Tag Archives: tomato

Cherries, Take Two

Take some cherry tomatoes

Tomates_cerises_Luc_Viatour(1)

Add some fresh mozzarella  –ciliegini – little cherry size

mozzerella, fresh

 

With basil and  a little olive oil …a lovely summer salad. Serve with Scali bread to mop up the juices..

scali bread

If you can’t find Scali bread, here’s a link on how to make some : http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2008/03/26/for-the-love-of-scali-bread/

The next night…

Take what’s left of the tomato and cheese, which has been marinating in balsamic vinegar all night…..drool….And add to hot pasta

Practically instant, low cook supper.

 

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Filed under Bread, Eating, Recipe, Summer, Supper

Salads, Dressing

Claude Monet Jar of Peaches

Why did the peach blush?

Because it saw the salad dressing!

 There are so many things that can be salad…..really – like

Potato to make Potato Salad

Potato to make Potato Salad

Tuna for Tuna Salad (this tuna is named Charlie)

Tuna for Tuna Salad (this tuna is named Charlie)

Fruit in fruit salad

Fruit in fruit salad

even kale can be a salad

Kale and Chickpea Salad

Kale and Chickpea Salad

But the mostest salad I’ve eaten in my days is a lettucey, leafy greens base with stuff in/on/around and topped with

Dressing

Dressing that increasing came in bottle form…..

Ken's Blue Cheese Salad Dressing is on of my faves...it reminds me of steak and baked potato and a side salad. Now I mostly eat if without the steak and I'm as likely to put it on the potato as the salad. Also good on the sandwich made from the leftover steak - a thing I did not know existed in the world until I moved out and away from 4 brothers - in a sandwich with sliced tomato the next day for lunch

Ken’s Blue Cheese Salad Dressing is one of my faves.

Ken’s  reminds me of steak and baked potato and a side salad. Now I mostly eat it without the steak, and I’m as likely to put it on the potato as the salad. But when there IS steak it is also good on  leftover steak – a thing I did not know existed in the world until I moved out and away from 4 brothers – in a sandwich with sliced tomato the next day for lunch. Excellent good, in fact.

Jars replace bottle in the late '80's and '90's as even better salad dressing.

Jars replace bottles in the late ’80’s and ’90’s as even better salad dressing.

My son is a ranch Dressing lover, so this was on our table for years......

My son is a Ranch Dressing lover, so this was on our table much of the ’90’s

But this is the ranch dressing he really wanted, so these packets were part of our pantry for years...

But this is the Ranch Dressing he really wanted, so these packets were part of our pantry for years…

Newman's Own is my current bottle of choice. Bottle are convenient to carry to work for lunch salad.

Newman’s Own is my current bottle of choice. Bottle are convenient to carry to work for lunch salad.

The supper salad – the home game, versus the away game lunch salad – was increasing dressed in the bowl, like I was taught in ’60’s, but with more variety, like in Red, White and Blue Salad, which I had thought I had already shared, but it’s not showing up here when I searched for it…so here it is, possibly again

RED, WHITE AND BLUE SALAD

2 cups red cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes or big ole vine ripened tomatoes, chopped and equal to the grapes)

2 cups white grapes

Optional: ½ cup roasted and chopped nuts

Dressing:

         1 Tablespoon Blue cheese

1 Tablespoon wine vinegar

3 Tablespoons yoghurt

2 Tablespoons oil

1 garlic clove

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

  1. Put all dressing ingredients in blender and blend (use a food processor if you prefer. Creamy, rich, tasty goodness.
  2. Put aside.
  3. Wash and dry the fruits. Cut the cherry tomatoes and grapes in half over the bowl you toss them into.
  4. Top with the dressing and mix.
  5. Top with chopped nuts if you prefer.

Dorry Baird Norris. Sage Cottage Herb Garden Cookbook. The Globe Pequot Press. 1991, 1995. p.267

Sage Cottage Herb Garden Cook Book by Dorrie Norris

Sage Cottage Herb Garden Cook Book by Dorrie Norris

Mason jars are good to mix salad dressing in - NOT the salads, which need bowls or plates.

Mason jars are good to mix salad dressing in – NOT the salads, which need bowls or plates.

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Filed under 1990's, Summer, The 1980's

Two Many Tomatoes

Two is more than one. Quite actually, many, many, many more than one. One tomato is easy to handle. tomatoEat it. Maybe even out of hand. One perfect tomato sandwich to eat over the sink. Add it to just about anything.
More than one tomato, find other ways, many other ways, to eat them…..

one, two, three, four, FIVE. Five tomatoes

one, two, three, four, FIVE. Five tomatoes

So I learned to can. Cherry tomatoes.In a class. With Rosa Galano. But Friendship sauce is a post on it’s own.

This photo was on edible South Shore and South Coasts Facebook page, Michael Hart, photographer. I'm the big knife and part of a hand in front on the right side.

This photo was on edible South Shore and South Coasts Facebook page, Michael Hart, photographer. I’m the big knife and part of a hand in front on the right side.

and that was Wednesday night, and I had too many tomatoes on Monday afternoon. Not just cherry tomatoes. Big tomatoes. Big Ripe tomatoes. Big Ripe Juicy tomatoes. Lots of them. A BAG FULL. That needed eating NOW. Or at least very close to now. Thank you, Mindy.

Mindy was my Pilgrim sister. Here's she with Cindy.

Mindy was my Pilgrim sister. Here’s she with Cindy.

Stop drooling, start slicing.

A One, Two Tomato Punch.

These are guidelines more than recipes, which are what recipes really ought to be seen as.

Tomato salad.

1. Tomatoes, chopped/sliced/diced – whatever the tomato tells you it should be.
2. Fresh basil, eating fast because cold nights are coming and that marks the end of it, unless you’re clever and have already potted it up and brought it indoors and put it in a sunny window that you aren’t likely to leave open at night or you could have save yourself the trouble and just left it OUT in the cold….
3. Good oil.
4. Vinegar. Change out the vinegars – red wine, white wine, balsamic, raspberry (I have fruit vinegars for beets, but they’re good on tomatoes, too). Mint or tarragon vinegar when I’m not using basil. Just this is the basic salad.
5. Salad Improved: Add cheese – fresh mozzarella, or blue or feta or a few shavings of Romano.
6. And add a piece of bread to mop up the juices, and now it’s a meal.

The Happy Meal of My People!

And then…..

Tomato salad because Saucy

Tomato Sass

1. Cook a pound of spaghetti, or other member of the skinny-strandy branch of the Pasta Family.
2. In another pan, fry up a well chopped onion with a clove or 2 of garlic in oil. A pinch or two of hot pepper (or a spoonful of the chopped red hot peppers is nor amiss, either) if you like. Cook it up nice. If you have more fresh basil, add a little chopped now, too. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Drain spaghetti.
4. Add the onions and the oil, toss.
5. Add Tomato Salad, without improvements. 2, 3, even 4 cups worth. Toss again
6. Serve with cheese on top.

This is based/influenced on Victory Garden Cookbook

Victory Garden Cookbook - Marian Morash

Victory Garden Cookbook – Marian Morash

Cold Tomato Sauce with Hot Pasta. p. 320.

Very Loosely. Seeing the name alone set me on my way. Marian Morash has a slightly (very) different version that is also very good, or so say the splashes on the page.

Leftovers of this, mixed with eggs and fried , topped with more tomatoes and cheese, makes great fritatta.

There’s also a tomato jam somewhere…not in this cookbook, but in one nearby, one that I already trust. if/when there are more tomatoes. It’s still September, there are still more tomatoes.

Green_Tomatoes
And Green tomatoes. Emeril Lagasse has a green tomato pie with molasses ice cream, a combination that make me want to drool just reading the words, but I don’t have an ice cream maker (or I would make – and eat – one or two batches of ice cream every month/week/day/meal) so maybe I should be looking for some green tomatoes. But where in the Emeril world IS this recipe?????

Emeril Lagasse, 2009. BAM

Emeril Lagasse, 2009. BAM

 To be continued…..

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Filed under Eating, Recipe, Summer

The Tomatoes of Summer

This is the season for tomatoes in Plymouth County. Tomatoes season begins in the D0g Days and last until the first good frost. This is when I eat fresh tomatoes, when they’re local and juicy and unrefrigerated . Unless they’ve been dried or put into a can, the lovely tomato just does not travel well.

Fresh fresh fresh

Fresh fresh fresh

Going to the AWARD WINNING Plymouth Farmer’s Market to get me some ‘matersmusic

There are  plenty of ways to eat fresh, JUICY tomatoes that aren’t really recipes

Out of hand, out of doors with a hose nearby ….

Sink sandwich – sliced, on bread with some mayo, a little salt and pepper – over the sink….even better if you call it a sammiches (but just don’t go to ‘sammy‘ please)

Cut into slices and put with anything else on your plate

Cut into wedges with a little oil and vinegar

or add a little fresh basil to those wedges

or add a little cheese – almost any sort – to those wedges

Sing tomato songs….

Tomato Songs from Red Beet Records in Nashville

Tomato Songs from Red Beet Records in Nashville

tomato-songs

 

But since the season also bring bulk tomatoes, cooking with the fresh fruit (and it is a fruit) is also an option.

Red Gravy d’Estate (for summer)

2 # fresh plum tomatoes

¼ pound butter

1 med yellow onion – not a Vidalia, just a regular ole onion, peeled and cut in half

1 ½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon sugar

  1. Wash the tomatoes in cold water. Dry.
  2. Cut them in half lengthwise. Put them in a covered pan, bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Run them through a food mill or strain them through a fine mesh colander. Put the puree back in the pan.
  4. Add the butter, the halfed onion salt and sugar.
  5. Cook at a low simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
  6. Taste and correct for salt; discard onion.( I save it for frittata)
  7. Serve over spaghetti.

Marcella Hazan. The Classic Italian Cookbook. Ballantine Books, (1973) 1984. p. 91.

Classic Italian cb

Marcella and Victor Hazan

Marcella and Victor Hazan

Since I started writing this post, edibleSouth Shore and South Coast have set up a workshop for, you guessed it, Tomato Sauce. I’ll let you know how goes….

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Red Gravy…on a just another Meatless Monday

NOT to be confused with red-eye gravy,

Red eye gravy needs a ham steak a-frying and some black coffee to make it, well, red-eye. If there are some long cooked greens and some grits nearby, maybe a biscuit....heaven comes in many forms

Red eye gravy needs a ham steak a-frying and some black coffee to make it, well, red-eye. If there are some long cooked greens and some grits nearby, maybe a biscuit….heaven comes in many forms

which is delightful in it’s own right, just not a tomato sauce to put on macaroni.

This is not Sunday Gravy which always has meat, just basic marinara. Because Italian isn’t as nearly as much one language with dialects as it claims to be, as several languages that have a common Italian accent. The words for sauce/gravy include  sugo/salsa al/di pomodoro or pummarola ...and there are more, and that’s barely getting us out of something with tomatoes that goes over pasta type sauce, and there is a world of others….little wonder they translate into so many variations….not so much”same meat/different gravy”  as “Same gravy/different names”.

Back to the story….

One of the things I discovered when I moved out on my own  that as a single, the pantry and proportions of food I grew up within a large family were completely wrong.

I had to start over and reinvent the wheel.,

Or at least the rotelle…

Rotelle - wheel shaped pasta

Rotelle – wheel shaped pasta

Especially the rotelle – and all the other macaronis. (Back in the day, we called them ‘macaronis’: we were macaroni eaters )

Mangiamaccheroni - we were not allowed to us our hands...

Mangiamaccheroni – we were not allowed to eat macaroni with our hands at the table – EVER.

My mother’s red gravy – or tomato sauce as we say now – was a BIG BATCH affair. Since I’m the oldest of six… and four of them were growing boys – with no dainty appetites – well, let’s just say this didn’t translate well for a single, especially one who decided to be a vegetarian.

But I had been reading about Italian food…..trying to find the dishes and the tastes that my family cooked and talked about.

We talked a lot about food. I thought everyone did. All the time.  I am an not a foodie, thank you very much, I am Italian.

Don’t be fooled by my Irish face – but back to the gravy.

James Beard to the rescue.

Beard on Pasta

Beard on Pasta

Red Gravy (for Winter)

28-oz can whole tomatoes (in puree)

2 small onions, diced*

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon dried basil (or one frozen stalk)**

4   Tablespoons Butter***

  1. Put the diced onion and basil in your saucepan.
  2. Open the can of tomatoes (make sure to wash the top of the can first, and when was the last time you cleaned that can opener?) Says the voice in my head –  maybe it’s just a Big Sister thing…).
  3. With your impeccably clean hands, pick out the tomatoes and crush them directly into the pan. No finger licking until the last tomato is in!
  4. Pour in whatever puree remains in the pan, and cook over medium high heat, stirring often, for about 20 minutes.
  5. Add the butter at the end, letting it melt and enrich the sauce.
  6. If you use the frozen basil stalk, fish it out before serving.
  7.  If you want a super smooth sauce, puree in the food processor or force through a strainer. I never want a smoother sauce more then I don’t want more dishes…
  8. If you’ve started a pot of water for your macaroni at the same time everything should be done together.

James Beard. Beard On Pasta. Alfred A. Knopf. 1983. p.73.

* He says sliced. He doesn’t say garlic, which I add a clove or two, well chopped.

**I freeze basil in the summer – it turns black and scary looking, but leaves a great basil taste. JB suggests that oregano or tarragon could be used.  Oregano is fine – with or without basil; I would go so far as to suggest even a very little rosemary or the merest pinch of a fresh sage leaf. A pinch of cinnamon is very good, too. Tarragon?? It would seem that Mamma Beard was NOT from Italy.

***This was the very first time I had ever seen butter and tomatoes together in a pot. I used olive oil for years, and one day got brave….it IS very good.

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Filed under Influencers, Perception ways, Recipe, The 1980's

One Hot Tomato

Just another meatless Monday…..

If you asked my mother, she’ll tell you I don’t like tomatoes.

Tomato_scanned

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I LOVE tomatoes, and it is out of love of tomatoes that I pick them out salads all winter long.

I love tomatoes fresh from the garden, which here in Plymouth is possibly July, definitely August and into early September.

I buy tomatoes at the Plymouth Farmers Market and sometimes from roadside stands – and there do seem to be fewer of them with each passing year – and I accept them – greedily- fresh from the gardens of my friends and family.

Random passing strangers with bulging bags of fresh produce are never turned away, either.

It wasn’t until I moved out and lived on my own that I realized I didn’t have to eat pink cottony golf balls that are sold under the name of tomato in winter time – nicely packaged in little plastic crates – at all.Bright_red_tomato_and_cross_section02

I also love all sorts of canned tomato products, and dried tomatoes and tomato paste, especially in the little toothpaste like tube.Progresso canned tomatotomato paste tube

I needed one tomato to make Flora’s Lentils and Macaroni, so I did what I always do in the winter in the grocery store – I bee lined it straight for the mark down produce rack.

My winter shopping often starts here.

I started collected cauliflower recipes because it was so often found here, and often for under a dollar.

Good Eats at a Great Price!

And often things are repackaged or trimmed in such a way that for the single or single plus one, a much more reasonable haul.

So I found a package of tomatoes, one of which went into the lentils…what to do with the rest?

And FAST – even at LOW LOW prices I don’t want to pay cash money for compost.

One way to improve and generally pump up the flavor of tomatoes is to heat them up. Think hot summer sun and fresh off the vine……

These tomatoes are a long way from their vine, and the sun is not heating up much here (or if it is, the snowfall is masking it it). That leaves cooking them.

But First – a few words about

Jacques Pepin

Jacques Pepin in 2006

Jacques Pepin in 2006

Years ago,on some cooking show (but it was in color so after 1977)  where Jacques was trimming various vegetables, cutting and chatting and moving the trimmed bits into a scrap bowl….and then he caught sight of these so-called scraps out of the corner of his eye, and paused, speechless. With the knife still in one hand, with the other he pulled (and for the life of me I can NOT remember what) part of the discard OUT of the scrap bowl . He peered below the counter. He put down the knife, pulled out a second bowl, placed the now NOT garbage vegetative bits in second bowl and said either “for soup” or “for something else” and continued with the regular show.

This whole maneuver probably took under 10 seconds.

It also summed what I dislike most about cooking shows and  food magazines –

In the quest for the best,

 We toss aside far too much of the very good and the perfectly fine.

There’s a world of good eating, and often very, very good eating, in the bits that aren’t best. Cooking /seasoning/mixing things up together can make good things better.

And this is why I’m a major Jacques Pepin fan. He saved the good. Even when it wasn’t part of the script. Bravo, Jacques!

And now for

Pappa al pomodoro

(One Hot Tomato Bread Soup)

 

1 large out of season tomato

1 Tbs olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

4 oz day old, slightly stale crusty bread*

1 oz fresh basil or fresh rocket, coarsely chopped **

Salt and pepper, to taste

Olive oil (for sprinkling)

1 Tbl grated Parmesan cheese***

  1. Core and peel the tomato, then roughly chop, saving the drippings.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stirringly cook until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes.

  3. Add tomato and juice and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until tomato starts to soften and break down.

  4. Add the bread to the tomato. Continue cooking for 5 minutes or until the bread soaks up the sauce.

  5. Stir in the leafy greens, salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes more. Scrape into a warm bowl and sprinkle with more olive oil and grated cheese.

adapted from Pappa al pomodoroThe Boston Globe, August 20, 2008. Jonathan Levitt.

* I’m using one of Jenny’s Bread Cheese Rolls, hence the weight  specific. Otherwise part of a stale loaf – pull it apart and leave it out for a while to hurry the staling (for the truly impatient a minute or two in the oven will dry it out)

** I almost never have fresh basil in the house in the winter (too cold grow citrus is also too cold to keep basil; I freeze it, which turns it black, which is fine for sauce because you can fish it out before serving, but this needs a little more substance). Rocket is another name for arugula and you need some zingy-zangy greenage to add here.

*** I actually prefer Romano, but PLEASE -nothing fr0m the green shaker can!

Pappa al pomodoro - pappa is indeedy related to pap....and pomodoro is tomato

Pappa al pomodoro – pappa is indeedy related to pap….and pomodoro is tomato

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Getting a round to it

Corners are cool….

Huey Lewis and the News Hip to Be Square

Huey Lewis and the News Hip to Be Square

but eventually even I have to get a round to the pizza.

It’s not that I haven’t made round pizzas. Try finding a not-round pizza pan, for one thing.

But more recently, Rachael Ray – yes, Rachael Ray  – showed me a pizza that was both round and involved cast iron.

Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray

It was the September issue…..which I didn’t really have time to read until the first week in December.

Rachael Ray EveryDay Magazine September 2013

EveryDay with Rachael Ray Magazine September 2013

So, make some  dough…..you remember.

Rache would have you buy it, but now that you know how easy dough is, and that you can hold on to it in the fridge until you need it so you can make it ahead and have it on hand, why would you buy it?

The other secret  to Cast Iron Pizza is that the seasoning in the dough – really necessary. Even if you don’t use a premix, use some basil, use some oregano get some flavor in it.

You will also need a 8 inch cast iron frying pan. Or skillet. And a lid for said pan. I just has to be a lid that will cover the pan, it doesn’t have be be that pan’s lid.

A close  up of the pizza in the magazine

A close up of the pizza in the magazine – that’s arugula on top; arugula is also known as rocket.

Many cast iron pans have the size on the back – look for an 8. Another clue – the paper for the magazine is approximately 81/2 x 11, which means the picture in magazine in the magazine is close to life size. These are single serve pizzas. Which works out rather well for a single girl.

Cast Iron Pizza

1 pound of dough, divided into 4 –  4 oz. balls. Knead some seasoning in if you bought it – even a little Romano cheese will perk it up. Big Pan Pizza makes about 2 1/2 pounds of dough FYI.

(flour, to keep the dough from sticking)

Olive oil

tomato sauce, heated (I use Pastene kitchen ready tomatoes  – I like the tomato flavor )

Fresh or dried herbs for seasoning

cheese – mozzarella ( I used some lovely mozzarella from Wolf Farm, grated, but fresh, cut into a small dice would work well here.A little Parm or Romano is always good for the center )

Other toppings – arugula or peperoni or …..

  1. Heat the pan  – the 8 inch cast iron pan – over medium heat for 10 minutes. Make sure that the lid is nearby.
  2. Flatten one 4 oz ball of dough and stretch it into an 8″ round ( I just did this in my hands and didn’t roll it out at all).
  3. Put 1 tsp of olive oil in the hot pan and swirl it to completely cover the bottom. Put the dough circle in the pan
  4. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes (that’s 90 seconds) You’re just setting the bottom.
  5. Flip the dough, cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes, until the bottom is brown. (My first bottom got a little black….so I turned it down for the next three)
  6. Turn the dough again. Top with heated sauce (a 1/4 of a cup – I used my big spoon). Sprinkle on cheese. Other toppings? Now’s the time to add.
  7. Cover for another minute (or two) until the cheese is melted.
  8. Move it out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Wipe out the pan.
  9. Repeat until done.
  10. Mangia!
Pastene Kitchen ready tomatoes

Pastene Kitchen Ready Tomatoes

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