It's January and gardening has become a distant memory. A warmer than usual fall lulled me into a false sense of security; it almost felt like the crops would grow forever. I was harvesting peppers right through early December, and the arugula and radicchio plants were still going strong when the initial frost arrived. But before Christmas, we finally pulled up the last remnants of the summer's growth and brought the rosemary inside. And it was none too soon. It's been a frozen zone here in NYC.
To break the cold spell, at least psychologically, I browsed my freezer the other day and pulled out a container of cherry tomato sauce that I had prepared from a bountiful late summer harvest and stored away for just such a moment. I figured it would be a nice reminder of warmer days. When preparing the sauce, I roasted the cherry tomatoes on a baking pan for 20 minutes in a 350-degree oven after tossing them with fresh garlic and spices. I then put them in a bowl and to finish the sauce, added some feta cheese, olives, capers, pine nuts and gave it a few tosses. I poured the mixture over a bowl of freshly cooked pasta. It was a delicious meal, and it took me right back to the lovely days of summer, when our tomato plants were heavy with fruit and I could walk out on my terrace and pick a handful. The recipe is easy to make and if you don't have tomatoes growing, you can probably find some nice offerings at a health food store near you.
What summer memories are hiding in your freezer?