Tomato Heaven

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Midnight Snack Cherry Tomatoes

Tomatoes For Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

It’s true. At this time of year, we’re eating tomatoes all day long, in sandwiches and wraps, in omelets and tacos, in salads and salsas. Ok, maybe not in smoothies. But seriously, tomatoes at their peak are beyond delicious and we’d be fools to let a day go by without at least a quick tomato-y snack. Of course I’m also roasting and freezing some to give winter sauces a taste of summer. Even so, each day’s harvest is bountiful enough to share and enjoy in as many ways as we can come up with.

We were recently gifted with a splendid grill, so of course we’re going a little wild with the grilled vegetables. Zucchini and squash, eggplants and beets, even peaches and plums are magically transformed by searing heat and savory smoke. Naturally I have to take it over the top and smoke a little salt and oil as well, just to add that subtle difference to everything from salads to sauces. Ripe, juicy tomatoes are a little tricky to grill unless you use a grill pan so they don’t fall through the grate bars, but they are heavenly, as are ripe avocados. Together, they’re even better, especially in a breakfast burrito like this one:

Gardener’s Breakfast Burrito

3 large eggs
2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 ripe avocado, halved, pit removed
2 ripe tomatoes, halved
1 ripe Ancho or sweet pepper, quartered lengthwise
2 large flour tortillas
1/2 WallaWalla Sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup stemmed cilantro

Heat grill. Whisk eggs with 2 tablespoons water. Heat a teaspoon of oil in an 8-inch frying pan over grill (or medium heat). Pour in eggs, cover pan and cook until puffed and lightly set (3-5 minutes). Remove egg “pancake” to a plate. Brush cut sides of avocado, tomatoes, and pepper with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place avocado and pepper halves cut side down on hot grill and grill 2 minutes while you arrange tomato halves cut side down on a grill pan. Set grill pan on hot grill and grill for about 4 minutes; tomatoes should be warm and lightly charred but still holding together. Remove vegetables from grill and lightly grill tortillas for 1 minute, flipping once. Cut egg pancake in half and place in tortillas, top with lightly chopped or sliced grilled vegetables, sliced onions and cilantro and serve warm. Serves two.

Tomatoes For Lunch Or Brunch

Salad-Stuffed Pitas

1 cup plain yogurt (whole milk or Greek works best)
1 fat clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced spearmint OR oregano
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

Mix dressing ingredients, adding lemon juice and salt to taste, set aside.

2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped sweet peppers
1 cup finely shredded Kosmic Kale or cabbage
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise (optional)
Dressing (see above)
2 pita rounds, cut in half

Gently toss salad ingredients with dressing and stuff into pita pockets (I like to toast them lightly first but plain is good too). Serve immediately. Serves 2-4.

Vegetarian OR Vegan Tomato Tart

Tiger Blush, Gold Nugget, Seattle’s Best

Over the years, we’ve enjoyed so many versions of the classic Italian Tomato Pie. The basic recipe is very simple: Line a pie dish with crust, then layer in ripe red tomatoes with generous scatterings of garlic-y toasted bread crumbs and chopped herbs, such as basil, oregano, lavender and/or rosemary. Vegans can always leave out the cheeses; it will still be amazingly savory and delicious. Here’s this summer’s favorite version:

Summery Tomato Tart

1 pie crust (vegan or your favorite)
2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1 teaspoon stemmed, chopped rosemary or thyme
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/8 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
6 cups ripe tomatoes, sliced if big, halved if small
1 cup fresh basil with stems, chopped
1 red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup coarsely grated Pecorino or any hard cheese

Line a 9-inch pie dish with the crust, set aside. In a heavy frying pan, heat oil, garlic, and bread crumbs over medium high heat. Cook, stirring, until garlic is pale golden (3-4 minutes). Add rosemary, sprinkle with a little salt and paprika, cook 1 minute, set aside. Layer tomatoes, basil, onion slices and goat cheese into pie crust, sprinkling each layer with salt and pepper and alternating with (and ending with) bread crumb mixture. Top with grated cheese and bake at 400 degrees F until hot through (25-30 minutes). Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves at least one.


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