Thursday, September 20

Kissing Summer Goodbye
With The Easiest Greek Salad Ever

One Of My Favorite Ways To Celebrate Tomato Season

You'll find the recipe (if you can call something so simple a recipe) over In My Kitchen Garden, along with a little bit about my Less Fuss, More Flavor kitchen philosophy. You didn't know I tend a kitchen garden blog? And it's not just for gardeners either. Click
here to find out why.

Thanks to the culinary talents and generosity of Farmgirl Fare readers, I have two other wonderful seasonal recipes I'm planning to share: Carrot, Raisin, & Zucchini Bran Muffins (a new variation of my beloved bran muffin recipe) and Tomato Basil Sourdough Bread. But, as usual, I'm racing the calendar here. If you like bran muffins and can still get your hands on some zucchini, you might want to freeze some. For a dozen muffins you'll need 1 packed cup (8 ounces) of grated zucchini. You can read all about freezing zucchini in this post. And don't miss the comments section; it's full of helpful zucchini tips, ideas, and recipes.

As for the bread, it needs to be made with fresh basil and tomatoes. Except for a couple of gangly cherry tomato plants in the greenhouse, my really pathetic tomato season is pretty much over. Last night I savored the final Greek salad of the summer--while standing in the kitchen of course. If Tomato Basil Sourdough Bread sounds like something you'll want to make, do you still have tomatoes? Or should I wait and post the recipe next year?

If you don't yet do sourdough (which we're going to tackle soon at A Year In Bread), I think this fresh tomato technique could be used in almost any bread recipe, including the one for the beautifully simple four hour Parisian baguettes from my new favorite bread book, Local Breads by Daniel Leader.

The bread recipe wouldn't be up until next week, so let me know if you'd like to see it. Thanks!

Other Ways I Enjoy Fresh Tomatoes:
My Less Fuss, More Flavor Fresh Pizza Sauce
Savory Tomato Pesto Pie
Tomato Pesto Pizza, My Basil Pesto Recipe, & A Simple Tomato Salad
Three No-Cook Summer Recipes: Mexican Jumping Bean Slaw, Easy Vegetarian Tacos, & High Kickin' Creamy Tomato Dressing
Cream Cheese & Tomato Sandwiches On Italian Black Olive Cheeks
My Seven Second Tomato Glut Solution
Colors Of Summer Salad
Summer In A Bowl

© 2007
, the award-winning blog where Farmgirl Susan shares stories & photos of her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres.


  1. *Please* post that recipe!! Out here in Northern CA we still have tons of tomatoes and even basil too. Thanks Farmgirl - love your posts and photos. I check your site every day.

  2. The basil tomato bread sounds absolutely fantastic!

  3. What a beautiful salad. It is so photograph worthy! Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

  4. I love those kinds of salads. And with homemade bread, yum!

  5. As always a beautiful photo of some great looking food! I'm trying to see if I can't create a little green awareness myself and would love your advice. I'm encouraging people who might read my blog to shop green i.e. green markets to show them how reasonable and rewarding it can be. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
    In the meantime, happy healthy eating!
    Enjoy the tomatoes in all their glory now :)

  6. Susan, I still have a couple of good tomato harvests left, so please do post the sourdough bread recipe. I was really good this year and froze lots of tomato sauce and pesto and I know I will be happy I did this winter. I even tried freezing chopped tomatoes to see if it would work.

  7. Oh! I'm so excited to try this recipe, too!!!

  8. I am really enjoying your blog. Stumbled upon it late (LATE) one night, when my worries about an upcoming life change kept me from sleeping. On that night, I typed "afraid to move to the country" into Google. Literally, I did. And I've been enjoying your blog (and braver about the move) ever since.

    It's not a dramatic move; in fact, it sounds like you've done it, long ago. I am in the middle of a move from the city of my birth, San Francisco, to a farm in Sonoma County, because I went and fell in love with a farmer.

    In terms of lifestyle, the Russian River Valley feels a great distance away. I'm excited to be there, and saddened about leaving the city at the same time.

    But your blog feeds my creative and curious side, and it's a wonderful part of the transition!

    I made your Summer Harvest Soup (with our own squash) tonight, to rave reviews. Instead of fresh peppers I added a generous scoop of roasted red peppers which I'd previously prepared with garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes, and the resulting soup was lovely.

    Your blog is a delight to me. Thanks for your enthusiasm, for putting it out there. For reminding us how tasty, healthful and stunning a meal can be when prepared with enthusiasm from simple home grown ingredients. Altogether satisfying, on so many levels.

    Keep it up!


  9. I'd love the bread and muffin recipes! I'm getting right now to make a version of your olive cheeks.

  10. Hi Kaitlin,
    Thanks for all the kind words and for taking the time to write. So glad you enjoy your e-visits to the farm. I'll definitely post the Tomato Basil Sourdough Bread recipe--hopefully next week. : )

    Hi Purloined Letter,
    It's really tasty. : )

    Hi Cindy,
    There's nothing better than delicious food that looks beautiful--and remembering to take a picture before gobbling it all up!

    Hi David,
    Homemade bread makes everything better. ; )

    Hi Lindsay,
    I love the fact that you want to "create a little green awareness" with your blog. As far as how to do it, I think you've already figured out the key--to show them how reasonable and rewarding it can be.

    For example, if you're hoping to convince someone who's never shopped at a farmers' market to spend their Saturday morning at one, you might photograph and write about all the fresh, locally produced food you were able to buy for $10 or $20 or $30--and in one fell swoop.

    Pictures really do tell a thousand words sometimes, too, as you can see from this post by my pal Beth (aka kitchenMage). I mean, look at those gorgeous carrots and tomatoes. The colors! Who wouldn't be inspired to seek some out after drooling over those photos? : )

    My friend Amanda in New York City does a fantastic job of subtly urging people to seek out the best and freshest in-season foods available on her blog, Figs Olives Wine. Every one of her mouthwatering recipes celebrates the glorious bounty of the season, and they are all extremely doable. In her sidebar she also keeps a list of all the current foods in season in the New York area.

    I try to do the same thing here and on my kitchen garden blog: show people how it really is possible for anyone, anywhere, to seek out amazing ingredients--and that when you do, it doesn't take much to turn them into an amazing meal.

    For example, I've shown that you don't have to have acres and acres--or even a backyard!--to grow some of your own food. Herbs and salad greens can be successfully grown in a couple of pots on a windowsill or in a plastic dishtub on the fire escape. And the feeling of accomplishment and gratification--not to mention the amazing taste--when you eat something you actually grew yourself is incomparable.

    I'm always hoping that I can encourage and inspire people in some way to eat better food--and to take a concerned interest in where there food is coming from. The best e-mails and comments I receive are the ones where readers say things like, "I tore up half my backyard to plant vegetables, and it's all your fault!"

    You know what? I just reread the comment on this post from Annabelle, and what she said is exactly what I love to hear:

    "Thanks for your enthusiasm, for putting it out there. For reminding us how tasty, healthful and stunning a meal can be when prepared with enthusiasm from simple home grown ingredients. Altogether satisfying, on so many levels."

    Enthusiasm. When you have it, it's so obvious, and it easily spreads to others. When I read comments like Annabelle's, I know I'm succeeding in my goal--and I think you will, too! : )

    Hi Connie,
    Thanks for letting me know you're interested in the bread recipe. Yes, you'll definitely be happy this winter when you dig into all that frozen tomato sauce and pizza. Frozen chopped tomatoes? I'd be interested in hearing how they come out.

    Hi Tara
    Great! : )

    Hi Annabelle,
    Congratulations on falling in love with a farmer! The good news about your move is that you'll still be plenty close to San Francisco--even though at first it might feel like a million miles away.

    I actually lived in the Russian River Valley (gasp) 20 years ago. It's beautiful up there. I bet you'll fall in love with it. It really is convenient to so many places. You can just zip right out to the coast anytime, too. And when you do, please say hello to the ocean for me. That's something I do sorely miss living here in the middle of the country.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write, for your kind words, and for letting me know how much you enjoyed the Summer Harvest Soup. I'm so glad you found my blog during that late night search. I do hope you'll keep in touch. You can tell me what the Russian River Valley is like now. : )

    Hi Anonymous,
    Bread and muffins are coming right up. Thanks for letting me know you're interested in the recipes. And I bet you're going to love those Italian Black Olive Cheeks. They're full of flavor and so handy to have on hand in the freezer, too. I really need to make another batch!

  11. What a delicious way to kiss summer goodbye!

  12. Oooh, that tomato basil sourdough bread sounds wonderful!

    I stopped by to alert you to a contest on my blog -

    But your post made me hungry for a snack!

  13. That salad looks so good! It's almost lunch time for I'm already more than hungry! I love tomatoes too...I just bookmarked your blog cause a lot of those tomato recipes sound incredible. I recently posted a video on my blog for making Stuffed Tomatoes. I'll be back soon!

  14. I am trying to come up with menus to make shopping and planning easier for my husband and I. Do you plan meals or do you come up with them spontaneously? If you do plan them, do you have any tips or good suggestions? It seems that I always start to do it but never quite finish for some reason or another - it really cannot be too difficult, right?

  15. Hello FarmgirlFare,

    I so ENJOY reading your BLOGS.

    The pictures and the writing are excellent and abundant.



December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

Hi! Thanks for visiting Farmgirl Fare and taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love hearing about your experiences with my recipes. Comments on older posts are always welcome!

Please note that I moderate comments, so if I'm away from the computer it may be a while before yours appears.

I try my best to answer all questions, though sometimes it takes me a few days. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your e-visits to our farm!