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Monday, 8 September 2014

ANASTASIA’S GARDEN



My sister Anastasia has a green thumb.  From the tiny space beside her door bursts a jungle of plants and climbing vines including a tall rosemary bush and luscious strawberries dangling from pots.

Last night, she brought a box of tomatoes to Nestor’s in addition to

                             a coconut pie decorated with raspberries from her garden.  
                                Diana and Anastasia's son, Steven, also at the dinner party 

Anastasia does not follow recipes.  She just makes up a dish as she goes along.  To reduce cholesterol, she incorporates steel-cut oats into lots of dishes including her pie crust, and it was very good!

Of course, now I’m looking for a recipe to use up tomatoes.  There used to be a small magazine delivered free to our house in Saskatoon called Homemaker’s, and it had amazing recipes.  I’ve dug up one from Sept 2002 called “Mixed Baby Greens with Tomato Toasts”.   Baguette, basil pesto, pine nuts, Asiago cheese, 8 tomatoes:  yep, that sounds yummy.


Thanks, Anastasia!


Later:  The Tomato Toasts were a big hit!  The recipe does not appear online so here goes:

TOMATO TOASTS with SALAD

1/3 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 baguette:  8 diagonal slices

 1/3 cup pine nuts
¼ cup basil pesto
2 to 3 medium tomatoes, ripe
Freshly grated Parmesan

·        Slice garlic and immerse in olive oil for 15 minutes.
·        Toast pine nuts.  Heat small frying pan (no oil) and toss pine nuts.  Be careful not to burn.  Chop them in a food processor.
·        Mix pine nuts into basil pesto.
·        Heat oven to 450.
·        Brush bread slices on both sides with garlic-infused oil and place on baking sheet.
·        Bake toasts 8 to 10 minutes until golden.
·        Slice tomatoes thinly.

·        Spread pesto equally onto the bread slices. 
·        Add tomato slices and sprinkle with grated cheese.
·        About 5 minutes before serving, return toasts to a 350 oven to warm.
·        Serve with leafy greens dressed with a vinaigrette.


I also served this with a Czech meatloaf, but a steak would go well, too.  J