It's Tomato Time (and September classes are up!!!!!!!!!!!)
Some of my favorite ways to enjoy tomatoes
It’s August. It’s hot. It’s tomato time.
Before I tell you all about some of my favorite ways to enjoy tomatoes (so many ways), I’m excited to let you know that my September class schedule is OFFICIALLY LIVE! All info about my classes (inc FAQs) is right here.
Sunday the 11th: Three Easiest Go-To Dinners [Coconut Curry / Quick Fish Tacos / Brothy Soup with Lots of Stuff in It + Garlic Toast] More info/sign up here!
This is a class I’ve been wanting to teach for a while— three of my go-to dinners that I actually make all of the time. Each one is so flexible and easy-going and can accommodate different dietary needs and likes. I’ll walk you through the recipes and also give you tons of ideas on how to make each one with various ingredients. The world is hard enough— dinner doesn’t need to be.
Sunday the 18th: Vegetarian Red Checkered Tablecloth Dinner [Rosemary Gin Spritzers / Caper Caesar Salad / Easy Spinach Lasagna / Lemony Ricotta Fritters] More info/sign up here!
I lovvvvvve an Italian-American meal and this one, which happens to be totally vegetarian, is a real favorite. We’ll start with refreshing gin spritzers that have a hint of rosemary and lemon and then we’ll make the easiest spinach lasagna (no need to boil noodles ahead of time or even make your own sauce). On the side, a classic Caesar salad that uses an entire jar of capers (brine and all) instead of anchovies. For dessert (and a way to use up the extra ricotta from the lasagna recipe!), lemony ricotta fritters— adapted from one of my favorite recipes from the Buvette cookbook— and a lesson in frying at home.
Sunday the 25th: Rosh Hashanah Dinner [Apple Cider Old Fashioned Cocktails / Sesame Chicken Schnitzel / Shaved Apple + Fennel Salad / Gingery Date Cake] More info/sign up here!
Celebrating Rosh Hashanah? Or just interested in some of my all-time favorite autumnal Jewish recipes? Join me on the holiday to prepare a wonderful menu that would be welcome not only on your holiday table, but also on just any table. We’ll make Old Fashioned Cocktails with apple cider and then crispy chicken schnitzel with crunchy sesame seeds. To go along with that, a crunchy and fresh shaved apple and fennel salad. For dessert, a very simple, richly flavored Gingery Date Cake. Lots of stories and tips and ideas shared along the way.
Okay, onto tomatoes!
Before we get to any recipe ideas, let me share my favorite ever way to halve a bunch of cherry tomatoes at once (if I don’t do this, it’s one of my least favorite kitchen tasks…doing this makes me feel like a superhero!!) All you do is put a single layer of cherry tomatoes between two container lids, then slice in half with a serrated knife — it’s so easy. Swipe right on this IG post for a video!!!!!!
There are so many good tomatoes right now and I wanted to share some of my favorite ways to enjoy them.
Tomato sandwiches: keep them simple— no fancy bread or garnishes needed. White bread + mayo is perfect. Slightly toasted bread + mayo is perfect. Don’t forget lots of salt!!! A piece of bacon or some lettuce is nice but totally not required.
Simplest tomato salads made with just tomatoes + dressing, maybe some herbs, too if you’d like. Use a single type of tomato or a combination of colors and varieties. Halve cherry tomatoes, slice bigger ones into chunks or thick slices. Spread out on a plate or platter, season with lots of salt, and then dress with…ANYTHING. Top with some chopped herbs if you want. Some ideas include:
Caesar dressing + chopped parsley
Blue cheese dressing + thinly sliced scallions + chopped parsley
Tahini dressing + chopped mint + chopped dill
**IF YOU’RE A PAID SUBSCRIBER, RECIPES FOR THESE THREE DRESSINGS ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS EMAIL!!**
Slightly more complicated (but still sooooo simple) tomato salads. Some ideas include:
Chopped or sliced tomatoes + peaches with chopped herbs (whatever!), a little bit of vinegar (sherry, red wine, whatever) and lots of olive oil
Chopped or sliced tomatoes + avocados with green olives, feta, and chopped pistachios / dress with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and dried oregano
Chopped tomatoes, watermelon, red onions, feta + chopped mint dressed with lemon juice + olive oil
Tomatoes + torn mozzarella, but with fresh lemon juice + zest and tons of olive oil
Chopped tomatoes + cucumbers with basil, mint, cilantro, roasted peanuts + fish sauce + lime juice
Chopped tomatoes, corn kernels (cooked, grilled, raw, whatever) + scallions dressed with rice vinegar + soy sauce + toasted sesame oil
Fresh salsas to serve on tacos, avocado toast, hard-boiled eggs…whatever! Ideas include:
Halved cherry tomatoes and/or chopped larger tomatoes + minced onion or scallions, chopped cilantro, chopped fresh or pickled jalapeños, and fresh lime juice
Halved Sungold tomatoes + diced mango with minced fresh red chili, minced red onion, lots of lime juice, and some chopped cilantro
Pan con tomate (a.k.a. something I could happily eat every single day).
If just making one or two pieces, rub a peeled garlic clove on toast, then rub a halved tomato into the toast so that all of the tomato juice/seeds/flesh really gets into the bread, then drizzle with olive oil + season with salt
If making a bunch of pieces, I think it’s easier to make a grated tomato sauce that you then spoon on toast. To make it, cut 2 very ripe tomatoes in half and set a box grater in a bowl. Grate the open sides of each tomato half on the largest holes of the box grater (stop when you get to the skin / discard the skin). Add a large garlic clove that you’ve minced, plus a big BIG pinch of salt, a nice big glug of olive oil and a spoonful of sherry vinegar. Spoon the mixture generously on toasted or grilled bread.
Fresh chopped tomato sauce for pasta: chop fresh tomatoes, place in a big bowl, add minced garlic, tons of olive oil, and a big spoonful of vinegar or fresh lemon juice and season with lots of salt. Let this sit at the bottom of the bowl for at least the amount of time it takes to bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta. Once your pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the bowl of chopped tomatoes. Mix well and season to taste with more olive oil, salt, and/or vinegar or lemon juice. Add some fresh chopped herbs (basil!!! parsley!) and/or cheese (torn fresh mozzarella, cubes of fontina or provolone, shaved Parmesean or pecorino…or a mix!) if you’d like. You could also add a few handfuls of peppery arugula.
Spicy barely-cooked tomato sauce for pasta (or anything): chop fresh tomatoes and place in a big bowl. Heat at least 1/4 cup of olive oil for every 2 cups of chopped tomatoes in a small pot or skillet. Once warm, add minced garlic and dried red chili flakes and let those sizzle for like 30 seconds. Pour the hot, garlicky, spicy oil over the chopped tomatoes. Stir well. Season to taste with salt and a spoonful of vinegar or squeeze of lemon or lime if you’d like. Serve on pasta or with eggs, as a bed for grilled fish or shrimp…whatever you want!
Use a bed for roasting fish: cut a bunch of cherry tomatoes in half, coat with olive oil + salt and roast at 400ºF for about 20 minutes to get going, then lay a few thin fish fillets on top, drizzle those with olive oil, and roast until the fish is cooked (anywhere from 10 - 20 minutes depending on how thick your fish is). Great with olives mixed with the tomatoes!!
When you have more tomatoes than you know what to do with, make Roasted Tomato Sauce (freeze it for your future self!!):
METHOD: get a bunch of tomatoes— lots of shapes, sizes and colors (for example, a few pints of cherry tomatoes, a couple of slices, even a few gotten-a-bit-too-ripe heirlooms). Chop the big ones, leave the little ones whole, and put them all in your largest roasted pan. Add a GENEROUS pour of olive oil and LOTS of salt. Roast at 400ºF until bubbling and extremely fragrant, about 45 minutes. Let the mixture cool and then blend (seeds, skin + all). Freeze flat in Ziplock bags or in containers. Feel accomplished.
as a dip for garlic bread
turn into tomato soup by adding some stock and/or milk
Hope you all enjoy some tomatoes this year. Support your local farmers! Tomatoes take A LOT much work to grow + harvest, but wow wow wow how they make us all so happy.
For paid subscribers only, my favorite Caesar (inc. vegetarian + vegan options), Blue Cheese + Tahini dressings below! Want these recipes? Consider becoming a paid subscriber!
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