Monday, September 29, 2014

Insalata di rucola

slightly overgrown, but tender and tasty , rucola.. in inglese, arugula.
I have a garden.  In that garden are these little leaves. They take minimal work to plant and tend. 

Even less effort to harvest.

In a garden planter, this is easy as.

Unlike the broccoli, peas and beans, this arugula hasn't been eaten by the bugs, local rabbits or that elusive groundhog yet.  And even though it should have been picked a day or so earlier, it is still tender and peppery delicious.

I know alot of people don't particularly like arugula.   And that's less than fair.  when young and tender, arugula's typical peppery bite is only a nibble and benefits from a little love. Love from salty prosciutto, from a simple oil & lemon dressing and lots of grana or parm.  You will wonder why you don't buy or grow arugula more often. 

For more amore: top pizza hot from the oven with any of the smoky speck, savoury bresaola or rich delectable stracchino, then Jackson Pollock some arugula over the top.   For the idea of an artful smattering of arugula, thank you La Terrazza (on Lago Mergozzo, VB) for the inspiration.

Arugula has potential for flavour mates aplenty. Use nut oils, add pears or savour what Saveur suggests for this great green.  GialloZafferano also has some spectacular suggestions. 


Saturday, September 06, 2014

A salad to share


Perfect for sharing with a classic crusty Italian loaf and vino. In the sun, naturalmente.
Vibrant tomatoes after a few days of sun.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Lovely little uglies

Late in the season and only a few are red..

The yellows are holding on but aren't their usual selves.

Guardian of the radicchio.  Keeping the lettuce safe from whatever lunar rogue has been eating the broccoli.

Little yellow pears, still so many are green.

Destined for summer sauce.
It has been a brutal year for the garden.  At this time of year, we are, typically, complaining about the heat, the numerous days of 30C PLUS temperatures and soaring humidity.  The garden is generally thirsty due to a lack of rain but the bounty, which has flourished in the sun glorious sun, is plentiful and the beautiful tomatoes are awaiting their transformation into sauce for the winter.  Happy tummies full of tomato salads, cucumbers and tzatziki, numerous eggplants made into baba ghanoush, not to mention the broccoli, peas, beans and zucchini.

But this summer it rained. It started in May and never stopped (for long). While many parts of the world are suffering true drought, I feel a little guilty for wishing we didn't have so much.  However, it is a little out of balance for Southern Ontario.

Leaves and vines have grown mouldy, fruit and veg remain unripe late in the game and our mini-harvest hangs in the balance.  With our abundance of rain and lacking the heat we are normally accustomed to, we are still predominaetely green where we'd normally be red, gold or yellow.  We've had one day in August above 30C and hopefully a few more in September to get the last of the autumn veg on their way.  A few sunny days and perhaps our efforts won't be in vain.

The title of the post comes from the confusion over my statement that the garden situation was 'ugly' to which the nearly 5 year old said, "Actually mum, I think they are lovely."

And they are.