LET’S EAT SUMMER TOMATOES

Heirloom Tomatoes www.mealsonheelsbymindy.com

What a tomato!  Tomato season is in full bloom with Farmers’ Markets bursting with so many different varieties and colors you could lose your mind.  We’ve put together 4 of our favorite ways to enjoy and preserve these tasty beauties far beyond the last summer sunset.

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HEIRLOOM TOMATOES AND BLUE CHEESE
Prepared in 10 minutes or less.

Ingredients

8 Heirloom tomatoes
1½ cups mayonnaise
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp Tobasco sauce
1 cup coarsely crumbled blue cheese
Buttermilk
Fresh snipped chives for garnish

Preparation

Cut tomatoes into thick wedges and place on a large plate.

Combine the first 4 ingredients in medium bowl.  Add crumbled blue cheese and stir until well blended. If dressing is too thick, thin by adding a little buttermilk by tablespoonful to desired consistency.

Drizzle some blue cheese dressing atop tomatoes and garnish with snipped chives.  Serves 4.

TOMATO AND CORN TART
Prepared in 60 minutes or less.

Ingredients

Two 9-inch store-bought pie crusts
1¾ lbs tomatoes
⅔ cup mayonnaise
2 cups Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbs snipped fresh chives
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
3 ears of fresh corn

(Option to use Hot Tomato Jam on bottom pie crust)

Preparation

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cut an “x” in the bottom of each tomato.  Have a large bowl of ice water ready, then add the tomatoes to the boiling water.  Cook for about 10 seconds then transfer to the ice water to blanch.  When cool, gently peel the skins from the tomatoes and discard peels.  Add freshly shucked corn on the cob to the pot.  Bring to a boil and cook corn for no longer than 7 or 8 minutes.  Remove from the water and let cool enough for handling.  Using a knife, gently cut corn kernels off the cob.  Place in bowl and set aside.

Cut the tomatoes into ¼-inch slices and arrange in a single layer over a paper towel lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle generously with salt and allow to stand at room temperature for approximately 25 minutes.  Blot the tomatoes with more paper towels to help remove excess liquid.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Mix together the mayonnaise, cheeses, garlic and lemon juice in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the pie crusts from the refrigerator.  Spread a thin layer of Hot Tomato Jam atop bottom pie crust.  Next, layer half the tomatoes on the bottom of the pie.  Sprinkle half the cooked corn over the tomatoes. Gently drop spoonfuls of the cheese mixture over the top.  Sprinkle with half the basil and chives, and repeat:  tomatoes, corn, cheese, fresh herbs.

Roll out the second pie crust into a 12-inch circle.  Fit over the filling, pinching the edges of the two crusts together to form a fluted edge, or use the tines of a fork to fit together.  Cut 4 small slits in the top of the crust, then brush with melted unsalted butter.

Bake pie until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling, 30-35 minutes.  To prevent an oven mess, I always place a cookie sheet on the rack below the pie in case any of the filling bubbles over.

Allow tart to cool 10-15 minutes before cutting into slices and serving.  Serves 8.

A delicious use for an over abundance of tomatoes, this hot jam elevates toasts, tarts and sandwiches to a new level of savory satisfaction.

HOT TOMATO JAM
Prepared in 1 and a half hours or less.

Ingredients

1½ lbs ripe plum tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
1 cup superfine sugar
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
1 Tbs freshly grated ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt

Preparation

Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring mixture to a boil and stir often with a wooden spoon.

Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture has consistency of thick jam, approximately 1 hour 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Carefully pour into hot, sterilized jam jars, screw the lids on and turn the jars upside down to cool completely.  Makes 2 small jars.

One of my favorite summer snacks is tzatziki, the tangy Greek spread.  Slathered atop warm pita this playful version is a wonderful combination with grilled kebabs or crispy vegetables.

SUNDRIED TOMATO TZATZIKI
Prepared in 10 minutes or less.

Ingredients

3 strips Maple Leaf bacon
2 cups Greek yogurt
Juice of Meyer lemon and its zest
¼ English cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and diced
10 Sundried tomatoes
1 Tbs dried oregano

Preparation

In a pan over medium heat, fry bacon to desired crispness.  Remove and allow to drain over a paper towel lined plate.  Chop into small pieces.  Set aside.

Peel, seed and chop the cucumber into small cubes.  Combine in a large bowl, the cucumber, yogurt, oregano, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Add the chopped bacon.  Stir gently and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with warm pita, fresh vegetables or grilled kebabs.

 

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