tomato

Green Tomato Sweet Relish

Green Tomato Sweet Relish

This sweet relish is a great way to preserve those last of the season tomatoes. It is every bit as  good as relishes made from cucumbers.

I am always a little sad to see fresh tomato season come to an end. I have canned tomatoes and dehydrated some, too.

I know the green tomatoes I have left will not have time to ripen. I don’t want them to go to waste, so I have pickled some. I also like to make this relish with some of them.

Someone asked me for the recipe- so here it is.

 

Green Tomato Sweet Relish

6 pounds green tomatoes, about 22 medium

2-3 medium onions

2 medium sweet red peppers

1 sweet green pepper

1 large rib celery

1 3/4 c. white or cider vinegar ( 5% acidity)

1 2/3 c. sugar

3 T. canning salt

1 1/2 t. celery seeds

1/2 t. each cinnamon, cloves, allspice and turmeric

1/4 t. cayenne pepper

Wash trim and quarter vegetables. Put vegetables through food grinder using medium blade or pulse in food processor to chop finely. Drain, discarding liquid. Wash jars in hot, soapy water. Rinse and set aside. Combine vinegar with remaining ingredients in large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add vegetables and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Continue simmering while packing hot jars, one at a time. Fill to within 1/2 -inch from top of jar. Wipe rims and place on lids. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Makes 5-6 pint jars.

Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup

Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup

This is a great recipe for some of those fresh tomatoes. A simple soup, with lots of flavor, it is a favorite of mine. So much better than the canned tomato soup of my childhood.

I enjoy it served hot, but I also eat this soup cold. On a  hot day, this soup, served chilled, is a wonderful change from a salad with dinner.

I prefer to use fresh tomatoes, but I have used my home canned tomatoes, in a pinch. If you want a stronger tomato flavor- use a couple extra tomatoes.

 

 

Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup

 3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes

1 small onion, chopped fine

1 rib celery, chopped fine

3 whole cloves

1 small bay leaf

3 T. butter

3 T. flour

1 t. salt

3 c. milk or half and half

 

Peel and chop tomatoes. Place tomatoes in saucepan with onion, celery, cloves and bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and cover, simmering 15 minutes. Melt butter in a large saucepan then stir in flour and salt. Cook mixture until bubbly. Add milk and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Puree tomato mixture through a strainer, food mill or in a blender or processor. Add to milk mixture and heat through. Serves 6.

Four Fresh Tomato Salads

Marinated Tomato Salad

Tomato season is too short around here. I can never get enough of what my mom called “real tomatoes”. The first few tomatoes never make it in the house. Warm from the sun, they are too tempting. I just pick them right off the plant and eat them.

Then, I start to think about preserving some for after the season is over. So I start drying and canning tomatoes.

Sometimes, in the excitement of canning and dehydrating tomatoes, I find I haven’t remembered to eat enough of them. So anxious to get as many as possible put away for winter, I have denied  myself the pleasure of  fresh, juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes.

Well, not this year. I have been having tomatoes with my eggs for breakfast, creamy tomato soup for lunch and plenty of tomato sandwiches and salads. I thought I would share a few of my favorite tomato salad recipes with you.

They are pretty simple. I think that is how it should be. When you have something as close to perfection as a ripe tomato, little more is needed.

 

Marinated Tomato Salad

 

3 large tomatoes, cut in wedges, or 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 basil leaves, cut into thin strips
2 T. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients and serve at room temperature. Serves 4-6.

Tomato and Feta Salad

3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
12 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil -I used a lemon infused olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, mix the feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, onion, olive oil, and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

Warm Pasta Salad

 

1 lb. Plum tomatoes, chopped

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

4 oz. Fresh mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ c. fresh parsley, chopped

1 T. dried basil or 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil

1 T. capers, optional

1 t. dried oregano

½ c. olive oil

¼ c. red wine vinegar

3 T. balsamic vinegar

Dash of hot red pepper flakes

Salt to taste

1 lb. Uncooked pasta

 

Combine all ingredients, except pasta and chill overnight. Cook pasta, drain and toss with tomato mixture. Mixture should be served right away . Serves 6.

 

BLT Salad

 

6-8 slices bacon

2 slices rye bread

2 slices Swiss cheese

5 c. torn up lettuce or mixed greens

3 T. olive oil

2 T. apple cider vinegar

1 T. balsamic vinegar

Salt and fresh ground pepper

2-3 tomatoes, diced

 

Cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, drain and crumble. Remove most of the bacon grease from the pan. Make a sandwich with the rye bread and the Swiss cheese. Toast in the skillet over medium heat until golden brown and cheese is melted. Set aside. Place lettuce in bowl and toss with the oil to coat the leaves. Toss with the vinegars and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomatoes and the bacon and toss. Cut the sandwich into cubes and place on the top of the salad. Serves 2.

Note: you can make two sandwiches if you want more bread and cheese in the salad.

Tomato Feta Salad

Tomato Feta Salad

Warm Pasta Salad

Warm Pasta Salad

BLT Salad

BLT Salad

Tomato Basil Breadsticks

Tomato Basil Breadsticks

Tomato Basil Breadsticks

I have had a lot of breadsticks over the years, but honestly, I didn’t like most of them. They were always too dry or flavorless. I love these. They are full of flavor and while you can bake them until they are really crisp, you can also bake them until they are still a little tender and chewy, rather than crisp.

 

 

 

Tomato Basil Breadsticks

2 T. olive oil
1/3 c. chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 c. tomato puree
1/3 c. water
3-3 1/2 c. flour
2 t. salt
1 t. sugar
2 t. dried basil
1 packet fast-acting yeast
1 egg combined with 1T. water
coarse salt for sprinkling

Sauté onion and garlic in oil until onion is tender. Stir in tomato puree and water and combine well. In bowl, with electric mixer combine 3 c. of the flour with salt, sugar, basil and yeast and stir in tomato mixture. Beat until smooth, adding the rest of the flour, Mixture should be sticky. Place dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight. Pinch off walnut-sized pieces of the dough and roll into 8-inch long strips. Place on baking sheets covered with parchment paper. Brush lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with the salt. Bake in upper third of 325-degree oven (it will take 2 batches) for 45 minutes (soft breadsticks) or 1 1/2 hours (crisp breadsticks). Makes about 25.

Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup

Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup

Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup

When there are fresh tomatoes to be had I must admit to eating most of them on sandwiches or in salads. But this soup is also a favorite of mine. It is so tasty and quick to make, too. The recipe calls for 3 medium tomatoes but I will sometimes toss in an extra one. The color always comes out sort of orange and reminds me of butternut squash soup in appearance. The flavor, however, is pure tomato and really nice. I even make it when the weather warms up and just serve the soup cold. I have used milk, half and half and even almond milk on occasion and all of them still came out wonderful.

 

Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup

3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 rib celery, chopped fine
pinch of cloves
1 small bay leaf
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
1 t. salt
3 c. milk

Peel and chop tomatoes. Place tomatoes in saucepan with onion, celery, cloves and bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and cover, simmering 15 minutes. Melt butter in a large saucepan then stir in flour and salt. Cook mixture until bubbly. Add milk and cook until thickened stirring constantly. Remove bay leaf from tomato mixture. Puree tomato mixture through strainer, food mill or in a blender or processor. Add to milk mixture and heat through. Serves 3-4.

Tomato Salad

Fresh Tomato Salad

Fresh Tomato Salad

When tomatoes are in season I enjoy plenty of tomato sandwiches. I also can and dehydrate a lot of them. One of my favorite ways to enjoy them is in a simple tomato salad. With perfectly ripe tomatoes sometimes less is more. For this salad I just used tomato wedges and a few other ingredients for a great dish. The fresh garlic and basil work well with the tomatoes. I left it pretty simple this time, but you could easily add some feta cheese and perhaps a few olives and some oregano for a Greek- style tomato salad.

 

 

 

 

 Tomato Salad

3 large tomatoes, cut in wedges, or 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 basil leaves, cut into thin strips
2 T. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients and serve at room temperature. Serves 4-6.

 

Warm Pasta Salad

Warm Pasta Salad

Warm Pasta Salad

I love to make this salad when I have really good tomatoes. It is one of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh tomatoes. The base of the salad is a mixture of tomatoes, mushrooms, onion and some seasonings which are allowed to blend together in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to have your salad toss the cold tomato mixture with fresh cooked hot pasta. The pasta tomato mixture is served right then, warm and fragrant. I often sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on the top, or serve on the side. I do sometimes serve the salad cold.

Warm Pasta Salad

1 lb. Plum tomatoes, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
4oz. Fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c. fresh parsley, chopped
1 T. dried basil                                                                                                                                        1 T. capers, optional
1 t. dried oregano
½ c. olive oil
¼ c. red wine vinegar
3 T. balsamic vinegar
Dash of hot red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
1 lb. Uncooked pasta

Combine all ingredients, except pasta and chill overnight. Cook pasta, drain and toss with tomato mixture. Mixture should be served right away . Serves 6.

Creamy Tomato and Chicken Sauce

Creamy Tomato and Chicken Sauce

Creamy Tomato and Chicken Sauce

This was one of those dinners created with what I happened to have on hand. I started with the idea of chicken with tomatoes – I had chicken in the fridge and home canned tomatoes. I also had some beautiful fresh parsley and an open container of half and half I needed to use so I went from there.  I cooked my pasta while the sauce was reducing. The whole dish took about 30 minutes from start to finish. I love orzo pasta, which looks like large grains of rice but feel free to try this with other pasta or maybe even rice.

Creamy Tomato and Chicken Sauce

2 T. oil
1 onion, sliced
1 lb. boneless chicken, cubed, I used thighs
1 (14 oz.) can tomatoes – I used a pint of home canned tomatoes
2/3 c. half and half
2 T. flour
½ c. chopped fresh parsley
1 t. hot pepper sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
12 oz. orzo pasta, cooked – use whatever pasta you like

In skillet heat oil and cook onion until tender. Add chicken and cook until chicken is nearly cooked through. Add tomatoes and simmer mixture for about 10 minutes to reduce the tomato liquid a little and concentrate the flavor. In jar with a tight fitting lid combine the half and half with the flour and shake until smooth. Add to chicken mixture and cook until thickened and bubbly. Add parsley and seasonings and cook on low a couple of minutes. Combine chicken sauce with hot cooked pasta and sprinkle with cheese. Serves 4-5.

Tomato and Feta Salad

Tomato and Feta Salad

Tomato and Feta Salad

For a quick and tasty salad one of my favorites is sliced, fresh tomatoes with feta cheese. This recipe also has some diced sweet onion and a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice to finish it off. Salt and pepper to taste and you’re done.  Sometimes less is more. In this case just a few ingredients and you are good to go.

Tomato and Feta Salad

3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
12 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil -I used a lemon infused olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, mix the feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, onion, olive oil, and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

 

Tomato Bisque Soup

Tomato Bisque Soup

Tomato Bisque Soup

I had a chance to do a local television show recently. This is the soup I made on New Day Cleveland. It is an old family recipe. My grandmother used to make it in the summer with fresh tomatoes. Since I can tomatoes every year I can make it anytime I like. There is something about opening a jar of canned tomatoes that always reminds me of summer and of my grandmother making this soup.

 

 

Tomato Bisque Soup

2 T. oil

1 c. chopped onion

28-29 oz. can whole tomatoes, cut up or diced tomatoes, undrained or 1 quart canned tomatoes

1 qt. beef or chicken or vegetable stock

½ c. raw rice

1 c. sour cream

Cook onions in oil until tender. Add tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Add rice, cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Place sour cream in bowl and stir in a cup of the hot soup, stirring until smooth. Add another cup of the soup and then add this mixture to the pot. Heat through, but do not boil. Makes  6-8 servings.

Variations: Brown or wild rice can be added instead, but cooking times will be longer, about 45-50 minutes. Barley can also be added instead of the rice, but allow 45 minutes to cook.

Seafood: Once rice is tender, but before adding sour cream you can add any one of the following; ½ -1 pound raw diced fish (mild white fish are good or even salmon for a special treat), ½ -3/4 pound  salad size raw shrimp, 2 cans crabmeat, 2 (10 oz.) cans clams, drained.

Here is my TV appearance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmjL7vd6MD8&feature=c4-overview&list=UUtLd3sOV5Jl0hBqi6tS9-hA

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