The rosemary skewered tomatoes were my own idea, but the pesto was made with fresh-picked basil using a recipe from P. Allen Smith. I included a little Thai and African blue basil just for the fun of it... and because they're growing so fast that I can barely keep up!
|Okra, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, marigolds and three types of basil|
Here's my advice to anyone trying to lose weight: Plant a vegetable garden! It can be immensely frustrating to buy bags of produce only to watch your carefully selected tomatoes and greens go bad in a couple of days, and this has definitely been the case in our kitchen. We actually end up having to make special trips to the grocery store just to eat a healthy dinner, so it's quite a relief to have fresh okra right outside our door for impromptu stir-frying along with garlic and whatever else we have lying around. How's that for fast food?
The apartment vegetable garden isn't quite large enough to feed that many people yet, but I do plan on adding more beds when the weather starts to cool off a bit. In the meantime, there's enough for us to have a little fun.
Note: I also decided to include Okra since I had about four pods that needed to be picked, but because I had to keep them heated on warm until my wife came home, I was disappointed to find that they shank and became crispy. That is, until I tasted them. The slowly heated and dried okra was actually so sweet and tasty that I will probably do it again! I'll leave them out of the recipe since they aren't essential, but if you'd like to make your own okra, add a little bit of oil and finely chopped clove of garlic (or a shallot) to the pan, and heat the chopped okra on medium-high until both sides are browned. Season to taste and serve immediately.
Easy Rosemary-skewered Tomato recipe
You will need:
8 Rosemary stems
24 - 32 Small tomatoes (grape tomatoes are fine)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
Other vegetables are optional.
Remove all but the last inch of leaves from the rosemary stems. The leaves may be used for other recipes. Skewer a tomato with the cut end of a rosemary stem, pushing it all the way to the leafy end, and continue to add 1-3 more tomatoes. Repeat for remaining stems, and set aside.
Lightly drizzle oil on the pan and set heat to medium. Crush a clove of garlic with the flat of a knife and chop finely. Combine skewered tomatoes and garlic to the heated pan and cook until both sides are slightly browned, flipping as needed.
Serve skewered tomatoes atop pasta, as a side dish or as an appetizer. Sprinkle sauteed garlic over the tomatoes if desired.
|I sauteed mine with okra, but that definitely isn't necessary... it WAS good though.|
If using store-bought rosemary the stems will be less firm. You might need to puncture the tomatoes first with a skewer, remove the leaves and then thread the rosemary through the holes.
If collecting rosemary from the garden, here are some tips. Rosemary usually doesn't regrow from cuts made into bare wood, so either cut firm and leafy stems a couple of inches above the bare part of the stem, or remove the entire stem at the base.
If you liked my recipe, try a couple of my wife's recipes too. Her healthy blueberry muffins and were a huge hit, and so was her red pepper quiche!
Oh, and be sure to check out my sweet and spicy PINEAPPLE PULLED PORK TACOS recipe out too! I made it for a Le Creuset contest and the most 'likes' wins! It's probably the yummiest thing I've ever made.