Simple Pleasures: Home grown vegetables


This summer everyone we know seems to have a vegetable garden. Even our friends with tiny backyards (now known as yardens, more about them to come soon!) have rejected flora and fauna in favour of tomato plants, herbs, courgettes and the like.
There is really nothing more satisfying than picking your own home grown fruit and vege for dinner. Barbara Good from The Good life has nothing on us at the moment. The only problem is, you can often end up with an over abundance of produce and it really hurts not to use it all.
At the moment we are busy making tomato sauce to freeze for those autumn nights when we need a quick nutritious dinner. Our favourite version is very simple and most effective when done in the slow cooker, or on the hob on a low heat, for at least an hour.

The Womens Room Favourite Tomato sauce
Makes as much or as little as you want (we don't do measurements on this one)

Home grown tomatoes
Celery (1 or 2 stalks)
Olive Oil 
Basil or chilli to taste

Fry the chopped onions, garlic and celery in olive oil, add in finely chopped carrot, skin the tomatoes (plunge them in boiling water and the skins come off in one go) roughly chop and add. Throw in some seasoning, a teaspoon of sugar and herbs or chilli and cook on a low heat for a least an hour.  Finally blast with the hand blender if you have fussy children who don't like bits!! Serve with pasta and meatballs or on its own with a sprinkling of parmesan.

We also love this recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, which is great for using up surplus tomatoes and courgettes. 

Courgette, prawn, tomato and lemon pasta
Serves 4

80ml olive oil
400g onion, chopped
2 fresh red chilli's, de-seeded and finely chopped
4 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
700g courgette, sliced
400g prawns (raw preferred but you can use cooked)
1 lemon
350g homemade tomato sauce (or use a jar if you are in a hurry)
200g pasta
2 sprigs thyme leaves
Handful of fresh dill, chopped

Fry the onions in olive oil until soft. Add the courgettes, thyme and chilli and fry for 5 minutes. Next, add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes, then add the tomato sauce and bring to the boil for 3 minutes. Add the juice of one lemon and then remove from the heat. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and combine with the sauce. Add thyme leaves to finish, serve and sprinkle with chopped dill.

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