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Friday, July 22, 2011

Random Food Fridays - Tomato and Pasta Salad

While the rest of the country has been suffering a massive and kind of scary heat wave, we in sunny Sacramento Valley have had the second unusually cool summer in a row. Our spring was Winter Part Two. I have been gardening with intention for three years now and only the first year was kind of normal. My soil was poor then and I've made significant improvements. My soil improvements didn't help my tomatoes get through late and heavy rains and continuously cool nights. My heroic little plants have grown spindly and have suffered two bouts of rust and white flies. Even with the odds against them, my plants have produced. And how! In the photo above, you see two of my four Roma plants. Last weekend I harvested 8 pounds of tomatoes from these four plants. I'll gather more this weekend.
The weekend I gathered all these tomatoes, the Sacramento Bee had a story about how area tomatoes have been struggling. I was feeling like a bad tomato mother until I read that everyone was having the same problems. I think I've actually lucked out with this chunk-o-harvest.
Two pounds of the freshly picked tomatoes went into this pasta salad. It was inspired by this post at Simply Recipes, but this version is my own. It's simple and refreshing. This recipe makes a huge amount, so feel free to half it. I think this would be a terrific light meal with the addition of fresh mozzarella.

Tomato and Pasta Salad
1 16 oz. package of orzo pasta cooked per package directions and drained
2 lb. garden tomatoes, cored and diced
1/3 cup diced sweet onion
1 tbsp. capers, coarsely chopped
hand full of fresh basil leaves sliced into ribbons
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Gently toss the pasta and vegetables together in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. Add the olive oil by pouring it in a thin stream while continuing to whisk. Scrape the dressing into the pasta and tomatoes and gently toss to coat the ingredients. Chill before serving.

Makes enough for a potluck!

1 comment:

  1. mmmm... that looks delicious and lovely! you have brave little tomato plants. :)