I am getting tons of gorgeous, colorful tomatoes from my garden, and while I love eating them as is, I've also been trying to find new ways to use them. They're great in salads and in pasta dishes, but I was searching for something a little different.
Last year I tried planting a vegetable garden for the first time, and while it was a learning experience and a lot of work, overall I was happy with the results and enjoyed getting outside, maintaining it, and reaping the benefits. I got a decent amount of plum tomatoes and peppers, handfuls of herbs, and some zucchini and pattypan squash. This year, I was inspired to plant a garden again and went to nearby Volante Farms toward the end of May to get the best selection of tomatoes (by the time I'd decided to plant last year, plum tomatoes were just about the only variety left). I kept the tomatoes inside until June just in case of too-low overnight temperatures.
I decided to plant along the side of the house this year instead of in the backyard (because we had visions of trying to get our backyard into some kind of shape), so I had a little more room to work with but wanted to keep things simple. I picked out a variety of tomato plants, all of which would yield bite-size tomatoes (my love of mini foods extends to vegetables as well!) -- Sun Gold, Yellow Pear, Red Pear, Sweet 100, Sweet Gold, and Golden Sweet -- some cubanelle pepper plants, and some basil and thyme.
Pastoral is one of the many new additions to the Fort Point area, and seeing that the menu featured primarily pizza and lots of small plates, as well as wine and interesting-sounding cocktails, my friend and I made plans to meet there for dinner. I got down to the area a little earlier than she did and sat by the water for a few minutes soaking up some sun before heading into the restaurant. We were seated at a two-top near the open front windows -- perfect for people watching -- in the dining room area, where we could see most of the restaurant and even catch a glimpse of the action in the open kitchen.
Labels: Restaurant reviews and events
On July 10, guests gathered at Volante Farms for their first Dinner in the Field of 2014. Below are scenes from the dinner, with dishes prepared by chef Todd Heberlein and staff using farm-grown produce.
I am in full-on summer vegetable mode now. I run over to my tomato garden every day after work to see if my assortment of cherry and pear tomatoes are ripe enough to pick. I spy on my cubanelle peppers, hoping that they'll finally be big enough to pick and grill. I imagine stockpiling corn on the cob, giving it a quick dip in some boiling water, and slathering it with butter. And I crave summer squash, as much summer squash as I can get my hands on.