Friday, August 20, 2010

Garden to Table Challenge - week 1

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes... What are you all doing with your tomatoes? I want to know about it! See, I'm looking for creative ways to use my harvest. Maybe you are too? Blog about what you're cooking this week and link on this post each and every Saturday. I'm going to show you what I'm doing every week nonetheless, but a party of 1 for dinner is never too fun. Read more about the Garden to Table Challenge here.


On the menu this week at the Greenish Thumb house of natural cobwebs: tarts, turnovers, and other treats. A bit of puff pastry makes everything a little more elegant, don't you think? In the first photo: puff pastry is topped with sliced tomato, fresh oregano, and a drizzle of olive oil. It tastes light yet decadent. You can really appreciate the flavor of every fresh ingredient in this simple tart. Notice my baking mat? I think this is the most important tool in any kitchen - everything bakes perfectly and evenly on this magical mat.

Above - these are filled with cheese and figs that are ripe and falling off trees as we speak. My friend Samantha had something similar at a tapas place with honey drizzled on top. That would have made an amazing addition to this richly flavorful snack. Below - these are filled with Asian pear and carrots, then topped with pearl sugar. I saved the extra filling to top our pancakes in the morning.

Below: My little one cut out hearts with the extra puff pastry and made palmier-type cookies. In the background, my triple berry jam, canned during the height of strawberry season.

* Just a few quick hints if you're new to working with puff pastry:
1) Be sure the edges of filled turnovers are sealed or you'll lose your filling.
2) An egg wash brushed over the top will give your pastries a glossy golden brown color (like in the second photo).
3) For something fairly flat like the tomato tart or the palmier, it's important to prick the pastry with a fork because you want it to puff, not blow up into a blimp.
OK folks, YOUR TURN!!!

PS - don't forget - fabulous prizes are involved (if the opportunity to show off your harvest and cooking are not enough!).


  1. My tomatoes are resting right now. Lots of green tomatoes, but no ripe ones except cherry tomatoes. I'll definitely try the puff pastry tart when I get some ripe slicing tomatoes.

  2. Just added my pesto pasta to your party. I had a great time using my fresh basil and my grape tomatoes. I hope you get lots of participants.

  3. Wendy,
    Hey I remembered to come see your GTTC! I love this idea. I wish I had more stuff to show off like your fabulous tomatoes but homegrown tomatoes are thing of the past for me. Now it's greens galore, since they can handle the cool nights.

    Your tarts looks tasty!


  4. Hi Wendy,
    Your variety of dishes with puff pastry look good. I think that pizza would be my favorite.

    For the last month or so, I've been having pain in my jaw off and on. I am on a no chew diet, and graduating to a few soft foods.

    I won a VitaMix a couple years ago by answering questions about nutrition on the radio. It sure has come in handy.

    I'm not going to do a post about it, but the other day, I made soup in the machine. It grinds things up, and if you leave them in around 5 minutes, they get hot.

    I put in kale, okra, grape tomatoes, chives, and parsley from my garden. I don't remember if there was anything else. I added milk, and put the machine to work.

    This ended up being the second time I made something I didn't like. Oh, and I remember what else I put in. I had a green pepper, and I put in half of a medium sized yellow pepper that I'd tasted a tiny piece of to figure out that it was a hot one. I think the hot pepper and okra did not get along with each other. That, or the soup did not cook long enough. I added a can of tomatoes, and then put some shredded cheese in my bowl. It was edible. I was brave and had some yesterday. It was better yesterday. I haven't decided if I'll eat more of it today or not.

    I want to make some tomato soup in the VitaMix without okra or hot peppers. I think I'll still add a little kale, though.

  5. Oooh, I love puff pastry! Those are some good ideas, I'll have to try to stuff them with fruit and cheese! Yum.

  6. I love the name for my new pasta dish. Summer harvest pasta it is. Now I just need to write it down before I forget.

    I'll be back next week....although since all I grow is tomatoes and herbs, it could harder to come up with ideas.

  7. Wendy, Sorry I didn't have a dish to add to your challenge, but I enjoyed seeing everyone else's.

  8. Hi Wendy! Excellent challenge! I love to see how other's are using their bounty! Love the puff pastry!! Yummy!!!

  9. Nice food, looks good; I have always liked cooking from scratch. Tonight I steamed Broccoli, made a roesti from raw organic potatoes and fried eggs sunny side up from my chooks, tomatoes from the garden with homemade herb salt and a little virgin olive oil. After a cup peppermint tea. Very simple but tasty! I am a bit hardpressed with memes as I have already joined two, like SWF and Sepia Saturday. I will keep it in mind. Happy week T.

  10. Wendy, you already have such a healthy and yummy meal laid out here. I'd like to add in some Java tea made from 10-15 fresh leaves plucked from my cat whiskers plant, and steeped for a 50 seconds in a teapot of boiling hot water. It is good for health too.

  11. No garden and I'm trying to shed some pounds, so I am just salivating over your baked goods. Yum.

    I do like to cook though - so I'll send you a recipe one of these days...

  12. We're tomato challenged this year due to a poor spring .. (and the place I planted them this year had poor soil;(

    ... last year I oven roasted tomatoes and stored them in small freezer containers to add to past dishes .. and made a lovely yellow-orange tomato bisque soup. You have a lovely blog.

  13. I love this idea... I am making some of my jalapeno poppers tonight from garden to grill. Will be back to post what I make to join in your fan.

    Thank you for stopping by my page so I could find your AWESOME garden share site!

  14. I love that puff pastry, but I have also used crescent roll dough to do the tomatoes and oregano. soooo good. Thanks for hosting this fun meme. Sorry I was so late. mixed up my days. I will try to keep up.

  15. Gosh that all looks good.
    I was perfecting my no cooking recipes since the heat in the kitchen was overwhelming. the dish is in the middle of my harvest monday post.

  16. I'm totally late - was too busy canning all weekend to use the computer. LOL Anyway, my local/homegrown recipe is up now. Thanks for this opportunity to share and meet other garden/foodie bloggers!
    I've never tried using puff pastry, but I just may have to give it a go. What recipe did you use for the pastry?

  17. great idea - I'm in! But I have way more than one recipe a week right now!


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