Well, the weekend was a bit of a bust as far as my new resolutions go. However, I am proud to report that I DID make some homemade marinara that was quite tasty! I found some Goliath tomatoes that were grown locally and had to make something wonderful. My basil plant- one of the few survivors from our garden- is determined to seed, so I was eager to include a generous helping of leaves. The recipe is extremely simple, you just need an hour or so to roast the tomatoes. The recipe is listed below.
Here's a question: why is it so impossible to successfully grow cilantro? Could it be that I am a terrible gardener, or is it truly a difficult task? When we first moved to New York last year, we visited a fantastic family run farm, complete with apple orchards and you-pick vegetables. So, I was eager to plant our own garden. Soon, my idea was severly thwarted when a neighbor revealed our new home had been built upon old homes filled with asbestos- fun! However, my darling husband dug a huge trench and carted 800 pounds of (asbestos free) soil from Lowe's so that I could plant my dream garden. (See pictures of May, June, and July growth.)
I started with carrots, peppers, cucumber, broccoli, and squash. Then I added some plants in case the seeds decided not to sprout- basil, dill, cilantro, corn, and tomatoes. The first victim was the cilantro- boo! I just love mexican and asian and indian food, so that cilantro would have come in handy. The basil's done pretty well, and we use that quite a bit (homemade pizza night every Sunday.) I have yet to use the dill- what do I season other than fish? We do eat fish at least once a week, but I really only do dill salmon, so that poor little plant just sits there neglected.
The squash and cukes were most hearty- I think we got three large squash and 6 or 7 big fat cucumbers. I never saw the peppers. The carrots are still growing and just last month we got about 7 ears of corn- teeny tiny ears, but we'll see if they get bigger or we have duds. My broccoli plants grew HUGE but we only harvested one florette. I only got one tomato before some dang pest ate one of my plants and the other tomato plant looks good but is completely barren. Anyway, I'm very disappointed in my cilantro, and almost everyone else I've talked to who has a garden harvested about ten times more squash and tomatoes...is it hopeless, or should I just be happy that I got anything at all??!
PS. I hope this garden in no way reflects on my children's potential...I'm going out to water those plants right now!
Roasted Tomato Marinara makes 36oz
8-10 large tomatoes (plum, or assorted)
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 c EVOO (as Rachel Ray would say)
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped (or 1/8c dried)
1/4 c frsh basil, chopped
Wash and cut the tomatoes, removing the stem. Slice in half and place in foil lined pan. Mix remaining ingredients into a paste and rub or brush on top of each tomato. Roast for 60-70 minutes in a 425 degree oven. Remove and let cool. Peel the skins off the tomatoes and discard. Combine tomatoes in a food processor on pulse, so sauce remains chunky. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Voila!