Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yummy grape tomatoes star with asparagus in this speedy summer side dish

If we have one of ’em, we have a million. From my back porch they look like miniature red balls decorating a tiny forest of Christmas trees. We can’t even remember planting grape tomatoes; they’re probably some relic of a planting effort of previous years, but they are everywhere in our garden.

When Hubby goes out with the gathering basket and brings in the most recent harvest, the two of us stand at the kitchen sink and eat them as though they were grapes—such a fresh, delicious little snack. But we can’t snack on all of them, so I’ve been hunting recipes to use them up.

When we were in their home recently, our daughter-in-law served Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes as an intriguing side with burgers our son had grilled. Remembering my grape tomato crop that would be awaiting me when I returned home, I asked for a copy of the recipe, which had appeared on cookinglight.com at its Side Dish of the Month in April 2011.

SuperFast it was, with asparagus steamed in a skillet and then drained and removed. Into the skillet go the tomatoes and garlic cooked in olive oil, with balsamic vinegar and salt added. With the steamed asparagus arrayed on a platter, the tomato mixture tops it, followed by crumbled goat cheese and pepper. With a whopping 69 calories a serving no side could hold a candle to this in terms of flavor and color.

No dent in the grape tomato crop to be sure, but we really, enjoyed this unusual side dish and hope to enjoy it a few more times this season as long as those miniature red Christmas balls hang within our view—if we don’t snack them all up first!

Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes

1 pound asparagus, trimmed
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups halved grape (or cherry) tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
3 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese (I substituted feta cheese)
black pepper

Cook asparagus in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain. Over medium-high heat, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add tomatoes and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar; cook 3 minutes. Stir in salt. Arrange asparagus on a platter; top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

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