Tag Archives: tomatoes

Tomatoes & Tarts

My friend Lesley and her family bought a farmhouse, so after one too many glasses of wine we decided to plant an epic vegetable garden – it was my responsibility to order the seeds and raise them to transplant size. About three hours and $300.00 later I had bought nearly everything resembling a tomato on the Baker Seed website. Now, we are swimming in tomatoes and zucchini of every heirloom variety under the sun.

Since the first full harvest of tomatoes netted over 20 pounds total and I didn’t really have enough to can but still too many to eat, I went in search of brunch recipes (to eat immediately) and preservation recipes (to eat later). I turned up many a tart and an old favorite recipe for what in my home we affectionately refer to as “crack tomatoes” which are perfect for winter TLT sandwiches when you’re say mid-February and there is no sign of spring in sight.

Crack Tomatoes

  • 2-4 C cherry, grape, pear or other smallish tomato, cut in halves (any tomato will work here really)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or maple syrup)
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon of salt

On jelly roll pan lined with foil or parchment (or glass dish – you will want to be sure you have sides) place tomato halves in a single layer, drizzle with EVOO, brown sugar (or maple syrup) and sea salt, let bake in a 400 degree oven until they have just begun to brown (you don’t want them crispy). Remove from oven, let cool and spoon into pint containers or freezer bags and freeze. If you put these in glass canning jars, you can easily remove the lid and rim and pop into the micro when you are ready to serve. The oil from the pan keeps them luxurious all winter in the deep freeze.

Tomato Tart

  • 1 recipe from scratch, or 1 refrigerated, or 1 frozen pie crust
  • 3 large heirloom tomatoes
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1 – 4oz log goat cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh basil, torn into bits or ribbons

Pre-bake pie crust x 5-7 minutes until the space where the filling will end up is firm, almost has a crust formed (this will keep it from getting smushy). While crust is baking slice tomatoes about 1/4 inch wide, lay on paper town and blot with paper towel until most of the immediate moisture has been mopped up. Lightly beat eggs with salt and pepper (okay to use egg whites only here too), set aside. When pie crust is 1/2 done, pull from oven and pour eggs into crust, take goat cheese and drop by small chunks onto eggs, layer with overlapping tomato slices – place back into oven and cook at 400 until eggs are set (between 15-30 minutes). Let cool to room temperature and serve sprinkled with fresh basil.

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Tomata Sammich

The first tomato of each season I dedicate to Gramma Helen and her love of tomata sammiches. Read more about this sandwich in a previous post.

The sandwich so fresh & juicy you eat it over the kitchen sink

Growing up my family didn’t do a tremendous amount of gardening unless it was in the form of flowers, which my mother has always been extremely fond of. The landscaping of our home was meticulous. My grandma however, had a pretty good size garden which was kinda like a neighborhood garden before community gardens were all the rage. She and her neighbors would plant their favorite veggies between the sticky cherry tree and big tire swing, in front of the pine layer separating her home from the IGA, and just beyond the sandbox so that none of us would “go messin’ with it.” The garden made for two things: 1) the most amazing go-cart racing track was formed from its perimeter, and 2) the amount of tomatoes that came from it in August/September was something of the stuff legends are made.

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This is the “grown up” vegan version of the tomato sandwich that we would eat nearly every day in the summer at the peak of tomato season which was comprised of gooey Wonder Bread, Miracle Whip, heavy with salt, and layered with iceberg lettuce and fresh, juicy tomatoes. So messy and heavy that you would have to eat the sandwich over the sink or end up changing your shirt after lunch.

Tomato Sandwich

  • 2 pieces soft vegan bread, toasted lightly
  • 1 medium sized ripe tomato of your choice
  • 2 big knifefuls of Vegenaise, use BBQ flavor if you want it to really make it sing
  • 1 handful, fresh picked greens of your choice, pictured here, arugula

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To assemble: spread Vegenaise on bread, layer tomato slices with arugula, smash and enjoy over the kitchen sink.

Tempeh, Lettuce, Tomato Sandwiches (TLT)

THE sandwich we eat just about once a week in the summer…sometimes more frequently ūüôā I’ll let the recipe do the talkin’ this time.

Thanks to 101 Cookbooks for the base recipe.

1/4 C soy sauce
2 T balsamic vinegar, I use Tangerine flavored
2 T pure maple syrup
3 T adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers

8 ounces of tempeh, cut into 1/3-inch thick strips

1 small basket of cherry tomatoes (2 cups)
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil olive oil
1 T pure maple syrup
scant 1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 small head of romaine lettuce, cored, then cut into 1/4-inch ribbons
1-2 large avocados, mashed with a pinch of salt just before assembling
4 or 8 extra-thin slices of hearty whole grain bread, well toasted

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Whisk together the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, maple and adobo sauce. Pour 1/3 of the tempeh marinade into an 8×8 baking dish (or something comparable) – you want a dish that is just big enough to hold the tempeh in a single layer – this way it will be fully enveloped by the marinade. Pour the remaining marinade over the top of the tempeh, cover and keep in the refrigerator for a couple hours, overnight or until ready to use.

While the tempeh is marinating, go ahead and roast the tomatoes. Cut each tomato in half and arrange them in a large oven-proof baking dish. Mix together the olive oil, sugar, and salt and pour this over the tomatoes. Gently toss them a bit, making sure they all get coated, finishing with each tomato facing cut-side up. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or so, until the tomatoes are shrunken and sweet [I have also left them whole with no consequence].

When the tempeh is done marinating heat a large pan over medium-high heat and cook the tempeh slices for a few minutes on each side. You may need to do this in batches if you don’t have a big enough pan. Set the tempeh slices aside until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches.

To assemble each sandwich take one slice of bread and slather a generous layer of mashed avocado or vegenaise. Place a small helping of the shredded lettuce on top of the avocado, a few tomatoes, then a few slices of the tempeh, and more tomatoes. Enjoy either open faced or topped with another avocado-slathered bread slice.

Note: we call these tomatoes “crack tomatoes” in our house…they freeze amazingly, so go ahead and make a triple batch. They taste great on tacos, in chili, tortilla soup, etc.

Vegan Zucchini Pancakes

Sometimes inspiration comes in the form of ‘payday isn’t for 2 more days, so use what you have in the fridge’. ¬†This recipe comes from precisely that situation. Thank goodness Trillium Haven Farm CSA and Doorganics day was yesterday, so at least there were fresh veggies from which to create goodness. ¬†The result is Vegan Zucchini Pancakes not to be confused with a prior post, Zucchini Fritters which are definitely NOT vegan (goat cheese).

Vegan Zucchini Pancakes

Cucumber Salad (topping)

  • 1 lb tomatoes
  • 2 small cucumbers
  • 1T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp EVOO

Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 zucchini or summer squash, shredded
  • 1 medium, sweet yellow onion
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt (to taste…err on the side of less)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 C egg substitute
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 3 T flour
  • 2 T fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 2 T Parmesan cheese (if Vegetarian, do not include for Vegan)
Directions:
1.  To create the cucumber salad chop the tomatoes and cucumbers coarsely and top with EVOO and balsamic vinegar.  Set aside.
2.  Grate the zucchini and onion, roll up in paper towel or cheesecloth and squeeze until it is fairly dry.
3.  Combine the pressed zucchini and ionion with garlic, salt, basil, nutmeg, fake eggs, flour, salt and pepper.
4.  Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet.  Pour 1/4 C of the batter into the oiled pan.  The batter will be lumpy.  Let the pancake completely brown on one side then flip to brown the other side.  Remove from the pan and place on paper towels.
5.  When you are ready to serve, top the pancakes with the cucumber salad and enjoy.

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Thanks to a reader for writing in that the original recipe for these pancakes were too salty! ¬†I’ve changed the recipe to account for her feedback. ¬†If you are putting these on a bun or in a flatbread, you will need additional salt, but if just eating as a pancake, please follow the change in added salt. ¬†Thanks!

Doorganics Tacos

Mike Hughes I salute you.

It’s a rare opportunity when you can shake the hand of the person who not only planted, but harvested and DELIVERED your fruit and/or veggies to, your, door. ¬†I don’t want to ruin the fantasy I have playing in my head about him digging up my little french radishes, putting them in a cooled green bin and driving them over to me personally just to say hi…but he basically did just that.

I’m going to keep this short and sweet. ¬†Doorganics delivered today, thus, these tacos were created from my bin. ¬†Go online, hook up with Doorganics and be pleasantly surprised. ¬†I was.

I give you Doorganics Tacos.

  • 1 tablespoon, vegetable oil
  • 2¬†cups¬†fresh white or yellow corn kernels
  • 1¬†cup¬†chopped white onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced ( I used purple)
  • 4 french radishes, finely diced
  • 4 green onions, green parts diced only
  • 3¬†cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1¬†cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4¬†teaspoon¬†freshly ground black pepper
  • 8¬†warm corn tortillas
  • 1/4¬†cup salsa
  • goat cheese or Daiya to taste

PREPARATION

  1. Heat half of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Toast corn 5 minutes, stirring; season with salt. Remove corn; set aside. Heat remaining oil in skillet. Cook onion, stirring, until it caramelizes, 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, both peppers and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until warm-I like ’em crunchy still. ¬†Add zucchini; cook until tender but not mush, 6-10 minutes; season with salt. Add corn, beans, oregano and pepper. Cook 3 minutes. Split filling among tortillas; top each with 1 1/2 tsp salsa, a few bits of radish, green onion and 1 tsp cheese. ¬†This makes a TON more than 8 tacos worth. ¬†I’m taking it to lunch tomorrow sans shells.

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Buttercrust Corn Pie with Fresh-Tomato Salsa

It’s getting to be that time of year again. ¬†You know, when you are overwhelmed by all of the great produce in Michigan and start, dare I say it, hating things…like corn on the cob and tomatoes. ¬†I have eaten so much corn and so many tomatoes this year that I almost can’t eat them any more. ¬†The thought of putting a whole cherry tomato into my mouth is starting to make my gag reflex go off. ¬†My one problem with feeling this way, is that as a vegetarian, eating seasonally ¬†in Michigan means that I have to OD on fruits and veggies in the summer while they are ripe, pack my freezer with blueberries, strawberries and corn off the cob because come February, I start eating crap from the grocery store like tomatoes that are under ripe just so I can avoid winter squash that I have been force fed since November. ¬†It’s a vicious cycle. ¬†So, I’m trying to appreciate what I have for the moment, because in a few months when I want to start using apples as shooting targets, I will really want some corn on the cob, a juicy ripe tomato, or fresh green beans that I took for granted in August.

With all that in mind.  I made this Buttercrust Corn Pie a few nights ago from items in my fridge to combat the corn/tomato problem.  I had everything but the ripe olives which I just omitted and added a little extra salt to make it pop.

This recipe would make a GREAT potluck recipe as you can serve it at room temp and it still tastes great.  I am thinking of dragging it along to a tailgating party at GVSU in a few weeks.  It sets up quickly and once cool, it can be handled with ease in a napkin in your hand if need be (sans salsa of course).

Another recipe featuring corn and tomatoes comes from my friends at Meatless Monday.  I have not tried this but it looks post worthy.  Couscous Corn Salad with Tofu appears to be quick and painless.  Let me know how it turns out.

Enjoy.

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