Before disappearing on honeymoon we had to bring in the tomatoes and basil. A sink full and more of tomatoes, home-grown with all that basil has kept me bustling all afternoon amidst delicious smells.
Over the next few weeks
I will share my harvest recipes
Keeping things moving while I am away, because seasonal food never stops! I hope that these recipes are timely with the glut in your own garden, or even the low seasonal prices in the shops.
Keep an eye out for Real Almond Pesto. "Real" because as I ate my home-grown, home-made pesto by the spoonful today, I thought how much more sublime homemade pesto is than the bought stuff. I recalled that it was a flavour that sent me into raptures when I first tried it, so much so that I remembered the very first pesto I ever had! It was at "Sagio di vino" in Christchurch. These guys were my first favourite restaurant, and it saddens me that they were damaged in the quake, please support them when they re-open after the earthquake damages have been repaired (to find out when they re-open, keep an eye on their website at http://www.saggiodivino.co.nz).
Also this month there will be trays of Oven-dried Cherry Tomatoes with Thyme, packed in oil and stored to give you access to summer throughout the winter months. Perhaps I am just a girl who fell in love with food in the nineties, but sun-dried tomatoes and semi-dried tomatoes need not be relegated to the back of the cupboard because of fashion. A sun-dried tomato, especially a homegrown one will transform a pizza, is great tossed through couscous or brown rice, kicks a grilled chicken breast up the backside with a much needed burst of flavour, and the little ones, stored under oil with a twig of thyme and piled onto grill bread makes a grunty starter.
Because we had to harvest all the tomatoes before we take off for Brazil, we had to pick the green ones too. No problem Green Tomato Relish is the stuff that makes a hamburger stand up and start talking. I like to keep a selection of homemade relishes, jams, chutneys and pickles, not only are they an excellent way of preserving all that garden labour, but they make great koha as they are generally unique and always made with love.
And as if these aren't enough recipes to keep you going while I travel (at least until I get to South Africa, where I should be able to check in...) I will also share my simple Passata recipe. Passata is bottled pureed tomato, useful in any recipe that might call for canned, crushed or chopped tomatoes, pasta sauce or tomato pizza base sauce. I flavour mine subtly with minimum fuss and never really manage to make enough to get me through the winter.
So, keep and eye on the blog as thanks to the new-fangled scheduling tool, there should be plenty going on.
See you in mid April!