Dining In…Summer’s Bounty

There’s a sweet moment of time in-between seasons, when the season exiting surrenders one last burst of divine bounty, before giving way to the next season’s start.   If you follow the farm, as suggested in an earlier post, you’ll come away with the cherished fruits of the season.

“Life is like jazz…it’s best when you improvise.”  George Gershwin

Next, what to do with them?  Improvise!  On my recent trip to Augustine’s Farm in Greenwich, Ct., I found lots of extraordinary heirloom tomatoes.  There is no consistency in size, shape, color or taste.  They are all, quite simply, and very individually, delicious.

A great big pot of summer's best harvest! Heirloom tomato sauce.

A great big pot of summer’s best harvest! Heirloom tomato sauce.

Find a recipe you like and adapt it to your own unique taste.  I find that using high quality produce, such as these extra-special tomatoes and herbs are enough to stand up on their own.  I like to keep it simple, because these batches of saucy deliciousness are going to be mostly frozen for the winter.  Cover and leave to simmer slowly for 1 1/2 hours or so and then use an immersion blender to finish.

Later, on a cold and dreary winter’s day, when the days are too short and the skies are too cloudy, I will take out a serving of summer flavor and remember that even the winter season will eventually change too!

Typically, the night after cooking and freezing my tomato sauce, I’ll give it a test run.  This time, I cooked fresh Prince Edward Island mussels for my trial run.  Having left the heirloom tomato sauce as a simple basic, I’m able to make different variations later.  For this test run, I added spicy red pepper flakes and more fresh basil.  Adding a little chicken stock, sea salt and fresh ground pepper is all you need.  Next, I cooked up some al dente whole wheat pasta from southern Italy, to go along with this delicious meal.

Beautiful Summer Bounty with fresh mussels and pasta

Beautiful Summer Bounty with fresh mussels and pasta

I always recommend plating every meal with purpose and imagination.  In this case, I broke out my lovely fall inspired bowls, since the theme is the changing seasons.  What could be better than summer’s bounty served up with a nod to autumn?  Add a special glass of bubbly or your last taste of the season’s rose and you have a wonderful combination of fresh delight.  This is a perfect way to extend your trip to the farm right to your own table and freezer.  You will continue to enjoy these treats all winter long!  And that’s “A Table For One”!

Copyright 2015 Marion O’Grady

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