Roasted Tomato Salsa and Tomato Sauce from fresh Tomatoes

Winter came early this year to Denver and I was forced to harvest my 7 tomato plants at once due to a freeze. I had Early Girl, Brandywine, Big Boy, Sungold and Sweet 100 tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes disappeared but I had enough of the larger tomatoes to make salsa and tomato sauce for pasta-after slicing them daily to eat as is or on BLT’s.
I love the method of making the salsa and of course you can vary it to your own taste.
Roasted Tomato Salsa
Cut up 6-8 tomatoes and place them on a baking sheet, skin side up
Slice 1/2 onion
1-2 jalapeños or serrano peppers, cut in half (seeded if you don’t want spicy)
3 cloves of garlic
any other pepper (Poblano or Anaheim)
Broil until charred. Let sit 5 minutes. Purée in blender or food processor with
Juice of 1/2 lime or more to taste
handful of cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
Store in glass jar in the refrigerator.

Fresh Tomato Sauce
From The Splendid Table
3-5 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
12 large fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil
3 -1/2 pounds mixed ripe delicious tomatoes (never Romas of any kind), cored and quartered (do not seed)

In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the garlic, basil, onion, salt and pepper, and oil. Heat over medium-high heat 30 seconds, no more. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with your hands as they go into the pan. Bring to a lively bubble, uncovered, and cook 30 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and reduced by half. Stir often, watching for sticking or scorching. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let stand 15 minutes. Then taste for seasoning.

Pass the sauce through a food mill or chop it in a blender or food processor until in small pieces. If desired, the sauce can be cooled and refrigerated up to 4 days, or frozen up to 6 month

Miso Sweet Potato Broccoli Bowl

From Smitten Kitchen-a wonderful recipe! I used brown basmati rice but you can use whatever grain you like. I love the miso-tahini dressing and the only condiments we added were hot sauce and soy sauce.
Serves 4

For the bowl
1 cup dried rice or another cooking grain of your choice
1 to 2 sweet potatoes (about 1.5 pounds)
1 large bundle broccoli (about 1 pound)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse or kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

For the miso-sesame dressing
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons white miso (the mildest kind)
2 tablespoons tahini (other nut butters can work in a pinch)
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place rice or grain and cooking liquid in a rice cooker or on the stove. Cook according to package directions.

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Cut tops off broccoli and separate into bite-sized florets. If your broccoli stems feel especially woody, I like to peel them (with the same vegetable peeler), then cut them into 1/2- to 1-inch segments.

Coat one large or two smaller trays with a thin slick of olive oil. Layer sweet potatoes on tray(s) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, until browning underneath. Flip and toss chunks around, then add broccoli to the tray(s), season again with salt and pepper, and roast for another 10 to 20 minutes, until broccoli is lightly charred at edges and sweet potato is fully bronzed and tender. Toss chunks around one more time if it looks like they’re cooking unevenly.

In a small skillet, toast black and white sesame seeds until fragrant. (You can do this in the oven if using an oven-proof skillet.) Let cool.

While vegetables roast, prepare sesame-miso dressing: Combine everything in a blender and run until smooth, scraping down sides once. Taste and adjust ingredients if needed, but try to resist adding more honey if it tastes salty, as that extra pop of saltiness is exactly what I think sweet potato needs.

Assemble bowls: Scoop some rice/grains into each, then pile on the roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli. Coat lightly with sesame-miso dressing and finish with toasted sesame seed duo. Serve with extra dressing on the side.

Vegetable Quiche with Potato Crust

From Dr. Andrew Weil, this quiche can be made vegetarian or not.
This fresh vegetable quiche makes a wonderful brunch, or dinner when served with a salad. If you want to avoid egg yolks, it can be made with egg whites only. I have varied the vegetables and it is always delicious. Today’s quiche was bacon, onion, broccoli, sun-dried tomato, pepper jack and cheddar cheeses. If your sun-dried tomatoes are in oil, just blot them off and chop them. I used my mandolin to slice the potatoes thinly for the crust.

1/2 cup purified water
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 pound asparagus (about 2 cups chopped) or broccoli florets
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, cut in small cubes (about 1 cup)
5 mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon chili flakes
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 small red potatoes, washed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated cheese, Pepper Jack or Swiss
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
6 eggs
1 medium tomato, sliced (seeds squeezed out)
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375º F.

2. Boil the water, pour over the sun-dried tomatoes, and allow to soak for about 15 minutes until they become soft and plump. Strain off any remaining liquid, and coarsely chop.

3. Cut off about 1 inch of the coarse ends of the asparagus stalks and discard or save them for soup. Cut the remaining stalks into about 6 pieces or chop coarsely. (If you are using broccoli, cut into florets.)

4. Blanch the asparagus by boiling it in a medium pot of water for 2 minutes or less. Asparagus should be bright green and firm to the bite. Drain, rinse the asparagus in cold water, and drain again in a colander.

5. Sauté the onions and the garlic in the olive oil over low heat until the onions are transparent, approximately 10 minutes. Add the carrots, mushrooms, basil, parsley, chili flakes, nutmeg, salt and pepper and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat.

6. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Line the bottom with the potato slices, overlapping them slightly.

7. Whisk together the cheese, milk, sun-dried tomatoes, sour cream and the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the sautéed vegetables and the blanched asparagus, coating everything with the cheese, milk and egg liquid, then pour into the potato-lined pie pan. Arrange the tomato slices on top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

7. Bake for 1 hour, covering after 45 minutes if top browns. Completely baked quiche should be very firm.

8. Let cool 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Leftovers can be wrapped and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Tips from Rosie’s Kitchen:

Try to grate fresh nutmeg and Parmesan cheese yourself because it makes a noticeable difference in the flavor.
Drop the potato slices in cold water to prevent them from discoloring.
To blanch fruits and vegetables, boil them for about 2 minutes and then plunge them into cold water – this stops the cooking and sets the color. Blanching is also done to loosen the skins of fruits or vegetables such as plums or tomatoes.
Read more tips, recipes, and insights on a wide variety of topics from Dr. Weil here.

Fresh Corn Carbonara

From Epicurious It is a winner!
It’s the end of our corn season in Colorado but I had four ears left and was excited to try this recipe. I love that half of the corn kernels and corn milk and cream are puréed to make the sauce. I got wonderful thick bacon from a new stand at the farmer’s market called The Noble Hog. I added a roasted, peeled and chopped poblano Chile because we like spice. Very simple to make and delicious! I always reserve a cup of pasta water incase the sauce is too thick and I added about 1/2 c. pasta water to the finished dish.

12 ounces spaghetti or linguine
Kosher salt
3-6 slices thick-cut bacon (about 6 ounces), cut into 1/4″ strips
4 ears of corn, kernels cut off (about 3 cups), cobs reserved
1/2 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (about 2 ounces), plus more to serve
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped, divided

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente; drain.
Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain (reserve fat). Scrape excess corn milk from cobs into a blender by firmly running the back of a chef’s knife down the sides. Add cream, half of the corn kernels, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and 2 Tbsp. reserved bacon fat. Purée until a smooth sauce forms.
Toss hot pasta with corn sauce, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and half each of the remaining corn kernels, bacon, and basil in a large bowl.
Divide pasta among bowls and top with remaining corn kernels, bacon, and basil. Season with pepper and top with Parmesan.

Fresh Tomato Sauce

I have an abundance of tomatoes this year because we got snow at the end of May and I was not sure my plants would survive the weather (but they did!) so I double planted! I used what I had that was ripe and needed to be used. My yield was 1.5 cups of sauce and it is the sweetest, velvety sauce ever!! I caramelized some fennel and onion to go with it tomorrow but it would be fine on it’s own. From the NY Times

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced or thinly sliced (to taste)
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered if you have a food mill, peeled, seeded, and diced if you don’t
⅛ teaspoon sugar
2 sprigs of fresh basil, or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Salt
1 tablespoon slivered fresh basil
Freshly ground pepper

In a wide, nonstick frying pan, or in a 3-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, basil or thyme sprig, and salt (begin with 1/2 teaspoon and add more later), and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring often, until thick. Pulpy tomatoes like romas will usually take 20 to 30 minutes. However, if the tomatoes are very juicy, it will take longer for them to cook down. The longer you cook the sauce, the sweeter it will be. You can speed up the process by turning up the heat, but stir often so the sauce doesn’t scorch. Towards the end of cooking, stir in the slivered fresh basil and some freshly ground pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
If using quartered tomatoes, put through the medium blade of a food mill. If you used peeled seeded tomatoes but want a sauce with a smooth, even texture, remove the basil sprigs and discard. Pulse the sauce in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

Laurie Colwin’s Tomato Pie

Laurie Colwin was a wonderful writer who died too young. My mother and I both loved her recipes and two cookbooks. Her tomato pie is a classic. She uses a biscuit dough which is the perfect texture for the tomato pie. I added corn off the cob because I had it and like the combination. I used a bed of fresh basil and chives from my garden and 4 chopped scallions below the layer of tomatoes. You can bake this ahead and reheat it at 350 degrees or eat right out of the oven. It gets better the next day.

2 pounds homegrown tomatoes, thinly sliced (enough for one layer in your pan), cut 1/4″ thick
2 cups flour
1 stick butter
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Chopped basil, chives or scallions to taste


Make the biscuit-dough crust by blending flour, butter, baking powder and milk either by hand or in a food processor.

Roll out half the dough on a floured surface and line a 9-inch pie plate with it. This dough is thicker than a normal pie crust.

Layer the tomatoes on top, scarttering with scallions and/or herbs.

Sprinkle 1 cup of the cheddar over the tomatoes. Thin mayonnaise with lemon juice and drizzle on top, followed by remaining cheddar.

Roll out remaining dough, fit it over the filling and pinch the edges of the dough together to seal them.

Cut several steam vents in the top crust and bake the pie at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Pair this with a salad and glass of wine, and you have an awesome, easy summer supper. Or you can serve it as an appetizer or a side-dish! (Good-quality chopped tomatoes from a can will do in the off-season, too.)

This is one of those dishes that tastes even better as leftovers the next day. Reheat in a 350-degree oven till the cheese is soft and gooey.

Tomato Poached Cod with Chile Garlic Oil and Herbs

From Alison Roman in the NY Times Cooking section. This is a wonderful way to cook fish and so simple.I happened to have lots of cherry tomatoes from my garden so happy to use them! The toasted garlic Chile oil adds a great contrast as do the fresh herbs and lime.

¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small shallot, thinly sliced into rings
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 pound small, sweet tomatoes, halved
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
1 ¼ pounds fluke, halibut or cod, cut into 4 equal pieces
1 cup cilantro, tender leaves and stems
½ cup mint, tender leaves and stems
Limes, halved, for serving

Heat olive oil in a large skillet (use one with a lid) over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook, swirling the skillet constantly until they are starting to toast and turn light golden brown, 2 minutes or so. Add red-pepper flakes and swirl to toast for a few seconds. Remove from heat and transfer all to a small bowl. Put 1 T. of he Chile oil in skillet.
Add tomatoes to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until they burst and start to become saucy and jammy, 5 to 8 minutes. Add fish sauce (if using) and 1 1/2 cups water, swirling to release any of the bits stuck on the bottom of the skillet.
Cook until the sauce is slightly thickened but still nice and brothy, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Season the fish with salt and pepper and gently lay the pieces in the brothy tomatoes. Cover the skillet and cook until the fish is opaque and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes (slightly longer for a thicker piece of fish, like halibut).

To serve, transfer fish and brothy tomatoes to a large shallow bowl (or divide among four bowls). Drizzle with reserved bowl of chile oil, more olive oil and the crispy shallots and garlic. Top with cilantro and mint, and serve with limes for squeezing over the top. Serve with tortillas, toast or rice, if you like.

Lemony Farro Orzo Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese and Mint

This pasta salad is by far the most delicious pasta salad I have ever made! From the NY Times. I love all of the different flavors and textures-especially the apricots and sliced almonds. It makes enough for a crowd or to share with neighbors.

Kosher salt
1 cup farro
2 bay leaves
1 pound orzo
¾ cup diced dried apricots
¾ cup thinly sliced red onion
¾ cup thinly sliced celery
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¾ cup sliced almonds
2 cups baby spinach leaves (2 ounces)
1 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese (4 ounces)
½ cup torn mint leaves
½ cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE DRESSING:
2 large lemons
½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add farro and bay leaves and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add orzo to the pot and continue to simmer until farro and pasta are cooked through but still al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes longer.
While farro is cooking, prepare the dressing: Finely grate zest from the lemons, and place zest in a large bowl. Squeeze juice from 1 1/2 lemons and add to zest along with salt, pepper and red-pepper flakes, whisking to combine. Gradually whisk in oil. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice from the other lemon half, or both, if needed.
Drain farro-pasta mixture, discarding bay leaves. Add to bowl with dressing and toss well. Stir in apricots. Let farro and pasta cool, soaking up the dressing. This can be done up to 1 day in advance. Store in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before proceeding.
In a small bowl, combine onions, celery, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and a large pinch of salt. Let sit while the pasta cools, at least 20 minutes.
Just before serving, add onion mixture and almonds to the bowl with the farro and pasta and toss well. Gently fold in spinach, goat cheese, mint and parsley. Taste and add more lemon, red-pepper flakes or salt if needed.
Drizzle with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper before serving.

Savory Leek, Corn, Swiss chard and Gruyere Clafouti

From the wonderful Melissa Clark of the NY Times-this is a delicious brunch, lunch or light dinner recipe. It’s a cross between a pancake batter poured over sautéed vegetables and a crustless quiche. Very easy to make. Plan on eating it hot out of the oven or warm.

¾ cup whole milk
¾ cup crème fraîche
4 large eggs
2 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill leaves
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
½ teaspoon ground black pepper, more as needed
1 cup coarsely grated Gruyère or Cheddar (about 4 ounces)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large or 3 small leeks (white and light green parts), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 cups corn kernels (from 2 to 3 ears, or frozen and thawed)
1 large garlic clove, grated on a Microplane or minced
1 large bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped (8 cups)
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Fresh lemon juice, for serving
Red pepper flakes, for serving
Flaky salt, for serving

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, whisk together milk, crème fraîche, eggs, flour, parsley, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Whisk in 3/4 cup Gruyère.
Heat olive oil in a 9-inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until they are soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in corn, garlic and a pinch of salt; cook until garlic is fragrant and corn is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chard leaves a handful at a time, and cook until they are wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Season the mixture with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
Pour crème fraîche mixture over the corn and chard mixture, and then sprinkle the remaining Gruyère and the Parmigiano on top. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until custard is lightly set, about 40 minutes. Serve topped with a sprinkling of lemon juice and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Citrusy Brisket with Spring Lettuces

From Melissa Clark of the NY Times. Very light and vibrant with citrus flavor.

1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) beef brisket
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 teaspoons finely grated garlic (from about 5 large cloves)
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
2 large white onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Juice from 2 lemons
Juice from 2 oranges
1 cup dry white wine
FOR THE SALAD:
1 garlic clove, finely grated or minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
4 cups spring lettuces or baby spinach
2 cups sliced endive (from 2 to 3 endives)
1 small head radicchio, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 cup mixed soft herbs (leaves and tender stems), such as dill, basil or tarragon
Season the brisket all over with salt and pepper, then rub the meat with 2 teaspoons grated garlic, thyme and rosemary. Place brisket in a large bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
When you are ready to cook the brisket, heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 6 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium-high. Sear the brisket in the oil until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer meat to a plate.
Add remaining 4 tablespoons oil and onions to pot, and sauté until lightly browned on the edges and very tender, about 8 minutes. Return brisket and any juices to the pot with the onions.
Place lemon and orange zests in a small bowl and reserve. Measure out 2 tablespoons lemon juice and reserve for the salad dressing. Pour remaining lemon juice, orange juice and wine over the brisket, then add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the meat (about 1 cup). Bring liquid to a simmer over high heat.
Cover pot, transfer to the oven, and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Turn the meat over in the pot and stir in remaining 2 teaspoons garlic. Cover pot and continue to cook until the meat shreds easily with a fork, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer.
Uncover pot, stir in the reserved lemon and orange zests, and continue to cook, uncovered, 15 minutes more.
Just before serving, prepare the salad: In a large bowl, whisk together reserved 2 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic and salt. Let it sit for 1 minute, then whisk in oil. Toss with greens, endive, radicchio and herbs. Taste and add more salt or olive oil, if needed.
Slice meat and serve, with pan juices spooned over and some of the salad piled on top. Serve the rest of the salad in a bowl on the side.