Thursday, August 12, 2010

Got Tomatoes ????

Everyone seems to be asking for tomato recipes. If you have a surplus of tomatoes, try one of these recipes to nicely feature fresh summer tomatoes at their peak!

Tomatoes, Pecans, Peaches, Blue Cheese and Basil Salad
Makes 6 servings

1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar (if no white is available, ok to use dark brown)
1 garlic clove, minced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large fresh peach, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade
2-3 lb. sliced heirloom tomatoes
3oz crumbled blue cheese (substitute with goat or feta if you prefer)
½-3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Whisk together balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, olive oil, and salt. Stir in diced peaches into mixture Place single layer of sliced tomatoes on serving platter. (I usually overlap one edge of tomatoes for a nice presentation) Spoon out peach/balsamic/olive oil mixture over tomatoes. Then sprinkle crumbled cheese, chopped toasted pecans on top of tomatoes. Next sprinkle chiffonade of basil on top. Finally, sprinkle freshly ground pepper to taste. (If you prefer, top with additional sea salt. I prefer to skip this step but I’ve been accused of “under-salting”!)

Grilled Tomatoes with Basil Vinaigrette
Makes 6 servings

3 yellow tomatoes
3 red tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Garnish: fresh basil sprigs

Clean and preheat grill. (You may also prepare this recipe indoors using a grill pan on the stovetop). Soak skewers submerged in water for at least ½ hr. Cut tomatoes in half; thread onto skewers, alternating colors. Brush with 1-2 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium heat (300° to 350°) 10 minutes, turning skewers often. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, and basil; drizzle over kabobs. Garnish with fresh basil, chiffonade cut.

Roasted Tomatoes with Feta and Basil
Makes 6 servings

6 plum tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup Italian dressing
Handful fresh basil, chiffonade cut


Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise, and place, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper to taste, Italian seasoning, and feta cheese. Drizzle evenly with 1/4 cup Italian dressing. Broil 3 inches from heat 2 to 3 minutes or just until cheese starts to brown.

Herb-Tomato Crostini

Makes about 20 appetizer servings

1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 (8.5-oz.) French bread baguette, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt (large pinch or two small)
1/8 teaspoon pepper (or ‘small pinch’)
1 large tomato, finely chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Tip: This is a great ‘make ahead’ recipe. If you make this mixture the night before and allow to sit in refrig in a bowl, the flavors will be greatly enhanced when you serve them the next day. Don’t top the bread until just before serving. (to prevent bread from becoming soggy). Another idea is to serve the topping in a bowl and serve cut bread in basket to side. That way guests can assemble themselves!

Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together olive oil and garlic; brush on 1 side of each bread slice. Place bread slices, garlic sides up, on a baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly toasted. Whisk together lemon juice and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add tomato and next 3 ingredients; gently toss to coat. Top each bread slice with tomato mixture (about 2 rounded teaspoonfuls each). Sprinkle with cheese.

Green Tomato-Fresh Herb Crostini: Substitute 1 finely chopped large green tomato for red tomato. Proceed with recipe as directed.

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