Posts Tagged ‘tomato’

Technically, what I have for you here is not bruschetta. Technically, this is just tomato salad and the bruschetta part only comes into play when you toast some bread and place this on top.  But what-ever. You know exactly what I’m going to show you how to make today and if you reached this through an internet search, you probably typed in “bruschetta” hoping to find exactly this. Far be it for me to deny my readers what they want.

Ingredients (makes about 3 cups)

  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 1 yellow tomato
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 oz fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Cut each tomato in half and scoop out the pulp. Dice the tomato halves. There is no rush, so take your time and keep the skin side up when dicing the tomato to make the cuts easier. Place the diced tomatoes into a large mixing bowl.


Note: Apparently when you place a yellow tomato on a green cutting board, it comes out orange in pictures. Who knew?

2. Mince the garlic, cut the basil into thin ribbons, and zest the entire lemon. Add these ingredients to the bowl with the tomatoes along with 1 tbsp lemon juice.

       3. Add the olive oil and combine all ingredients with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Serve chilled over fish, chicken, or with bread.


I want to apologize in advance to my friends at The Other Side of the Tortilla for this unauthentic classic Mexican dish.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 small flour tortillas
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 c Easy Tomato Sauce, warmed (or jarred)
  • 1c refried beans, warmed
  • 1/2 c queso fresco (optional)

1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a shallow frying pan over medium high heat. Put one tortilla in the oil and fry until browned, flip and brown the other side. Repeat with the other tortillas.


2. Place the warmed tomato sauce in a large bowl. Dunk the fried tortillas into the tomato sauce quickly. Place on a serving plate. Top the tortilla with 1/2 c of refried beans. Dip another tortilla into the tomato sauce and place on top of the beans. Repeat with the other set of tortillas.


3. Fry the eggs and place two eggs on top of the tortilla. Spread the tomato sauce liberally around the tortilla and place the diced avocado around. If you prefer, sprinkle the top of the dish with queso fresco cheese and cilantro. Serve warm.

Tomatoes this summer have been amazing! I have been astounded by the quantity of high quality tomatoes in the supermarkets and farmers markets. I have enjoyed a long love affair with tomatoes. My father hates tomatoes (he says they aren’t ripe yet) and when I was growing up I would often relieve him of his tomatoes at restaurants, a practice I continue today. There was even a time when I was a child that I would eat a tomato like an apple with nothing but a salt shaker. Call me crazy, but I know there are people out there that know exactly what I’m talking about.

Here is an easy recipe to use those beautiful on the vine tomatoes that have been abundant this summer. Don’t mistake this sauce for Grandma’s 12 hour marinara that simmers all day and requires a 20 gallon steel pot. This is a fresh, by the batch version meant to be eaten in one sitting.


  • 4 vine ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt

1. Turn the burner onto high heat and place a tomato directly on the cooking surface. Allow the tomato to begin to char and turn. Continue until you get some charred (or at least browned) skin on all sides. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes.


Note: There are other ways to char a tomatoes such as grilling, placing them under a broiler, or using a blowtorch (not recommended). The important thing it to get the char flavor on the tomato.

2. Place the tomatoes in a food processor. Pulse until the tomatoes are broken down, but still chunky. Then add the onion and the garlic and pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


3. In a shallow saute pan, heat a couple tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Pour in the tomato mixture and simmer until the sauce thickens.


4. Serve over spaghetti, on pizza, or as a dipping sauce. This sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

I love meatballs. And according to Wikipedia, the rest of the world does too. For me, they remind me of my childhood. My mom would make large batches of red sauce that would simmer all day, filling the house with a wonderful aroma. While the sauce was cooking, we’d spend a couple of hours making meatballs and dumping them into the sauce for added flavor. Our efforts were rewarded with a large spaghetti and meatball dinner and the remaining sauce and meatballs were frozen, leaving us with a supply of red sauce for at least 6 months.

I developed this recipe as a test for future invites to summer barbecues and parties (of which my phone has been silent – weird) and liked it so much that it became a regular staple to our dinner rotation. Much of the flavor is developed by combining ground pork and turkey together (you could easily substitute beef, lamb, or chicken as well).  With a little bit of prep, this meal will finish in the slow cooker to finish the product leaving you to enjoy the warm summer nights.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 20oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4c Vidalia onion, minced
  • 1/4c + 1 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika (sweet or hot, your choice)
  • Rustic bread (for serving)

1. Plug in your slow cooker. In a bowl, combine turkey, pork, breadcrumbs, eggs, cumin, paprika, parsley, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/4c of the minced onion. Used a wooden spoon to combine mixture.


2. Shape approximately 20 meatballs and set aside. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat (a 7 on the dial). Working in batches, brown meatballs on all sides. In between batches, add 1 tbsp of olive oil.


Note: I used a medium ice cream scoop to portion out meatballs. It’s quick and easy and you are guaranteed to have the same sized meatballs every time.

3. When the meatballs are completed, add the onion to the pan and saute for a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add the tomatoes (with juices) and scrape up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste (it should not require much, if any).


4. Add the tomato mixture and meatballs to a slow cooker. Turn to low and cook for 5 hours until the meatballs are tender.

5. Serve hot with rustic bread.

I was jonesing for pizza today, but didn’t have any shredded cheese or red sauce. What I did have, however, was the basic ingredients needed to make focaccia. Below is my last minute, raid the pantry and refrigerator, focaccia made on a balmy spring afternoon.


  • 4 c bread flour
  • 1 1/2 c + 2 tbsp warm water (100 degrees)
  • 1/2 c yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 roma tomatoes, sliced thin
  • Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

1. Start with the paddle attachment on your stand mixer. Combine the yeast, sugar, and 1/2 c water in the bowl. Whisk together to combine and let stand for 10 minutes The mixture will become foamy.

2. Add 1 c flour to the mixture and beat together for 2 minute at medium speed. Then add another cup of flour, 1 1/2 tbsp salt, and 1/4 c olive oil to mixture and beat for 1 minute at medium-low speed until combine. Add the onion to the mixture and fold to incorporate.

3. Switch to the hook attachment on your mixer. Turn the mixer on low and add flour 1/2 cup at a time. Allow the flour to integrate into the mix fully before adding another 1/2 c. The dough should pull away completely from the sides. The end result will be a soft, slightly sticky dough. This should take around 10 minutes in total time. Cover with a towel and let sit for 30 minutes.

Note: The picture on the left shoes the shaggy, rough texture that will occur somewhere between your third and fourth half cups. The goal is to stop kneading the dough when the dough looks like the picture on the right.

4. Lay parchment paper on a heavy rimmed baking sheet. Place the dough on the paper and press out into a oval shape about 1/2 inch thick. Lightly oil some plastic wrap and lay on top of the pan. Leave to rise at room temperature for 2 hours.

5. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Take off the plastic wrap and insert your fingers (clean hands please) into the dough about 1 inch apart. Drizzle some olive oil over the dough.

6. Lay the tomatoes on top of the dough, sprinkle with 1 tsp kosher salt, and grate fresh parmesan on top.

7. Cook for 20 – 25 minutes until the top and bottom have browned, but before the cheese burns.

8. Take the focaccia out of the oven and place on a cooling rack. This ensures your crust will remain crispy. Cut into squares. Serve warm or cold with more freshly grated parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.