Farm to Table: The California Chef Way

It’s been a while since Chef Denise or I have blogged about anything; it’s just been crazy busy in the kitchen. However, we do have something in its infancy stage that has us quite excited and we wanted to share it with you: We have started an organic garden that we hope to eventually expand into something large enough to provide us with fruits and vegetables that we’ll use in California Chef meals! Sure, we have reliable sources of tasty organic ingredients that we currently use for our organic customers, but since Chef Denise and I love to garden, we thought that over time we’d expand our hobby into a source of fun and unique produce that may be difficult to find elsewhere but interesting to incorporate into California Chef meals.

This year we started with tomatoes, because we’ve had good luck growing them in the past and we really enjoy eating them. To kick things up a few notches from our past gardening efforts, we seriously increased the number and variety of plantings this spring–to 34! Things have grown wonderfully, and we’re just entering that sweet spot of summer when every one of our plants is now giving us fruit every day. So, as you can imagine, we’re enjoying a lot of tomatoes.

An Early Summer's Evening Harvest

One of the easiest, tastiest dishes we’ve made with our nightly harvests recently is one that you can easily enjoy at home as well, whether using tomatoes from your own garden or from your favorite grocer or farmer’s market. And the dish is perfectly healthy as well! Here’s all you do: Wash and dry as many tomatoes as you think would be appropriate for the number of people you’re serving. Cut the tomatoes in bite-size pieces and put them in a big bowl. Liberally drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt. Crush some garlic and cut some basil leaves and add these to your bowl, giving everything a good mix.  Let the mixture sit, allowing the salt to “bleed” the tomatoes, which releases their juices and lets the individual elements of the dish intermingle. In the meantime, boil some water for pasta and get that going. Denise and I have had this meal vegetarian style exactly as I’ve described here. Alternatively, we’ve made some spicy Italian turkey sausages, cut them up, and added them to the bowl with the pasta once it was ready. Obviously, you can decide which you’re in the mood for if you give this recipe a try. That’s all it takes to enjoy a one-dish meal that overflows with the goodness of summer!

Garden Tomatoes Waiting Patiently in Their Bowl for Pasta to Arrive

I hope you enjoy your pasta with tomatoes, and Chef Denise and I will keep you posted on our progress in the garden.

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