Hello June! How did you get here so fast? The grandkids are all out of school for the summer now. Less structure, swimming, no homework, staying outside until dark, and all sorts of fun things. Among some of those fun things for me, is garden bounty! I have been cooking like crazy, and planning our meals around what is ready to harvest in the gardens. Let's start with the Baked Rigatoni. I had one or two frozen gallon sized bags of roasted tomato sauce left in my freezer, so I wanted to use them up to make room for this summers stash.
Along with this rigatoni, I wanted to cook up some of the Swiss Chard for the first time. I washed the Chard, and removed the stems from the leafy greens. Melting a good T or so of butter, and adding a T or so of olive oil to hot pan, add some fresh minced garlic. Saute until brown, then add the stems of the chard, torn into about 2 inch pieces, into hot pan. Saute for a couple of minutes before adding rest of green leafy chard. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. When wilted, about 2 more minutes, add a handful of fresh shredded parmesan cheese. Put lid on pan to allow to melt, turning heat to low. Takes only a minute or so.
I have also had several ripe cucumbers. We like them with just a bit of salt and pepper on them.
They maintain their deep rich color, and a bit of a gravy develops as they cook. I removed them from the pot to cool, then went online to find some ways to use them. I ran across a recipe for a salad with roasted beets, arugula and orange segments. I went out and snipped a big bunch of arugula, and peeled a few oranges, and also added a couple of fresh picked cucumbers. The dressing was my own. I used a couple Tablespoons of red wine vinegar, a few T of olive oil, a T sugar, salt and pepper, and the juice of one half of an orange. Oh my, was this ever wonderful! The cooked beets have a very hearty and almost meaty like flavor to them. Reminded us of portobello mushrooms. Delicious. And such beautiful color. Not to mention, loaded with vitamins! We took this salad to dinner at Gennifer's house. Everyone loved it.
I used cremini mushrooms, prosciutto, snipped chives, and I sliced up the rest of the roasted beets, along with mozzarella cheese.
My garden is mostly producing greens right now. But the rest is coming right along too.