30 Sep

Ten Benefits to Buying Local

In these hard financial times, supporting local businesses is so important! Here is what our local Sustainable Business Council has to say about the benefits of buying local:

  1. Independent local businesses in communities with buy-local campaigns have higher sales growth than those in areas without a campaign.
  2. Independent local businesses return more money to the local economy than non-local businesses.
  3. Buying from and contracting with locally-owned businesses supports local jobs.
  4. Small firms (that are generally locally-owned) give more to charity on a per-employee basis than larger ones.
  5. Local residents have a greater influence on actions taken by locally-owned independent businesses than on non-local firms, which encourages the businesses to engage in more sustainable practices.
  6. There is a positive correlation between the number of small- to medium-sized local businesses and community wealth.
  7. Communities with a higher concentration of small, locally-owned businesses have healthier populations.
  8. Fuel consumed to get locally-produced products to market is often lower, reducing greenhouse gas emission and dependence on foreign oil.
  9. Locally-owned businesses often pay more in local taxes per dollar of revenue and thus provide more local government services to the community per dollar of revenue.
  10. Buying local builds community and supports your friends and neighbors.

Ten Benefits to Buying Local

02 Jul

Freshly Harvested Lavender

Lavender Harvest 2011 003

What’s not to love about Lavender!  Besides its visual beauty, it can be used for so many things.  We include it in the formulations for our  “Lavender Collection.”  Inhaling its fragrance brings relief from the stresses of our daily  lives.  The soothing properties of this amazing plant are a must in our lotions and creams.  A quick spritz of our Lavender mist can uplift the spirit while bringing about a restful nights sleep.  We can even cook with it!  The dried flowers are in the classic French  “Herbs de Provence” culinary herb blend.  Here in Montana the first harvest is usually in late June or early July, and sometimes we can harvest again in late September.

12 Apr

How are your seedlings doing?

Hello students and fellow gardeners!

I thought I would check in to see how your seedlings are doing since our class! The weather has certainly been lovely, and the sun has been shining bright so your babies should have started to grow. If you planted large seeds like cucumbers, they should have popped up in 7 to 10 days. Smaller seeds like tomatoes and peppers always take a little longer, and herbs are typically very slow. Watering is always a challenge depending on the air temperature and whether they are in direct sun or under lights. You don’t want them to dry out, but you also don’t want them to drown. Once up, you can begin fertilizing with a weak dose of fish emulsion. I use 1 tbsp per gallon of water every week until transplanting out into your pots or garden. You can either water into the soil or spray onto the plant (foliar feeding).

I am planning on offering another class on transplanting and direct seeding into your garden sometime in the latter part of May, but will wait to see what the weather is going to do to confirm dates. Let me know If you think that would be of interest and helpful to you.

Have you started any new seeds? This is a photo of peppers that I started on March 9th. By early June they should bed ready to be transplanted out. Now is a good time to start cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, chard and kale. All of these can be transplanted out into the gardens when it is still cool, as long as it doesn’t freeze. It’s also not too late to plant potatoes. Seed potatoes are available now at all of the garden centers. You don’t have to grow them in the ground if you don’t want to. They grow great in large whiskey barrels or wire cages.

I would love to hear from you regarding your seedlings; I want you to really fall in love with gardening and growing good food! That means you must have fun and be successful in your process. I am here to help, so call or email with your questions.

Some of you may not have the time or space to grow enough food for you and your family or may only want to grow a few tomatoes and herbs. That is just fine, too! Just being outside playing in the dirt and watching the magic happen can be such a joy. It’s the ultimate stress buster!

Don’t forget that you can always sign up for my CSA to supplement what you are already growing for this summer season. I am taking applications now and still have plenty of room for new subscribers. You can visit my website to see the information on how it works and also the registration form. I would also appreciate any referrals that you can send my way. I have a passion for educating others on the importance of sustainability in building strong communities. I can only continue my work with your help and support.

Please drop me an email or give me a call to let me know how you are progressing with your garden planning and your veggie starts. I would love to hear from you and offer help whenever you need it.

08 Mar

Kate’s Garden & CSA ~ Early registration is now open!

The 2015 garden season is just around the corner so I thought I would let you know what is happening here at Kate’s Garden!  Seeds are already germinating in the greenhouse, fruit trees have been pruned and all of the beds are ready to plant. I am getting pretty excited and chomping at the bit to put the first seeds and transplants in the ground!  I won’t be putting anything out until at least late April early May, depending on the weather, but I can hardly wait!

My farm is located in the Billings Heights and sits on 1 1/3 acres.  I have always been an organic gardener, but am not certified organic.  I have a passion for growing vital, healthy food.  Ever since I was a little girl I loved playing in the dirt!  Learning how to use our earth’s bounty to produce all that we need to live well has been a life long mission of mine.  I have been an eager student at learning how to grow food, make medicine and nurture my soul.

I am going to get up on my  soap box now, so please bear with me!  It has become quite evident that our “business as usual” industrialized food system no longer works for us.  We are now seeing the negative impact on our health and environment  as a result of the high use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides in industrialized farming.  Our bees are dying, the Monarch butterfly is becoming extinct and our soils deplete of nutrients; not to mention the quality of the air we breathe and contaminated water in our rivers, streams, lakes and oceans from toxic run off.  We are becoming aware of the fact that eating fresh, nutritious food is one of the best ways to maintain good health.

“Know your farmer” is not just another catch phrase.  It is a growing movement to create strong, healthy communities.  Our farm lands are being sold to big business because the land is worth allot of money and yet the farmer struggles to make a decent living.  There is something wrong with this picture!  When you support a local farmer, or any local business for that matter,  you build a personal relationship….there is a face to see and a handshake to feel. There is warm conversation and maybe even a new friendship.

I have been asked why I continue to farm, as the work is hard and the money slim.  I know I can’t fix our broken mass produced food system, but in some small way I am helping to educate my community, grow and share vital food and have a positive impact on our environment. I have a strong desire for self-sufficiency, and it is simply the joy of the whole gardening process that keeps me happy and grounded…working the soil, patiently watching the growing process, the taste of the first ripe tomato, and the harmony of the seasons.

I am reaching out to you now, as I need your support In order to continue farming and growing my business.  This year I have taken a giant leap of faith in lowering my CSA subscription price and offering 1/2 shares.  It is my hope that this will encourage you to join this year.  It’s really is a benefit to us both.  I am able to continue doing what I love in sharing my gifts through farming and education, and you have the opportunity to experience the farm and eat healthty food (recipes included).

To see all of the information on the cost of this year’s CSA, how it works and to register, please visit my website.   You can also send an email (katescents@bresnan.net)  or give me a call (245-9128).  I would love to hear from you.

06 Mar

2015 CSA registration is now open.

Know your farmer

Sometime in the past, you have either been a subscriber to my CSA, or have expressed an interest in learning about the farm. The 2015 season is just around the corner so I thought I would contact you again to let you know what is happening! Seeds are already germinating in the greenhouse, fruit trees have been pruned and all of the beds are ready to plant. I am getting pretty excited and chomping at the bit to put the first seeds and transplants in the ground! I won’t be putting anything out until at least late April early May, depending on the weather, but I can hardly wait!

My farm is located in the Billings Heights and sits on 1 1/3 acres. I have always been an organic gardener, but am not certified organic. I have a passion for growing vital, healthy food. Ever since I was a little girl I loved playing in the dirt! Learning how to use our earth’s abundance to produce all that we need to live well has been a life long mission of mine. I have been an eager student at learning how to grow food, make medicine and nurture my soul.

It has become quite evident that our “business as usual” industrialized food system no longer works for us. We are now seeing the impact of the high use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides in industrialized farming. Our bees are dying, the Monarch butterfly is becoming extinct and our soils deplete of nutrients; not to mention the quality of the air we breathe and contaminated water in our rivers, streams and lakes from toxic run off. We are becoming aware of the fact that eating fresh, nutritious food is one of the best ways to maintain good health.

Know your farmer“Know your farmer” is not just another catch phrase. It is a growing movement to create strong, healthy communities. Our farm lands are being sold to big business because the land is worth allot of money and yet the farmer struggles to make a decent living. There is something wrong with this picture! When you support a local farmer, or any local business, you build a personal relationship….there is a face to see and a handshake to feel. There is warm conversation and maybe even a new friendship.

I have been asked why I continue to farm, as the work is hard and the money slim. I know I can’t fix our broken mass produced food system, but in some small way I am helping to educate my community, grow and share vital food and have a positive impact on our environment. I have a strong desire for self-sufficiency, and it is simply the joy of the whole gardening process that keeps me happy and grounded…working the soil, patiently watching the growing process, the taste of the first ripe tomato, and the harmony of the seasons.

I am reaching out to you now, as I need your support In order to continue farming and growing my business. This year I have taken a giant leap of faith in lowering my CSA subscription price and offering 1/2 shares. It is my hope that this will encourage you to join this year. It really is a benefit to us both. I get to continue doing what I love in sharing my gifts through farming and education, and you have the opportunity to experience the farm and eat good food (recipes included).

To see all of the information on the cost, how it works and to register, please visit my website. You can also send me an email (katescents@bresnan.net) or give me a call (245-9128). I would love to hear from you.

 

16 Feb

Our 2015 garden season is fast approaching

Our 2015 garden season is fast approaching and I am excited to tell you about a new price structure and other good stuff pertaining to Kate’s Garden & CSA.

 Kate’s organic produce and vegetables in Billings MT I am taking a huge leap of faith in lowering the subscription rate this year and am offering half shares too!  I hope in doing so that I encourage more subscribers to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase “home-grown” produce for their families.   As a valued returning participant in the gardens, your support allows me to continue following my passion of developing a strong local food system which in turn builds a strong community.

The challenges of farming continue to affect small producers all over the country.  Small farm America is dying.  Too much work, not enough pay and frustration over having to compete with Big AG is causing this!   We are often asked why we continue to farm when we don’t bring in an honest profit and the work is physically hard!  I can only speak for myself, but here are my top 4 reasons.

  1. It is my desire to be a good steward of the land.  Nothing seems more beneficial than to raise wholesome, nutritious food that can be shared with friends and family.
  2. I happen to believe that fresh, locally-grown, organic fruits and vegetables are indispensable for optimal nutrition and health.
  3. I have a strong desire for self-sufficiency for myself and for the community.
  4. It is simply the joy of the whole gardening process that keeps me happy and grounded…working the soil, patiently watching the growing process, the taste of the first ripe tomato, and the harmony of the seasons.

I know that I cannot feed the world, but it is so rewarding to me to know that I am in some small way helping to keep myself and my community sustainable, healthy and strong.

 Kate’s organic produce and vegetables in Billings MTOnly with your support can I  continue in this endeavor.  Please let your friends and family know that there is an opportunity to join the CSA this year, as I am depending on having more mouths to feed!  I believe the price is more than fair and the Thursday pick up usually works for most, as it is before the weekend and at the end of the day.

All of the information on this year’s CSA is posted on my website along with a downloadable registration form which you will need to print out and mail back with your deposit.  If you haven’t already done so, be sure and sign up to receive my newsletters and blog posts, otherwise you will not know what is happening here in the gardens, and you don’t want to miss out on all of the recipes!

 Kate’s organic produce and vegetables in Billings MT
Please let me know as soon as possible if you will be joining us for another year.  That way I know how many openings I will have for others to join.  Registration and deposits are due by April 15th.  Bodie, Barb and I are looking forward to seeing you all in June.  I will be posting more news as the season comes closer.

09 Jul

Week 4 Summer CSA share

Snap Peas

It’s been out of the fry pan into the fire this past week.  The days have been so hot that Barb and I have found it callenging working in the garden in the afternoons.  With both of us now in our 70’s we just can’t take the heat like we used to.  That being said, the summer squash and peppers are loving it and really starting to grow.  I was really worried there for awhile, as they just were just sitting there.   This time last year we were almost ready to harvest the first of the zucchini….not so this year.  With the cool nights of the past few weeks, they just were not liking it!  Everything is looking pretty good out there right now.  The flea beetles,  which were quite bothersome in the early spring last year, are just now starting to show their nasty faces.  It’s a good thing that this is the final harvest for the braising greens, as the beetles love those crops!

This week will provide you with the last of the spring peas, beautiful heads of cauliflower, broccoli florets, radishes, swiss chard, a colorful mix of heirloom beets with their tops, baby carrots and, of course some herbs.  I am really pleased with the cauliflower.  In past years I have found it difficult to grow them perfectly…similar to the broccoli.  But this year I think I was blessed.  They look spectacular.

Be sure and top your carrots before storing them.  We leave the tops on because it is a great way to bundle and present them.  You can either put them in a zip lock bag, or store them in water for crisp snacking.

The beet tops are considered a green.  They can be braised, steamed, added to stir frys and Thai curries, or roasted with other veggies in a 450 degree oven.  The beets can be steamed, boiled, pickled and I even like them grated raw into a green salad.  If they are boiled or steamed, the skins slip right off.  Otherwise you may want to peel them.  I actually like the peels….just like carrots, as long as you scrub them good.

I am excited to announce that I will  have organic, free range eggs available here every week for you to pick up.  My friend Marlene Wilkin lives just down the road on Independent Lane.  She grows heritage birds and her eggs are wonderful.  I thought it would be a great way to introduce you to another local producer and give you the opportunity to cross one more thing off of your grocery  list.  The eggs will sell for $3 a dozen.

Don’t forget to bring your bags or boxes!

See you on Thursday…4-6 P

 

16 May

Progress in the garden

The work in the gardens and other landscape areas here at Kate’s Garden has been non – ending these last few  weeks.  It’s always like this in the spring, and my body is already screaming at me!  Even though we have had many cool nights everything is a go for this seasons production.  I am keeping my fingers crossed and have had a talk with the garden devas in the hopes that we do not have a freeze or  hail.  With all the challenging weather that is going on in other parts of the country, I think we are blessed to be living here in Montana.

All of the brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower), scallions, greens( red mustard and mizuna), lettuces (red and green),  have been transplanted into their beds.  We have seeded several varieties of beets (Red Ace, Chioggia, Bulls Blood, and Yellow), radishes (pink, red, purple and white), carrots (Parisienne and baby) and the snap peas are already up!  I am holding off planting the tomatoes until it warms up a little.  They have been hardening off in the outside window box, so in another week or so they should be able to handle some temperature fluctuations.  I have several varieties of early tomatoes that I just might try to get in under Wall’O’Waters, however.  They ripen early, produce all at the same time and are small but still very flavorful.  They will definitely stave off our craving for those big, juicy slicers for a little while.

It’s time to make the  final payment for your vegetable share, if you haven’t already done so.  I was hoping to have a few more subscribers this year.  If you know of anyone who might be interested in joining, there is still time.  I just need to know soon, so that I can plan accordingly.   I know that organic food is higher priced than what you can purchase at the grocery store, but when you take into consideration the fact that the produce you receive is harvested the day or day before your pick up, that you can actually get to know the person who grows it and see the garden where it is grown, and meet others who share your interest in good food, I think it is a Win, Win for everyone.  It is important to me to acknowledge and thank you.   You are supporting a small local business that also supports other local businesses, and we all depend on you to help  us grow a strong vital community.

I still have lots of tomato plants available for you to plant in your own garden or pot at home.  They sell for $3.75 ea.  Here is a list of the ones I have. Click here to purchase these tomato starts!

Cherry Tomatoes

Gardeners Delight – organic, indeterminate – Train this cherry heirloom on a trellis, all the better to admire the lush, dangling clusters of bite-size red fruits and to pick a few in passing. This German variety, for good reason also known as ‘Sugar Lump’, bears 3/4-1 1/4in fruits, 6-12 in a cluster. ‘Gardener’s Delight’ has an old-fashioned, tangy sweet taste, is crack-resistant, prolific, and will continue bearing until frost. Ripens in about 65 days from transplant.

Yellow Pear – organic, indeterminate – Vigorous vines produce high yields of 2″, yellow-skinned, pear-shaped fruits with few seeds. Slightly later than Red Pear, but with the same prolific yields and dependable performance.

Black Cherry – organic, indeterminate – Beautiful black cherries look like large, dusky purple-brown grapes; they have that rich flavor that makes black tomatoes famous. Large vines yield very well; very unique and delicious.

Blue Berry – organic, indeterminate – Here’s a new, small cherry variety from Brad Gates, Wild Boar Farms. Very dark purple color, which means it’s super-rich in anthocyanins. Unripe, the fruits are a glowing amethyst purple. At maturity they turn deep red where the fruit was shaded; the areas that received intense sunshine are a purple so deep it’s almost black! The flavor is intensely fruity, and sugar-sweet! Plants are very productive, yielding all season in elongated clusters that look so beautiful.

Early Slicing Tomatoes

Sub Artic Plenty – organic, heirloom, determinate – Allegedly developed in the 1940’s by the U.S. Military to provide fresh tomatoes to their troops in Greenland. If your weather turns cold after you set out plants, try this variety. Sets hundreds of small, 1 to 2″, red fruits with that tart, “real tomato” flavor. Hardier than virtually any other variety. Extremely early maturity. No need to stake.

Glacier – organic, determinate – Extremely early, cold-tolerant, high-yielding special strain of tomato plant. Begins flowering when only 4″ high and bears tasty tomatoes only 45 days from flowering. You can expect higher-than-average yields of 2 to 3 oz. fruits with outstanding flavor for such an early tomato.

Paste Tomatoes

Amish Paste – organic, heirloom, indeterminate – Dates back to the turn of the century, and is the best for sauces and canning. Its deep red fruits are large for canning types (about 8 oz.), with “real tomato” flavor. Not overly acidic.

Jersey Giant – organic, heirloom, indeterminate – This New Jersey canning variety is on the verge of extinction! Large, 6-inch long, pepper-shaped fruit are packed with great tomato flavor. Delicious fresh from the garden. Their large size makes them a snap to can. Their thick, rich flesh is much tastier than modern paste types, and the fruit have very few seeds.

Slicers

Black Prince – organic, heirloom, indeterminate – A genuine Russian treasure! Its small to medium, oval fruits are very juicy and ripen to a beautiful, deep garnet red color. Fruits, about 2″ in diameter, are uniform and blemish-free. Their green flesh contrasts appealingly with the exotic skins.

Black Krim – organic, heirloom, indeterminate – A most unusual novelty. Fruits are a dark, deep red (almost a shiny black) with heavy green shoulders. Interior is a deep, reddish-green color. Sweet and tasty. Matures extremely early.

Green Zebra – organic, indeterminate – This is the most unusual variety you’ll ever grow! Fully ripened fruits are bright green, with stripes of a still lighter green. Round, smallish, 2 to 4 oz. fruits have excellent, “real tomato” flavor. Plants are vigorous.

Orange Icicle – organic, indeterminate – These extra-long, plum-shaped fruits are polished golden orange, and their rich, sweet taste has definite citrus overtones. The full-bodied flavor, thick-walled flesh, and very few seeds are the makings of a must-have new condiment, orange ketchup. Or serve it in a Technicolor salsa with other ‘Icicle’ companions. Fruits ripen about 75 days from transplant.

Large Slicers

Pineapple – organic, indeterminate – Enormous, uniquely-patterned, yellow-red striped fruits will be the center of attraction. Beefsteak-type fruits easily grow to 5″ and larger, and are orange-yellow with red streaks. Fruits have meaty flesh, mild flavor, and no green shoulders. Heavy foliaged plants produce good yields.

Brandywine – organic, heirloom, indeterminate – An Amish heirloom that dates back to 1885 and is generally considered to be the world’s best-flavored tomato. Plants look like potato vines with good yields of extra-large (weighing up to 1-1/2 lbs.), firm, clear-skinned, light rosy-pink fruits.

 

I also have lavender plants in 6″ pots.  These are hardy here in our area.  I have been growing this wild lavender for 12 years. Purchase these lavender plants now!

Make sure you sign up on the website to receive the newsletter.  It’s my way of keeping you up to date with what is going on in the gardens, recipes, and other good stuff!

The dill has self seeded all over the garden, but I just love to harvest the small plants and use them in salad dressings, butter spreads and egg recipies.  The asparagus is back, too!  Here is a wonderful, easy brunch recipe using both.  Enjoy!

Asparagus Quiche with Dill

The nutty bite of Gruyère cheese blends well with dill and asparagus. Try this quiche for a Sunday brunch. It is delicious hot, warm, or cold.
• 1 nine-inch unbaked tart shell 1/2 pound fresh asparagus
• 3 eggs
• 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
• 2 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
• 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill weed
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Line the tart shell with pie weights or prick with a fork and bake for 7 minutes, or until barely set and faintly golden. Transfer it to a cooling rack and remove the weights. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
3. Trim off the woody parts of the asparagus stalks. Steam the stalks over boiling water for 3 minutes, or until barely tender. Drain immediately, then chop coarsely.
4. Whisk the eggs with the half-and-half, then fold in the asparagus and remaining ingredients and pour into the tart shell. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the filling is set. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Refrigerate if not serving within 30 minutes.

 

28 Apr

Seedlings galore!

Hello everyone!

It’s finally beginning to feel like spring!  The meadowlarks are singing,  the robins are gathering grasses and leaves for their nest building and the male pheasants are strutting their stuff!  The sun’s warmth has once again returned and brings forth the promise of an abundant, vibrant garden season.

Thank you all for joining the CSA this year.  I am excited to see and experience the miracles that always present themselves each year as we travel through the spring, summer and fall garden season.  Just a quick update to let you know how things are going here in the greenhouse and garden.

 

Greenhouse-hotbox seedlins-4-27-14 2014-04-27 007The warmer weather the last couple of weeks has allowed Barbara and I the opportunity to move the tomato and onion seedlings from the greenhouse out into the window boxes to harden off before we plant them    into the garden.  I was bold and even transplanted the seedlings of lettuce, Napa cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and scallions out into the garden.  I am trusting that they can handle the temperature fluctuations so that we can provide you with some early crops.  We also direct seeded beets, radishes and spinach.  As you can see we are getting ready for a bountiful CSA season.

 

The greenhouse is bulging at the seams with the rest of the seedlings we have started.  There is not 1 square inch of room on the tables for more!  I need to get things outside soon, so that I can start more plants.  This week I will be harvesting the lettuce and spinach that is growing in the ground and send it to Market Day Foods in Bozeman.  It is really nice to have another place to sell my produce.

Greenhouse-hotbox seedlins-4-27-14 2014-04-27 004

I still have a few more openings available for this season’s CSA, so if you know of anyone who would be interested, please let them know.  I was hoping for 16 this year and we stand at 11 as of today.  I will probably place an ad in the Billings Gazette this week.  I had hoped that I would have had a greater response from the article on my garden in the Yellowstone Valley Woman magazine, but sadly that has not been the case.

I have planted extra seedlings of tomatoes (early small, large slicers, both yellow and red, and several different colors and shapes of cherries), peppers (bell, jalapeno, habanero, ancho/poblano and sweet Italian) and eggplant that I will have available for sale for those of you who would like to have a few plants at home.  They are organic, healthy heirloom plants  and in 4 inch pots.  They will sell for $3.75 ea.  Let me know soon if you are interested and I will save some for you.  I also have beautiful large, hardy lavender plants that have been growing in the greenhouse all winter. The are just starting to bloom.  They are ready to plant now.   They are hardy here in our zone and are plants that have self seeded from my lavender that has been growing here for over 10 years, so they are well acclimated to our environment.  They will sell for $5 ea.

There is still time to let me know if you are wanting to can or pickle this year.  The canning baskets for tomato sauce, salsa and cucumber pickles need to be ordered soon, so that I will have the available produce growing for you.  You may want to consider fermenting some of your veggies this year.  I made sauerkraut last fall from some of the “not so perfect” cabbage I had left from the garden, and it turned out great.  I am planning on doing allot more fermenting this year, as it is so good for you, and it is so easy to make.

You are more than welcome to come by for a visit any time to see the garden and greenhouse.  It will be looking better, greener and more lush in a few weeks.  Give me a call if you do.   Just a reminder that for those of you who have not paid in full for your subscription, your final payment is due by May 15th.

Here is a great recipe for taking advantage of the baby spinach that you find in all of the markets right now. It’s quick, easy and tastes great. Enjoy!

Bow Tie Pasta with Spinach, Tomato, and Olives

With appealing Mediterranean flavorings, you’ll feel like you’re vacationing, not watching your waistline. For a non-veg variation, toss in some grilled shrimp or chicken breast.

Serves: 4

Ingredients
12 ounces bow tie pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups chopped fresh or canned tomato
2 cups baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons sliced kalamata or other ripe olives (about 5 to 6 olives)
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
Directions
1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Before draining, scoop out 1/2 cup of the pasta-cooking water and reserve. Drain the pasta and return it to the cooking pot to keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, combine the oil and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and fragrant. Do not brown. Add the tomato and cook for about 4 minutes longer, or until the tomato starts to soften. Add the spinach and cook, tossing, for about 1 minute more, or until wilted. Stir in the lemon juice, olives, capers, pepper, and salt. Reduce the heat to low.
3. Add the tomato mixture to the reserved pasta and toss to coat. Add a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking water, if needed, to moisten the pasta.
4. Serve sprinkled with cheese.