Tuesday, August 21, 2007

now for something fresh

a tiny harvest from our garden: cucumber, oregano, mint, basil (lemon and purple varieties), pepper, tomatoes (green zebra and New York varieties)

I realize, looking over my last post, that all the food is really heavy! My excuse for that is that we've been having freakishly cool weather in Syracuse lately. I'm talking October/November weather: chill in the air, dark skies, the woodsy smell of Autumn... but the weather people have promised us that this will pass. I hope so, because I'm not ready to say goodbye to Summer yet! Anyway, in this post, I want to reassure you that we are eating fresh, light, seasonal foods too!

So now, a peek into the lighter side of things...

First, a refreshing start to the day: a glass of carrot/apple/grapefruit juice. I just can't get over this combination. If you have a juicer, try throwing citrus fruit in the mix- the pith creates a foamy, creamy top layer that is really delicious.

Here are two tomatoes from our garden. We have a tiny garden patch, and it's not producing too well this year (not to mention the great tomato caper of 2007), so we're grateful for every little tomato we get.

Of course, sometimes a little tomato won't do. When I saw this gnarly little locally grown heirloom tomato at the market, I had to have it.

And why mess with perfection? We ate it in its perfect form- with just the tiniest smidgen of sea salt and extra virgin olive oil.

Finally, this refreshing salad. I don't know about you, but I don't eat watercress nearly as often as I should. It's delicious, it's inexpensive, and it has abundant nutrients. (According to Wikipedia, it has abundant iron, calcium, folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin C). So pick some up next time you have a chance and make my:

Watercress Salad with Creamy Parsley Dressing** (makes 2 generous servings)
  • 1/2 bunch watercress, carefully washed and drained, chopped into large pieces (tender stems included)
  • 1/4 white onion, sliced thin
  • 1 large tomato, sliced thin
  • 3 TB Tofutti sour cream
  • 1 TB apple cider vinegar
  • handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
To make dressing, blend all ingredients in a blender. Toss with salad at the last minute before serving. Enjoy!

**Remember, for optimal absorption of all the nutrients in a salad, make sure to include some vitamin C- rich foods as well as some good fats. Eating a salad with fat-free dressing or no dressing at all means missing out on a vast majority of the veggies' nutrients- fats are our friends! Click here for an interesting article on this matter**



Theresa said...

Yummy looking veggies! Even though your harvest is small, it's so cool to be able to eat food that you grow yourself. Not many people can say that, these days.

Anonymous said...

I love your little bitty harvest! We've had a tiny bit of produce from our garden too -- random stuff like two tiny jalapenos and three okra. Love the giant tomato -- there's nothing better than a fresh tomato in season!

I hope you have a great week!

Emmie said...

Oh, I need a garden! Your salad looks delicious. if I see some watercress in the store next time I go I'll definitely try it, we don't eat enough salads.

Also, tomatoes! It's been ages since I had a perfectly ripe tomato. The ones we usually get in the stores here are more of an orange colour and are virtually tasteless, :(.

Celine said...

beautifully vibrant pics, Bazu!
I love heirloom tomatoes like nothing else. they're so pretty!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

I am so jealous of people with gardens, and people with fruit trees..I was thinking about that last night passing a plum tree that was just dropping onto the ground in my neighbor's yard...

beautiful haul, bazu!

Melody Polakow said...

Your veggies look amazing! That tomato is just perfect... Watercress is delicious... and it is underused
(I know that I rarely use it..)

Your last post was amazing as well.... those veggie burgers look perfect. I've been meaning to try that recipe... and you may have pushed me into it!

Emilie said...

Great looking tomatoes! We just got a bag full of heirloom tomatoes in our CSA last night and I can't wait to eat them. I'm loving the purple basil in our garden too.

Watercress is great in salads, I also love it in stirfry, it holds up really well and picks up lots of sauce.

Anonymous said...

Those tomatoes are lovely! Send some of your cool weather my way...we could use it here. It is humid and hot!


Isil Simsek said...

I love love love heirloom tomatoes.thanks for this article!

VeggieGirl said...

I love the combination of fruits and vegetables in your juice concoction - sounds so refreshing!! heirloom tomatoes, while a tad odd-looking, are, in my opinion, the best-tasting tomatoes out there - they're so full of flavor, and dress up any dish!

Peggy the Veggie said...

Your tomatoes (and the other produce, of course) all look fantastic! We've been having weirdly cold weather too- it IS a real bummer.

urban vegan said...

Congrats on your harvest. Nothing is better than a perfectly ripe, room temperature tomato, lightly seasoned.

Weather was freakishly cool here, too. I wore a jacket today--and it's August. I'm not ready for autumn.

Village Vegan said...

Mmmm, fresh, local, home-grown produce! What more could you ask for? It all looks delicious, especially those herbs.

And your blog always makes me wish I had a juicer...

jenn said...

can i come live with you so i can have a personal chef to turn me all vegan and shit?

Susan said...

Those tomatoes are luscious! And I love green zebra tomatoes; they have such a pleasant citrusy flavor. Sorry to hear about the cold weather; my mom in RI has been complaining about it too. She dreads the end of the summer. :(

Village Mama said...

Bazu, I miss reading you. Though I haven't been posting or commenting I'm still around...and you are always one of my daily must check out ;-)

Thanks for this delicious sounding salad recipe. Will definitely give it a try this weekend.

dreamy said...

Your veggies are really fresh! In fact they look so good I thought they look a little like mock-ups at first :)

Jackie said...

Home grown veggies...wonderful.

Thanks for the watercress recipe. Haven't had it much since becoming vegan as I used to love it on cheese sandwiches.

Emmy said...

I love seeing people's garden harvest. Your little garden harvest looks great :) Love the green zebra tomato.

vko said...

I heart heart the veggies from your garden!

What gorgeous pics of those tomatoes.
I love watercress too- we used to make watercress salads all the time until I discovered that if you didn't throughly throughly wash the watercress it can get a little snaily..which is not vegan. But I may get back to it soon.

laura jesser said...

Ahhh... refreshing! I love the photo of the juice. A juicer may someday make a nice addition to my kitchen gadgets. I love the heirloom tomato--it's so charming. And yes, the best way to enjoy a tomato like that is pure and simple, salt and oil (and I like a little fresh black pepper too). Lovely summery post.