun dried tomatoes soaked in oil.
- Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes to melt the cheese.
- Serve it up with roasted corn from the garden, your first successful watermelon, and a giant salad.
- Be utterly amazed at how good it turned out.
Can you believe it’s September?! I hope we can squeeze in a few more trips to the lake…