Tag Archives: 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

corn pesto

cancel all plans and make this for dinner/lunch/supper!  it is sweet corn season!  after eating cob after cob, this pesto is something different but familiar and can only be made in the summer with fresh sweet corn cut off the cob.  this pasta dish takes advantage of all of the things i look forward to in the summer, namely corn, tomatoes, and basil.  it is quite similar to traditional pesto but with the addition of corn.  the starch from the corn makes the sauce naturally very creamy and sauces the pasta quite easily.  i added halved cherry tomatoes to the mix for some brightness and acidity, but you can leave them out or add other ingredients like a bit of chopped olive, roasted peppers or summer squash, or if you eat it, bacon.

pasta with fresh corn pesto

adapted from bon appetit

corn cut from 4 ears of corn

1 shallot, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

handful of walnuts or pinenuts

olive oil

parmesan cheese

very large handful of fresh basil, chopped

your choice of pasta (use a long type of noodle like linguine, tagliatelle, or, in a pinch, spaghetti will do)

3/4 of a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

heat a skillet over medium heat with about a tablespoon of olive oil and sautee the shallot and garlic until translucent.  add the corn and turn up the heat a bit and cook until the corn is tender.  transfer most of the corn (reserving maybe a cup or so) to a food processor or blender.  add the nuts, generous shaving of Parmesan cheese, handful of basil, salt, pepper, and a nice glug of olive oil.  blender or process until mostly smooth.

meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente and drain, reserving a cup or two of the pasta liquid.  toss the pasta with the pesto and tomatoes, adding as much cooking liquid needed to thin everything out to the proper consistency.  sprinkle the remaining basil and serve with more Parmesan if needed.

*note:  this is also very tasty cold the next night sitting at the park during sunset.

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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.


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.


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.


Filed under soups, thai-ish, tomato