30 June 2009

Recipes: Fresh Summer Tomatoes!

Selection of heirlooms, plus one hybrid, the E...Heirloom Tomatoes, click on the image to take you directly to the photo to better read the names of the varieties Image via Wikipedia

From Denny: We love tomatoes at our house! They are so versatile, and, right about now for the rest of the summer, they are also affordable. Tomatoes are a healthy food, full of vitamins A and C as well as the antioxidant lycopene.

Some people who find red tomatoes too strong a taste would enjoy the more mellow yellow version. Another alternative is to buy the red tomatoes before they ripen - as green tomatoes! Here in the South we have a long tradition of fried green tomatoes. All you do is slice the green unripened tomatoes into thick slices. Then dredge them in an egg wash and yellow cornmeal, seasoned with your favorite spices - we like lots of garlic powder and Cajun seasonings at our house - and saute in a bit of oil in a cast iron skillet and out comes an awesome dish! Easy!

Today I'm featuring a couple of tomato recipes: Tomato Basil Pie and Heirloom Tomato Salsa, enjoy!



Tomato Basil Pie

From:Cooking & Gardening with Dianne” by Dianne Cage (featured in the Comfort Food From Louisiana Amazon store, just click on the title)

Makes: one (9-inch) pie


Ingredients:

1 prepared pie crust

3 or 4 medium tomatoes, sliced fairly thick

Salt

2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 cup grated sharp Cheddar (suggestion: use only 1/2 cup Cheddar plus 1/2 cup Parmesan)

1/2 - 1 cup mayonnaise (suggestion: if you are not a huge fan of mayonnaise or the calories try using only 1/2 cup as that is just enough to bind everything without excess)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper, or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Brush bottom of pie crust lightly with butter and bake in preheated 400-degree oven for 5-6 minutes. Remove from oven, cool 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Place tomato slices in bottom of crust and sprinkle chopped basil over tomatoes.

3. In separate bowl, blend cheeses, mayonnaise, red pepper and a sprinkle of black pepper. Pat on top of tomato-basil and with the back of a spoon, lightly spread over top.

4. Put back into preheated 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes and top is lightly browned. Tomatoes will just be heated through. Serve warm.

*****



Heirloom Tomato Salsa

From:Fresh Every Day — More Great Recipes From Foster’s Market” by Sara Foster with Carolynn Carreno (featured in the Comfort Food From Louisiana Amazon book store - just click on the title)

Makes: 3 to 4 cups.

From the author: “I make this salsa in big batches because it’s good on so many things: scrambled eggs, chicken sandwiches, in wraps with leftover meat and, of course, with chips. I make it with many kinds of heirloom tomatoes because I love all the shapes and colors together. If you can’t find heirlooms, don’t worry. The point is just to have good, garden-ripe tomatoes.”

Ingredients:

2 pounds mixed tomatoes (4 to 5 medium), cored and diced

1 small red onion, minced

2 jalapeño peppers, cored, seeded and minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Grated zest and juice of 1 lime

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons white vinegar

1 Tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Place the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño peppers, garlic, red pepper, lime zest and juice in a large bowl as you prepare them. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with the sugar, cilantro, salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.

2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to marry the flavors before serving the salsa. It will keep for up to 1 week; the tomatoes will release some juices, but the flavor is just delicious.

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