From our Food Goddess, TaMara:
It seems everyone but at my house has a garden full of tomatoes. That’s okay, I know where all the good farm stands are located. What to do with all those tomatoes then becomes the question. Tonight’s recipe exchange will give you a few ideas.
First, let’s get this out of the way, Bixby’s weekly update is here.
Now for the recipes:
JeffreyW takes some of his harvest and Oven Dries Tomatoes, here and here.
You can then use those dried tomatoes in place of sun-dried tomatoes in this Roasted Green Beans, with Tomatoes and Feta, here.
I love soups and while the weather is still hot, Cold Cucumber and Tomato Soup is a perfect way to use some of the garden’s bounty, recipe here.
Tired of tomatoes? This week’s dinner menu of Seared Ginger Tuna with Mint-Papaya-Pineapple Salsa has not a hint of tomato.
What’s on your menu this weekend? Anything good cookin’ in your kitchen?
For tonight’s featured recipe, I’ve adapted JefferyW’s recipe for his sauteed cherry tomatoes and pasta, pictured above.
Pasta Tossed with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil
10 oz favorite pasta, cook according to pkg directions, drain (don’t dry) and reserve water
16 oz (or more) cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh basil, packed, reserve a few leaves for garnish
2 tbsp tomato paste
Fresh grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
Heat oil in skillet, sauté onions until translucent, add minced garlic, cook for about another minute and then add tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes, add tomato paste and basil. Stir and let simmer additional 5 minutes, ladle in some pasta water if needed for the desired consistency. Toss with pasta and top with cheese before serving.
If anyone has a recipe for a lighter/deconstructed eggplant parm that uses fresh tomatoes, I would love it, as I have both. I made one once that involved sauteed tomatoes I think in a little wine, and some fresh mozzarella slices over grilled eggplant, but I can’t remember where I found it.
Didn’t grow any corn, but the fresh sweet corn right now is out of this world. You could serve it for dessert.
skip the heat. pass the wasabi.
I know soup in summer is a little odd, but this is also a good recipe, esp. if you make some nice cheesy homemade croutons to float on top….heaven.
True about the corn this year: we get ours (here in the Scenic Berkshires ™ ) – at least when they care to designate it – from Stephentown, NY : obviously from growers who specialize in sweet “eating corn”. But the quality (even if from the same source) may vary: this year it has varied over to “consistently wonderful”. Go figure….
I can recommend this Tomato & Zucchini tian. A bit of work, what with all the layering, but smells absolutely fabulous while baking: mouths water.
I bought a campfire/grill “slow cooker” (heavy aluminum pot with clampdown silicon gasketed lid) that I’m going to try for the first time tomorrow. Rabbit rubbed with a mix of paprika, smoked paprika, and whatever else occurs to me braised in local unpasteurized apple cider and calvados, carrots, thyme. I usually open the cider on the counter for an hour and then put it to the back of the fridge for a few weeks until it gets a little fizz, but no time so I’ll use the apple brandy with it.
Native corn, and blueberries with science project creme fraiche. (1 cup heavy cream, 2 Tbls buttermilk or yogurt. Let sit on counter 24 hours.)
To make a lighter eggplant parmesan, I think you really need to bake the breaded eggplant slices rather than frying them.
As a bit of an oldster, the Moosewood Cookbook taught me this. Try this. Bake the breaded eggplant — and you can do the same with zucchini as well — and then do what you want with it.
I’ve made baked breaded eggplant or zucchini in this way (these, once cooled, will keep in a tupperware in the fridge for a couple of days) … and you can then make a ‘deconstructed’ eggplant parm by layering slices, preferably slabs, of awesome fresh tomato, then the slices of baked breaded eggplant, maybe another slab of tomato, fresh mozzarella. Throw some fresh basil leaves into the layers if you have them. Bake at, I dunno, 375 degrees F.
I make something simpler than that. In a shallow baking dish I put thinly sliced potatoes, then thinly sliced zucchini, and then sliced tomatoes on the top. Each layer gets olive oil, fresh basil, salt and pepper. Sometimes I put a little cheese on the top depending on what I have in the frig. Bake it at 350 until all the layers are cooked through. The potatoes should end up a little crispy.
I hadn’t thought of incorporating potatoes into the mix.
Instead of breaded and fried, I’ve either grilled or roasted the eggplant slices. Less greasy, less salty. To roast, slice, brush both sides of each slice with olive oil, @ 400 degrees for about 10 minutes per side until tender.
we’ve also steamed the eggplant. eggplant lasagna is delicious.
Culture of Truth
Have we ruled out lobbing them at Rich Lowry?
They’s all done for here but we had the best year ever.
@parsimon: Baked but breaded seems like just the right balance of healthy and no-so-much, and that picture looks divine. Moosewood all but taught me to cook, but I haven’t picked it up in years. Thanks for the reminder.
@jibeaux: Your description of the recipe sounds perfect. If you’ve got the larger eggplants, slice them thin, salt them for ten minutes or so to get the bitterness out, then rinse, brush with olive oil and toss on the grill. You’ll know when they’re ready–they’ll be soft but not falling apart.
Before you put them on the grill get the ingredients ready for your lightly tossed tomato sauce. You can keep it really simple with just tomatoes and garlic–I love it that way. Or you can add whatever you want–onion, bell pepper, spicy peppers, basil, wine, whatever. Stir fry the garlic for just a minute in olive oil or butter–your choice, butter adds a complexity, olive oil is lighter–then toss in the cut up tomatoes. You can get all fancy and core them and take off the skins or just toss them in. Sauce tends to be sweeter if you get rid of the seeds and other stuff.
Depending on how long you want to cook your sauce you can cook it while the eggplant slices are on the grill. Or, if you want you can cook it first and leave it on warm.
For the parmesan, have it grated and ready to go. About a minute or two before you lift off the eggplant, use a spoon to layer it on top of each slice. Let it melt, then lift off the eggplant, top with sauce, eat. Easy, summery, yummy.
I’ve been eating various cold, raw vegetable soups this summer. It’s really simple, Puree the veg, add seasonings and then as much greek yogurt as veg. Most of the versions have lemon juice and shallots. Cucumber dill, beet horseradish, spicy red pepper, curried squash.
Try sesame oil. I use the regular not the toasted. It gives a bit of a nutty flavor but is lighter than EVOO. Grill lots of different veg that way as well as salmon. Japanese eggplant is very good sliced and grilled.
Fire roast whole tomatoes, 3 to 4 med for about 2 servings, peel the skins. In a bowl with fresh garlic, salt and roasted and peeled Serrano pepper, crush with a heavy bottomed glass, add the peeled tomatoes, crush with same glass, add onion. I use red onion but any will do. You now have salsa that you can spoon on your grilled veg and fish and/or eat with chips. You have to turn the tomatoes on the grill and the liquid inside gets boiling hot, which is what breaks the skin and allows you to peel them but it is worth it. The pepper will give you heat but not super hot. Serrano peppers are not super consistent in the heat department, I’ve used anywhere from a half to 3 to get the same amount of heat, but the flavor is a little sweeter than some other peppers. And I have eaten one raw and lived to tell about it, so it isn’t that hot.
Baby Boy has GROWN!
Not parmesan style, but a favorite and easy eggplant dish.
1 medium-size eggplant (the big purple ones, not Japanese eggplant)
2 large yellow onions, chopped coarsely
4 tbl. vegetable oil
1 tbl. curry powder (or more, to taste)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 can crushed tomatoes
Cut off bottom and top of eggplant and discard, then peel eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes, salt the cubes, place them into a large bowl or colander.
Fry onions in oil until golden brown in pot large enough for finished dish.
Lower heat, add curry powder to onions and stir for a few minutes.
Rinse eggplant cubes, drain very well and add to the pot. Add lemon juice and simmer, stirring frequently, for at least 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and a little salt, to taste, if needed. Simmer at least 10 minutes more, stirring frequently. If it becomes too dry, add just a little bit of water.
Serve over white rice.
Recipe scales up easily and very well. Tastes even better if refrigerated overnight and reheated next day.
Oh, and a tip if ever frying batter-coated eggplant slices is to coat the slices and then spread them out on a baking sheet or on foil and let them sit for 15 minutes so the coating can set before frying.
I just fire up the dehydrator and let her rip. One year we had 10 gallon bags of tomatoes that lasted the whole year. Next year, one, early blight nailed them as it was so cool and wet all spring. This year is a so so harvest, not as bad as last but nothing like the banner 10 bag year. Funny thing is, I have some rogue tomato plants in a crap soil garden doing WAY better than the raised garden with all teh best soil on the planet. Odd that, but maybe when a seed is pooped out a chipmunk’s butt, it just grows better…
Last night I cooked down the fourth 6 quart cooking pot filled to brim with fresh chopped tomatoes this season. That is with majority of seeds and water in the fresh tomatoes squeezed out before I slice them up and dump them in the pot.
I estimate to date I have harvested over 150 pounds of tomatoes, about two dozen varieties, many of the heirlooms.
Two of those batches have gone into homemade spaghetti. One batch was made with ground pork from a local farm, raised without antibees and hormones. For the second batch I used canned beef, essentially roast beef, that is made and marketed by a large Mennonite business in northern Indiana. We keep cans on hand in case of emergency, but it is so good we eat it regularly for dishes like this, and stir fry dishes, and stews. We always add shredded carrots, diced onions and celery, and chopped bell peppers. The peppers came from the garden two, but I have given up on trying to grow carrots, and the onions were a failure this year, too much shade where I put them to try this year.
The spaghetti made with this wide assortment of sweet and mild tomatoes has been the best spaghetti batches we have ever made. In this case, we are really enjoying the fruits of all that labor and time invested in the garden this year.
Love me some Tom tomatoes