Monday, August 1, 2011

A Mid-Summer Night’s Feast


Two absolutely perfect days.  Two warm, beautiful days spent with a dear friend and a brand new one.  One glorious Satuday morning spent shopping for local and fresh ingredients.  The other, a quiet Sunday spent preparing the delicious dishes to shine a spotlight on the delicious ingredients.  What a wonderful way to spend a weekend.  Fabulous food, wonderful family and friends and fantastic weather.  If only all weekends were like this.

We planned a menu.  We shopped for ingredients that were produce locally and in season.  Our menu included ingredients grown no more than 45 minutes away.  The cheese was produced 3 hours away.  The basil?  My deck!  We ate our harvest outside, under the warm August sun drinking local wine and dreaming about our next adventure.

The menu:
Peach, Prosciutto and Ricotta on grilled crostini


Harvest salad with greens, fresh yellow cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and toasted pecans


Summer Pasta with Mozzarella Cheese


Apricot, Almond and Cream Cheese Crostata

Summer Pasta with mozzarella cheese was found in the Smith and Hawken “Gardeners’ Community Cookbook.'’ I have used this cookbook before.  I love all the unique flavors that it combines along with the gardening tips on how to get the most of your vegetables and plants.  Please check out the post or to find other great recipes from this awesome cookbook.  The pages in the book are getting crinkly and that’s a good sign that the book is well loved. 

This is the easiest recipe for fresh tomato sauce ever. The key to the recipe is letting the tomato mixture sit for an hour so the flavors come together.  Do not use refrigerated tomatoes.  I know everyone is tempted to throw their produce in the refrigerator so it will last longer.  Not cool!  Tomatoes produce an flavor enzyme that dies the instant cold hits them.  A refrigerated tomato has no flavor compared to one that is left to sit on the counter.  There.  Now I am getting off my soap box.  This recipe is so easy and so wonderful!

Stay tuned for the next recipe later this week!  Apricot, almond, and cream cheese crostata!

Carb count! 56.6 grams per cup serving.

Summer Pasta with Mozzarella Cheese  Serves 6

6 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound thin pasta, such as angel hair or linguine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon black pepper

1.  Place the tomatoes, garlic, basil, mozzarella, oil, broth, and salt in a large serving bowl.  Stir to mix and set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour.


2.  Cook the pasta until al dente.  Drain briefly and add to the bowl with the tomato mixture.  Add the Parmesan cheese and pepper and toss to mix.


3.  Serve right away while the pasta is still warm.



  1. delicious looking food Sara
    regards Akheela

  2. Weekends like this one are my all time favorite :) And that food! All that food looks amazing. I want in on this weekend feast!

  3. That sounds like a gorgeous weekend. That peach crostini looks so good! Everything looks good.

  4. Thanks for the tomato tip! Who knew! What a gorgeous meal - beautiful post! - Megan