Yes, I tried to grow tomatoes again this year. With all that hot summer weather we had, I was excited to think I’d soon have enough sun-ripened tomatoes to make one of my favorite summer recipes: Linguine with Tomatoes and Basil, culled from that kitchen classic “The Silver Palate Cookbook.” And while I didn’t exactly fail, my “crop” — if you can call it that — was minimal. I harvested my first Black Krim a couple of nights ago and ate it with just a little salt. Impressive! And here’s what I came up with this morning:
The wee ones are Tumbling Toms and “patio” tomatoes.
Unfortunately, I only grew two edible Black Krims and the one left standing may be smiling, but I’m not.
Black (Krim) humor. So funny, I forgot to laugh.
Truth be told, my garden husbandry has left a lot to be desired this summer, seeing as I (and my otherwise handy husband) have been occupied with other things, like that remodel I’ve been telling you about. Which, in case you’ve been wondering, is going along swimmingly — just like this basil, seen growing on the rooftop garden at Bastille Cafe & Bar in Ballard last night.
Great idea, huh? Note the Hattie’s Hat signage at the top right.
Of course, the folks at Bastille have professional help with their gardening chores. I’ve got professionals in my garden, too, but they’re busy with other things: like schlepping our old sinks and toilets out of the house, building new stairs, laying tile, installing new windows and saying, “Alright already, Nancy! The Sheetrock’s up! Choose a wall color!”
The World’s Best Contractor schlepping windows. And no, I’m not planning on using those toilets as “planter boxes.” I’m thinkin’ Craigslist.
A little too loud for the kitchen, you say? Hmmm, maybe I should go for something more tomato colored?
Meanwhile, in case you’ve got some beautiful fresh basil and tomatoes at hand, I thought I’d share that Silver Palate recipe with you and ask: When tomatoes are in season, besides the old slice, salt and eat trick, what do you like to do with them?
Linguine with Tomatoes and Basil
4 ripe large tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pound Brie cheese, rind removed, torn into irregular pieces
1 cup cleaned fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced [I only use one]
1 cup best quality olive oil
salt to taste
1/2-teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds linguine
freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Combine tomatoes, brie, basil, garlic, 1 cup olive oil, 1/2-teaspoon salt and the pepper in a large serving bowl. Prepare at least 2 hours before serving and set aside, covered, at room temperature
2. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the linguine and boil until al dente, 8 go 10 minutes.
3. Drain pasta and immediately toss with the tomato sauce. Serve at once, passing the peppermill and grated Parmesan if you like.
From “The Silver Palate Cookbook” by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins