Tomato Bread Salad

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Did I mention that Rachel is really liking tomatoes this year? She has never liked tomatoes but each year really wants to since they are so lovely and I force her to plant tons of them. Well, with her newly found love we have been making bread salad full of tomatoes over and over. Our CSA comes with a loaf of bread on pickup at Grand Central Bakery, which these days means that the day after we usually have some beautiful tomatoes and a heal of crusty bread. perfect. The photo shows a version probably breadier than we usually make it and with mostly cherry tomatoes and some other small varieties from the garden, but the best is a salad heavy on big, meaty heirloom varieties. We typically toast the bread in the oven with some garlic and olive oil rubbed on then toss with tomatoes, some herbs from the garden (basil, lemon verbena, parsley sometimes). I like to make a vinaigrette with a touch of balsamic vinegar, but sometimes we just use olive oil and salt, then some mozzarella or a time or two we have tossed in some feta because its what we had (it works when the tomatoes are really flavorful but might overpower some). So easy. Oh hey, just noticed that this salad in the picture has fried capers too. Fun.

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Frittata with Asparagus, Swiss Chard, Peas and Sweet Potatoes

A frittata is a great standby for the day of our CSA delivery when we get a load of veggies and begin thinking about how we will use them all while they are still so delicious. I pretty much start worrying about spoilage as soon as I put stuff in the fridge. I should get over that.

I wouldn’t have thought of using peas in a frittata, but we had so many between the garden and getting some in the CSA too, and its a good thing because they were delicious just tossed in near the end of cooking the frittata. I grabbed the sweet potatoes, which is odd this time of year, I admit, but I thought they would be tasty in here, and they were okay, but a bit too sweet, I usually prefer red potatoes for something like this. I think I tossed in some sweet basil too, which perhaps kicked the sweetness up too much.

Anyhow, this style of frittata is super easy to make. You pretty much throw in any vegetables you want in some oil, or butter if you want something a little richer, and saute until everything is just getting tender. In this case I tossed the chard in near the end along with the peas. Then beat together several eggs – fewer than you might think – I think I used six for this large pan and pour them in. Let it sit for a few minutes, without stirring, and when you begin to see some cooked edges, put the whole pan under the broiler for another few minutes until the top is nicely browned. Sometimes I toss a bit o’ parmesan atop too. Thats all. Then eat it.

Oh yeah, you might also blanch the chard if you prefer the greens more cooked, I thought they might add a nice bit of crunch for a frittata. To blanche them toss them in boiling water for a minute or two, then put into ice water after. Squeeze out the water and chop up finely, then you can saute them along with the potatoes or onions or whatever.


Fettucini, Basil, Feta

So easy and so good. We’ve been throwing something like this together a lot lately when we have little time or need a simple, springy side. A simple sauce of about half lemon juice and half olive oil. Mix it with the ratio you like best and a wee bit of salt as well. Save the zest to stir into the pasta when done too for an extra little zing. I think the pasta pictured has arugula tossed in because we’ve got lots ready to harvest, but the basil plant we had already died away. Stir in plenty of feta when the noodles have cooled a tad and grind some fresh pepper on top. Okay, I think I put some pepper on pretty much everything. I like it.