I’ll let you in on my dirty little secret: my normal, conservative, ‘waste not; want not’ self takes a hike this time of year.
When I have more zucchini (courgette – both green and yellow), tomatoes and basil than I know what to do with a lot of it ends up on the compost pile.
My freezer is full (see below for ideas) and we’re eating as fast as we can.
Still, I’m doing things I wouldn’t have dreamt of doing even 2 months ago:
- Taking the best 2 slices out of the middle of a perfectly ripe tomato and tossing the rest. Then doing it again and again until I have as many as I want.
- Thinly slicing zucchini until I reach the seeds and throwing the center in the compost.
- Cutting perfectly matched rounds of zucchini even though I have to go through 5 zucchini to get 10 matched slices.
- Cutting the basil with my big clippers (rather than my garden shears), pulling off only the perfect leaves with the rest destined for the compost.
In my defense, I’m enjoying every wicked bite, knowing full well that this bounty will be over soon.
This is one of my favorite pasta dishes when I have an abundance of tomatoes.
It’s a four ingredient dish (counting the pasta)…. No cooking required (except for the pasta).
It’s still summertime and the cookin’ is easy.
This isn’t a recipe as much as a technique.
Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes
- 4oz (120gr) spaghetti
2 – 4 fresh, ripe garden tomatoes
- large handful fresh basil
- 1 – 2 tbs good olive oil
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Drain and rinse briefly with cold water. Shake well to get rid of as much water as possible.
Cut the tomatoes in half.
- Place a box or flat grater in a shallow bowl.
- Cup half of a tomato in your hand and rub it on the big holes of the grater until all that is left in your hand is the skin (of the tomato). You’ll have to press a bit, but not too hard.
- Repeat with as many halves as you think you want/need. You end up with fresh tomato sauce with no skin… and no cooking.
- Depending on size of tomatoes you will want to do 2 or 3.
- Toss with cooked, cooled pasta, basil, drizzle with olive oil and serve.
I’ve been doing other things more simply this year as well.
I’m no longer cooking the tomatoes before freezing them. I’m just peeling them, chopping and putting into freezer bags.
For the tomato soup, I’m cooking chopped tomatoes with onion, carrot and half of a bell pepper (color depends on color of tomatoes). After a brief stint in the blender it goes into freezer bags.
Cherry tomatoes I just freeze whole. The skins slip off when they thaw.
Herbs, courgette, beans, tomatoes…. all in the freezer.
But I’m done now…. No more room.
I don’t think I could get another sage leaf in either freezer.
Sigh (self-satisfied sigh)