Tomato Gazpacho

Tomato GazpachoSummer’s run aground and once again the cold winds whistle an autumn tune. It’s time for us West coasters to throw on long pants, switch over to red wines and make plans for the weekend’s mushroom hunt. But wait! Before all that fun stuff the garden needs to be cleaned up: Herbs trimmed, squash exhumed, Peas and tomatoes plucked.

This year’s tomato plants (once again courtesy of the “Tomato People” at the farmer’s market) equalled the mighty bushes of years past in height, but the amount of fruit they yielded doubled! I ‘dunno whether its global warming, different fertilizer, or the sacrifices we offered to Demeter but we’ve got barrel’s full of heirloom Roma and cherry tomatoes in every colour you can imagine. Even if I get around to canning and pickling and eating salad through to October we’ll still have leftovers.

And so. Gazpacho. (more…)

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Kale Top Salad with Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette

Kale Top SaladIt’s May, and that means the local farmer’s market is back with a vegetable vengeance. This year there really seems to be more farmers in attendance, and I returned home with bags of fresh produce (Chard leaves the size of your head!), and armfuls of starters for my garden (The tomato man was there, whoot!!!) One of the most interesting edibles that I scored was a bag of bright purple kale tops.

Picked during the spring from the tops of over-wintering brassicas, these little bundles of buds are amazingly tender and subtlety flavoured. The perfect foundation for an early-summer tossed salad. This recipe is a classic menagerie of very friendly veg, all balancing the bitterness of everyone’s favourite super-green. (more…)

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