Tomatoes

A favorite nightshade vegetable will soon wrap up yet another season. Tomatoes were officially deemed a vegetable in 1893, by the supreme court. A tomato is a fruit because it grows on a vine. Does the same apply to the green beans...another article. The tomato season is June through October. Get them while they are delicious and local.

There is a singular, procured taste associated with local, in season, tomato. My sister in law, Sue, and I say that we will not eat fresh tomatoes any other time; quality over quantity. In the season, tomatoes will dazzle the taste buds.

Tomatoes paired with basil, garlic, salt and pepper define warm weather cuisine at its finest. Other herbs pair well with tomatoes, too. Oregano and thyme are favorites at the Tentilucci residence. One of my husband’s favorites is my roasted tomato halves. I cut about three tomatoes in half and place them cut side up in a sprayed baking dish. I mix up parsley, oregano thyme, rosemary and a shallot in the mini processor. Then I sprinkle that mix on top of the tomatoes, and drizzle olive over the top. I place them in a 425-degree oven for 20 minutes. While they roast, I chop fresh basil for after roasting. Once roasted, I sprinkle the basil and serve. For an added touch, sprinkle the tomatoes with parmesan cheese before roasting.

Preserving tomatoes for the cold weather is a whole additional bag of tricks. It takes time, but if you have a bumper crop of tomatoes and a bit of time, this effort is well worth it. The best directions to follow will be included in you canning jars. The only special equipment I recommend is a jar retriever, or a jar rack. With the retriever, you can place, and remove the jars from the boiling water. The rack sits in the pot, the jars set in the rack, and then the whole rack goes in and them is lifted out of the pot. Either works well. If you take time for preserving, you will have homegrown tomatoes for the winter. That’s a win!

Now is the time to visit farm stands and outdoor markets to gather the last of the 2019 tomato crop. I know I plan to do the same. Enjoy.

Tomato Stack Salad with Corn and Avocado (myrecipes.com)

2 bacon slices, halved

1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

2 ears shucked corn Cooking spray

2 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices total

2 globe tomatoes, cut into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices total

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 ripe peeled avocado, thinly sliced

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the grill to high heat.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bacon to pan; cook 8 minutes or until crisp, tossing occasionally to curl. Drain bacon on paper towels.

Combine buttermilk and next 5 ingredients (through garlic), stirring with a whisk. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Coat corn with cooking spray. Place corn on grill rack; grill 8 minutes or until well-marked, turning occasionally. Remove from grill; cool slightly. Cut corn kernels from cobs.

Sprinkle tomato slices evenly with salt. Alternate layers of tomato and avocado on each of 4 plates. Scatter corn evenly onto plates. Drizzle each tomato stack with about 1 1/2 tablespoons dressing and 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper over salads; top each salad with 1 bacon piece.

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Smoky Chickpeas (countryliving.com)

3 tsp. canola oil

8 small bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

1/2 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 pt. grape tomatoes

2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed

fresh thyme leaves, for serving

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook, in batches, skin side down until skin is browned and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate; reserve skillet.

Add onion and garlic to reserved skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in paprika and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and chickpeas and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Nestle chicken into mixture, skin side up.

Roast in oven until the internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°F, 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve sprinkled with fresh thyme leaves and yogurt alongside.

Summer Tomato Galette (Halfbakedharvest.com)

CORNMEAL CRUST

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch cubes, 1 stick + 2 Tbs

1 egg beaten

TOPPINGS

2 tablespoons butter

1 sweet onion thinly sliced

kosher salt + pepper

6 fresh thyme sprigs chopped

8 ounces blue cheese crumbled

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded

1/4 cup fresh basil

1 small zucchini thinly sliced

1-2 small to medium heirloom tomatoes sliced

1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes halved

olive oil for drizzling

honey and or honeycomb for serving

toasted walnuts for topping

In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper. Pulse once or twice to combine. Add the diced butter and pulse until you end up with small pieces of butter, like the size of rice. Add 1/4 cup ice water to the dough and pulse until it comes together. If needed add 1-2 tablespoons more ice water until the dough comes together. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface, knead a couple of times and then form the dough into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the butter to a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan frequently until the onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the thyme. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Now grab your dough from the fridge. Flour your work surface and roll the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Crumble the blue cheese over the bottom of the dough leaving a 3-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle on the shredded cheddar. Add the caramelized onions in an even layer and then layer on the basil, zucchini, sprinkling it with salt + pepper. Now add the tomato slices and half of the cherry tomatoes, reserving the remaining half for topping. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Now drizzle lightly with a little honey. Fold the edge of the dough over the tomatoes. Brush the crust with the beaten egg. Place the galette in the fridge for 15 minutes or until ready to bake.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake the galette for 45-55 minutes or until the crust is golden and the tomatoes are very lightly charred. Allow to cool 5 minutes and then slice and serve topped with fresh cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of honey, if desired. The crust will be crumbly so cut small slices for easier serving.

comments powered by Disqus