Late-ish summer recipes

Hard to believe that we’re about a month away from the end of summer! At the beginning of May, it hardly seemed like we’d ever make it through the summer. Now, we could certainly use a few more weeks of summer sun.  Thankfully, the sun that we have had has been absolutely fantastic, and it has felt more like fall than summer this past week. Cool nIghts have given way to very warm days, which means that we’re finally getting a few tomatoes!

Like red jewels, only tastier!
Like red jewels, only tastier!

But as we’ve said before, we’ve been enjoying the Romas off our orphan tomato plants for a couple weeks, but now the cherries are finally starting to ripen! The ones in the picture above are the Super Sweet 100 variety, and they live up to their name! They are super sweet and aren’t very acidic, which means they are perfect in salads. However, one of our favorite things to do with cherry tomatoes is to roast them with other vegetables and serve them with pasta. Our “recipe” is as follows, and it’s easy enough to alter depending on whatever veggies you have on hand. Also, meat-eaters could certainly add pre-cooked chicken, pork, or seafood.

Roasted Vegetables with Pasta

Ingredients (measure at will depending on how many mouths you have to feed)

  • A Generous handful of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Fresh corn, a couple ears, cut from the cob
  • One chopped onion and/or a couple chopped shallots
  • Several stalks of asparagus, chopped
  • A few whole garlic cloves, or more if you’re so inclined
  • (Other veggies of your choosing, chopped into bite-sized pieces)
  • Pasta of your choice.  Large shapes, like egg noodles (our favorite), bow ties, or shells work well.
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Place all the veggies and garlic cloves on a large sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for about 20 minutes. (Our gauge for doneness is when the tomatoes start to pop open.) Set aside once done.
  • Cook pasta in salted water to your liking.  Drain thoroughly but do not rinse.
  • In same pot as you cooked the pasta, melt a few tabs of butter over medium-low heat and add in a few splashes of olive oil.
  • Once this mixture is warm, add in all the veggies except for the garlic cloves.  Mash garlic cloves (in a press or on a board), then add.  Gently stir in the pasta and mix in a decent helping of Parmesan cheese.  (Also add meat at this point.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with warm (garlic) bread.

But that’s not what we made tonight. No, tonight’s dinner was full of light, summer-y, comfort food that was topped off by carrots with honey and sage. Yum!

First we grabbed a small handful of carrots, removed the greens, and cleaned them.

Small and stumpy, yes, but also very sweet. This is dwarf variety, so we expected them to be that way.
Small and stumpy, yes, but also very sweet. This is dwarf variety, so we expected them to be that way.

Then we peeled them and chopped them into small pieces. And we grabbed the rest of our ingredients: butter, honey, and sage. (Ground sage in this case.)

SAMSUNG

Melt a tab of butter over medium heat in a skillet apropos to your mound of cut carrots.  Let the butter brown slightly before throwing in the carrots.

SAMSUNG

Saute the carrots about 10 minutes, or until they can be easily stabbed with a fork, yet are still crunchy, (We’re not making baby food here.) Drizzle in a good squeeze of honey, enough so that it starts bubbling up around the carrots. We used a tablespoon or so.

SAMSUNG

Continue to cook the carrots until the honey stops frothing and thickens up. Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper to taste, and then add the sage. We sprinkled in probably a half-teaspoon until we could just start to smell it.

SAMSUNG

Cook for a couple minutes more, then serve.

The carrots had such a fresh, bright flavor that really was enhanced by the honey and made savory by the sage. We definitely want to try this one again, but with fresh sage, which is all too delicious when sauteed in butter.

If you have any summer recipes (involving, in particular, carrots or tomatoes) we’d love to have them. We can ever have enough inspiration when it comes to food, especially food that’s right outside our door!

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