I could do one of these posts every single day, because, as you all know, I grow my own. My own everything, basically. The garden, she is a little large. What I meant to make last night, after accepting Finny's mission, was garlic soup. But then I had a couple of G&Ts (we discussed this weakness of mine yesterday), and I saw the tomatoes on the counter and the leftover (multi-grain! healthy!) pasta in the fridge, and plans changed. This is what I ended up making.
Not garlic soup.
Please forgive the fact that this is not so much a recipe as a stream of consciousness. And you will now see why I do not write a food blog.
Okay, first off. Garlic from the garden. Two cloves, minced (without touching it with my fingers, because have I ever told you of my skin's freakish ability to retain garlic odors for days? gross), thrown into some hot olive oil (not from the garden). Then, a lone shallot from the garden that was hanging out in the garlic bowl by the stove. Mince it and chuck it in. Saute. Or fry. Or whatever it is you do with garlic. But don't do what I did, which was turn the heat to high to get the oil hot because I'm impatient, which causes the shallot and garlic to brown, which the Food Network people hate and will tell you imparts a bitter flavor. Whatever. Until Mario Battali is standing in my kitchen, I'm not going to worry about it.
Next up, tomatoes. I used about six small ones, some Romas, some Raad Reds. From the garden. I didn't peel them, because I'm lazy and hate to peel tomatoes, but I did de-seed them. Mostly. Then a rough chop and into the pan. Next I threw in some chopped collard greens from the garden, about three large leaves. And a little chopped basil (from the garden--but I bet you already guessed that). Maybe a teaspoon. Maybe not, because I didn't measure. Simmer until the collards are wilted and some of the liquid is evaporated.
For seasonings, I used some chile-infused vinegary oil a friend of mine had made and given me awhile ago (thanks, Alyssa!), because I vaguely recalled various pasta sauce recipes calling for a little hot pepper. And also, I thought the vinegar would be good because homegrown tomatoes tend to be a lot sweeter than canned tomatoes from the store. A real foodie-type person would tell you that the vinegar "adds a nice bright note and a balance to the sweet tomatoes" or some shit, so insert your own Food Network jive here. I'll just say that I had it, so I used it. Then some salt (not too much, because of the Parmesan--spoiler alert!) and ground black pepper. Then a little grated Parmesan. Then some more. And some more. Until it tastes good.
As a side dish, we had a creamy cucumber salad. Cucumbers from the garden, dill from the garden, mulberry-infused vinegar from the mulberry tree. Plus onion, sour cream, and sugar. This is a stand-by recipe from the "Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook." My very first cookbook, by the way.
That adds up to . . . let's see . . . a total of 8 items from my garden that ended up in my dinner.
So do I grow my own? HELL YEAH!