Category Archives: tomato

green tomato chutney

I finally pulled out the last tomato plants at one of the gardens that I work at this week. October was surprisingly lovely, weather-wise, here in Seattle. The temperature is finally dropping for good and all I am left with is one last tomato canning project for the year. With the cool and slow summer, all of the gardeners I know were left with pounds and pounds of green tomatoes. Some were carefully boxed and left in a dark place to ripen slowly over the next month and most were turned into this delicious chutney.

This is a my favorite way to use up lots of green tomatoes. Tomatoes combine quite well with warming spices, such as the ginger, mace, and cloves that I used here. Green tomato chutney is my current favorite sandwich condiment, especially on sweet potato, soft goat cheese, and arugula sandwiches. If you happen to have some roasted pork, I imagine that it would pair quite nicely. My other suggestion is to use it as part of a cheese platter, as its sweetness and acidity pair well with anything creamy and smooth. I also include golden raisins and chopped walnuts in the chutney for some bursts of sweetness and texture.

Green Tomato Chutney with Golden Raisins and Walnuts

6 cups chopped green tomatoes
1 medium-large onion, diced
1 cup white or apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground ginger (or maybe up to 1 tbsp of grated fresh ginger)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground mace
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 cinnamon stick
1/2- 3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 – 2 tsp salt (kosher)

In a large pot or dutch oven, combine green tomatoes, onion, vinegar, brown sugar, and spices. Bring to a boil and turn down the heat to low. Simmer until thick, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. About halfway through, add the raisins. Total cooking time for me was about 1 hour for a batch this big. When the chutney is almost done, add the walnuts. When it is finished, stir in the salt and remove the cinnamon stick. Taste for seasoning. If canning, ladle into hot, sterilized jars and process in water bath for 10 minutes. I am not sure how long it will keep in the fridge after you open a jar, but I am guessing maybe 2 weeks?

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Filed under canning, from the pantry, fruit, tomato

bulgur and tomato salad

Here is a simple, quick salad that can be eaten warm or cold. This salad straddles the seasons, using the last of the ripe tomatoes before the fall sets in completely and some of the first sweet fall carrots. Bulgur or cracked wheat is perfect for a quick supper because it only needs to be rehydrated with some boiling water. In addition to eating it plain, I stuffed this mixture inside of swiss chard leaves and baked it for 20 minutes under a blanket of smoked mozzarella. As always, you can easily swap out or omit whatever the vegetables, cheese, or herbs, but I like to always include the golden raisins and a couple of handfuls of freshly chopped parsley and basil.

Bulgur and Tomato Salad

adapted from Passionate Vegetarian

1 cup of dried bulgur

2 cup boiling water

1 large sweet onion, diced fine

3-4 small carrots, diced fine

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 chile pepper, minced

3 tomatoes, diced and peeled, if you chose

1 lemon

herbs: big handful of parsley or basil. Other good choices (in smaller amounts) include mint or oregano

1/2 cup golden raisins or currants

cheese of your choice. I used a light grating of smoked mozzarella, but crumbled feta would be very tasty. Or use diced avocado for vegans.

 

Rehydrate the bulgur by pouring the boiling water over the dry bulgur. Cover and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a saute pan over medium high with a bit of olive oil and start to saute the onion and carrot. When soft, add the garlic and chile pepper and saute for another minute. Add the diced tomatoes and cook until the juices start to bubble. Pull off the heat and add the zest and juice from the lemon. Stir in the herbs and raisins or currants. Let the mixture cool for a bit and then add the cheese or avocado, if using. Season to taste and enjoy.

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Filed under from the pantry, grains, quick, tomato, vegetables

watermelon gazpacho

Summer melons are finally starting to come into season here in the PNW, after a cold spring and late summer. On the three days of the year where it gets somewhat uncomfortable in your third floor apartment, cold blended soups come to the rescue! I usually make a greener, veggie packed gazpacho, but last week I had a quarter of a small watermelon left and a huge, fat heirloom tomato sitting on my kitchen table. This combination of watermelon and tomato seems to be popping up in salads everywhere these days, and is justifiably delicious. Whenever I come across sun ripened tomatoes, I usually eat them simply on toast with a slathering mayonnaise and basil leaf. But! now, at this time of year, there is quite an abundance of heirloom tomatoes and I can afford to blend some farmers market seconds up into gazpacho.

This version of gazpacho is sweeter than the traditional soup and does not use stale bread to thicken. I usually use a cup of cooked white beans to thicken the soup and add some protein. In this case, I did not have any cooked beans on hand and just used some xanthan gum. This is a powder that is used a lot in both molecular gastronomy and in gluten free baking. Just be sure not to use too much or your soup will become really, really thick and gummy. Avocado can be blended into the soup or simply diced and scattered on top and provides both something creamy and something to chew to the soup.

Watermelon and tomato gazpacho

adapted from herbivoracious

2 cups cubed red, seedless watermelon

2-3  cups cubed, very ripe (and most likely, expensive) heirloom tomato

1 small sweet white onion, roughly chopped. (I used a fresh walla walla onion)

1/2 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

1 cup of cooked white beans (optional) OR

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

small handful of basil or cilantro

juice of one lime

1-2 tbsp good olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

garnishes: diced avocado, tossed in lime juice, or plain yogurt, more herbs to garnish

 

In a blender, combine watermelon, tomato. pepper, onion, beans or xanthan gum, herbs, lime juice, olive oil, and seasoning. If you are using the gum, let the gum hydrate for a bit and reblend. Taste and adjust seasoning; I usually have to add more salt and acid. Chill and let the flavors meld. Serve in small bowls or cups and garnish with avocado or plain yogurt and scatter some herbs on top.

 

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Filed under drink, fruit, quick, soups, summer, tomato

compare contrast: quinoa salad and bread pudding

last week i made two items for my two different roommates.  one requested vegetables and grains, the other requested bread pudding.  the quinoa salad is something that can be varied endlessly with different vegetables and different dressings and different grains.  i like to use quinoa because it is a complete protein and has a pleasant nutty flavor that pairs well with lots of other vegetables and tastes good hot and cold.  i used a mix of cooked and raw vegetables for a mix of textures and a lemon and parsley dressing for a bright accent.  quinoa also pairs well with a creamy dressing made with tahini or other nut butter or yogurt or buttermilk.

the bread pudding i intentionally made not so sweet.  challah bread is my bread of choice for bread pudding because it is already a rich sweet bread.  i sliced the loaf the night before and laid it out to dry out overnight so the bread could soak up the custard easily.  chocolate was specifically NOT requested so i rounded out the flavors with raisins, pecans, and walnuts and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla.  i based the ratio off of this recipe, but adjusted due to the huge loaf of challah and did not have brandy to soak the raisins.  the result was a very tender, not too sweet bread pudding with a crust that you wanted to keep picking off every time you walked past the kitchen.

grain salad

this is barely a recipe and can be adapted for any grain and whatever vegetable you have on hand.  toss the following together:

1 cup grain of your choice, cooked

1 can of chickpeas, kidney beans, etc (i think black lentils would would very nicely)

assortment of vegetables, diced, cooked or raw (i used kale (cooked), carrots (raw), teardrop tomatoes (halved and raw), and zucchini (diced and sauteed with garlic)

dressing of your choice (i made a simple lemon, sherry vinegar and mustard vinaigrette)

chopped herbs (i used parsley and basil)

seasonings to taste

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Filed under grains, legumes, quick, sweets, tomato, Uncategorized, vegetables

eggplant and tomato pesto

IMG_2458living in california is pretty wonderful sometimes.  it is november and the farmers market is still selling heirloom tomatoes and eggplants.  i wanted to deepen the flavors of vegetables by roasting and wanted to make something that could be pretty versatile.  while i was roasting the eggplant and tomatoes, i sauteed an onion and fried some capers.  blending everything together into a thick “pesto” makes for a sauce that you can toss with hot pasta or other vegetables, spread on sandwiches or top a baked potato.

roasted eggplant and tomato pesto

several eggplants (i used the slender japanese eggplants to minimize any bitterness)

3 or 4 large tomatoes or several big handfuls of cherry tomatoes

1 medium onion diced

3 cloves of garlic chopped

2 tbsp capers drained

2 tbsp tomato paste

chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or basil

sherry vinegar, red pepper flakes

olive oil

chop the eggplant and tomatoes into largish chunks and toss with salt and pepper.  roast in a 375-400 degrees oven until tender and golden brown.  meanwhile saute the onion and garlic until soft and golden with red pepper flakes.  add the capers and heat until they start to brown.  stir in the tomato paste and herbs and set aside.  after the vegetables are done roasting, combine everything in a blender and pulse until combined.  the mixture will be very thick so add a bit of pasta water or stock to thin it out.  pour back into the pan and heat, adjusting the seasonings if necessary with sherry vinegar and salt and pepper.

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Filed under quick, roasted, tomato, vegetables

a new tomato soup

IMG_2410 here in sf the weather has been chilly and rainy and the farmers markets still hold the last days of summer with plums and tomatoes.  i made this soup several days ago and sitting in the fridge has improved the flavor, as it does with most soups.  this tomato soup is bright with red curry paste instead of being thick with cream and makes the perfect light fall dinner with some roasted vegetables and a slice of really good bread.

thai-spiced tomato soup

slightly adapted from gourmet

1 onion diced

2-3 tbsp neutral vegetable oil

2-2.5 tbsp red curry paste

1/2 tsp ground cumin (fresh is best)

5-8 medium to large tomatoes, peeled and chopped or 1 28 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes

several cups of vegetable broth or chicken broth or a mixture of broth and water

1 tbsp brown sugar or agave necter

1/4-1/2 tsp of salt (use less if using canned tomatoes)

juice of 1/4/-1/2 a lime

cilantro leaves to garnish

sautee the onion in the oil until soft in a heavy large stockpot, about 6 minutes.  stir in the red curry paste and cumin and sautee for several additional minutes until very fragrant.  add broth/water, tomatoes, brown sugar, and salt and bring to a simmer.  make sure you add enough liquid so that all of the tomatoes are well covered.  simmer about 15 to 25 minutes; if you are using fresh tomatoes simmer a bit longer.  taste and adjust seasonings.  puree the soup several cups at a time in a blender, taking care not to overfill the blender with hot soup or use a stick blender and puree in the pot.  return to the pot to reheat and stir in the lime juice and cilantro leaves if using.  eat and enjoy with a favorite person.

notes:

this soup sits well for several days in the fridge.  i had it one night with a small dallop of greek yogurt and it was perfect.

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Filed under soups, thai-ish, tomato