Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Gratinée Tomatoes, and a change is in the air. . . . .

 . . . . . . . . . . and I actually started walking early morning again over the holiday weekend. I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it feels out there in 58-63F temps. after such a long hot, humid spell. I can breathe. I can wear long sleeves in comfort. I can listen to the 'morning sounds' of birds and barking dogs. I see rabbits hopping, and if I get out there before 7 AM, there is no traffic. There are silvery dewdrops on the spider webs. The leaves are fading and there are a few yellow ones drifting down onto lawns and garden beds.

The last of my summer flag collection - soon time for autumn leaves and pumpkins!

Above: Prepping Penne with Gratinée Tomatoes

Did you cook over the Labor Day holiday?  
We fired up the grill - real burgers for Bob, a veggie burger for me. I grilled red peppers for another meal this week. Also made two Lebanese dishes, mjeddrah (lentils, rice, and caramelized onions) and felafel (spicy chick pea patties) for pita bread sandwiches. . . . . . .and some prepped dishes for the week ahead.

With abundant Roma tomatoes filling a bowl on the kitchen island I made this easy peasy, tasty pasta dish. 

This quick pasta with a green side salad was enjoyed in the gazebo.

I often think that eating well has everything to do with having the correct food on hand in the fridge. It's so much easier to be innovative and pull a healthy and tasty meal together when things are waiting, chilled and still fresh, when one cannot do daily shopping as most of us don't these days.
You have to agree if you're the one searching recipes, choosing dishes, prepping and then cooking and serving, it's exciting and easier to have quick cooked veggies at the ready, steeping in olive oil with a few aromatics. . . . . some crushed or chopped garlic, shallots, grated lemon zest, and hardy herbs like thyme, rosemary, bay etc.  Just remember that sharpening veggies with lemon juice and vinegar, or anything acidic, should be left until just prior to serving.  

I'm making another dish of gratinée tomatoes today, a mix of Roma, cherry, and cocktail, they all work.  . . . . . and can be used in so many dishes.

Bon appetit.


  1. mmm that looks delicious. Your flag is lovely.

  2. I totally agree. Glad your weather has cooled down. Your meals look fantastic! Enjoy the rest of the week :)

  3. That looks beyond delicious. I have had to back off on eating tomatoes, but they are so perfect at this time of year.

    Oh your morning walk sounds refreshing. Do you have an established route?

  4. how pretty your flag is, your cooking looks very healthy and delicious. I like early morning walks too, everything feels fresh.

  5. Now I am hungry, and it is not even 10:00 am here! :-)
    I agree, fresh veggies are unbeatable in the kitchen, and so versatile. I have two small zucchini and an aubergine waiting for me today. They will most likely be grilled in the oven, and eaten with only a minimum of condiments, mainly salt, freshly ground pepper, a bit of good olive oil and maybe some basil from the pot on my window sill.
    Your early morning walk sounds lovely!

  6. Your dish sounds wonderful Mary. I am glad you are able to get out and walk again. The roads are so steep here it is hard to walk.

  7. love that recipe. There are so many dishes you can prepare when you have tomatoes on hand. This is a good time and I like to buy it in all colors.

  8. These dishes look wonderful. I get into such a cooking rut in summer. I try to avoid it as much as possible. I am glad your weather is cooling down. It finally rained but it's still muggy here.

  9. I'm glad you're finally getting relief from your heat! It sounds like me in the winter when I finally start to see signs of spring and we get a little bit of a warm up. It is been cold here the past few days - only in the 50's - plus gray and rainy and damp on top of it. Very depressing weather. The sun will come back Sunday and then next week looks like back into the 70's and maybe even a day of low 80's. I much prefer that kind of weather.

    Your tomatoes look amazing - and that dish sounds wonderful. Will be giving it a try. In fact, I just finished lunch which was your tomato galette recipe. It's one of my favorite summer recipes and the tomatoes at the farm stands here are still prolific.

  10. I'm an early riser too; fall can't be missed as it is all too short. Your pasta looks yum.

  11. My tomatoes are finally ripening and I will be thinking of ways to use them. Your tomato gratin sounds delicious! I'm glad things are cooling off for you so that you can enjoy being outdoors again. It's been extremely warm here, unseasonably so, and now the smoke from the western US states is blanketing our skies. A most unusual September. Enjoy your weekend, Mary.

  12. The pasta looks so good. We still have a lot of green tomatoes, but it seems like they have slowed their ripening with all the dark days of smoke. Maybe they will acquire a smoky flavor, humm? I can't wait until I can go back to walking, I am missing it. No walking with the hazardous smoke. Now it is suppose to start clearing by Saturday, let's hope so.


I would enjoy reading your comment - thanks so much for stopping by.