I Clove Summer

Back in early October when the weather was dreary, I eagerly planted the first crop of the summer garden. Garlic may take a long time to turn from one lowly clove into a plump head packed full of them, but it’s worth every minute of the time involved – there aren’t many meals in this house that don’t start with a clove or two.

In honor of this week’s garlic harvest, the kids and I decided to celebrate by roasting some of the smaller heads to have with our dinner. My daughter whipped up a batch of Artisan Bread dough (you can find the recipe here on page 4) so we’d have some yummy bread to go with it.

The roasted garlic was so mellow and sweet that we were sucking every last morsel out of the papery skins.

Of course, an appetizer like that deserves an equally special main course, so we made one of our favorite summer meals: pasta tossed with arugula, tomatoes, feta, and yes, more garlic.This is all part of my evil plan to get the kids associating delicious food and happy tummies with manual labor (in the form of gardening).

I’m not sure where I got the original recipe, or whether I’m even using the correct measurements anymore, but it’s a delicious way to use up that arugula that’s going to seed in your garden. Here’s roughly what I do:

Pasta with Arugula, Tomatoes, and Feta:

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped (throw juice and seeds in too)
  • 5 – 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • one bunch arugula, rinsed and chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 of a pound of pasta

Assemble the sauce ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Cook the pasta of your choice according to package directions. When pasta is cooked, drain and add directly to the bowl with the arugula mixture (don’t worry if there’s a bit of water clinging to the pasta, it will loosen the sauce). Toss to combine. The heat of the pasta wilts the arugula and begins to melt the feta cheese, making everything creamy. This is an excellent, and fast, summer meal.

Meals like this are the reason we go to the trouble of keeping a garden. With our bellies full, we regularly make our way down to the beach for an evening swim. Summer is fleeting in our neck of the woods, and we have to get our fill while we can.

Before too long, it’ll be time to plant the garlic again.

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