Let’s enjoy the summer flavors while we can!
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
~ Marcel Proust
The quote above is one fit for the bounty that engulfs us at this time of year (at least in this part of the world!).
Harvest season always give me the chills, and it is worth noting that I am currently head over heels, knee-deep & no turning back in love with fresh farm produce.
Anyone else with me on this?!
This past Sunday, I was excited to hit the Farmer’s Market and arrived to realize I had but a meager $25 cash to stock up for the next few days with fresh produce for our growing family.
At first I panicked, thinking it impossible that I could resist the urge to buy armloads of all the beautiful apples, peaches, and every other thing my heart desired.
And then (after a stop at the bank machine only to recall I’d given my ATM card to the teenager to buy jeans), I decided I’d see instead how far I could make that $25 go.
The fragrance always remains on the hand that gives the rose.
After all, ever since the market experience in France and the subsequent realization that things just are not the same here at home, it is still incredibly important to me to support our local farmers whenever I can.
It is also important to me (to try) to buy just what we need and not an apple more. So I am happy to report I did just fine, in fact, I really think I did better than fine.
We’re halfway through the basketful of ripe yellow tomatoes I bought and we’ve got lettuce in the fridge to make another round of salads tomorrow night.
There’s nothing rotting or screaming ‘eat me‘ after being purchased on a whim without a plan, or a thought to where it would go, or to who would consume it.
And it feels really good to know just how far $25 can actually go with (just a little) discipline, restraint, awareness, and forethought.
And have I mentioned how absolutely incredible those tomatoes are right now?
Not to mention the basil, and the zucchini, and the beans, peppers, eggplant, and just about everything else we can call ourselves lucky to have at our fingertips. Less may be more here, and when it is this good, that is really all we seem to need.
This pasta salad brings together all those things to love in one bowl, & I hope you’ll enjoy this combo as much as we did!
You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Less mayo-based pasta salads means more variety and more fun, flavor, and healthy fats. Less white noodles and wheat based foods can mean less sensitivity for those that matters to. Less boredom at mealtime means dinner and lunch are super fun, especially with harvest veggies & herbs so easily at hand.
More local flavor boosters means more summer flavors in your bowl. More grain based goodness means more grounding, fuel, and energy. More healthy fresh veggies to dress up your meals means more color, life, and vitality, so meal times are as lively as can be.
Spelt Pistou Pasta Salad:
- (2) cups dry pasta (I used spelt penne for this one)
- (1/3) to (1/2) cup Basil Pistou
- (1/3) cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- (2-3) ripe tomatoes, cut in wedges
- (1/2) yellow, orange, or red pepper, chopped
- (6-8) leaves fresh basil, cut in ribbons
- black olives for garnish & black pepper (optional)
Make the pistou as described in this post (the last IPOM post). Feel free to play with your favorite pesto as well, I was super pleased to make this with the pistou as outlined as it was quite similar to a recipe shared with me by a good friend recently.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain when done. While the pasta cooks, prepare the sun-dried tomatoes, chopped pepper, fresh tomatoes, and basil ribbons*
*Cut basil ribbons by layering the leaves on top of one another and rolling them to make a tight roll. Then, using a sharp knife, cut horizontally to make uniform ‘ribbons’. Hint: you can also keep it real and rustic by tearing the leaves with your hands.
Start by tossing the still hot pasta with the pistou in a mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Add the chopped peppers and 2/3 of the prepared basil leaves and stir well.
Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with olives, remaining basil ribbons (or torn leaves), fresh tomato wedges, and black pepper. Don’t be shy to add a little splash of extra olive oil to the top either, that never hurts 🙂
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.
~ Charles Dickens
Make sure to enjoy this one with friends, especially if you are among those sensitive to the effects of garlic!
Leftovers can also be enjoyed heated up a little to release the flavors and soften the pasta if has been stored in the fridge. I took this to work and shared the love with one of my favorite girls of all time, I don’t think she minded one bit!
Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.
There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.
~ Ralph H. Blum
Served with a loaf of crusty fresh bread, extra olives on the side, and good friend to share it with, I can’t imagine a better way to enjoy this beautiful, bountiful season we are having.
I’ll be sure to tell the tomato man this weekend how much we’ve enjoyed the fruits of his labor these past two weeks. I’ll be especially proud to tell him we didn’t waste a single morsel.
Enough is a feast.
~ Buddhist Proverb
With all the business we have in this life it is common to hurry through our days checking off to do lists and trying to cover as many bases as we can. Sound at all familiar?
Providing for loved ones adds an extra challenge. Will they have enough? What will they feel like eating? For any of you out there who know the challenges we face just stocking the house (never mind the cooking), we want to hear from you!
- Do you stick to a strict grocery budget?
- Got some tips you can share with us when it comes to buying ‘just enough’?
Wherever you are, I’d love to know what is inspiring you in the kitchen these days, whether it’s in the grocery store, the gym, or the community center parking lot where the producers congregate to sell their bounty.
Next up? A harvest chickpea salad, inspired by a spontaneous Farmer’s Market find 🙂 Stay tuned!
Yours in Less,