Umbrian Summer Fruit and Vegetables from the Garden

The Bounty and Beauty of  Our Very Own Organically Grown Fruit and Vegetables

With a first strong espresso in hand, making the morning rounds in our gardens both here at home and at Genius Loci is one of my biggest daily pleasures.  Seemingly overnight, fruits have ripened and vegetables are at their prime, aching to be picked and transformed into delicious summer dishes.  Cooking for the day is dictated by what is available, freshest, at its best.

Umbria fresh vegetables from the garden

a heavenly scented gardenia graces the pick of the morning

Umbria summer fruits from the garden

an amazing palette of colors of succulent fruit from the garden

gorgeous organic tomatoes

ripe, bountiful, beautiful, thin-skinned tomatoes from this morning, ready to be made into pappa al pomodoro – one of my summer favorites

the non-recipe for pappa al pomodoro

Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain, cool and remove the skins – chop tomatoes coarsely and set aside

In a heavy bottomed pot, place 6 skinned large cloves of garlic in an ample amount of EVO (extra virgin olive oil) and warm together.  Don’t brown or burn the garlic.  Add the coarsely chopped tomatoes, stir well and simmer on LOW heat for about an hour.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Half way through the hour, add entire tips/branches of freshly picked (don’t cut the leaves) basil.  While the pappa is cooking, toast well several slices of Italian crusty bread, rub it with garlic cloves, salt lightly and drizzle olive oil.  Set aside.  Just before serving the pappa, remove the basil and break the toasted slices of bread into large pieces and add to the pappa – stir well.  Serve hot or warm.

-Mary