As we enter July, we’re starting to reap the benefits of the community garden plot. We’re also starting to experience mid-summer gardening woes: mosquitoes, sunburn, weeding, excessive kale. I’ve taken a few pictures, but I’m not sure if you can really get a sense for what we’re working with – or what our garden neighbors are producing in similar spaces.
And so it happened that we found ourselves facing down a fridge full of produce on the eve of leaving for a weekend trip. Inspired by this week’s SELMA menu, I decided to use up the zucchini, tomatoes, and rapini in a sort-of ratatouille. And I have to say, it turned out way better than I expected.
I sauteed a couple of cloves of garlic (minced) and an onion (finely diced) in a tablespoon or so of olive oil over medium heat, then added 3-4 small tomatoes (diced) and let the whole thing go saucey while prepping the rest of the veg. I chopped a medium-sized zucchini into bite-sized pieces, then added it to the sauce once the tomatoes had cooked down a bit, tossing to combine and to ensure even cooking. While the zucchini was going golden, I washed, trimmed, and chopped a handful or two of rapini from the garden, and tossed it in to wilt for a few minutes.
We’d picked up a couple of loaves of bread at Plum Market last night – baked goods go half off or more at 8pm – so I sliced half a ciabatta in half again, then put it in the toaster oven for a few minutes while rounding up Shane for dinner. I had initially thought about serving the ratatouille over polenta, but that was just too much heat for an already hot night – and the ciabatta turned out to be just right.
The only thing I’d change for next time is the rapini – it was, well, like eating a bunch of rapini-flavored sticks. After one bite each, we carefully removed the stick-y parts, and proceeded. We ate this pile of goodness with fork and knife, pulling away bites of toasty bread, sweet red-gold sauce, and tasty veg topped with shaved Parmigano-Reggiano.