Cook Books for the Garden

by Jean Gallagher on May 2, 2010

Now that you’ve organized your garden and you know what fruits and vegetables you’ll be harvesting, it’s time to think about the dinner table.  What are you going to prepare?

Barbara, a very close friend from Tuscany visits at least once a year. She always collects lemons and basil from my garden and prepares her favorite light, summertime pasta.  After she cooks any kind of pasta al dente, she sprinkles it with the wonderful olive oil she has brought me. Barbara always brings me the freshest, most flavorful olive oil I’ve ever tasted. Then  she grates lemon rind, chops fresh basil and adds both to the pasta. It makes the lightest, freshest, most delicious meal.

I have my own concoction that might make an Italian chef see red, but I eat mostly raw food so I’ve come up with my own favorite recipes . I begin by making a traditional Caprese salad; sliced tomatoes, (preferably room temperature and firm) fat slices of fresh mozzarella and truly fragrant, flavorful fresh basil.  Drizzle with olive oil and you have a Caprese salad.

My own personal addition, which makes the simple Caprese into a very full meal is the addition of fresh corn and avocado. I strip the kernels from an ear of corn, or two if I’m very hungry which is most of the time. Then I slice a wonderful fresh California avocado and add the slices. The corn adds a wonderful crunch and sweetness and the soft texture and delicious flavor of the avocado are wonderful additions to the Caprese. Don’t forget the salt and you might like to add a bit of balsamic vinegar.

Here are some garden cookbooks I love. Some old, some new – you will find wonderful recipes in each one of them.

From Seed to Plate My Italian Garden Organic Cooking Recipes from the Garden
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