Fresh from the Garden

Friday, July 14, 2017

There are few things that make me more proud than being able to walk into our back yard and pick fresh veggies we've grown in our garden. I know exactly what has, or more accurately what hasn't gone into the food we're growing and even though our raised garden bed is smaller, it's produced lots of fresh food for us in the last few years since Juston built it.  

I thought I'd start a new series of posts over the next few weeks about preparing fresh foods, either from your own garden or your local farmer's market. The first vegetable I'm going to post about it probably my favorite of the summer because of it's versatility; tomatoes. 

Below, I'm sharing four of my favorite ways to prepare fresh tomatoes. Mine aren't quite ripe for picking right now, so these came from our local farmer's market and they were delicious! So here goes, four ways with tomatoes, starting with a breakfast option.

Breakfast option: Pimento cheese and tomato english muffin

This is one of my favorite breakfast options in the summertime and it's so simple and quick. You need the following:

Whole grain English muffin, two slices tomato, pimento cheese (I use Palmetto Cheese brand), bacon, salt and pepper.

Start by halving the muffin and placing a slice of tomato on each half. Salt and pepper the tomato slices!

Next, spread the pimento cheese over the tomato. Place in oven on low broil until the cheese starts to bubble and melt. 

It should come out of the oven looking like what's pictured below

I top with crumbled bacon and serve. You could use Bacon Bits if you don't have bacon on hand, but it's not as good. 

Lunch Option: BLT with Avocado. 

I haven't prepared one of these this week, so this photo isn't mine. Mine does not turn out nearly as pretty. 

You'll need the following:
whole grain bread (2-3 slices depending on how many layers you want your sandwich to be), 3 slices cooked bacon, sliced tomato, green leaf lettuce, sliced avocado, (Duke's) mayonnaise, salt and pepper. 

You can toast the bread for this sandwich, but a lot of times, I skip that step. I put mayo on both pieces of bread, then place tomato on top of that. Salt and pepper the tomato next to flavor it. Next, layer on the avocado slices, followed by the lettuce, then bacon. If we're feeling wild, we'll repeat these steps for another layer to the sandwich. 

Appetizer Option: Caprese Salad

I typically prefer to serve this when we have company over and line a whole platter like you see above, but I had a hankering for it mid-week this week, so this was my supper one night. 

You'll need the following:
tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar. 

Slice your tomatoes and cheese. Salt and pepper the tomato slices (the salt will draw out some moisture from the tomato, so you may want to do this on a seperate plate and let sit for a few minutes before serving up on a platter. 

Start with a tomato slice, then layer mozzarella followed by the bay leaves. Repeat these steps until you've used all of those ingredients. Then mix olive oil and balsamic vinegar and pour over top tomato layers. I just sort of eyeball the olive oil mixture, but I do about 2 parts oil to one part vinegar. 

Supper Option: Tomato Pie

I posted this recipe originally a few years ago, and it hasn't changed since. You can click here to find the recipe for tomato pie. It does not disappoint. What's you favorite way to do tomatoes in the summer?

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