It was a great year in the Nutmeg Disrupted garden. I moved to the country at the end of June and had a nice big garden for the first time in a long time. Gardening has been a passion for so many years and no matter where I have lived I have had some sort of garden. Because of limited space I have been container gardening for a few years now so to have a dedicated garden space is spectacular!
We had great weather which resulted in a bumper crop of just about everything. Deep penetrating rains followed by nice hot days were the trend for the summer. During the entire season the garden had to be water by hand twice. That is quite remarkable as we have had some very dry years of late. The kohlrabi struggled to produce this year. The plants were very big with next to no vegetable growth. It was a my first time growing it so I need to do some research as to why it did not produce this year so that when I grow it next year I know what I will need to differently.
Master Plan for the Garden
So many variables affect the way vegetables grow that you can not get a good read on growth patterns in just one season. It is good to have a garden master plan to keep notes season to season. It can be as simple or extensive as you desire. If your so inclined a small diagram of each years garden is a great addition and can be a good aid on planning future gardens and crop rotation. Be sure to note the plant placement in the garden and how it reacted to the season. Over time we can see trends related to weather and its place in the garden and how each plant performs.
Ground grown tomatoes.
My tomatoes did well this year. It has been a few years since I’ve grown them in the ground, I have had them in containers for the past few years which can produce all sorts of results. Because they are a fast grower they have high water requirements and can dry out very quickly when grown in containers. That is one of the reasons I love growing them in the ground. With mulching you can really have healthy plants that don’t dry out as much as they can in containers. This is great as it puts less stress on the plants, less watering is required and more nutrients are available for bigger heathier plants and a more robust harvest.
Ripening Green Tomatoes.
I had an early frost here so the garden was covered a couple of evenings with sheets. Everything did well but with an extra early snowfall this year I harvested a large amount of green tomatoes. If you ever find yourself in that position do not worry, if stored properly green tomatoes will ripen. Once harvested I laid them out on a sheet in a back room where it is cool. Then they were covered with another dark coloured sheet to keep them somewhat in the dark. You can cover them with newspaper, cardboard or whatever you have on hand that is light weight and diffuses the light. It is best to do this in an area that is a bit cooler. Be sure to check on them every few days to pick the ripe ones.
Garden Fresh Tomato Tart
With a nice sized harvest on hand I have a few options for tomato dishes. Wanting to do something with puff pastry I thought a tart would be delicious choice. With fresh tomatoes, herbs and some Reggiano you really can not go wrong. I used a traditional Italian seasoning blend but feel free to get creative and use flavour combinations you enjoy.
- 1 package of puff pastry
- 1 cup of mozzarella - shredded
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- Italian seasoning
- canola oil
- Slice tomatoes.
- Lay them out on the cutting board.
- Drizzle them with oil.
- Season them liberally with the garlic and onion powders, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
- Roll out both sheets of puff pastry on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper to a 10 x 12 inch rectangle.
- Place the parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
- Lay down one sheet of the rolled out pastry.
- Brush the sheet of pastry with water.
- Lay the second sheet of pastry on top of the water brush pastry.
- Dock the pastry leaving a once inch edge around the out side.
- Sprinkle the pastry with the mozzarella, avoiding the edge.
- Layer the seasoned tomato slices inside the edge of the pastry.
- Slightly overlap the edges of the tomatoes.
- Adjust any seasonings to your liking.
- Grate fresh parmesan over the top of the tart.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until the pastry is nicly browned.
The tart turned out very nice. It has the rich flavour of perfectly seasoned fresh garden tomatoes on a beautifully crisp pastry. Use whatever cheeses you have on hand, really any would work well in this recipe. This would be perfect as an appetizer, on a brunch buffet, topped with a perfectly poached egg, along side a soup or salad or by itself in a dark kitchen late at night, cold straight from the fridge. I know whichever way you eat it you will enjoy this beautiful tart.