Saturday, August 04, 2007

summer rules!




I just love summer- these are going to be the days I recall fondly in a few months as I shiver in my boots. Cookouts, hikes, picnics, cocktails with friends, long neighborhood walks, the hammock in the backyard, and of course... the produce! Now that it's August, the initial excitement has passed, and we are left with a steady supply of newly ripened tasties from the markets, the farms and farm stands, and even our garden.

In the above photo, you see some scenes from our garden- (clockwise from top right): a deer rummaging in the back yard, a leek plant turned huge mutant flower, our green zebra tomatoes on the vine, and a freshly picked green zebra.

A few weeks ago, we had a bit of a garden tragedy. SOMEthing (we're looking at you, deer) got into our yard and ate most of our tomatoes before they got ripe and we had a chance to pick them. Because it was already so late in the season, we were resigned to not having any tomatoes this summer. But fortunately, we've had a series of warm sunny days and it looks like most of our tomato plants are producing again- there's hope for a tomato harvest yet!



Old-fashioned summer comfort food, with a vegan spin: Tofurkey Italian sausage on an Ezekiel sprouted-grain bun, topped with the spiciest hot mustard we could find, served with a side of pickled okra. So satisfying.



Another symbol of summer: Daiku's French potato and green bean salad

Recipe (2 generous servings):
  • 5-6 small potatoes, yellow or red, cut into halves or quarters depending on size
  • 1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 small white onion, sliced thin
  • fresh basil and dill
  • vinaigrette made from extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper
  • handful of dried fried onion or shallot (optional) you can find this sold in cans in most Asian supermarkets (like this)
Boil potatoes until just tender. Meanwhile, steam green beans and onion together until just tender. Toss with vinaigrette and refrigerate at least one hour. Garnish with basil, dill, and fried onions before serving.



Yellow fruit platter consisting of fresh pineapple and golden kiwi. I always get really excited when golden kiwi show up at the supermarket- they are like a sweeter, less acidic kiwi, and they are a great change of pace.

I hope you are all enjoying this mellow and abundant time of summer!


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25 comments:

Samuel said...

Lovely post, congrats! I love green beans salad

Veganista said...

Ah, Bazu, I've missed your blog these last couple days. (Haven't been checking blogs often cuz of family visitors.) It's great to be back. I envy you your garden--and you even got a shot of a maurading deer! Love the look of that salad too.

Johanna3 said...

colorful post! i absolutely adore the pinapple and kiwi photo!

SusanV said...

Okay, envy alert! Though I wouldn't like my tomatoes to be eaten, I would LOVE to see a deer in my backyard. And your zebra tomatoes are adorable. And yellow kiwis? Never seen them! So I'd say that your summer is being more abundant than mine!

urban vegan said...

How idyllic! Gorgeous photos. I love spring and summer--and I ask myself often why I continue to live in the Northeast. My answer is that the cooler months make the summer months seem that much more awesome and life-affirming.


Daiku's salad lookks great...and I am the world's biggest fan of those Italian sausages. They're so versatile--but are tasty just on thier own.

Shivering in our boots? Perish the thought.

Courtney said...

Your photos look gorgeous! The zebra tomato and golden kiwis are especially impressive. I hope your tomato crop comes through--there is nothing like tomatoes fresh from the garden!

Courtney

aTxVegn said...

I'm so sad it's August already. Your hotdog looks so good and I love potato and green bean salad. Daiku's recipe looks super!

I've not seen golden kiwi around here. It's really beautiful.

You've been cooking up lots of yummy stuff while I've been away! Thanks for the tag.

Peggy the Veggie said...

Beautiful tomatoes! And I've never seen golden kiwi before- I'll have to keep an eye out for some!

Theresa said...

When I grew tomatoes at my old house, a stinkin' cockatoo came around and took bites out of every single tomato! The thing is, if he had just eaten one or two *whole* tomatoes, I wouldn't have minded so much, but he just took a little nibble from each one. I guess he had to test them, to see which was the tastiest...

Lucky you got a second harvest! Those yellow kiwis look really cool.

maybepigscanfly said...

YOU ARE SO LUCKY! I wish that I had green zebra tomatoes in my backyard. I've been buying them, along with a bunch of other varieties of tomatoes, like crazy at the Farmer's Market.

Oh and yes the golden kiwi are quite exciting. I definitely prefer them to the "regular" green ones.

VeggieGirl said...

aww, that's a shame about the tomatoes! but that deer is cute, so I guess it's hard to be too mad at him, haha.

wow, this is so weird - today for lunch I had a Tofurky® italian 'sausage' on an Ezekiel® sprouted grain bun, and for a snack I had some pineapple and golden kiwi!!! were you in my kitchen??? haha :0)

Vegan_Noodle said...

Yep, summer definitely rocks! Although I must admit I get a little tired of the heat, but then again we don't have the same cold winters down here, so it's actually something to look forward to (minus the lack of fresh local produce).
Your zebra tomatoes look awesome! And your are so right about the golden kiwi...it doesn't have that same weird aftertaste as regular kiwi. Thanks for posting the potato and green bean salad, it sounds perfect for the final months (yes, here we are talking several more months) of summer!

springsandwells said...

oh bazu,
how I have missed your blog! it's so nice to finally catch up a bit. great posting recently, as always.

i have never heard of a golden kiwi, but i will keep my eyes out for one.

those cheezy crackers are great looking. Very cool. i hope one day I can be a recipe tester. it seems so fun.

also, i just wanted to share that when I came home from vacation a gopher had eated away all the roots of our GIANT and THRIVING pumpkin plant, and now it is dead. Sigh. All because of my refusal to kill the gophers.

it's a practice in letting go. :) glad to hear you're getting a few more tomtoes though!

Carrie™ said...

Holy doodle Daiku's salad looks and sounds amazing!! Great photos on everything BTW. I can't stand the hot, humid, sticky weather of summer but love of all the delicious, fresh produce. We had corn on the BBQ last night. So sweet & yummy. Are you melting in Syracuse? Today they're telling us with the humidex it will be 39C (102F) UGH!

laura jesser said...

Daiku's salad looks incredible, and I believe I will be making something like it very soon!

As for me, the produce is the only great thing about summer... I'm looking forward to autumn, long sleeves and boots and all. This week has been so freaking hot I've felt like I'm going to evaporate!!!

But I'm glad you're enjoying summer! :)

Judy said...

I have never seen golden kiwi before. I'm not a huge fan of green kiwis, but next time I'm shopping I'll keep a lookout for these guys - maybe I'll like them more than their cousins!

stonielove said...

garden fresh tomatoes... yum!

vko said...

oh oh oh, I love your pics- all so gorgeous- deer, tomatoes and all.

And yes, I officially heart Tofurky Italian Sausages, especially the way you've dressed it on that yummy platter.

And Daiku's green bean salad and the golden kiwis- that is the essence of summer!

Village Vegan said...

Mmm, pineapple! I really want to try yellow kiwis-- I love green kiwis because they are acidic, but I'm sure their milder cousins are good too!

I love living in NYC, but I have to say I'm a bit jealous of those of you who get to have gardens...

springsandwells said...

Hi Again Bazu,
Thanks for all the great comments over on my blog. I don't think I"ll be doing a yoga video anytime soon! :) But I will tell you what a dry-farmed tomato is!

Dry-farmed tomatoes are not watered after a certain point - so they tend to be a bit smaller, but OH THEY ARE GOOD!!! All the flavors get concentrated into one amazing little tomatoey power packet. There are a few farms around here selling them, and they are a seriously hot commodity. I'm very lucky that one of my best friends is a dry-farmed tomato farmer, so I can buy jars and jars of canned tomatoes at the end of the season.

I wish I could send you one in the mail!

:) Amey

ps. yes! syracuse vegan bloggers should totally put on a non-dairy ice cream tasting!!

theONLYtania said...

Hey! I love the pictures. That deer looks like a kangaroo... bummer about your tomatoes, I hope it turns out!
Good looking fruit plate there. I love pineapple, really sourrrr pineapple.

cronks said...

bZ!

gardens are so much fun!...at my house we have okra and beans...the okra are OUT OF CONTROL....they are so tall and produce so much okra!....if you eat it fresh it isn't slimy. (i didn't know that)...

summertime is yummytime....

Kati said...

I love your summer photos - that deer is amazing - I can't believe she was hanging out right in your yard. I must try that salad, too - way to go Daiku!

KleoPatra said...

Love that photo collage!! Super cool. Thanks for the drool-worthy photos as always... i'm a sucker for the animal shots...

Vivacious Vegan said...

I made Daiku's potato salad today for dinner. It was delicious. I used a fresh herb and balsamic vinaigrette I had made a couple of days ago. I didn't have any fresh dill but the dried seemed to work ok. I honestly never would have thought to make potato salad any way except for my mom's way (mayo, celery, onions, parsley, and lots of cider vinegar). Bloggers are so cool. I'm constantly being introduced to something new. I love it!