Eat with the Seasons

Seasonal EatingAlthough a good variety of fruits and vegetables are available throughout the year, they do have peak times or seasons when their flavor is at their absolute height.  Mr. Cheese and I are currently enjoying the edible fruits of our labor since tomatoes are in peak season and we are picking aplenty.  Other produce in peak season now through September in Virginia are blackberries, corn, tomatoes, watermelon and peppers.  To find out what’s in peak season in your neck of the woods, check out your local farmer’s markets or visit the peak season map over at

One of our favorite recipes that utilizes a vegetable in peak season right now, is my Creamy Red Pepper Basil Sauce.  Try it with tortellini and Italian sausage, or drizzled over grilled salmon or swordfish.  The sweet red peppers compliment the basil perfectly.  It is also a tasty match for a crusty piece of garlic bread. 

Creamy Red Pepper Basil Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh, minced garlic
  • 1 small, sweet onion, small dice
  • 6 oz. roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes, unseasoned
  • 1/3 cup white cooking wine or cooking sherry
  • (2) 6 oz. cans tomato paste (I use Contadina w/no added spices)
  • 1 cup fresh, chopped basil
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • salt & pepper to taste

How to Make It!

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and cook the garlic, onion, red peppers until the onion appears transparent.  Add the cooking wine and cook down until the liquid is reduced by half.    

Add tomatoes, tomato paste and chopped basil.  Once at a bubble, turn heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 3 hours.  Stir occasionally.  About 20 minutes prior to service, turn the heat back to medium-low and slowly stir in the heavy cream, about a third at a time.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Yields about 6 cups  


About tossingtheswissaround

I have been obsessed with food since I can remember. I grew up watching the Frugal Gourmet and Julia Childs in black and white repeats on TV. I made an elementary version of veal parmesan when I was all of 8 years old and even concocted a homemade version of vomit to drizzle along the hallway and oh-so-carefully in the bathroom so I could get of school whenever I wanted. Dad never caught on but I eventually came clean about that vomit recipe. About two years ago. My skills have greatly improved and my obsession has only deepened as the years go by. In the mornings, I ask my co-workers what’s for lunch, what they ate last night and what is on the menu tonight. I groan when I eat almost anything I like because I can barely contain my excitement. Because, well, because it’s food! I was technically trained and once worked as a formal chef but physically that takes its toll so I joined the much less strenuous, albeit entertaining, world of HR. Food is still at the forefront of my mind as I continue to cook and love all things food. Enjoy!
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