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Summer dinner ideas with a quick and easy garden pasta recipe….

Saturday night we were able to eat a good portion out of the yard which I love. It was a vegetarian night and it was perfect for the above 90’s we’ve been having here.
I made a quick and easy garden pasta. It’s an easy summer dinner idea when it’s hot out.
I tossed  whole wheat pasta  with sliced cherry tomatoes, fresh chopped basil, 1/4 cup olive oil, asiago and Parmesan cheese and salt to taste while the pasta was still warm.
 If you notice there is a second bowl behind it with almost nothing in it besides pasta and basil. I have a couple of tomato haters in the family. Every meal we have them they have to take one “no thank you” bite. They still hate them. Oh the drama at every bite. You’d think I was giving them balls of boiling acid the way they go on. Though we finally have almost gotten over the potato hating. My kids are weird. They hate mashed potatoes,yet they eat cauliflower and edamame and beets  (So I really shouldn’t complain.). Go figure.
 I could eat this every day. For the gluten-freers out there, this would be just as easy with a rice pasta. Or you could use cubed cooked zucchini instead of pasta.
It’s so hard to wait for the regular sized tomatoes to ripen. We have  a ton of green ones. I  see all of your blogs who are south of me already with luscious red globes and my mouth just waters.  I dip these northern style in seasoned bread crumbs and fry them in olive oil. The full recipe is here.There is nothing like the crunch of the breaded coating with the soft, salty, slightly tart inside of the tomato. You can also coat these in regular flour. I wonder how a gluten free flour would work? If any one has tried it let me know. I am curious.
Bread crumb fritters.
  I hated wasting the extra milk/egg wash and bread crumbs. It seemed like such a waste to throw them out. So when ever I bread something, I make fritters from them. Unless I am making chicken, then they get tossed.
 and finally, homemade pickled beets and onions.Yummy recipe for homemade pickled beets and onions!
 We could eat these by the bus load. It’s that Polish heritage. We adore anything pickled in our house and it seems so fresh for the summer. They are so easy to make and keep for almost 2 months in the fridge.

Pickled  refrigerator beets

You’ll need:

enough water to cover beets

2 pounds of  baby pickled beets

For main recipe:

2 cups of water

1 cup of white vinegar

½ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup of apple cider vinegar

1 large onion cut into slices

6-8 garlic cloves peeled

2 cups fresh dill loosely torn

½ – ¾ cup of sugar

You can adjust all of these ingredients to taste.


For an easy  way to peel the beets: In a large pot, add enough water to just cover beets and bring to a boil. Let boil for approximately 20 minutes. Drain water and run under cold tap water. The skin will easily rub off.


Cover the peeled beets with water, vinegar and add sugar, dill, onion, garlic, sugar to the pan.

Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

The vinegar fumes can get quite strong when cooking, so it helps to open windows and run the fan overhead.

Simmer until the beets are fork tender and remove from heat. Let the beets rest in the liquid until cool. Remove the dills stalks. Divide the beets, onions and garlic between 2 large canning jars with a slotted spoon. Add the remaining liquid until the jar an inch under the lid and let sit overnight in the refrigerator for the flavors to develop. It will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.






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  1. I am going to try those bread crumb fritters!! Yum it all looks amazing! My son eats salmon but no tomatoes either!! Go figure is right! Have a wonderful day! Lulu

  2. Everything looks delicious Jen! I am one of those southern bloggers who has tons and tons of red ripe tomatoes….I wish I could blink my eyes and send some to you. I am getting ready to make oven dried tomatoes with some for the winter and some sauce to freeze too.

    We love beets here. Our beet crop is done, but I will plant some more in late August for a fall crop.

  3. This all looks so yummy, Jenn!
    My kids are 18 and 16 and still fairly selective with their vegetable intake!

    I love anything pickled too.
    Think it is my 1/16th German heritage!

    Great looking menu.
    Keep cool. Today is especially HOT!

  4. Jen, the pictures of your wonderful meal make my mouth water. I could probably eat the pasta dish all day long too. A dish with pasta, cheese and fresh veggies is the best meal in my book. Anything pickled is the best in this house too! Off to water my flowers….sure hope this heat lets up a bit soon. Take care.

  5. Wow, such a delicious looking meal! I think my husband would be smiling from ear to ear if I made those friend green tomatoes. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Yummmmm I love all this! I usually mix corn meal and flour, salt & pepper to dip my green tomatoes in. My daughter uses a seasoned fish fry mix and they are delish! Sometimes dip them in buttermilk before breading, but no egg. I love em!

  7. Oh YUM! Well im Greek and I loveeee everything here especially the fried green tomatoes.

    Im new here and loving this blog!

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