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Posts Tagged ‘tomato’

As I mentioned in my recent post, Nate needs carbs to fuel his long Sunday runs during his marathon training. Since I was kind of sick of making pasta, and you’re probably sick of seeing pasta recipes, I chose another tasty carbohydrate: rice.

I realized that I had leftover arborio rice, from when I made rissoto a while back, that was just dying to be cooked up. I wanted something different. It seems that all risotto recipes have mushrooms in them, but finally I stumbled across a Tomato, Oregano, and Feta Risotto that sounded amazing.

It called for Greek flavors and ended up being one of the most delicious meals I think I’ve ever made. The lemon zest made it really fresh tasting (luckily I didn’t have any zester accidents this time) and I loved the tomato base. It’s a completley vegetarian meal.

The only change I made to the recipe below was substituting Vermouth for the ouzo, since I didn’t have any. As with all risottos, it took over an hour to make and involved constant attention and stirring, but it was absolutely worth it!


Tomato, Oregano, and Feta Risotto

From The NY Times Diner’s Journal

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serves 4-6

Time 1 hour and 15 minutes

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Salt
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 to 5 cups vegetable broth
1 cup Carnarolli or Arborio rice
1/3 cup ouzo (or vermouth)
1 1/3 cups grated ripe tomato (see Note *)
2/3 cup creamy feta, such as Dodoni or Cephalonia, or a French feta
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
Finely grated zest of a lemon
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large, deep skillet over medium-low heat, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add onion and a little salt and stir until soft, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and stir until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Place broth in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.

Raise heat to medium, and add rice to skillet. Stir until well-coated with olive oil and starting to soften slightly, 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup of the simmering broth. Keep stirring gently until the rice absorbs all the broth. Add ouzo and stir until absorbed.

Add grated tomato and stir gently until the mixture is dense. Add remaining broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring until each addition is absorbed, until the rice is creamy but al dente, 25 to 30 minutes.

Add feta and stir until melted and risotto is creamy and thick. Stir in oregano and lemon zest, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

*Note: To grate a tomato, halve crosswise and grate the cut side with a coarse grater over a strainer set over a bowl. Grate as close to the skin as possible, but discard the skin.

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So what do you do when you have basil left over even though you already made 3 batches of pesto, one of which went into your Pesto Potato Salad? You look for other basil recipes, of course! Because you just can’t have too much basil.

Now I know there are cilantro haters out there, but do basil haters exist?  That would be weird. That’s like saying you don’t like chocolate.

Basil is such a quintessentially summer herb. Whenever it’s in the kitchen, the aroma perfumes my whole apartment. I just want to bury my face in it and inhale.

I’m not sure if it’s because it smells so good or because I associate childhood memories with the smells. Don’t you love when you get a whiff of something and it immediately transports you back to another time (hopefully a good one)? Smell memories are the best kind.

Anyway, when I had that leftover basil, one recipe immediately came to mind. It’s one that my mom used to make when she did a little catering on the side. It’s an easy, fresh summer meal, and it’s SO good.

The base is a sauce that’s made from soft goat cheese that melts and coats all the pasta and veggies. It’s heavenly. Please make this for dinner this week.

The recipe is below. You’re welcome.


Farfalle with Zucchini, Tomato and Basil
Taken from Mom’s recipe box 🙂

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Serves 4

Ingredients:
10 oz. Farfalle
2 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced thin crosswise
1/4 cup olive oil
5 oz. Robiola or other mild, soft goat chesse, cut in pieces
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded, diced
1.4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic

1.  Cook farfalle al dente. Drain, rserving 1/2 cup cookin water.

2. In skillet, saute zucchini in oil on med-high, stirring til golden on edges. Salt and pepper to taste. Add pasta, stir and cook 3 min.

3. Remove skillet from heat, stir in cheese and as much pasta water as necessary to form a sauce.

4. Stir in tomato and basil. Salt and pepper to taste.

5. Serve immediately.

*Note: If you will be saving some for leftovers, save some of the pasta water too, as it thickens in the fridge.

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I’ve been promising you guys my family’s favorite salsa recipe and I finally got around to making it. As I mentioned in my last post, I visited my friends this past weekend and thought the salsa was a perfect appetizer on a lovely summer day. Plus, I wanted to get you this recipe in time for 4th of July. Obviously, it goes perfectly with any cookout along with some tortilla chips. Although, it’s so good that sometimes I just eat it with a spoon.

There’s nothing particularly special about the recipe, but my family has been making it for years. I’m not sure where it came from originally, but the recipe is called Brad’s Salsa…so thanks, Brad, whoever you are.

The ingredients are pretty standard for a salsa recipe. It uses canned tomatoes instead of fresh though. Is that normal? I’m not sure, but it makes one tasty dip. And for all you cilantro haters out there, I’m sorry, but this recipe contains a lot of it. I guess you could leave it out but it just wouldn’t be the same.

I think what makes it so amazing are that the ingredients are just so fresh. It’s best served after having mellowed out together for a day, giving it all a change to meld togetehr.

Because I made this on the weekend, I was actually able to take some pictures in daylight! I know. Amazing.

So here you go. Enjoy the pictures and the recipe. I hope you make it for this weekend’s festivities!


Brad’s Salsa
Recipe from Brad?

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Ingredients:

1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, drained (juice reserved), chopped
1 small can diced green chiles (in the ethnic/mexian aisle at the market)
1 Tbsp jalapeno, diced fine (optional)
1 red onion, diced fine
1 clove garlic, diced fine
tabasco to taste
juice 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Mix all ingredients. Add some of the reserved tomato juice if desired. Let mellow for 12-24 hours in refrigerator. It tends to get more watery as it sits, so don’t overdo the tomato liquid.

*Note: if doubling this recipe (which I always do), be careful of doubling the chiles and jalapeno. Be sure to taste before adding more than a single recipe’s worth.

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Raise your hand if you have subscriptions to Bon Appetit, Food & Wine,  Cooking Light or some other cooking/food magazine.

Raise your hand if you tear out recipes and then hoard them, never actually making them.

Yeah, I’m guilty. I always think the recipes sound so good and then I put the clippings somewhere never to be found again. Or sometimes I get the urge to file them somewhere, where they then sit without being touched.

This mostly happened when I was single because I really don’t enjoy cooking for just myself. Since I’ve started dating Nate, however, I find myself cooking for us most days of the week. This has gotten me on the search for new recipes to try out. That’s when I realized…I could finally put my recipe stash to good use!

I pulled all the recipes out the other day and went searching through them. I’ve put aside a few, but one in particular caught my eye.I had mostly been avoiding it in the past because it looked complicated, but when I took a deeper look it wasn’t really too bad- Eggplant, Tomato, & Smoked Mozarella Tart.

I made a few shortcuts revisions so the recipe wouldn’t take all day. One of these included microwaving the eggplant. This was also because I hate how it soaks up so much oil when you roast it. I basically steamed it instead and then baked it quickly to dry it out so as not to get my dough all soggy.

I was also wary of the “dough” since it contained no yeast. I didn’t want this to be a tart and was hoping for something more like pizza. I happened to have some Sweet Rice Flour leftover, so I combined it with regular flour create a more elastic dough (which can usually only be achieved with yeast) rather than a flaky tart shell.

It definitely wasn’t like a pizza dough, since it didn’t rise, but it was a good substitution if you’re short on time and want the same flavor. I also subbed whole wheat flour for the wheat germ since I really didn’t feel like going out and buying a jar just for this recipe, left the fresh mint out, and replaced dried oregano for the fresh.

Nate and I both agreed that it tasted very fresh and the flavors were yummy. I was in such a rush to get it all cooked that I forgot to parbake the crust. I left it in for an extra 10 min, but I assume that had I made it the way I was supposed to, the crust wouldn’t have been as soggy as it came out for me. Oh well, it was still a quick and delicious addition to dinner! *Note that the recipe below is as the recipe was intended, not with my changes.


Eggplant, Tomato & Smoked Mozzarella Tart

Taken from Cooking Light

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Serves 4 (2 wedges each)

Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cooking spray

Filling:
1 (1-pound) eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded smoked mozzarella cheese, divided
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°.

To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through 1/4 teaspoon salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; make a well in center of mixture. Add water and 1 tablespoon oil, stirring to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 times. Gently press dough into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap; cover and chill 15 minutes.

Slightly overlap 2 sheets of plastic wrap on a slightly damp surface. Unwrap dough, and place chilled dough on plastic wrap. Cover with 2 additional sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, into an 11-inch circle. Remove top sheets of plastic wrap. Fit dough, plastic-wrap side up, into a 10-inch round removable-bottom tart pan coated with cooking spray. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Press dough against bottom and sides of pan. Pierce bottom and sides of dough with a fork; bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, arrange eggplant on several layers of heavy-duty paper towels. Sprinkle eggplant with 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand 15 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels; brush eggplant with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Arrange eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Stack eggplant slices on a plate; cover with plastic wrap. Let eggplant stand 7 minutes to steam.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, basil, oregano, mint, and tomatoes.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons smoked mozzarella on bottom of baked crust. Layer eggplant and tomato mixture in crust; sprinkle with 6 tablespoons smoked mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut into 8 wedges.

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