Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Abundance of tomatoes

This year I am growing Better Boy, Roma and Sweet One Hundred tomatoes.   My favorite? - sweet 100's.  Luckily I have an abundance of these tiny tomatoes this year.

These tomatoes are best if eaten just after they are picked.  I found this recipe for Caprese Pasta Salad on another blog - fortheloveofcooking.blogspot.com.  It was super simple and really highlighted the fresh tomatoes and basil from my garden.  I made another version of this pasta salad from a 2008 Better Homes and Garden magazine.  Both were good but we liked the Caprese Pasta Salad best.

Caprese Pasta Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette
8 ounces pasta
Handful of grape tomatoes
Fresh Mozzarella cheese, diced
Fresh basil, diced

White Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
sea salt and fresh black pepper

Cook pasta and drain.  Combine vinaigrette ingredients and pour pasta into dressing.  Add tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.

Greek Pasta Salad
12 ounces pasta, cooked and drained
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, diced
2 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons fresh basil
2 Tablespoons fresh oregano
1 Tablespoon anchovy paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup crumbled feta (missing from my salad in the picture)

Cook pasta and drain.  Toss together pasta, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions and olives.  In another bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, basil, oregano and anchovy paste.  Whisk to combine.  Drizzle over pasta and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate at least an hour.  Sprinkle with feta just before serving. 

The best part about having a garden? - eating the vegetables the same day they are picked.  It just doesn't get any fresher than that.  Pair this simple side dish with grilled chicken breasts for a meal that is ready in no time.

Bon Appetit!

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