Ok, you caught me again. It’s Monday. Monday Supper: Panzanella? Just doesn’t sound the same. Guess what? Summer is O.V.E.R. tomorrow. So, I went out to the garden and found it riddled with many signs of end of season stress. Powdery mildew has shown up in full glory, starting to take down the cosmos, dahlias, and I even see signs of it on the tomato plants. With temperatures scheduled to drop into the mid to low 40s later this week, I think it’s safe to say…summer is coming to an end.
I clipped all the remaining dahlias (so sad to compost over 30 unopened blooms), pulled up the cosmos and pruned the infected leaves of the tomatoes, but I suspect I haven’t rid the garden of the mess.
I harvested the ripe tomatoes and those that are splitting. Next I grabbed 20 or so serrano peppers and noticed my Scotch Bonnet (habanero) has fruit on it!!! What the heck? We’ve had the hottest summer on record and it took these babies over 100 days to pollinate and make fruit. We’ll see if the cold temperatures take care of those this week.
end of summer harvest
With the bounty of today’s harvest, I decided panzanella was in order. It’s a dish originating in Tuscany and a great way to use day old bread. Here is the recipe I pulled together for tonight’s dinner. I served it with a couple of slices of smoked proscuitto.
3 cups of day old unsalted Italian bread, cubed (any crusty bread would work, but unsalted is best)
2 medium tomatoes, wedged and chopped into large chunks
2 sprigs basil, torn into pieces
small fresh mozzarella balls, quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
2 lemons, juiced
Mix tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste. Let sit in fridge for 20-30 minutes. Mix in bread cubes. Eat!
I think this dish is a fine salute to the last evening of summer 2009. It was a good one!
Next up…I’m going to harvest the carrots and potatoes for a roast chicken with vegetables some night this week! I’ll need to whip up some fresh salsa with all those serrano peppers too! Maybe for some football watching on Saturday.