Taken with Tomatoes

Tomatoes are out in full force. Tomatoes that are full of flavor, have ripened naturally and cost a dime a dozen (almost). Everywhere you look, they are being served up in a myriad of ways.

This past weekend at Big Summer Potluck, a food blogging retreat in Pennsylvania, we ate them sliced in a simple salad of tomato, red onion, feta cheese and olive oil. Fresh pepper and salt was the only condiment needed to finish off that simple salad.

On Friday, at New York City’s famous Clinton St. Bakery Company, I ate tomato jam on a buttermilk breakfast sandwich, a perfect accompaniment to a rich breakfast of eggs, bacon and cheese. I now can’t get the idea out of my head for homemade tomato jam. It was perfect.

I herald the arrival of the fresh summer tomatoes as enthusiastically as sundresses and bare feet. Like most produce, they are best enjoyed simply adorned. Here are a few more ideas for serving up tomatoes.

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How to Grow Your Own Indoor Culinary Herb Garden

This is a guest post from Sylvie of Gourmande in the Kitchen. Welcome, Sylvie!

The fresh grassiness of a sprinkle of chopped chives over soup, the robust earthy flavor of fresh thyme leaves on roasted vegetables, and the heady aroma of just-picked mint in your tea are just a few of  the reasons it’s easy to fall in love with cooking with fresh herbs.

Fresh herbs offer us good looks, great flavor, and intoxicating scents. Luckily, these rewards aren’t limited to those of us with a garden; just a few pots indoors can supply you with a variety of flavor-enhancing culinary herbs all year long.

Cultivating an extensive herb garden is wonderful if you have a yard, but many people don’t have access to an outdoor space. Fortunately, it’s not hard to grow the same herbs indoors, even in a small space.

If you’re a novice gardener or don’t have much of a green thumb, growing an indoor culinary herb garden is an easy place to start.  Most herbs are sun worshipers, so all you need to get started is a nice, sunny place in your house for them to call home.

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fresh asparagus

Salute Spring! Asparagus (Recipe: Cream of Asparagus Soup)

Join us as we Salute Spring with a week-long series featuring the finest fruits and vegetables of the season. Written by Katie Goodman

Spring is here and so is one of my favorite vegetables – Asparagus!

Asparagus has been one of my favorite vegetables for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I recall times and the family dinner table where my siblings would sneak their stalks onto my plate as my mother’s back was turned.

I remember eating asparagus and loving it even before entering kindergarten, which is saying something because I’ve yet to get my kindergarten-er to try even a bite!

Before you go purchasing asparagus, there are a few things to consider: Asparagus Season; Selecting and Trimming; and Simple Ways to Enjoy Asparagus.

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Salute Spring! Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

Join us as we Salute Spring with this series featuring the finest fruits and vegetables of the season. Written by Cheri of Kitchen Simplicity.

Strawberries. The name alone makes my mouth start to water. When they’re in season they can be as sweet as candy. Except so much better.

Here in Norway, they’re one of the first fruits to show up in the produce aisle (even before rhubarb!) when spring rolls around, a sure sign that summer is on it’s way.

I have an early childhood memory of stumbling upon some wild strawberries on the top of a hill. They were so teeny tiny but I remember them being the best strawberries I had ever tasted. I’m sure in the mind of a four year old discovering wild strawberries and picking them on your own automatically qualifies them as tasting The Best!

That’s why this year I’m planning on taking my son strawberry picking. We live in an apartment and therefore don’t have a garden and I would love for him to experience the wonder of picking and eating something for himself.

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Pea Plant

Salute Spring! Peas (Recipe: Pea-camole)

Join us as we Salute Spring with a week-long series featuring the finest fruits and vegetables of the season. Written by Megan of Stetted.

Peas make me optimistic. After a cold winter, they’re the first of the spring plants to push through the dirt and begin reaching toward the sun. Once the tendrils start their grab, they’ll climb as high as you let them, only stopped by the limit of your trellis. They are harbingers of things to come, with lovely white blossoms leading the way for plump green pods.

If I had known how sweet and crunchy fresh peas could be when I was a child, I probably would have not shunned them as I did, choking down only what was necessary to be able to leave the table.

My son has no such qualms about peas. He gobbles them up as soon as they’re shelled, leaving the possibility for even attempting a recipe almost impossible. I can’t fault the kid.

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