Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Last of the summer beans

Production from the yellow beans peaked a couple of weeks ago and has been on a steady decline since.  We've gone from picking eight quarts every three days to picking only two quarts every five to seven days.  It is close to time to put that part of the garden to sleep.

On the other hand, tomatoes are rapidly ripening.  Unlike many of the store bought tomatoes that are picked green and ripen on their way to the grocery (which, incidentally, leaves them tasteless by comparison), the slow ripened on the vine tomatoes retain their sun kissed flavor.  Beefsteak, Big Boy, and Roma are all local favorites.
Also, the garlic, harvested a few short weeks ago, has now dried to the point that it is ready to be enjoyed.  Fresh garlic adds a delicious pungency to pickles, tomato sauce, or steeped in olive oil to add a little kick to pasta dishes.
The following is a favorite cold pasta dish that is easy and delicious:

1 cup dry Orzo pasta (rice shaped pasta)
1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin)
3 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped (a little more or less to taste)
4 Tbsp capers (non-pareil or small capers taste best)
1/4 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
three large tomatoes sliced and lightly salted

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  As pot begins to simmer, measure your olive oil into a glass measuring cup and add the sliced/chopped garlic.  Set this aside for later.  When the pot begins to boil, add the pasta yet only allow it to cook for about nine minutes to reach the al dente texture, then remove from the heat, drain and rinse in cold water to cool to stop the cooking process.  Once completely drained, transfer into a bowl.  Stir in the sliced/chopped garlic oil and let sit for about five minutes.

Add the capers, feta, and tomatoes, gently stirring to coat with olive oil and orzo.  cover and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving.  We spoon this over fresh romaine lettuce with a small drizzle of balsamic vinegar dressing.

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