Kitchen Garden

Gleaning and Arugula Pasta

Volunteer Arugula
Volunteer Arugula

LAKE MACBRIDE— Arugula volunteered in the tomato patch and we had a simple pasta with it last night for dinner. It has been growing for three additional years since the patch was planted in arugula. Here’s the recipe:

Put a pot on to boil one pound of pasta.

In a large bowl, add five medium tomatoes sliced in wedges, two cups roughly chopped arugula, 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh basil, one teaspoon dried, flaked oregano leaves, one half cup olives, two tablespoons balsamic vinegar, three tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. When the pasta is cooked and drained, add it all to the bowl and mix gently with tongs. Add one cup of Romano or Parmesan cheese and continue to mix. Serve immediately. Makes five to six servings.

Red and Green Tomatoes
Red and Green Tomatoes

After the garden is through, we glean it. This means going through the plots, removing the plants and picking the last bits of fresh vegetables. Last night I gleaned half of the tomato patch and it yielded the arugula and green and red tomatoes. I also raked the mulch and put it in a pile to use later.

The best green tomatoes will be wrapped in newspaper to ripen indoors, and the lesser ones will go into a garden ends salsa which will include hot and bell peppers, ripe Roma tomatoes, onions, garlic and whatever else is found while clearing the garden spaces. I may make fried green tomatoes from the biggest slices as I have been experimenting with a buttermilk and cornmeal coating this year.

The empty garden plot will store a brush pile until the branches are either chipped for mulch or burned. It is time to consolidate all the piles of fallen branches around the yard and mow the lawn.

Adding to my to-do list: make soup stock from fresh turnip leaves, harvest and dry the rest of the herbs, and glean the rest of the garden. I saw at least one more patch of volunteer arugula, and there will be a few Brussels sprouts, more tomatoes and the turnip roots. There is leftover garlic from my shares at the CSA, and some may get cracked and planted.

With all of this end of season activity, some delicious dishes are in the works.