Written by: Chef Alan Zox, Ph.D
Matt’s Organic Gardens, located in Dennisport Massachusetts, represents a unique approach to gardening. Not only do the owners, Matt and Janet, introduce organic plants that are ready to grow in your own garden, but they offer vegetable selections that are immediately ready to prepare in your kitchen for breakfast, lunch or dinner the very evening you have chosen to prepare them.
Further, Matt’s family provides farm features that include organic fertilizers, soil amendments, bag and bulk compost, along with many varieties of vegetables. For example, Matt and Janet and their staff grow over 65 varieties of small and large tomatoes, along with garlic, eight varieties of kale, 12 different cold crops of lettuces, hot and sweet international peppers, and over a dozen varieties of eggplants.
Because these vegetables can be picked when you are ready to eat them, they taste better than your average tomatoes or eggplants found at your local supermarket. Moreover, staff will educate you to have an ongoing balanced eco system for growing your vegetables at your home garden. In fact the availability of crops you can eat on demand, and prepare when you wish for your loved ones makes your meals that much more delicious.
Learning from trained garden staff about these many organic vegetables educates the consumer to be better informed about the source of the food produce you can buy on a daily basis. And if you are interested in foods that are better for you such as organic foods, you will be better able to make what you consume and grow for others.
Given the many ways organic vegetables can be eaten, especially among organic tomatoes, here are three delicious recipes that will capture your imagination this season.
Recipe #1 Caprese Salad: with Beefsteak Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil
This combination of delights can be prepared in minutes. Merely cut and layer the tomatoes, moz and Basil. ingredients in raw form or pan fry with salt and pepper and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Recipe #2 Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho Soup
This is a thirst quenching summer soup from Spain. By adding watermelon to tomato juice with a touch of Sherry wine vinegar, you will create a wonderful new flavor. Combine 2 tbs of sweet summer watermelon with 2 lbs of locally harvested golden or red tomatoes, cored, chopped and pureed. Add 1 tbsp red wine vinegar with sea salt and ground pepper. Add one diced celery stalk and chill for 2 hours.Yum!
Recipe #3 Roasted Red, Plum Tomatoes
These delights are fun to make and and far less expensive to use for cooking when you make them yourself. Begin with 5 lbs. of plum tomatoes. Expect to be able to dry about 24 halves. Heat your oven no more than 180-200 degrees leaving oven slightly ajar with a wine cork for about 2-3 hours. Check them after one hour and every 30 minutes thereafter. Make a pie with them; Snacking is nice, too.