Sunday, September 30, 2007


Our weekend began with very dear friends who lived near us in Long Valley, NJ for 20 years. We left first to resettle in New Bern, NC. Six years later, they left Long Valley to resettle in Murrells Inlet (read Myrtle Beach), SC., about 3 - 3-1/4 hours away from us. We see them several times a year, not enough. Poppy and Don arrived Friday afternoon and stayed till Sunday morning. Friday evening's dinner was King Dad Steak, baked potatoes on the grill, Tomatoed Summer Vegetable Medley and Guy's Caesar Salad. In all the excitement, I forgot to take a picture of any of the dishes. Parker's Vegetable Stand provided beautiful summer vegetables for our medley. I didn't have enough fresh tomatoes -- in North Carolina they are scarce if not nonexistent this time of the year. It's still hard for m e to fathom, coming from New Jersey, the Garden State, that they would be out of tomatoes so early. But the pesky insects in the South eat everything up early. We grew our own tomatoes on the patio this year, but the vines died early. We are now planting our second crop to hopefully see us through the winter -- Guy made some plexiglass surrounds for the plants to protect them from the cold weather -- but there are no tomatoes yet. So I combined canned diced tomatoes with the fresh vegetables and herbs for a delicious side dish that we all enjoyed. Here's my recipe:

Tomatoed Summer Vegetable Medley
INGREDIENTS: 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
2 cups diced or chopped fresh or canned tomatoes with juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup sliced yellow squash
1 cup sliced baby eggplant or Japanese eggplant
1 cup chopped red or green pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS: Saute onion in oil till transparent. Add garlic and saute for another minute or so. Add tomatoes and herbs. Cook down a little (about 10-15 minutes on low-medium heat). Add vegetables and seasonings and cook for about 15-20 minutes on low-medium heat covered.

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