Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Heat wave wilts more than lettuce!

We are in the doldrums with a heat wave of above 90 temps all week and poor air quality.
Time to resource easy meals that use the vegetables that are fast maturing in the heat, and minimize time spent in the garden.I have a soaker hose, so I can run out and turn that on and it does the watering for me. On my forays to the vegetable garden I have noticed that I have a new addition to my wildlife enemies list-a chipmunk- and so far he doesn't appear to be afraid of the dog. So cute but so destructive. He has been up on my deck! digging up the containers for one thing, and he or one of his relatives has been eating the french pole bean stems before the they can even set blossoms. I am sure Bertie will be keeping an eye out for him.This is the seasonal change from late spring crops to summer- My first bunch of peas is winding down, but there is plenty of chard, lettuce and kale out there and we've eaten a few tiny cherry tomatoes from the ones on the porch. I usually have an early girl producing by about now, but this year I did not buy any commercial plants due to the destructive late blight that was spread by them last year.
Delayed gratification this time.
Here's a pasta recipe that we're having tonight to help use up all that lettuce that might be getting ready to bolt in the heat: ( you can substitute cooked crispy bacon for the prosciutto)

Lettuce, Pea and Prosciutto Pasta

2 Tbs butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups shelled fresh peas or two cups frozen,thawed
1 head of lettuce torn into pieces
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped parsley
4 ounces prosciutto, sliced into strips
1 lb pasta such as rotini

Melt butter and 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Sauté till tender and add wine; simmer until liquid is reduced about 3 minutes.
Cook peas until just tender, and drain.

Cook pasta until tender,drain it, reserving some pasta water, then reheat onion mixture, adding lettuce,allow it to wilt, then stir together with pasta, parmesan and parsley in the skillet. Transfer to a large bowl and top with prosciutto and more cheese.

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