Summer in the Kitchen

I feel like I am living in the kitchen these days!!  The veggies are coming in, and between preserving the excess and cooking meals, it is a big investment of time.  IMG_7851_2I have been hitting the local farmer’s markets of Jenny Jack Sun Farms pretty heavily and my parents have lots to share with us as well.  Our own garden is lagging behind a little (ok, a lot!) but it has been producing a ton of bell and cayenne peppers, a few squash, and the corn has started to tassel!  We made pickles the other day with all of the cucumbers, bruschetta IMG_7814_2salad with fresh tomatoes, basil, and garlic, fried the heck out of some okra (I had it leftover cold for breakfast this morning and it was like a guilty pleasure!), and finally got the tomatoes canned today.  This is just the first wave of tomatoes that have come in, but I wanted to go ahead and get a head start on the canning since I use tomatoes for practically everything from soup to chili to pizza sauce.  I have also made two batches of fresh pesto and frozen the excess to use later.  I can’t get enough basil this time of year.  So yeah, it’s like a different kind of crafting, this summer time harvest thing.  Fresh meals, planned around what was recently collected, in such a way that the kids eat it all up too can be a challenge, but an awesome and rewarding one.  I am lucky to have friends and family who kindly share recipes and tips on what to do with it all!  Here is my Bruschetta Salad recipe for those of you that are interested!

 

BRUSCHETTA SALAD

1 pound of cherry tomatoes, halved

1 big bunch of fresh basil (I like a lot of basil in mine, so you might want to cut back if you don’t)

1 large clove garlic, chopped fine

2 T extra virgin olive oil (or less if you want…I like mine a little heavy on the oil)

salt and pepper to taste

Stir all ingredients gently, then before serving, add 2 T of crumbled goat cheese and stir gently to mix.  Fresh and delicious, and a great use for all those cherry tomatoes!  Enjoy!

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