Tag Archives: garden vegetables

Summer Recipes: Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic


It’s late summer and, I don’t know about you, but our tomatoes are rolling in from the garden here in the central Shenandoah Valley. The fun of having fresh vegetables and herbs is the abundance of recipes that are useful during these warm summer months.

With so many tomatoes — we have a variety of cherry and regular-sized tomatoes — it’s sometimes a challenge to find enough ways to use them before they rot. We share with everyone we know but still have plenty because Mr. Mitchell loves to work in the garden so there’s always enough for everyone.

DSCN4179In this recipe I’m able to use our cherry tomatoes and freshly harvested basil leaves from my deck herbs. For dinner tonight I tweaked this a bit by sautéing the tomatoes and garlic in olive oil on the stove top since I try to limit my use of the oven on hot days which, I suppose, could change the name to Pasta with Sautéed Tomatoes and Garlic. I added the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and, wow, the flavors popped. Yum.

The pasta can be adjusted for gluten free diets. Nothing says summer like the garden-to-table freshness of a home vegetable garden. From MyRecipes.com … enjoy!

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic


1 tablespoon kosher salt
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 pints multicolored cherry tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved
1/4 cup small basil leaves


1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add 1 tablespoon salt. Add pasta; cook 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 6 tablespoons cooking liquid. Return pasta to pan. Combine reserved cooking liquid and 2 tablespoons oil in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil 4 minutes or until mixture measures 1/3 cup. Add oil mixture to pan with pasta; toss to coat.

3. While pasta cooks, combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, tomatoes, and garlic on a jelly-roll pan, tossing to combine. Bake at 450° for 11 minutes or until tomatoes are lightly browned and begin to burst. Add tomato mixture, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to pasta; toss to coat. Top with cheese and basil.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 cup)
Total time: 35 Minutes

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell


Late summer’s harvest

By Lynn R. Mitchell

1From the garden….


It was hot out there today … and other miscellaneous thoughts

By Lynn R. Mitchell


Thank goodness there was a fairly blustery breeze most of today because it was hot — 88 degrees and humid — but much nicer in the shade if you weren’t doing much. Yesterday’s half-finished flower garden didn’t get any attention today while I wait for the promised cooler weather by the end of the week to finish weeding and put in new mulch.

Tomatoes are coming in by the bags-full from the garden and we’ve been glad to be able to share with friends who are mater lovers. I would hate to see them go to waste.


This has been, for the most part, one of the more enjoyable summers as far as moderate temperatures with few days in the 90s and none in triple-digit range. We have not had a dry spell this summer and grass that is normally parched and crispy brown by now is still lush and green. Same with trees and bushes — it has been so lush that we had to trim and cut branches to push back the jungle. The numerous shade trees in our yard offer an oasis from the hot summer sun. Of course, we had that rain storm last week that parked over Staunton and surrounding vicinity, and dumped 3-5 inches of rain, depending on where you were, for four hours. That was the night our basement, for the first time in the 18 years we have lived here, leaked and we were left mopping up and doing repairs.


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Milmont Greenhouse in Stuarts Draft … what’s on sale?

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Milmont 9Milmont was having a sale — half off the four-pack annuals — so it was a good time to drive to Stuarts Draft for flower to fill in where necessary in the pots and flower boxes that were planted in May. This is an annual trek for me and involves adding new colors as well as filler now that the original flowers have done a bit of growing.

Milmont 10I’ve never gotten a bad plant at Milmont. Look at how lush these hanging baskets and plantings look, and that’s because they take good care of all plants while in their possession. Once I adopt a plant, it’s treated with the same loving care that it received at the greenhouse.

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‘Project Grows’ puts down roots in Augusta County

Project GrowsBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Located on Berry Farm Road in Augusta County, I was out that way earlier this week and snapped this picture of the sign. Project GROWS is a community farm where children and youth grow, eat, and enjoy. Young members of the community are taught about healthy living through many hands-on experiences, growing food from soil to seed to harvest. They find this same food in their meals and have the opportunity to prepare it together. They are also taught why fresh food is healthy and helped in developing business skills to market and sell it, while local growers share with them their approach to producing healthy food. Youth bring family and friends to farm events and celebrations where participants take pride in what they accomplish and enjoy what hard work can produce.

Volunteers are encouraged to share their talents and skills with Project Grows. See their website, Project Grows, for more details and information.

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Spring planting … hands in the dirt

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????Hands in the dirt … spring planting after a trip to Milmont Greenhouse in Stuarts Draft. I look forward every year to the trip to buy flowers to pot for the porches and back yard, and garden vegetables for yummy summer goodness.

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Stuarts Draft: Summer flowers at Milmont Greenhouse

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Milmont 1With sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 80s, it was time for a run to Milmont Greenhouse in Stuarts Draft, the Mennonite-run operation that features premium annual, perennials, trees, shrubs, and just about anything else needed to make a pleasing palate of colors in your yard.

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