Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers: Tomatoes
In Lou’s kitchen (that would be mine) right now as I write this, there are nine beautifully ripe tomatoes sitting on my rolling cart with a butcher block top. That number is down from the 15 that were there this past Saturday.
In the intervening four days I’ve made the following:
Gazpacho: Two pounds tomatoes, one cuke, one small onion, one hot red pepper, one small onion, one sweet red pepper, handful of sliced almonds, two garlic cloves, and some leftover basil/cilantro pesto. And just a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. No bread, no tomato juice. Food-process it or blend it in batches if it doesn’t fit in one batch. Fill glass jars with the gazpacho. Chill for at least a day. Eat with a spoon right out of the jar. Recipe adapted from reading up on 14 gazpacho variations in cookbooks and on the Web. Enjoy.
Roasted tomatoes and eggplants: Trim ends of three or four small eggplants. Slice in half the long way. Cross-hatch the cut sides. Brush with olive oil, salt and pepper. Make a paste of oregano, olive oil, diced tomatoes and minced garlic. Top eggplant with mixture.
Slice four ripe tomatoes in half horizontally. Make a paste of garlic, oregano, toasted bread crumbs and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Top the tomato halves with the paste. Bake everything at 450 degrees for 30 minutes or so. Enjoy. Recipe adapted from a Food Network female chef who’s short and Italian.
As for the nine tomatoes beckoning from the kitchen, I’m thinking of a Greek horiatiki salad (no lettuce); stewed squid with tomatoes and wine (healthy and slurp-worthy) and the tomato risotto (elegant, company-worthy).
So little summer, so much to eat!
I have yet to make my favorite tomato things. Fresh tomato pasta for one. You take fresh basil, oregano, parsley, garlic, 3 or 4 uncooked, peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes, a dollop of olive oil a splash of wine or balsamic vinegar, salt and fresh cracked pepper, mix it all together and allow to marinate for a while at room temp. Then ladle over a hot pasta, like angel hair. Top with fresh grated Parmesean, one of the best things ever.
I also love a classic ratatouille. And there is nothing wrong with a good old tomato sandwich.
I better get busy.