Saturday, July 24, 2010

Layered Tomato Pie

We have 2 birthdays in the month of July in our family. We celebrated one with this, and last night I made a tomato pie I want to remember, because it might just be the summer recipe triumph.

Here's what I used:
  • a little leftover ground sausage (maybe 1/2 pound?)
  • an onion, large slices
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely cut
  • deep dish pie crust from the freezer section (couldn't manage making my own!)
  • a little leftover cooked brown rice
  • a handful of fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 3-4 ripe tomatoes, sliced into circles
  • goat cheese to taste
  • fresh basil, cut into strips 
Here's what I did:
  • browned the sausage, then turned the heat down and threw in the onions followed by the garlic and let them cook a LONG time (maybe close to 30 minutes?)
  • preheated oven to 400, put fork marks all over the pie crust, and baked it for about 7-10 minutes
  • took pie crust out of oven, then layered brown rice on the bottom (it absorbs all the tomato liquid!), chopped spinach, and tomatoes.
  • put it back in the oven for about 15 minutes.
  • add goat cheese and bake until barely browned on pie crust and cheese.
  • add fresh basil strips and serve
Savor every bite, because there will be no leftovers!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tomato Raspberry Vinaigrette

A chef friend shared this amazing recipe with me recently. Heavenly for summer tomatoes.
  1. Take a sheet pan and cover the bottom with a very thin layer of olive oil.  Place the pan in the oven (350 degrees pre-heated) and let the pan warm up for about 3 minutes.
  2. Carefully place 6-7 ripe red tomatoes on the pan in the olive oil cut into halves.  Remove the stem from the top of tomatoes beforehand. 
  3. Lightly salt and pepper the tomatoes to taste.  Pour raspberry vinegar on the top of the tomatoes (and onto the pan).  No more than 1 cup of vinegar is needed.
  4. When the tomatoes have roasted, the skin will begin to darken and separate from the tomatoes.  Roast until the tomato has cooked through to the middle. 
  5. Pull pan out of oven and let rest for 10 minutes (to cool).
  6. Pinch the tomato peel off (this should be fairly easy since the peel has separated from the juicy middle).  Take the now peel-less roasted tomatoes and place them in a food processor or blender.  Pulse until fully incorporated (until fully reduced to sauce-like consistency). 
  7. Add fresh basil strips and sea salt and pepper to taste. 
For my husband's birthday, I layered brown rice, garlic sauteed spinach, and baked chicken. I poured the vinaigrette over the top, added some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and basil strips. OMG--now, it's a birthday classic.

This week, I used it to make a pasta sauce by adding it to some local ground sausage, onions, garlic, and spinach. Again, super yummy.

Tonight, I plan to make an egg scramble with it. I also plan to scavenge for tomatoes the next couple of weeks, make this recipe in quantity, and freeze it to get me through the winter. Oh, I will be so in love with myself in December!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tangy Watermelon Salad

I found the base for this recipe in the grocery store (!) and made it for 4th of July. It was a hit, even with my husband who doesn't like watermelon. It only keeps a day, maybe two, but it's so yummy it's not hard to consume it quickly.

Make the dressing by placing
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 T lime juice
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
in a jar with tight fitting lid. Shake it well and set aside.

Cut up 4 cups of watermelon* and pour dressing over watermelon. Toss to coat well. Add:
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint

*My new favorite way to "cut" a watermelon is to use my ice cream scoop to scoop out large chunks. It's quicker than a melon ball tool and helps keep the juice in the watermelon. Also, it hollows out a serving bowl for this salad, which is oh-so-impressive.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Super Simple Summer Salad

Halve fresh, sungold tomatoes (or grape or cherry or other small tomato) and toss with soy sauce, toasted sesame seed oil (start with a little and add to taste), freshly chopped basil, and salad greens.

So simple, so fresh, so super yummy!