Harvest season tomato sauce, with an ingredient that takes it up a notch!

This recipe is a gift from growing up in an Italian family who loved to cook and showed their love with every dish served at our table. Many thanks to my grandmother Rose Milito who taught me well! unnamed (2) Roasted Eggplant Tomato Sauce 4 quarts fresh tomatoes 9 medium Japanese eggplants (any variety is fine) 12 cloves garlic thinly sliced 3 medium onions chopped 1 cup olive oil divided 4 tsp kosher salt- divided or to taste 2 tsp pepper divided - or to taste 1 tbls sugar 1 tbls Fresh chopped oregano 1/2 cup chopped Fresh basil Step 1 Roast the eggplant at 425 degrees for approximately 20 minute or until tender Chop the eggplant into small cubes (10-12 cups) toss with 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Spread evenly on two sheet pans and roast for 20 minutes.

Step 2 Slice the garlic and chop the onion, set aside Step 3 If using cherry tomatoes (as pictured here) cook them until soft with a touch of water. I threw my other tomatoes into the hot tomatoes to peel the skins. Once the large tomatoes start to peel (approximately 3 minutes) remove and let cool. Step 4 Strain and remove the seeds and skin from the cherry tomatoes.  I use my grandmother's Foley food hand crank mill 🙂 --Yields approximately 4 cups of sauce. Remove the skin from the larger tomatoes and crush with your hands. This feels amazing and results in a nice slightly chunky goodness. Combine both the sauce and the crushed tomatoes. You'll have approximately 8 cups of tomato base. Step 5 Sauté the onion and garlic in remaining olive oil. Move slowly until tender. This smells amazing! Add the tomatoes. As an intuitive cook, I added two handfuls of salt (2 tsp) and one of crushed pepper(1 tsp) and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Step 6 Add a bunch of chopped basil and oregano. Be as liberal as you like. This is where the flavor lives. Step 7 Add the roasted eggplant and enjoy a warm bowl of golden yumminess--this is as good as it gets!  And with all the abundance available at the Ithaca Farmer's Market, count your lucky stars for living so close, or for having the opportunity to come visit. life is good, our market is abundant.

Perfectly cooked sweet corn, in three minutes!

Here's a simple and perfect preparation for corn on the cob. This is ideal for someone who wants to cook 1 ear at a time. I was amazed and awed!  It literally turns out clean and perfect, every time! Take an ear of corn with the husk on--do not disturb the outside in any way. Pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes, no more, no less. When it's finished cooking, cut off the bottom end and shimmy the ear out of the husk. Delish!

Quick and easy summer tomato-cucumber salad

Here's a simple family recipe for you straight from the Milito summer table. There was rarely an evening in July/August when my mother didn't put out a large plate of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. Some nights she got a little crazy and tossed it into this fresh Italian salad--yummy and so, so easy. Often it's the simple combinations that please the most. image Connie's Cucumber Tomato Salad fresh from the garden 3 small cucumbers or I large 3 medium tomatoes 1/2  red onion 2 tbls good olive oil 1 tbls red wine vinegar Salt and pepper to taste Cut the cucumbers lengthwise in half. Cut into 1/4 thick slices. Cut the tomatoes in half and cut into similar sized wedges. Thinly slice the red onion in strips. Toss all the vegetables together with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Delish! Although Connie never added fresh basil, I highly recommend a bit to bring in a new dimension. If you have some green pepper, that is a nice addition as well. Just chop it up and enjoy. This is an excellent go to summer salad and is works well as a simple treat anytime of day.  It combines well with grilled meats, vegetables and rice! image_1

Zucchini Fritters and a Tzatziki sauce with an ingredient you’ll never guess!

Welcome the ever abundant zucchini to the Ithaca Farmer's Market. There are so many possibilities for recipes ranging from zucchini noodles to zucchini bread. Today, I present zucchini fritters. They are paired with a fresh basil Tzatziki and served up as a sandwich with turkey and sharp cheddar. Toss a few fresh tomatoes on the side for flavor and color. Delicious for a warm summer day or evening. Zucchini Fritters 2 medium zucchini grated 1 tsp salt 1/4 cup flour 1/4cup grated Parmesan 1 egg 2 grated garlic cloves Salt and pepper to taste.   Grate the zucchini and place in a colander  Sprinkle the salt over the zucchini, mix and let it set to drain in the sink. After about 10 minutes, rinse the zucchini and drain in a clean towel, ringing out excessive  water, Mix together the drained zucchini, flour, cheese, egg and garlic along with a little salt and pepper to taste. Oil a frying pan with olive oil and when hot, drop by heaping tablespoons into  the hot pan. Cook approximately 2-3 minutes per side until golden. Yields 6 fritters. I used the fritters as bread and built a sandwich with turkey and cheddar. And served it with a dollop of Tzatziki. image_1 Basil Tzatziki I medium cucumber peeled and seeded 1cup Greek yogurt drained 15 basil leaves Juice of lemon 2 garlic scapes 2 small garlic cloves Place the cucumber in a food processed with basil, garlic, and lemon juice ,  pulse until smooth. Add the yogurt and process a minute more. Taste and adjust with a bit of salt and pepper. image_2

This simple raw kale salad is cruciferously delicious

Ok folks here's an easy, but delicious kale salad. I make enough for left overs and use it in sandwich wraps with assorted fillings. This is an ideal everyday salad--a seven ingredient wonder that plays well with others.
Chopped kale, 1 bunch
2 cloves grated garlic
Juice of 1/2 lemon (1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse, dry and chop your kale.
Grate the garlic into the kale, add lemon juice and olive oil. Message the dressing into the kale. Add the peppers, salt and pepper.
As an alternative, you may add a 1/4 cup of currents and fresh Parmesan curls for a more complex flavor.
This recipe was inspired by personal chef, Stacey Weeks, and owner of Pure Food,  Mind, and Body.