Monday, July 19, 2010

Culinary Delights from the Garden

Today I decided to do some harvesting of the garden and was happy to have so many tomatoes to work with.  They have been so slow to ripen and we have learned that next year we need to start the plants indoors a lot earlier in order to have tomatoes before fall ....sigh


So here is what I had to work with..

Yellow Pear Tomatoes
Green Bell Peppers
Banana Peppers
Zucchini
Summer Squash
Bob's Better Boy Tomatoes
Fresh Basil

Since our garden has not produced very much in the way of onions, I had to supplement from the grocery store.  I had also picked up a polish kielbasa earlier in the week.

In a large skillet I added a small amount of olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan.  Then cut the kielbasa into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Sauté the kielbasa until slightly browned then add the chopped onions (I used 3 medium onions).  When the onions just start to carmalize add in the basil (and I used about 1/2 cup fresh basil).  Sauté for about 10 minutes..stirring frequently.  Remove the kielbasa to a paper plate or paper towel off to the side.

Next add in the green peppers, banana peppers and salt and pepper.  At this stage you can decide it  you want a  little kick and add in some crushed red pepper, about 1/4 tsp is plenty, but it's all about how much heat you like.  Toss this around for about 5 minutes then add in the zucchini, squash and tomatoes.  I decided to chop the tomatoes and hand crush about 1/2 of them into the mix.  Top it off with a tablespoon of sugar and simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes.

Another little cheat here is to add a can of tomato sauce.  And I like a little pink sauce so I added some milk, about 1/2 a cup but you can also add cream cheese if you have it and it melts down  very nicely adding a creamy mild flavor to the sauce.  Since all I had was milk I used that and then added about 1 tsp of corn starch to give the sauce a bit more substance.

Once the sauce has cooked down nicely and has the consistency you want, add the kielbasa back in and simmer low for about 5 minutes.

Serve over a whole grain, whole wheat spaghetti or linguine.  And Mwah!  Delicious!

~ Mom

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