elevating the status of the salad

Tag Archives: tomato

I had to take advantage of the tomatoes that were still at the farmer’s market this chilly weekend. Also, I picked up some eggs from Grazin’ Angus Acres stand. They are a farm in Ghent, NY, and their eggs have the “Animal Welfare Approved” sticker. Not only are the chickens a lot happier than your typical chickens, but the eggs really are delicious as well. 

I didn’t have any curry powder on hand, so I mixed the following spices to make my own version of pseudo-curry powder: red pepper flakes, turmeric, yellow mustard seed, brown mustard seed, coriander, hungarian paprika, cumin, and cloves. 

Also, I used the egg-poaching advice from Smitten Kitchen and it worked out well. 

Thanks to Cooking Light for this recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried small red lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain; discard bay leaf.
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and tomato; sauté 8 minutes or until onion is tender. Add curry, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, red pepper, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add lentils; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  3. Add water to a large skillet, filling two-thirds full; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer. Add vinegar to pan. Break eggs into custard cups. Gently pour eggs into pan; cook 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Carefully remove eggs from pan using a slotted spoon. Place about 3/4 cup lentil mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 poached egg. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon yogurt and 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro.
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This soup is smoky and spicy. (To turn down the heat, use less chipotle chili powder). You can make a meal of it by serving it with a crusty bread and a green salad. I found the recipe in Williams Sonoma’s catalog. It is called, “Sussman Brothers’ Roasted Corn Soup with Tomato.” I did a little research and learned that Eli and Max Sussman are the chefs at Mile End and Roberta’s, two of my favorite restaurants in Brooklyn. It is no surprise that this recipe was a winner. I had never cooked a red pepper as described in this recipe. I was doubtful, but it turned out well. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe but firm tomatoes
  • Kernels from 6 ears of fresh corn (about 3 cups)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • About 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
  • 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 2 Tbs. salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Sliced avocado for garnish
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Paprika for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 375°.
  2. Put the tomatoes in a lightly greased glass baking dish. Roast until the skins darken and the tomatoes are caramelized, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Keep the oven on.
  3. Spread the corn in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until the edges begin to turn golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, when the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and discard. Set the flesh, with the juices, aside in the baking dish. Remove the corn from the oven and let cool.
  4. Place 1 bell pepper on each of 2 gas burners. Turn the burners on high and sear the peppers directly over the flame, using tongs to turn as needed, until the skins are blackened all over, 10 to 15 minutes total. (Or place the peppers under the broiler and broil, turning as needed, until charred and blistered on all sides, about 15 minutes.) Transfer the peppers to a brown paper bag and close tightly. Let stand for 15 minutes, then remove the peppers from the bag. Remove and discard the skins, core and seeds.
  5. In a soup pot, combine the tomatoes, bell peppers, yellow and red onions, garlic and corn, reserving a handful of the roasted corn for garnish. Add just enough broth to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and salt.
  6. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. While blending, slowly drizzle in the cream. Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Garnish each portion with a couple of avocado slices, a few drops of olive oil, a scattering of the reserved roasted corn and a sprinkle of paprika. Serve hot. Serves 4.

Cue the old school Zelda theme song, because I’m on a quest: make a canning salsa that is spicy enough for my husband to enjoy the heat all winter long. This recipe came from the Food Channel. The result is a salsa with a decent amount of spice (but my quest is not over yet). I know that I can just add some habaneros for some serious heat, and that would be great for a salsa to stick in the fridge and eat within the week. However, whenever I want to put tomatoes in the cabinet for a year, I am wary of playing with the ingredients. That’s because I know that it has to have the correct level of acidity, etc. in order to avoid spoiling the food. Does anyone out there know of a tested recipe for a spicy canning tomato salsa? I think there are a still a few weeks left of tomato season, and I would like to give it one more try.

That being said, this salsa is fairly easy and pretty delicious. Adjust the number of jalapeños, or take out some seeds if that’s your preference. This recipe could also use a bit more salt, but I would taste it first and decide what you want to do. These tomatoes came from a farm stand in Amagansett, and the jalapeños came from the rooftop garden.

One more note: My makeshift canner holds 4 pint jars at a time. I only processed 4 jars and put the other two directly in the fridge. Then when I noticed how the salsa wasn’t salty, I started to doubt that it would stay good in the cabinet. The next day, I noticed some air bubbles in a few of the jars, so I decided put three more in the fridge. I didn’t want to take any chances. I only have one jar left in the cabinet. I will open that one in a few months and let you know if it worked.

For more information about canning, you can check out my other experiments:

Peach Salsa (this one has details about how to can)

Applesauce

Jalapeño Jam

Pickled Green Beans

Strawberry Jam

Ingredients:

  • 6 pounds of tomatoes
  • 10 jalapeños, chopped (seeds included)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 9 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 onions (preferably 1 white, 1 yellow, 1 red)
  • 6 pint jars (either small mouth or wide mouth is fine)
  • Lids and rings
  • Water bath with rack
  1. Sterilize jars and seals. (I did this by putting them in my dishwasher which gets super hot. Some dishwashers have a sterilize cycle, and that would work, too.)
  2. Start heating up your water for your water bath, if canning
  3. Put clean tomatoes in boiling water for 30-45 seconds, and then plunge them into ice water. The tomatoes will be easy to peel as a result.
  4. Peel tomatoes and cut out cores or bad spots. Chop the tomatoes to desired size (they will cook down so leave them slightly larger than you want them to be in the salsa).
  5. Mix tomatoes, garlic, lime juice, salt, and cumin and bring to a boil.
  6. Add onion, peppers, and cilantro. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 7-10 minutes.
  7. Remove 1 cup of liquid (to thicken the salsa).
  8. Put salsa in sterilized jars leaving 1/2 inch of headroom. (Stop here and put lids on if you are not canning)
  9. I did not do this, but I will next time: Use a chopstick or knife to slide around the jar to get rid of air bubbles.
  10. Wipe the rim of the jar, place sterilized seal on jar, and tighten the ring.
  11. Place jars in water bath for 15 minutes (time depends on altitude – more time for higher altitudes).
  12. Remove jars and let stand for at least 24 hours. Remove rings (optional) and store. If the jar did not seal, place it in refrigerator and use within a week.

Here’s another version of the classic Caprese salad. This one takes a little bit more prep work than the original post, and it’s a welcome variation because you can eat this one without a knife. Sometimes, the fewer utensils the better, especially when having to carry everything up and down a spiral staircase. This is a delicious side dish for a summer BBQ. To make it a hearty main dish, you can add couscous or quinoa and some toasted pine nuts.

The cherry tomatoes and basil came from my garden in the sky. I was pretty excited that I grew enough tomatoes to make a salad that fed 5 people!  

Thanks to The Curvy Carrot for this fantastic recipe.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 medium shallot, minced (about three tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Toss the tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the sugar in a medium bowl.  Set it aside and let stand on its own for 30 minutes.

2. Transfer the tomatoes to a salad spinner and spin them for a few seconds to remove the seeds and extra juice.  Make sure you conserve the juice.

3. Put the spun tomato juice/seeds through a fine strainer to reserve the juice and discard the seeds.

4.  Heat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat on the stove.

5.  Add 1/2 cup of the tomato liquid, the shallot, and vinegar to a simmer.  Let simmer until the mixture is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. (I didn;t have that much tomato liquid so I just let it simmer for a while and then decided it was done when I felt like it)

6. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and cool to room temperature.

7. Whisk in the oil and salt and pepper to taste.

8.  Add the basil and the mozzarella to the tomatoes. Toss gently to combine.


 

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Here is a fresh salsa recipe starring ingredients from my rooftop garden! I used Better Bush tomatoes (Bonnie) which are good for containers. The jalapeños that we’ve been growing are varying in their heat factor. My husband has the job of tasting the spiciest part of the jalapeño: I cut off a small slice closest to the stem and keep the seeds in it. That’s the part he tastes.  Then, he rates them on a scale of 1-10; 10 being a very spicy jalapeño, 1 being no spice. This happens before I add the pepper to recipes so I can decide how much to add. This one was a 4. I still have not figured out why some are hotter than others, but I’m glad to have a spice tester nearby. 

Right now, there are a bunch of green tomatoes and baby jalapeños on the plants, so there is definitely going to be more experiments with salsa in a few weeks! Do you have a favorite salsa recipe? Maybe you like to add peaches, corn, or black beans to yours? Please send it along!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (remove seeds if you want less heat), minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons onion, minced (red or white)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • juice of 1/2 lime

Directions:

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.


This is basically an easy fresh salsa over a bed of greens. We arrived in Indiana after a long day of traveling, and I wanted a salad with a bunch of Sweet Corn Charlie’s vegetables. Okay, so the avocado is not from Indiana, but the others are!

Ingredients:
1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
Kernels from 1 ear of raw sweet corn–must be very fresh!
1 head red leaf lettuce
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of one lemon
Salt
Pepper

Directions

Mix together chopped avocado, tomato, and corn. Add olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper until thoroughly coated.

Pour mixture over greens. Enjoy!

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This recipe from Cooking Light’s September, 2011 magazine was great for dinner and then even better for lunch the next day. I’ll admit that my “drizzle” turned into more of a thicker sauce. It may not have looked as pretty, but it tasted delicious. For those who missed the memo: yes, I am eating meat. I can hardly believe it still myself. To make this vegetarian, use chickpeas instead of chicken. The recipe called for chicken thighs. I got this chicken at Forager’s in DUMBO, where they get all their meat locally. They also only have chiken breasts, so I used those instead.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chopped tomato
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
  • 1/4 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water

Preparation

1. Combine 1 1/4 cups water, 1 cup bulgur, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes (do not stir) or until the liquid almost evaporates. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Place bulgur in a medium bowl; let stand 10 minutes.

2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Sauté for 4 minutes on each side or until done; shred chicken. Combine bulgur, chicken, tomato, and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl; toss gently.

3. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, tahini, and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over salad.