Tag Archives: fresh

Grated Zucchini and Fresh Tomato Pasta

12 Oct
Grated Zucchini and Fresh Tomato Pasta

Grated Zucchini and Fresh Tomato Pasta

Hello my long-lost foodie friends! In my six years of food blogging I have never taken a six-week break from blogging, but life kept happening at a lightning-quick pace. My daughter has flown the coop and gone off to college, I’ve taken a couple of much-needed vacations, and I’m about to wind down my food cart business for the winter. I’ve got one last hurrah at a local pumpkin patch event this weekend which I am looking forward to.

While I’ve done plenty of cooking at home between all this, I couldn’t find the time to get it together to photograph and post for you. And speaking of last hurrahs, my newest recipe comes from the zucchini from the last farmer’s market and pretty much the last of our ripe garden tomatoes. We have a late summer produce season here in Central Oregon, so while this may come to you too late for you in your neck of the woods, feel free to save this for next year’s bounty! And of course you can always use any good-looking store-bought produce when you can find it.

Grated Zucchini and Fresh Tomato Pasta

I have made this sauce three times in the past month, that’s how absolutely delicious and easy it is! Plus it’s versatile, too. It can be completely vegetarian, and truth be told, I wouldn’t miss the meat but I add it in for the hubby. He wants me to make it again with shrimp next time, too, which would be wonderful. The first time I made this I served it over cheese raviolis, and the next two times over garlic and herb pappardelle noodles with chicken. The pappardelle is my favorite! Any kind of pasta would work, but I do love the herb-infused kind with this. You can also use any variety of tomatoes. I used a combination of yellow, purple and red heirloom from our garden.

p.s. to my WordPress friends: I’ll be catching up with you soon! I really do miss reading all your posts. xoxo

Grated Zucchini and Fresh Tomato Pasta
(Serves two, easily doubled or tripled)

4 ounces pappardelle noodles, or other quick-cooking pasta
1 small zucchini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion or shallots
1 pound fresh tomatoes
Splash of white wine
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Chopped cooked chicken (optional)
Fresh-grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Set a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, using a box grater, grate the zucchini onto a sided plate (I used a pie plate.) Spread out and lightly salt and let rest for a few minutes, then pat dry with paper towels.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low, then add the grated zucchini and onions or shallots, stirring occasionally. While the zucchini cooks, grate the tomatoes with the same grater. To grate, core the tomato, then slice a very thin slice off the bottom side. With a flat had, grate the tomato from the cut side until all that’s left is the peel. Discard peel and grate the remaining tomatoes.

Zucchini Tomato Sauce

Zucchini Tomato Sauce

When the zucchini and onions are softened, add a splash of wine to the pan. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, and the dried Italian herbs. Simmer the sauce on low. Now add your pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Just before the noodles are ready, add the tablespoon of butter and the cooked chicken, if using, to the sauce. Stir until butter is melted and chicken is heated through. Drain the pasta and add to a serving dish. Pour the sauce over the noodles, and pass with grated Parmesan. A good thick slice of crusty buttered bread is also a must for sopping up the delicious sauce! Enjoy!

Grated Zucchini and Fresh Tomato Pasta

Grated Zucchini and Fresh Tomato Pasta

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

 

Quick Cucumber, Tomato, Onion, and Radish Salad

2 Sep
Quick Cucumber, Tomato, Onion, and Radish Salad

Quick Cucumber, Tomato, Onion, and Radish Salad

It’s that time of year! No, not all the fresh summer produce salad recipes, but my quickie recipes for when we are headed to the coast again to go fishing and/or crabbing. Once again, we’ll be on another extended weekend trip so am posting this one early instead of Saturday.

We didn’t catch any halibut last trip, it was super-windy with 6-to-8-foot horrible wind waves and our bait wouldn’t stay on the bottom with all the rocking and rolling. Then I got seasick as hell, WAHHH! Hubby will attempt again this weekend, while I’ll stay behind and fish the calm river for salmon.

I was wanting to make a Panzanella salad out of what produce I had on hand, but last minute hubby couldn’t help with the prep of this and ran out of time to make the bread cubes since I didn’t have any stale bread on hand. So this is what I came up with. Lively, fresh, and delicious!

The cucumber came from a friend’s garden, the tomatoes from our own, and the radishes from the farmer’s market. The rest came from the store (organic as possible).

And this would also make a great side dish for a Labor Day BBQ or picnic! This no-mayo recipe makes it a snap to store and serve.

Quick Cucumber, Tomato, Onion, and Radish Salad

1 English cucumber, sliced and quartered (about 2 cups, can be more or less)
1 cup fresh diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced sweet onion
1/2 cup diced radishes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon rice vinegar, or plain white
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Prep all the ingredients, toss in a bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate one hour or more. Serve with a slotted spoon. See? Quick and easy. Yumm!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

27 Aug
Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

My good WP and FB friend Kat shared a video a couple of weeks ago of how to make a fresh box grater tomato sauce, and with a garden full of ripening tomatoes I knew I would be making a fresh-grated tomato sauce in the immediate future.

Hanging Tomato Plants

Hanging Tomato Plants

And of course I had to add shrimp, as my hubby and I are really enjoying our lack of daughter’s presence for dinners this summer so that we can eat this scrumptious shellfish, which is the ONLY seafood she doesn’t like.

The tomatoes in our garden are really small this year, so I didn’t even bother to slice them in half before grating. I just trimmed a tiny slice off the top, then grated away! I am sold on this method of preparing tomatoes for a sauce. Since I was planning on adding shrimp to this, I gussied everything up and cooked it for a short spell so that the shrimp would have a delicious sauce to simmer in.

Fresh Picked Heirloom Tomatoes

Fresh Picked Heirloom Tomatoes

My husband said I should put a tomato meter rating on my recipes, like the movie review site Rotten Tomatoes does, lol. With that, we give this recipe 5 ripe tomatoes! (Note: This recipe feeds two. Feel free to double as necessary.)

So what am I waiting for?! Here is the recipe:

Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

4 ounces dry Linguine or other pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
Large splash of good white wine
Enough tomatoes for 1 cup grated sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt or Mrs. Dash and ground black pepper, to taste
Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped

Shrimp and Pasta Dish Ingredients

Shrimp and Pasta Dish Ingredients

Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, reserve about a half cup of liquid, then drain and return to pot, cover and keep warm on lowest setting. Add small splashes of reserved pasta water and stir occasionally to keep it from sticking while preparing the rest of the dish.

While pasta is cooking, slice a small piece off the top of each tomato and grate flat-handed on a box grater down to the skin. Grate enough tomatoes for 1 cup of sauce.

Grated Tomatoes and Such

Grated Tomatoes and Such

Add half the oil to a skillet over medium heat and cook the onion until translucent. Add the garlic for a minute more then add in a splash of wine. Add the rest of the oil, the grated tomato sauce, oregano, basil, and seasonings. Bring to a low simmer.

Simmering Fresh Tomato Sauce

Simmering Fresh Tomato Sauce

Nestle the shrimp into the sauce and cook for a few minutes, then flip over with tongs and cook for a few more until almost done. Last, add the chopped spinach, and simmer until wilted and shrimp are just cooked through.

Shrimp and Spinach Added to Sauce

Shrimp and Spinach Added to Sauce

Stir in the cooked pasta and additional reserved water until desired consistency. Serve on plates with a side salad and/or rustic bread.

Cooked Pasta Added to Sauce

Cooked Pasta Added to Sauce

Note how I did NOT add any cheese to this, as apparently the European world eschews cheese on seafood so I followed suit. I did not miss the cheese at all! I must say, this is the brightest, freshest tomato sauce I have ever tasted.

Oh! And if you want to see the referenced video, here it is: How to Make Fresh Tomato Sauce | Food and Wine

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

How to Can Fresh Tomatoes

22 Sep
Canned Fresh Tomatoes

Canned Fresh Tomatoes

Basically you need about every large bowl, pot, and pan in your house, and lots of water. Oh and lemon juice and canning jars. And time. That’s about it, really!

Canning your own tomatoes is not a secret, there is no hidden method, and the directions are readily available on about 700,000 websites, according to Google. But, since my husband and I spent several hours at this yesterday (in between me being on conference calls for work) I thought I would share what we did.

How to Can Fresh Tomatoes

10 pounds fresh-picked tomatoes, give or take
6 or 7 pint canning jars and lids
1 tablespoon lemon juice per jar
Salt or sugar (optional)

First get a really large pot of water on to boil and add the jars (without lids) to it. I have a 15-quart canning pot that we used. Also put on another largish pot of water to boil to blanch the tomatoes. Next, get a full tea kettle of water on to boil, or another pot of water if you don’t have one.

Meanwhile, prep the tomatoes by washing and coring them, cutting off bad spots, and making an X-slit in the bottom to assist with peeling the skins.  Once the blanching water is boiling, dunk the tomatoes in the pot for 30 to 60 seconds until the skins just start to peel on their own. Oh yeah, have a large bowl of ice water ready. Remove the tomatoes and immediately submerge into the ice water.

Fresh-Picked Tomatoes

Fresh-Picked Tomatoes

Once the pot with the jars in it has boiled for at least 10 minutes, remove the jars and add 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice to each one. Do not use fresh lemon juice as the acidity level of it cannot be relied on. You may add about a teaspoon of salt and/or sugar at this point for extra taste, but we did not do that and left them plain. Next get another bowl and add the lids and the seals and cover with the boiling water from the tea kettle to sterilize them. Then fill the tea kettle back up again, as you’ll need more boiling water later.

Now begin peeling the skins from the tomatoes and adding them to the jars, filling them up leaving a half-inch head space. You can cut or quarter any of the larger tomatoes. Once you have a full jar, pour the boiling water from the tea kettle up to the half-inch head space. At this point it is recommended to run a spatula around the edge of the jars to remove air bubbles, but I forgot that step. Some of the jars we didn’t pack as tight as the others, and that became evident after the canning process.

Oh, and you should bring the canning pot of water back up to a boil at this point. After all the jars are filled (we ended up with 7 jars), carefully wipe the rims with a wet paper towel to remove any tomato specks and juice. Add the lid seals and lids, and tighten hand-tight. Do not over tighten.  Using canning tongs or some other method, carefully add the jars to the boiling water bath. Make sure there is at least one inch of water over the tops of the jars. Once the water comes back up to a full roiling boil, keep the water boiling for at least 45 minutes for 0 to 3,000 feet altitude, 50 minutes for 3,001 to 6000 feet, and 55 minutes over 6,000 feet.

Canned Fresh Tomatoes

Canned Fresh Tomatoes

Remove the jars from the water and set on a thick towel to cool. You will hear the lids “pop” once the complete seal has taken place. If any of the jars do not seal completely, you must re-do the process or use them within the week. And there you have it! Canned fresh tomatoes ready for your soups, stews, and pasta sauces over the winter.

p.s. We didn’t have enough jars to can all the cherry tomatoes, and we froze the rest of those. (Thank you Laura for the tip!) Well that was certainly easier than the canning, but the satisfaction of a day in the kitchen canning your own produce can’t be beat!

%d bloggers like this: