Out of avoidance of the grocery store during “rush hour” (you know what I am talking about – the swamped aisles when everyone’s just left work and is buying everything just because their hungry after a long day), I whipped together this healthy tomato salad for dinner last night.
The recipe is simple… Tomatoes from the garden, a drizzle of olive oil, thinly sliced red onion, a crumbling of feta and some fresh basil.
When your countertop is overflowing with tomatoes, it’s time to start finding ways to preserve them for the cold winter months when the only tomatoes in the grocery stores are the mealy, flavorless ones.
Roasting is one of my favorite ways to preserve the flavors of August. It requires little effort and adds so much to simple winter meals.
Begin by preheating the oven to 300 degrees and preparing a parchment-lined baking sheet. Slice tomatoes in half and toss in a large bowl with sea salt and a good drizzle of olive oil. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet and place in oven for 4 hours or until they’ve shrunken up a bit in size and look as though they’ve begun to caramelize.
Remove from oven and enjoy immediately in pasta or along with a salad. Or to save for winter, place the entire baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes or until tomatoes are frozen through. Then remove from baking sheet and place in storage bags. Date and return to freezer until ready to use.
5. – The Boston Globe Any way you Slice it, NY Bagel Business is Going Strong “Various phases of the no-carb, low-carb diet have disrupted the bagel business here, but bagel makers bounce back and so do bagel buyers. There’s that moment, dashing to work, when a bagel will offer just the right amount of nourishment before a morning meeting. And then there are Sundays, when delicatessens offering bagels are filled with customers. Today’s bagel eater has more choices than ever. There are low-carb bagels, whole wheat bagels, and the relatively recent “scooped” bagel, in which the insides are tossed out so only the crusty exterior remains.”
4. – The Chicago Tribune How to Know when a Watermelon is Ripe “The hard rind of a watermelon can be up to an inch thick and doesn’t soften as it ripens. It’s green when ripe, green when unripe. So, how to select a watermelon wisely? And how to use it wisely?”
3. – The NY Times Los Angeles Stages a Fast Food Intervention “A new weapon in the battle against obesity was rolled out last month when the Los Angeles City Council decided to stop new fast food restaurants from opening in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods… The Sisyphean struggle against poor diets has included booting soda from schools, banning trans fat and, more recently, sending New Yorkers into dietary sticker shock with a law that requires calorie counts be posted on menus, right next to the prices.”
2. – The Philadelphia Inquirer Preppy Pops: They’re liquor on a stick “These are pops with – pop. They’re peppy frozen cocktails on a stick, kicky and not for kids.”
1. – The Washington Post Unveiling the Top Tomatoes “In fact, the readers who submitted the first-, second- and third-place entries in the Food section’s second annual Top Tomato recipe contest have something in common: They made the most of what was available.”
Photo from The Philadelphia Inquirer
Keep those tomatoes on the counter. Even a short period of time in the refrigerator can suck the flavor our of one of summer’s favorite fruits. The coldness of the fridge also lead to undesirable mealiness. So, pick them when you are just about ready to use them or store upside-down on the counter for a few days. If you have an abundance of them, make tomato soup for those cold months of winter and stick it in the fridge, you’ll be glad you did!
As of the most ubiquitous and best-loved vegetables, it’s hard to beat the taste and scent of sun-ripened tomatoes (the ones in the grocery store are usually artificially ripened) and the best way to satisfy the craving is to plant them at home! Here are a couple of tips and tricks for terrific tomatoes!
Start with healthy plants – If growing from seed or purchasing plants from your local garden center, you want to transplant the short and stocky plants. The greater the girth of the main stem, the better! This means they’ve established a better root system and will grow much stronger after being transplanted outside.
I came across a recipe for a spicy chickpea soup in Food and Wine Magazine in an article all about how to eat healthy and eat all the time (which is something I love to do) without gaining weight and I thought I must give it a go. I have made a few adaptations to the recipe including all the garnishing bits as this is a great soup to start a dinner party with since it is so flavorful, but light enough that it won’t fill your guests up before the main meal.
Spicy Tomato Chickpea Soup
2 cans chickpeas, drained
1 can light coconut milk
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup cilantro leave, chopped
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cumin
2 cardamom seeds
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper (to taste when seasoning)
1/4 cup plain yogurt (for topping when serving)
extra cilantro leaves for garnishing
pine nuts (optional garnish)
Filed under Food, Recipes
Next up in the mini-series…
Tomato with Fontina and Ricotta Pizza
Toppings here include:
Ricotta cheese (I always spread this thinly on the dough before putting on the tomatoes)
and of course, I always start by giving the dough a quick brushing of olive oil, then a sprinkle of sea salt.
Filed under Food, Recipes