This year I am feeling more of an urgency to ‘get the most out of summer’. I think that the cooler cold (yes cold – I was actually wearing long johns & a toque last week!) weather we have been having has made me acutely aware that summer is coming to an end. As a result, I am struggling to have my time in the city look more like the ‘lazy days of August’ and less like a frantic blur of work, mountains of laundry, packing/unpacking, chores and errands. I am trying to slow down, take a deep breath and actually enjoy my days at a leisurely pace.
To that end the goal of last night’s dinner was to not have to take a trip to the grocery store….here is what I had on hand: green tomatoes from the suckers that formed on my neglected tomato plants; clippings from my neglected garden herbs (notice a theme?); ham; white wine; garlic; some misc. garden greens – spinach, lambs quarter, dandelion, mustard greens, kale, etc.; some bits of hard cheese – parmesan, romano, etc.; and potatoes.
The result was a super simple delicious green tomato sauce that I tossed with the greens & potatoes. I will be making this sauce again and again.
Like all of my recipes, the measurements below are approximate – use what you have on hand and customize this recipe to your taste...Obviously pasta would be a more typical starch to serve this sauce with.
- 500g (1lb) green tomatoes chopped into bite sized pieces or cut in half if cherry tomatoes
- 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
- 500g (1lb) ham diced – bacon would also be delicious
- 4 garlic cloves sliced
- 125ml (½c) white wine
- 250ml (1c) fresh herbs ripped/chopped – I used 120ml of parsley, 100ml of basil, 2 green onions, and 10ml of rosemary
- hot pepper flakes (or fresh) to taste - I used 2ml (½tsp)
- 300g (2/3c) grated hard cheese – parmesan, romano, etc.
- salt & pepper to taste
- 500ml (2 cups) coarsely chopped greens – spinach & arugula are great choices
- 1kg (2lbs) potatoes cut into bite sized chunks – steamed or boiled
1. Begin cooking the potatoes…or pasta or quinoa
2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat sauté the diced ham in ½ the olive oil until it is crispy – set the ham aside.
3. In the same skillet, over medium heat sauté the garlic until it is fragrant (1-2 minutes) then add the tomatoes and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and hot pepper flakes. At this point if you are using less tender greens (e.g. mustard, kale or dandelion) chop them finely and add them to the sauce.
4. Simmer until the tomatoes are tender but firm – 7-10 minutes. Add a splash more wine if the sauce looks dry.
5. Toss the sauce with the hot potatoes, ham, greens, fresh herbs and cheese.
6. Season with salt & pepper and enjoy.