Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Bounty

This is my favorite time of year. Sure, it's hot enough to grill tofu on the sidewalk, but that hot summer sun makes for ripe, luscious fruits and veggies. For example, check out MY FIRST TOMATO!!!


This is the first fully-ripe, edible bit of produce I've ever grown (aside from fresh herbs). It's a Cherokee Purple heirloom tomato (though it looks a little red), and even though it's from my plant, I really owe my neighbor Wes credit for keeping it alive. He waters it daily when he waters his other plants. It'd be dead by now if it were up to me (now do you see why I've never been able to grow anything?).

Though you can't tell in the photo, the bottom of the tomato was rotting a bit. I trimmed that part off and immediately devoured the rest, slice by juicy slice. Wow! I've eaten Cherokee Purples, but this was so much better than any tomato I've had before. It didn't even need salt!

For dinner that night, I made Fried Tofu Ricotta and Hickory Smoked "Cheddar" Stuffed Squash Blossoms:


I picked the blossoms up at the farmer's market Saturday morning but wasn't sure what to do with them. So I made some quick tofu ricotta and shredded some Hickory Smoked Sheese (good stuff!) for stuffing. Then I battered them in a whole wheat flour/soymilk mixture and fried them in safflower oil.

Here's what they looked like before frying:


On the side, I made Grilled Peach Salad with Faux Feta:


The peaches were also from the farmer's market, courtesy of the local Jones Orchard. I sliced them in half and threw 'em on the grill for a few minutes to bring out the natural juices. Look at these babies:


Then I sliced them and laid them over fresh arugula (also from the farmer's market) and topped with Sunergia Mediterranean Herb SoyFeta and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette. That, my friends, is what summer is all about!

21 comments:

springsandwells said...

mmmm. the peaches look great.

The tomato is so beautiful! Congratulations!

Allison said...

I LOVE summer produce...so fresh, clean, and beautiful! I definitely would've savored that tomato slice by slice too :0) Thanks for the tempeh/tofu recommendations...I really need to buy VCon!!

shellyfish said...

Yeah for home grown!! Er... 'maters I mean, of course! And a grilled peach salad...damn woman, you always get my tummy rumbling!

VeggieGirl said...

THAT TOMATO!!! THOSE PEACHES!!! Ahh, the beauty of fresh produce.

tofufreak said...

the grilled peaches look so juicy!


what is the texture of the squash blossoms once fried?

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

I love the new layout of the blog. Either I am really oblivious or it is new. :-)

Congrats on the tomato! That is awesome, and you better stay where you are girl, Wes watering your plants and occasionally feeding you! You know, you could always tell him that he could move next door to Brett and I, Columbia isn't too bad.

Mmmm, those squash blossoms look fantastic, and those peaches!

jennycestcake said...

These recipes are truly inspired! I would never think to eat a squash blossom let alone stuff it and fry it! Great job!

omnidudemeandthebean said...

Congratulations on your tomato! It's beautiful. Your food looks spectacular, as usual. I seriously wish we had something like a local market.

poopiebitch said...

Holy mother those peaches look tasty! I'm glad to see your squash blossoms turned out yummy, too! And I have got to try growing something next year. Tomatoes are always a good idea!

Yeah, I snapped the pic of the bubble tea in the car... sneaky me!

I stopped using shampoo after reading a book called Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey. My hair is so much healthier and SO much curlier since I stopped using shampoo. The chemicals in most commercial shampoos are so bad for hair.

I still rinse it really well in the shower and use conditioner, and occasionally use other things to 'clean' my hair such as baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice, or olive oil to deep condition.

Shampoo is evil! Down with shampoo!

Alice (in Veganland) said...

mmm, stuffed squash flowers... they look so nice and tasty!
And congrats on your first tomato!

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

WHOA! The blossom looks INSANELY delicious. My mouth is seriously watering.

trina said...

That is one gorgeous tomato, and all sorts of lovely food. Now I wish I hadn't just walked past the squash blossoms at the market yesterday.

Cyn said...

That is a nice tomato. Also, I love squash blossoms. There's just something so fun about eating flowers.

Lauren said...

your tomato looks great! i have a small cherry tomato plant and i've only gotten a few so far..yours looks soo juicy though!

Katy said...

Wow, those peaches are totally making my mouth water. Yum!!!

jennconspiracy said...

Yum - I had a great grilled peach salad at Taverna Santi in Geyserville a few weeks ago - they did ok on making me a vegan dinner.

Funny you just did squash blossoms - I got some Tuesday at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market - quite a lot of them for $3 - I'm going to stuff them with a pine-nut-pistachio ricotta, dip them in tempura and fry them.

Btw, your Cherokee Purple looks fantastic!

Nikki Douglas said...

What a hot tomato you..uh..hot tomato!

Bee said...

Awww, you have/had a very pretty tomato! And the blossoms look yummy. I might have to try that sometime.

jessy said...

what a perfect stuffed squash blossom! it looks sooooo tasty! makes me wish i could make them here at the beach! i'm gonna look for some at my farmer's market this sunday when we get back! w00t! grilled peaches = mmmmmmmm! i've never tried them grilled, just broiled (with a little brown sugar & agave nectar)- it's looking like i need to grill 'em! and faux feta - hells yeah!

hoooooooooooray for your gorgeous heirloom tomato, Bianca! i love it the most!

Veggie said...

OH you have peaches already? I'm so jealous! I've never eaten squash blossoms before.

Avery Yale Kamila said...

Oh, those peaches are making me drool!