Monday, July 06, 2009

Summer Sisters

I could eat mashed potatoes every day of my life.

I have no idea if my affinity for the starchy pomme de terre is ingrained in my genetic code – what with my Irish and German ancestry – or if I am just a fan of any concoction that involves butter (never margarine), salt and a little cream.

Whatever the case may be, mashed potatoes are my deserted island food of choice.

Tomatoes just might fall behind as a close second.

At the height of season, there is no better vegetable (okay, okay, it’s a fruit) to serve as the symbol of summer. Tomatoes, in all their juicy, red glory, soak up the sun and pay it forward with fresh flavor and fleshy substance.

Tomatoes can taste clean, sweet, salty and savory depending on the variety, making this beauty the belle of the backyard garden ball.

Perhaps the best part about tomatoes is their versatility. Stew them down and you’re well on your way to a homemade red sauce. Pull them off the vine a little early and fry them up green and firm (I like to put a little seasoning in my cornmeal and fry them up in bacon fat – it’s the next best thing to being south of the Mason Dixon line). Slice up a beefsteak and place it atop Dad’s Famous Burgers, or serve up round medallions of your favorite Heirloom with fresh mozzarella.

Just like potatoes – a tomato’s possibilities are endless.

One of my favorite, no-fuss dishes for summer celebrates the tomato and it’s other Summer Sisters. Try it out and tell me what you think.

Summer Sister Pasta

1 lb box of rigatoni pasta
4 large tomatoes, diced
2 medium zucchini
½ Vidalia onion, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh basil, hand shredded
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan reggiano, shredded to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
  • Slice zucchini lengthwise into strips
  • Pour 1 tablespoon evoo in sauté pan and cook zucchini until tender. Season with salt and pepper if you prefer. Be sure not to overcook, as zucchini will become limp and mushy
  • Remove zucchini strips from pan and chop into smaller pieces
  • In a large mixing bowl, add chunky diced fresh tomatoes, zucchini bits, onion, basil and diced garlic. Toss thoroughly and place to side
  • Prepare pasta according to directions on box. Drain, keeping pasta in pot
  • Add veggie mix to pasta pot, toss with remaining olive oil and shredded parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve


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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


Dr. Alex said...

Are we talking fresh potatoes or out of the box? Because I sort of like out the box potatoes. They tend to already be spiced and several orders of magnitude easier to make and clean.

My garden fruit/veggie would have to be strawberries!

My deserted island food would be tamales.

If you wanted some tomatoes, I have several plants growing in my back yard that will go to waste, or else to the critters of the night.


WestEnder said...

Try it with pecorino cheese, it's twice as sharp and half as expensive.