Though nearly March, it feels as though the northeast is experiencing a state of perpetual winter. Itís still cold. Itís still snowy. The days are still much too short. Right about now, Iím craving warmth, Iím craving sun, Iím craving flip flops, and I am, beyond all else, craving fresh, local food! There is perhaps nothing I hate more than hitting winter and knowing that I face four-ish months of fruits and vegetables shipped from halfway around the world only to end up on my plate bland and old. I am sick of feeling as though my diet is enzyme-less and I am sick of eating completely taste-less vegetables.
Luckily, I have discovered that I can still get fresh, local, organic tomatoes!! Tomatoes (which happen to be my favorite food) are the leading greenhouse-produced crops. So, in the midst of this fresh-food shortage, I can still make my favorite fresh, healthy, feel-good meal even in the dead of winter. It is important (and green!!) to buy local, particularly in the winter, because it supports local farmers, you know where your food is coming from, it arrives on your plate must sooner than an equivalent product shipped from across the world, and it takes much less fossil fuel to get to you.
This dish is literally the best thing I have ever had in my entire life. Whenever I introduce friends to it, they cannot get enough and subsequently crave it and ask me to make it every time we eat together. It tastes so good and so healthy at the same time that you simply cannot go wrong. Completely organic, vegetarian, and fresh, this dish is a definite crowd pleaser! Hereís the recipe (for two people):
Organic Whole Wheat Rigatoni (1 cup)
Organic Garlic (1 clove–or more, if youíre a garlic lover!)
Organic, Local Tomato (1)
Organic, Local Basil (1-2 stalks)
Organic, Local Fresh Mozzarella (8 oz)
Organic Balsamic Vinegar (3-4 tbsp)
Olive Oil (2 tbsp)
Bring water to a boil, lower the heat to medium, and cook the rigatoni until soft. Sliver the garlic and roast it in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over low heat until light brown. Chop tomato, basil, and mozzarella. In a bowl, mix the tomato, basil, mozzarella, vinegar, garlic and olive oil. Add the pasta and serve!
Lily Berthold-Bond grew up in a chemical-free zone and has struggled her whole life to understand and accept this non-commercial lifestyle. Now a sophomore at Tufts University, she has embraced her green life and hopes to share its possibilities with the rest of her generation.