Farm Inspired Tomato Sauce

Farm Inspired Tomato Sauce

I learned a new way of making tomato sauce, under an arbor of wisteria and grape vines, in the outdoor farm kitchen. We washed tomato flat after tomato flat, cooking down some whole, and chopping others up. After a morning of processing we made 91 quarts of sauce and the next day I stepped in to the cellar, where the shelves were once again full of tomatoes.

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Spaghetti with Eggplant Sauce

Spaghetti with Eggplant Sauce

The recipe calls for eggplant, but suggests you can use zucchini or cauliflower, and it was so so good and the best way to use up some odds and ends. You basically cook eggplant (or zucchini, cauliflower or broccoli) until it softens, then add just enough stock to allow it to bubble away and fall apart so it becomes a savory pasta sauce

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Burnt Eggplant with Tahini

Burnt Eggplant with Tahini

A friend of the garden, Caroline, dared me to eat eggplant every day on my trip, a challenge I gladly accepted. The eggplant in both countries was staggeringly good and it tasted like something, like its own beautiful eggplant flavor, rather than the bland sponge it is often relegated to here. There, the eggplant is king, treated with respect, coaxed from its shiny skin into super stardom. We ate it rolled around chunks of feta and lightly braised in tomato sauce. In Tel Aviv they would split it down the middle, leaving the stem in tact to hold it together, and drizzled with a nutty tahini sauce.

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Mixed Berry Cobbler

Mixed Berry Cobbler

This is a dessert - as in there is a hefty amount of good ol' white sugar and I'm gonna recommend you top this off with some softly whipped cream. While a piece of simple fruit or a wedge of dark chocolate at the end of a meal is great, I also feel strongly that a baked sweet dessert is an act of love. 

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Green Beans with Almond Pesto

Green Beans with Almond Pesto

The GFE garden is bursting with our own summer crops - the classic lettuces, radishes and squash, but also basil (in the inner sunset! - we're pretty proud). Our bush & pole bean production is in overdrive and we have to harvest them diligently to encourage the plant to keep producing. I brought home a bag one day and found a recipe for blanched green beans with an almond pesto. 

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Green Chile Enchiladas

Green Chile Enchiladas

We grabbed a bag of dry, red chiles of medium spice and were thrilled to find fresh green chiles - exactly what we were looking for. These chiles, grow in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico, are the state vegetable as well as its signature crop. They grow both red and green varieties in the Hatch Valley, and the green chile it turns out is also called an Anaheim pepper, easily found at markets here in San Francisco.

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Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

One other way I appreciate this late summer bounty is by always having a jar of olive oil slow roasted tomatoes in my fridge.  I throw these in the oven, sometimes nearly forget about then, and then pluck their shriveled selves off the cookie sheet and into my mouth. These tomatoes have a sweeter and more concentrated flavor than their raw counterparts and keep for up to a week and a half in the fridge.

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