Updated 2010-10-10 17:48:56 ID=630:1

© 2010 The Romantic Table
©2010 The Romantic Table, Poached Sole with Basil Cream Tomato Sauce 2010-10-09 21:45:45:263
©2010 The Romantic Table

Poached Sole with Basil Cream Tomato Sauce, Oh how elegant! And so delicious!

October - Summer's Vegetables Last Hurrahs

Every year we do it- Plant several varieties of vegetables and herbs and we grumble about how long it takes for them to develop any good taste. But by late Summer when we start tasting those delicious flavors, we say well "this is why!" -And by October as we savor those flavors, we're mourning the coming of Winter and the loss of those good flavors for the year.

By October we've really hit our stride on how to make the most out of our horticultural efforts. It's so wonderful to have your own produce section right outside your door! But the days are getting shorter and the last of the vegetables are being used up. Soon we'll be back in the grocery store looking at the poor substitutes for flavor before we can switch gears again and start looking at fresh winter produce varieties.

©2010 The Romantic Table, Zucchini and Red Pepper Spaghetti Pasta 2010-10-09 21:54:48:265
©2010 The Romantic Table

Zucchini and Red Pepper Spaghetti Pasta, made with coarsely sliced fresh garlic and seasoned with fresh Genovese Basil leaves, it's a knockout and memorably delicious
This is the first year in many that tomatoes plants really delivered! The past few years have all been "bad tomato-years." Not this year! Our favorites this past summer season have been the candy sweet cherry tomatoes and the always reliable Early Girls. But the real stars this year are the Romas, which just a few weeks ago we were questioning our sanity in planting them. But, after they finally reached their peak of flavor, you can't beat them for sauce tomatoes! So consumer-friendly with few seeds, they're so easy to cut up and process down into a delicious sauce. They just need time.-Time to grow and a little additional cooking time to develop their flavor.

The other delights of the season were the prolific zucchini and summer squash. But our herbs-especially the Greek and Italian Oreganos and the Genovese and Sweet Italian Basils really were show-stoppers! And then there was our super fresh Italian parsley was so "oh my gosh!" delicious and fragrant, it practically "told" me what to make with it!

©2010 The Romantic Table, Pappardelle with Creamy Roma Tomato Sauce. 2010-10-09 21:49:33:264
©2010 The Romantic Table

Pappardelle with Creamy Roma Tomato Sauce, just adding a bit of heavy cream gave the Roma tomato sauce another dimension!
These past few weeks I am finally back in the kitchen from my exile while we were in the process of remodeling our kitchen for most of the summer. I've been like a kid in a candy shop! Fresh produce is MY type of candy! It's such a joy to work with such quality ingredients. But Winter is coming, so by the end of the month, I know I'll be mourning the last of our garden's bounty.

So while everything is still at it's peak, this month's recipe offerings are based on what is still available in our gardens. I am doing a couple of my favorite tomato and zucchini recipes that are pretty quick to throw together and easily scaled for family and friend get-togethers. They're all easy and fun to make --and good to eat! So while you still have some summer tomatoes, squash and herbs left in your garden (or still available at your local Farmers Market) give them a try.

For a simple yet very elegant pasta dish, try pairing one of my favorite pastas -Pappardelle with a my Creamy Roma Tomato Sauce. Just adding a bit of heavy cream at the end to the tomato sauce make an outstanding sauce and gives Pappardelle another dimension!

©2010 The Romantic Table, Italian sausage, onions, red peppers, zucchini and diced Roma tomatoes 2010-10-09 21:58:21:266
©2010 The Romantic Table

Italian sausage, onions, red peppers, zucchini and diced Roma tomatoes and seasoned with some of our fresh Italian Oregano
A really FUN dinner for friends is one we've been making for years around our house. We just call it "Skillet Sausage Roma." It's made with Italian sausage, onions, red peppers, zucchini and diced Roma tomatoes and seasoned with fresh Italian Oregano. Oh how fragrant! Just serve this like a stew with some crusty bread, a nice salad and a hearty red wine such as Chianti or Zinfandel.

A real simple and quick recipe to throw together--but packs enormous amounts of flavor and "bang for buck" is our Spaghetti with Zucchini and Sweet Red Pepper. Made with coarsely sliced fresh garlic and seasoned with some of fresh Basil leaves (Genovese if you have it), it's a knockout and memorably delicious!

For those of you looking for a more sophisticated entree, you must try our "Poached Sole with Basil Cream Tomato Sauce! Oh how elegant! If you live on the West Coast use the locally caught Sand-dabs. They are very delicate and very flavorful when gently poached in white wine and fresh tomatoes. And so delicious! Serve this with a crusty bread, a nice salad and a glass of wine and you'll be in bliss!

So don't sit on the sidelines! Make the most of the last of your garden's bounty and give these recipes a try. It's going to be almost a year until you can start to reap the fruit again of your garden's summer's best efforts. So savor those last flavors now!

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A tip from Sue!

Save those Parmesan cheese rinds!

Save those Parmesan cheese rinds when you get through with a brick of Parmesan cheese! They can be used to flavor soups deliciously. Store them in the freezer in a plastic bag, and use as needed.

The Parmesan rinds give unbelievable flavor and soul to soups and will turn a bowl of soup into an "entree" worthy of any guest. I generally use about two ounces of Parmesan cheese rinds to a stockpot of soup. Add them in after you've added the liquid and let them cook along with the rest of your soup's ingredients. You won't be sorry!

read more:
Tuscan-Style White Bean Soup with Parmesan Cheese Rind