Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another yummy tomato "recipe"

So, has anyone noticed that my recipes lately have just been vague directions of throwing vague amounts of numerous veggies together? :-) Well, this one is kind of the same. But you should try it--the beauty is in the simplicity of ingredients and taste!

Slice a large tomato or two in thin (but not too thin) slices... probably about 1/2 inch. (Handy tip of the day: use a serrated knife to slice tomatoes... it will cut right through the skin without tearing up your beautiful tomato). I prefer using Brandywine tomatoes for this dish, but any yummy slicer will work well. Layer the slices in a flat dish or on a plate.

Cut up some fresh basil into thin strips. Sprinkle over the tomatoes. Salt and pepper liberally (or to taste), and drizzle with olive oil. Then sprinkle with some shredded mozzarella. Put in the fridge until it's time to eat to let the flavors blend.

That's all there is to it! Another version is to layer the tomato slices with thin slices of mozzarella (and then skip the shredded on top).


Sunday, August 8, 2010

I just LOVE August!

It's hot, it's humid, and we're in the best season of eating in Minnesota! I seriously LOVE August in Minnesota. It's summer's last hurrah. It's fairtime. It's corn season. The tomatoes are ripe. Ahhhhh!

I think besides eating myself silly with sweet corn, my next favorite summer food is gazpacho. It's a cold tomatoey vegetable soup chock full of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onions, and cilantro. Here is how I make it (I know using V-8 is cheating, but oh so yummy!):

April's Gazpacho

I cut up a bunch of cucumbers:

 Then I cup up a bunch of tomatoes. The varieties I show here are (from top big one, then clockwise) Brandywine, a couple Rutgers, Oregon Spring, Amish Paste, and Green Zebra (center). I like to use a mix of paste and juicy slicing tomatoes in the gazpacho. This batch I only used the Brandywine, Rutgers, and Amish Paste. We had the Green Zebra cut up for supper.

Next on the chopping board: onions!
And then a nice big green pepper!

After mixing together all these wonderful fresh vegetables that came straight from the garden, I add a few cloves of garlic-chopped, ground black pepper, and salt. (Oh, the more garlic, the better!!!) Pour a bit of regular V-8 over all of it and refrigerate for a couple hours to allow the flavors to blend. I've skipped the V-8, especially when I have lots of juicier tomatoes, and then you just have to make sure not to skimp on the salt. Other good additions are lime juice and cilantro. 
 Certain members of my family enjoy this for breakfast... be warned that if you do this, you will have definite garlic breath! Oh, but so worth it!

So, as I was saying... I just love August. And here is why: this week my CSA customers can expect a couple dozen ears of Bodacious sweet corn, tomatoes--both cherry and slicers, cucumbers, onions, purple scallions, peppers--sweet and jalapeno, green beans, and possibly zucchini (I got my zucchini in late so it's just starting). Next week should include more sweet corn (possibly 2 varieties), more tomatoes, more cucumbers, more onions, zucchini, and hopefully broccoli. And it just keeps getting better... squash will be on the list soon, along with turnips, salad greens, watermelon (!), kale, cantaloupe... Oh yeah... I LOVE AUGUST!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Really good recipe! Black Bean Salad

Since we are in the midst of the cherry tomatoes and green peppers, I thought I'd share this wonderful recipe. It's very fresh and has just the right amount of light dressing. I hope you like it! I found it in  the July 2002 edition of Quick Cooking Magazine. Enjoy!

Black Bean Salad

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 medium sweet yellow or green pepper, julienned
4 green onions, chopped
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro or parsley, minced

Mix all together in bowl.

3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive or canola oil
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Stir or shake dressing ingredients together and toss with vegetables. Refrigerate. Serve chilled.

Edit: Added a picture! But this was taken before the cilantro was added, so imagine it with little green bits of leaves spread throughout!