Midnight Snack Cherry tomatoes still taste fabulous
Summer Garden’s Last Gasp
Though the autumn days continue mild here, the nights are getting nippy. My lovely lemon tree has happily taken to life in my bathroom, where the fruit continues to fatten. While choosing a plump yellow lemon for our tea, my three-year-old granddaughter said, “Granny, you even have a garden in your bathtub!” Why not? Being surrounded by plants, indoors and out, is definitely good for human beings. My cat also appreciates the indoor greenery and enjoys sitting in the midst of the plants that line the tub. All are non-toxic for cats, including a number of spider plants grown especially for kitty noshing.
Outside, the heat lovers finally gave up the ghost and the kiddos and I made our final harvest of peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes! After roasting several batches of red and/or green tomatoes, making green tomato chutney, and having fried green tomatoes for dinner, there were still enough for a couple more dishes. I decided to experiment with a pasta sauce and came up with something delicious that combines tangy-tart green tomatoes and meltingly rich caramelized onions. I used some butter, but if you prefer a vegan sauce, just use more oil and as always, adjust seasoning to your taste. The liquid can be whatever you prefer, including a splash of fruit vinegar diluted in water.
Pasta With Caramelized Onions & Green Tomatoes
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
3 large yellow onions, halved and sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup water, broth or dry white wine
6-8 cups chopped green tomatoes
1-2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon capers, drained
few grinds pepper
1/4 cup slivered green onions
In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, combine butter and oil over medium heat. When butter melts (if using), add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir to coat. Cook slowly over medium low heat for 45-60 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes until onions turn golden, then stirring every few minutes as they continue to brown. Add liquid of choice, green tomatoes, rosemary and capers, stir well and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer until tomatoes are tender while pasta of your choice cooks. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve over hot pasta, garnished with slivered green onions. Makes about 4 cups. Freeze or refrigerate leftovers for up to three days.
This savory end-of-summer pie combines red and green tomatoes with leeks and mushrooms in an open-topped tart. We’ve been delighting in an amazing bounty of chanterelles this year, but portobellos or field mushrooms will also work nicely. A little bacon makes the filling extra rich but the mushrooms provide plenty of umami if you aren’t a bacon fan.
Bacon, Chantrelle & Tomato Tart
1 sheet puff pastry or pie crust
1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
4 slices bacon, chopped
3 leeks, thinly sliced (white and palest parts only)
1/8 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
4 cups sliced chanterelles or any mushroom
2 cups thickly sliced red tomatoes
2 cups thinly sliced green tomatoes
Spread puff pastry or pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet and brush lightly with oil, set aside. In a heavy bottomed pan, cook bacon over medium heat until barely crisp, then remove to a plate. Add oil and leeks to the bacon pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle leeks with salt and cook for three minutes. Add mushrooms, sprinkle with salt stir to coat and cook, covered, until barely soft (5-7 minutes). Remove mixture to a shallow bowl to cool and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. When mushroom mixture is close to room temperature, spread over center of puff pastry or crust, leaving several inches bare all around the filling. Layer on the tomatoes, sprinkle with bacon bits, fold up edges of pastry or crust to partly cover filling and bake at 400 degrees F until puffed and golden (about 20 minutes for puff pastry, about 30 minutes for pie crust). Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves about 6.
1 teaspoon each mustard seed and cardamom seed
2 cups chopped green tomatoes
2 cups chopped apples (firm)
2 cups chopped pears (firm)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins or dried currants
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh, peeled ginger root
1 teaspoon each sea salt, cumin, coriander, ginger
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
In a dry frying pan, roast seeds over high heat for a minute or until mustard seeds pop (use a spatter screen to keep them from flying away). In a soup pot, combine everything else and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add seeds, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until fruit is translucent and sauce is thick (40-60 minutes). Pack into boiled canning jars and seal or refrigerate for up to 3 months. Let mellow for a week before using. Makes about 4 cups.