Saturday, August 2, 2008

on the menu tonight

Quite a few people in my neighborhood are growing tomatoes. The need to add tomatoes to every single meal is becoming necessary as they are all starting to ripen and there is no lack of abundance. Tonight we used some fresh basil, fresh parsley and some elephant garlic to season most of what we made for dinner. The Amish pasta we prepared with parsley, Romano, and elephant garlic. I made a vinaigrette with garlic, fresh basil, EVOO and rice wine vinegar that we drizzled over fresh tomato slices warm from the vine. Steve grilled some shrimp and zucchini and the entire dinner we calculated was under $10.00. Best of all it was extremely fresh and it fed three people with leftovers for lunch tomorrow. It was fantastic.
This morning Steve went to the Farmer's market and wanted some fresh garlic but not much was available so he talked with a farmer who showed him the fresh elephant garlic just picked this morning. It is very subtle, extremely juicy and one clove minced yields almost what an entire normal bulb would yield. It minced up so quickly and its lite flavor was a nice change. I have purchased elephant garlic before and I have to tell you I wasn't impressed. It was old, rubbery and lacked moisture at the time I had no idea what to expect. It was there at the store so I bought it and tried it. I never bothered to use it again.
I believe the key to anything good is the source. If a farmer picked it this morning and you are using it for dinner that night chances are that's about as good as it gets. I believe this whole hearted because last year I purchased some mushrooms the same way (haven't seen them this year) and they were like morsels of heaven in your mouth. Now it is a hundred degrees outside, humid and there is a swarm of mosquitoes in my backyard that look like a dirt devil. Many people do not like this time of year for these very reasons but I would love this 365 days a year if I could eat this fresh year round. The fruit and the vegetables are never better than they are in the summer time and that means the menu tonight is never better.

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