Now, it's already mid-September and those tomatoes will more than likely start turning ripe at around the same time. I can't wait for this to happen but I also need to prepare for when this does happen. Wouldn't it be awful if we couldn't eat all of the tomatoes before they turned rotten?
I looked through my recipes and decided to put together a three course dinner menu that was inspired by...you've guessed it...tomatoes. These dishes are sure to please and they will also help you cook your way through most of your tomatoes.
Appetizer: Tomato Bruschetta
- 8 chopped plum tomatoes
- 5 leaves chopped fresh basil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 pinch of dried oregano
- 1 dash of crushed red pepper
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 2-3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 loaf of Italian-style bread (cut into diagonal slices)
- In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, basil, garlic, oregano, red pepper, salt, pepper and olive oil. Use more olive oil, if necessary, to coat the entire mixture. Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes for flavors to blend.
- In the meantime, preheat the broiler. On a baking sheet, arrange the slices of bread in a single layer and brown on both sides slightly in the oven then remove from oven.
- Spread the tomato mixture on the still warm toasted bread slices and serve.
- 1 lb. dried orecchiette or other pasta shapes
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves, tough stalks removed
- 1 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved
- Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling, salted water for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite.
- Heat the oil in a pan, add the spinach and tomatoes and cook, gently stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted and the tomatoes are heated through but not disintegrating.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the pan of vegetables. Toss gently, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle over some Parmesan cheese (if using) and serve immediately.
Dessert: Sweet Baked Tomato
- 4 large, ripe tomatoes
- 1/2 cup currant
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 cups apple juice
- Preheat over to 375 degrees F.
- Slice tops off tomatoes and remove insides, leaving shells intact; Turn shells upside down and drain on paper towels.
- Mix together the rest of the ingredients, except the apple juice; Stuff tomatoes with the mixture.
- Put tomatoes in a deep baking dish and pour the apple juice in the bottom of the dish; Bake for 30 minutes. Remove tomatoes with slotted spoon and chill.
- Reduce apple juice on top of stove until it become syrupy, then chill. Spoon sauce over tomatoes when serving.