I planted herbs and peppers and some tomatoes in a little raised bed and a large pot.
This is what six tomato plants looks like when you use Miracle Gro Garden Soil.
I braved the jungle of tomato vines and made my harvest for the day---the larger tomatoes are Better Boy, there are a couple of Marglobes and the rest are Red Currant tomatoes.
I found these in Sam's Club of all places. They are long red peppers and these came from Canada. As much as I pride myself on local ingredients my curiosity got the better of me. They are delicious! I'll get a proper pic of them next time and find some local at the Farmer's Market.
We in Lexington are blessed to be the home of Oliva Bella --a brilliant enterprise providing us with a direct connection to exquisite olive oils harvested by hand from families whose lives are defined by it. The link to the Bellablog is here.
From the Oliva Bella website......
"In Umbria , the olive and its oil are considered sacro , or "sacred". Umbria is considered one of the most important olive oil regions, where local laws ensure products and methods are authentic and traditional. Producing only in small batches, each harvest is finished by 4pm and the olives are at the press by 5pm , assuring minimum oxidation. This oil is certified organic in Italy by the I.M.C. organization.
characteristics: Smooth, mild and buttery on the front of the palate, with a bite of black pepper at the back of the throat, on the finish. The Umbro oil is the most balanced of the three oils, giving it the greatest versatility with food pairings."
This oil is just perfect with fresh vegetables so I splurged and used it to dress the salad.
For the salad----
Please note that all measurements are approximate. This will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days.
Two cups chunked tomatoes (for the small tomatoes I just split them)
1 1/2 c. cucumber, chopped
1 1/2 c. Vidalia onion, chopped
1 c. red pepper, chopped
2 TB fresh basil leaves, sliced
2 TB very good olive oil
1 1/2 TB white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
Mix all ingredients and adjust seasoning to taste.
We were craving steak so I grabbed a couple of strip steaks and gave them a simple rub. Blue Moon Garlic Farm is one of my favorite local food producers. The garlic is amazing but their products have also become staples in my pantry and cooking. The smoked garlic powder is perfect for grilling meats and is so pungent I keep it in a Ball jar in my spice cabinet. This is the first time I tried the Bourbon Smoked Paprika and I was very pleased with it. They've done a great job enhancing the flavor of the paprika with just the right amount of Bourbon and smokiness to make this an extremely versatile spice.
I used a generous bit of each of the smoked garlic powder, Bourbon smoked paprika and corriander and rubbed the steaks and let them sit on the counter for about an hour before grilling them over high heat.
This made for a perfect simple supper. The steaks were some of the best we've had in a while and the fresh flavors in the salad complimented the smoky meat so well.
We are having a very busy summer so an easy supper like this is a good way to end the weekend and get ready for the week to come.