Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pizza made with heirloom tomatoes

While we were in Milan last year, my friend Elisa made us a pizza using phyllo or puff pastry dough. It was so delicious that I wondered why I never thought of doing it before. What could be better than flaky, buttery, crisp dough in the pizza!? Especially if you like thin crust pizza. She made hers with just plum tomatoes and cheese, but I jazzed my recipe up a bit.

  • a package of Pilsbury puff pastry
  • 1/2 cup of crushed tomato (not sauce)
  • 8 oz (one ball) of fresh mozzerella
  • fresh basil and oregano leaves
  • 2 medium or 1 large ripe tomato (in the picture, I used 2 grape tomatoes, 1 small plum tomato and 1 medium Black Krim tomato)

Thinly slice the cheese and thinly slice the tomatoes. It's important the tomatoes are very ripe. If you buy them from the supermarket, leave them out on the counter for 2-3 days.

Follow the directions of the package of the puff pastry in order to defrost the dough. Generously, flour the surface of a large baking sheet and lay the defrosted pastry dough out.

Season and spread a thin layer of crushed tomato on the dough. I season the dough now rather than on top of the ingredients because I think it tastes better that way.

Arrange your ingredients on top of your dough. I spread the larger slices of tomatoes and cheese around the edges and leave the smaller ones towards the center since pizza tends to pool to the middle.

Bake for 40 minutes or until brown and bubbly. The fresh mozzerella made these yummy brown bubbles and the deep red of the Black Krim tomatos made pretty looking "flowers" when baked. It was so yummy!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Squash "Pasta" Ribbons with Pesto

Here's a low calorie option and a creative way to use up your summer squash or zucchini. It's that time now where the plants are bursting with fruit. So much so that you can't find enough ways to eat it. Tired of ratatouille and grilled veggies?

Scrumptious and satisfying. The ribbons of squash replace pasta and offer more fiber, vitamens and low in calories.

With the heat wave, the squash increase in size very rapidly. These two were hiding under the leaves. In general, these are a tad too large for good eating. The smaller you pick your squash, the more tender and sweet they are. Squashes that are 1.5" in diameter are perfect.

Using a carrot peeler, I gently sliced the ribbons of squash. Blanch in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Top with pesto or your favorite marinara.

Bon Appetit!



Monday, July 19, 2010


A One Pounder!

I weighed my big tomato and to my surprise it was 1 pound! Wow!


Basil was licking it. He knows the good stuff.

Basil, "My mom is so strange."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Le Jardin on Shutterfly

To consolidate and back up my photos, I uploaded all my garden photos to a share site on Shutterfly. If you want to see all my garden photos that don't make the cut here on the blog just visit

Friday, July 16, 2010

7.16.10 Tomatoes

Harvested my first handful of grape tomatoes of the season!

They are bigger than any grapes I have ever eaten. They made a yummy snack.

My heirloom Persimmon tomatoes were so heavy that the stem broke, so I had to bring them inside. I want to weigh them to see just how much they weigh.

Here they are pre-harvest. On the left is a lemon cucumber plant that I planted there so it can climb up the tomato plant.

South side of the house - The zinnias have really filled in which look great! They look so nice next to my squash plants.

They are so purty.


On Tuesday, the tomatoes began to ripen.

The tomato plants are clearly over 6' tall. They are getting taller than the stakes.

This is one of the summer squash plants. It's the most healthy one and it's extremely big! It's maybe 4'-5' now and it's crushing everything in its path.

The jalepenos were the first to emerge and there are so many of them.

These must be the poblano peppers! They are just beginning to show their shape.

The bell peppers just began emerging. They are oh so cute.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Things are slowing down and now I'm just sittin' pretty waiting for the tomatoes to ripen.

Plump Persimmon Tomatoes

The squash was getting so overwhelming that I had to stake them up. This isn't going to last long. I already see some kind of bug infestation at the base of the plant. If more patty pan squash do not develop soon, I'm going to yank out the plants to make room for some herbs.

Zinnia Centerpiece

We hosted a dinner party last night and made a beautiful centerpiece for the dinner table. What bright colors!

These zinnias from Renee's Garden Seeds (Berry Basket). I was surprised how tall and bushy they were. I googled some images of 'berry basket zinnia' and pictured a much shorter mature plant. As you can see, each one is different. Different color, size, and petal count. My favorite is the deep fuschia one (lower left). It reminds me of one of the talking flowers from Alice in Wonderland.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

7.08.10 Cucumber Bed

Planted in this bed are 2 tomato plants (back), pickling cucumbers, zinnias and patty pan squash (front). The cucumbers have been so profilic. I will definitely grow these again next year.

The squash is overflowing out of the bed. I knew this would happen, but next year I won't plant them in the raised bed.

The zinnias are awesome! They come in various sizes and petal count.

7.8.10 Tomatoes

I'm sure you're all tired of hearing how BIG my tomatoes are, but um yeah. They are BIG!

Me taking a photo of myself and my precious tomato plants. One of them is nearly 6' tall. I had to tie it up higher.

Lots of tomatoes! In the very front of the photo are my Roma (plum) tomatoes just on one plant. I'm going to have a lot of tomato salad and sauce to make this summer.

The grape tomatoes are larger than the average grape. I like them a lot because they are great for snacking or cooking with.

Close up of my Persimmon tomatoes. The photo doesn't do justice as to just how plump they are. I can't wait to sink my teeth into one of these. They are so sweet and meaty.

Here's a recipe from Cooking Light using Persimmon tomatoes with halibut. Sounds like the perfect summer dish although I would love to gobble it up just with a sprinkling of salt.

And here's another for a salad with prawns, avocado and persimmon tomatoes. I love avocado too. This sounds like a great combination.