How sweet I roamed from field to field, and tasted all the summer's pride.”
~ William Blake
My little urban backyard container garden is beginning to yield its summer bounty. This week I picked all of the tomatoes and peppers in the photo above from it!
Here is one of my favorite ways to serve fresh firm ripe tomatoes from the garden. I slice them and layer them with large fresh basil leaves and fresh mozzarella cheese, sprinkle with salt and some chopped oregano and pour extra virgin olive oil over all. Served with chewy crusty bread to mop up all the oil and juices this could be a lunch entree or a dinner side dish.
The Proud Italian Cook blog has some wonderful ideas today on how to prepare an abundance of summer vegetables in a vegetable torte, as well as two other delicious recipes that are not to be missed. Go over and prepare to be impressed!
I also have a fig tree, raspberry bushes and strawberries growing in containers in my backyard, but they never yield more than I can use for a few days at a time. My husband and I did go a little overboard at Costco this weekend, however, and we bought large packages of cherries, strawberries and blueberries. How could we resist, when all the fruit looked so good and the prices were the best we've seen all season?
My solution was to make both a blueberry and a strawberry tart! I used the same easy blueberry tart recipe I already showed on my blog in July, and I prepared the same easy crust recipe for both tarts.
For the strawberry tart filling I washed, hulled and sliced about four cups of strawberries. In a medium saucepan I combined 2/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a dash of salt and then added the sliced strawberries. To that I added 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoon of lemon juice, and cooked all over medium heat until it came to a boil.
(At this point you can taste filling and add more sugar if you feel it needs it.) Pour into prepared chilled tart shell.
Both tarts were baked in a 375 F oven for 50 minutes.
The strawberries hold their shape better than the blueberries, so you don't have to add more berries on top for presentation, as I did for the blueberry tart. I sprinkled some confectioners sugar over both.
You can serve these with a dollop of whip cream or ice cream over each serving, but they are wonderful just as is. Delicious, and a good way to use up an excess of berries yet still enjoy their fresh fruit taste!
Isn't summer grand?
Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~Henry James