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Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’

Yellow Pizza Sauce

I believe that, at least once, everyone should try his or her hand at gardening. Personally, I used to be wary of keeping plants. I was your typical houseplant killer. I would somehow procure cute little green houseplants and would inevitably, without fail, forget to water them. I would then eventually end up tossing their shriveled, dry little carcasses out with the trash and then employ the pots for other uses, such as pencil holders or an odd-and-ends catchall. Recently I again tried my hand at houseplant maintenance in my office at work. That experiment ended when a coworker informed me that the droopy plants in dire need of attention in my office did little to inspire confidence in my abilities to care for others (namely people), thus, those plants found their way out of my office into my compost bin. I’ve accepted that I do not have a great enough appreciation for houseplants to be able to enter into a long-term relationship with one. The occasional bouquet is enough inside greenery to keep me happy. Gardening, however, is a whole different matter.

I started my love affair with gardening last spring when a friend of mine built a raised garden in my front yard for me. Now, one year later, my gardening endeavors have expanded into larger plots that run the length of the south and west facing sides of our cottage. You do not need large plots of land for gardening. Heck, you don’t even need a yard. One can easily start a windowsill garden in window or a container garden on a small balcony or patio. Gardening is accessible to all.

I love gardening because it is my belief that gardening is an exercise in consciousness, an act of sustainability … it promotes stewardship, a love for what is natural, and it inspires us to be less wasteful. By nurturing food from seed to plate, we develop a close, personal relationship with what we eat. We can then appreciate food in its simplest of forms for its unique and wonderful flavors, which inspires us to eat food in as close to its natural state as possible rather than eating food that has been manufactured in a lab and is full of chemicals, preservatives, corn syrup, and ingredients that we cannot pronounce. We are also reluctant to throw away any part of what we have nurtured and sown, which promotes us to be more aware of our resources and to utilize all of what we have rather than mindlessly allowing food to rot and end up in the trash. Additionally, gardening increases our awareness of natural processes and systems. We are then more likely to compost trash to create rich soil for our garden, thus completing the cycle from earth to seed to fruit to plate back to the earth. I believe that gardens help to make our world a better place by improving our lives through healthy eating and more positive environmental practices, which, in turns, help us to make this planet a better place for others.

Currently, I’ve got a number of things growing in my garden: oregano, cilantro, basil, parsley, mint, black beauty eggplants, Japanese eggplants, ancho peppers, habanero peppers, flavorburst peppers, zucchini, watermelon, and yellow cherry pear tomatoes. The tomato plant, far and away, has been the most productiveve member of my garden. We’ve had a seemingly endless supply of deliciously sweet tomatoes for the past few months, which has inspired great creativity in how to make use of all of those tomatoes. Our most recent tomato concoction was yellow pizza sauce. I love home made pizzas with freshly made dough, and we topped these particular pies with the sauce, sliced peppers, sliced mushrooms, and slices of Field Roast Grain Meat Co. sausages.

Yellow Tomato Sauce

2 tbsp olive oil
5-6 cups yellow cherry pear tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
Basil leaves, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, whole and skins intact. Cover the pot and sauté over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Uncover, and use a potato masher to smash the tomatoes. (I like to leave some whole). Add the garlic, basil (to your taste), and salt and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and enjoy!

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An Abundance of Gold

As has been well documented on this blog, I have a very generous, very large yellow pear tomato plant taking over my garden. (Never fear, however – we’ve been busy this week carving our two new garden plots.) The tomato plant has kicked into over drive this past week and I’ve been having trouble keeping up with its productivity. We’ve been eating tomato carpaccio just about every day and tossing tomatoes in every salad, but I had to find new ways of using the things. The first recipe listed below was inspired by a recipe that I have been wanting to try for some time now: the Golden Gazpacho on Freshtopia. I had to adapt it somewhat to accommodate my available ingredients (I did not have a lemon cucumber and the store in town only had sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, which I avoid in favor of the ones that come in packages and need to be re-hydrated in hot water) and to adjust it to my taste, and it turned out really very good.  I would still like to try the recipe as posted on Freshtopia because I think the sundried tomatoes would really make the gazpacho something special. The second recipe listed below- yellow tomato sauce – was one I made up on the spot the other night when Dan requested pasta for dinner. The sauce was delicious, and I served it with steamed vegetables.

Tomorrow we are off for a week of rest, relaxation, and adventuring on Kauai. There are some leftovers in the fridge that you can nibble on while we’re away 🙂 I look forward to catching up with everyone when we get back! Have a wonderful week!

Yellow Gazpacho

2 ½ cups yellow pear tomatoes
1 cucumber, peeled
1 clove garlic
½ an avocado
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp agave
4 large basil leaves
Hot sauce, salt & pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar, chopped yellow tomatoes, chopped avocado, and basil leaves to garnish

Mix all ingredients tomatoes through basil in a food processor until your desired consistency is reached.  Taste and season with hot sauce, salt, and pepper.  Top serve, garnish with sliced tomatoes, avocado, and basil leaves drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Yellow Tomato Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups yellow pear tomatoes
¼ cup chopped basil
Salt and pepper to taste

1.    Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Saute the garlic for about 30 seconds.  Add the tomatoes and sauté for 5 minutes.

2.    Use a potato masher to break up the tomatoes a bit.  Add salt and pepper.  Cook the sauce over medium heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring e3very so often, until all of the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce a cooked down and thickened (it won’t thicken too much, but it will transition from watery to saucy consistency).

3.    Pour over the pasta of your choice, add vegetables, and enjoy!

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I snatched up several eggplants at the store the other day because they were on sale, and last night I found myself looking at them wondering what to do with them. Eggplants present a lot of possibilities and I just couldn’t settle on one. Finally I decided upon Anna Thomas’s “Eggplant Pancakes in Sweet Red Pepper Puree” from The New Vegetarian Epicure. I did, however, adapt it. I wanted to use less eggplant, less olive oil, less garlic, no eggs, no white flour, and no olives or feta cheese. And then there was that sauce … don’t get me wrong, a sweet red pepper puree sounds delicious. The thing is, you see, I have this tomato plant of mine and it is laden with little golden orbs of deliciousness. I decided to go out into the yard and pick some for dinner, so I adapted the red pepper puree to accommodate less ingredients and to use the tomatoes instead of the peppers. The pancakes were quite tasty and the tomato puree was delectable – we were scooping mounds of it into our mouth with pita chips! If I were to make this dish again, I wouldn’t change a thing about the puree but I would add maybe 1/4 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs to the eggplant batter in an attempt to make the pancakes just a little bit sturdier. We wnjoyed the pancakes and puree with some tabouleh and pita chips on the side. Enjoy!
Eggplant Pancakes
Adapted from The New Vegetarian Epicure
3 medium eggplants
½ small onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 potent Ener-G “eggs” (4 tsp mix + 2 tbsp water)
1/8 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt & pepper to taste1. Preheat oven to 400F. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise, pierce each cut side several times with a fork, and place each cut-side down on a greased baking sheet. Roast them for 50-60 minutes in the oven, until they are each soft and collapsing. Let them cool a bit, then scoop out the flesh.

2. Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a small non-stick skillet over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent. Whisk together the Ener-G “eggs” with the flour and add it to the eggplant. Mix in the onion mixture, the oregano, and the salt and pepper to the eggplant.

3. Lightly spray a large non-stick skillet or griddle pan wit cooking oil and place over medium-heat. Place large spoonfuls of eggplant batter into the skillet, shaping them into small 3-inch pancakes. Cooke the pancakes until they are evenly colored on both sides, about 8-10 minutes total. Be sure to turn them very carefully because they are delicate!

4. Serve the pancakes with dollops of roasted yellow tomato puree on top (recipe follows).

Roasted Yellow Tomato Puree
Adapted from the New Vegetarian Epicure
½ tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cups whole yellow pear tomatoes
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar1. In a non-stick skillet over low heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion until caramelized, about 40-45 minutes.

2. In a small roasting pan coated with non-stick cooking spray, roast the tomatoes for 20-25 minutes, until the skins are browning and puckering.

3. Place the onions, tomatoes, vinegar, and brown sugar in a food processor and blend until smooth. Gently warm before serving.

Finally, Cakelaw has tagged me for a “5 Things About Me” meme, so here goes:

  • I believe that a person cannot be held accountable for the music on their iPod. What happens with your iPod stays with your iPod.
  • I like artificial banana flavor. Banana popsicles, banana lifesavers (found in the tropical roll), and banana runts are tops in my book.
  • I’ve been known to dress my cats in ridiculous clothing. Like collared polo shirts. And Halloween costumes.

Sometimes this upsets them.

  • I’m addicted to mints. My doctor once told me this was a problem.
  • I am currently in the process of weaning myself off of my caffeine addiction. It is now day 5 and I haven’t hurt anybody. Yet.

I am tagging the following people for this meme but give them all outs due to the fact that they are all super busy people who have babies, just had babies, just adopted babies, are tending to their spouse, are busy just being badass, etc…. Wow, that summary of my blogging friends just made me feel incredibly unaccomplished and lazy! :-O Really, though, the bottom line is that these are cool people doing cool things and they are blogging about them, so I’d like to highlight them in this small way.

1. Jennifer at What’s New Since Terminal 4

2. James at General Fuzz

3. Erin at Notes on Passage

4. Holley at 13th Degree Perspective

5. Maria at Bringing Home Babylicious

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Tomato Carpaccio

This is not so much a recipe as it is an ode to my garden. I love my garden. After admiring the garden of a good friend last spring, I was surprised by him pulling up to my house one Saturday morning with some lumber, tools, and a pickup truck full of soil. A few short hours later I had my own raised garden bed.

Last go around, my garden yielded zucchinis, red peppers, snap peas, green bush beans, and cucumbers. For this winter garden I planted cilantro, yellow pear tomatoes, yellow peppers, zucchini, okra, butternut squash, and scallopini bush squash. While it’s been quite the bounty, I think I’ve been most pleased with the butternut squash production because at the store they run over $3/lb … and we all know how heavy those things are! (Are butternut squash that expensive everywhere or just on Maui?) I just made a batch of butternut squash bisque two nights ago with two squashes from the garden and the fresh taste converted butternut -hating Dan into a true believer. Sadly, we dove into the bisque so quickly that there was no photographic evidence to prove its existence … so, instead, I will share with you the first fruits of my unbelievably large tomato plant.

 

My tomato plant is heavy with tomatoes, but they are taking their sweet time ripening. Tonight yielded the first yellow tomatoes form the plant … five beautiful, yellow tomatoes. Small tomatoes. What does one do with five small tomatoes? In my case, I made tomato carpaccio. I sliced each of my little ‘maters into three or four thin slices, placed them on a plate drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and I lightly seasoned them with salt and pepper. Basil would have been a lovely finishing touch, but alas, I had none on hand. Enjoy – we sure did!

 

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