Garden Macâ„¢

I have discovered a new toe-curl, and oh, darlings, are you ever gonna love this. Are you ready? Roasted tomato bechamel. “What are its uses?” you might be asking yourself. “What aren’t its uses,” I retort! The first is mac n chee, of course! With garden vegetables!

Okay, now we’re talking. I’m getting some real food outta the garden, and not just kale, chard, collards, kale and kohlrabi. And more kohlrabi and collards. Naw, this is when we can start telling crucifers to just fuck right off and get into the good stuff: the nightshades (tomatoes, chiles, eggplants), cucurbits (cukes, zucchini, pattypans) and legumes (bush beans, runner beans). Oh my.

Okay, to be fair, my tomatoes are still green and these little rubies are from the store. And my peppers are still wee little green nubs, a mere twinkling in their daddy’s eye. But soon! Sooon. Besides, I have Sylvetta arugula, Purple Queen bush beans, Albarello di Sarzano zucchini.

A simple roast on the tomatoes is all you need: one hour at 400 degrees, with only a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of salt. Go about your business making a standard bechamel (butter + flour + 5 minutes = roux, whisk in milk until creamy gravy, simmer for 10-15, S&P and nutmeg to taste). When you pull the tomatoes out of the oven, though, deglaze the baking dish with some cheap white wine and scrape all the good tomato-y fond off, which will melt into a nice golden-orange juice. Stir this into the bechamel that’s happily bubbling away on the stove. Add your garden vedge (trimmed into bite-sized pieces and quickly sauteed tender-crisp), a handful’s worth of various grated cheeses (I had Jarlsberg and some Parm Redge going blue). Stir together with the cooked macaroni and some greens, and pour the whole thing back into the tomato-roasting dish. Top with more cheese, and bake for 15-20, until bubbly and gooey.

Mark my words, roasted tomato bechamel is going to be a thing.

Hey, so please tell me I’m not the only one who Googles her own blog once in awhile. You do it too, right? Because SiteMeter is great and all, but just doesn’t always tell you who’s looking and linking. Well kiss my grits if I didn’t find out that a nice intern at Fine Cooking Magazine had given yours truly a nod on the Kitchen Sink (that’s the Editor’s blog!) as one of the reasons why working at Fine Cooking is so hard! Because she gets tortured by all of the yummeh on the internet! It’s a good thing that I am so self-absorbed, or else I’d never have had the chance to thank them for the attention. It’s enough to make a girl blush, really. Thank you for the traffic, Fine Cooking (and omg I love Fine Gardening too)!

Another shout-out deserving my thanks: my good friend Foodycat has honored me with the Arte y Pico Award. I am extremely flattered that anyone even reads this damn thing, let alone wants to give me an award. Really, my blog is just type-written masturbation, and all of the photos are just there for those times when words fail me. So thank you, Foodycat! In keeping with my curmudgeonly ways (now it’s tradition), I will not pass this on to anyone else.

Happy summer!