Tomato Time

Last week, our tomatoes finally started turning red.

Our first harvest came in on Wednesday:

Well, that is actually our second harvest because a day or two earlier, we had one beautiful ripe red Cherry 100.  And Chris proudly came to me and said “our first tomato is ready!”  And then he ate it before I could smell it or see it and certainly before I could take a photo of it. After writing him out of the will, I patiently waited a few days and by mid-week, we had a few more ready to be pulled from the vines.

Now, another five days has passed and there are pops of red and orange scattered throughout our three tomato plants. The Cherry 100s are coming in first and fast.  The grape tomatoes are little behind but so cute like little baby toes.  And soon, our Baby Boys will start to shade from green to orange to red.

Tonight, I pulled a handful off to use with dinner, somehow.

I had no plan but it turned out beautifully and you can read all about it in my next post.

Awesome Arugula

A little spicy, a lotta peppery, Arugula, also know as Rocket is a good source of potassium and Vitamin C. Its also Chris & I’s new favorite vegetable.

Or, it might be our new favorite vegetable. Following Chris’s first experience with it in early-May, we bought 4 plants for our container farm. And this stuff grows fast, especially in the cool spring temps we’ve been experiencing. We pulled a few leaves off one night as a base for some grilled chicken. Last night, I made a salad of fresh arugula topped with sauteed mushrooms, garlic and cherry tomatoes. We ate that with leftover grilled pork loin marinated in Dale’s Seasoning (reduced sodium please!). I mixed together a quick dressing of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and fresh thyme (also from the farm). The balsamic vinegar is from Italy via Cherry Creek Winery, aged 18 years.

I’ve had arugula before, most often part of a salad mix. In early May we ate dinner at Evan Street Station in Tecumseh, MI. I had a mixed green salad and shared it with Chris, pulling each green out so he could sample the different flavors. The salad included arugula, frisee, dandelion, mache and other lettuces.

Its now early June and our arugula is going crazy.  We’ve been eating it a lot and still can’t keep up.  Earlier this week, I used a Rachael Ray recipe (from 365- No Repeats) that included a rice pilaf with arugula and basil mixed in.  Rather than a generic rice pilaf, I used Seven Grain Pilaf from Seeds of Change.  Like much of our cooking lately, the recipe also used the fancy balsamic vinegar.

I’m looking forward to a sweet potato-arugula salad I found in a British cookbook in the Barnes and Noble discount bin.  That recipe along with a roasted red pepper appetizer is what made me buy the cookbook to begin with.  And I’m hoping our arugula keeps growing, without bolting, until our tomatoes are ready. Just imagine an arugula, farm-fresh tomato and mozzarella salad drizzled with balsamic vinegar and good quality fruity olive oil.
I’m drooling.