Posts tagged under Tomatoes. Show all posts.
Up until this most recent purchase, I have been using a bread or chef knife to slice tomatoes. Just in time for tomato season, my latest find is the tomato knife. Tomato knives are small kitchen knives that are configured especially for cutting or slicing tomatoes. The serrated edge allows the knife to slice ripe tomatoes neatly and cleanly, without squashing them. The end result is thin, uniform slices. The handle on a tomato knife may be hard wood or heavy-duty plastic and the blade is usually made of stainless steel. I did my research, checking both online and retail stores, before making my final purchase. What I learned is that you can spend as much or as little as you want on a tomato knife. I went for the “as little” option. My knife is made by Wenger (called a Breakfast Knife), is 13 cm long, dishwasher safe, cost $10.00, and I love it! After trying a tomato knife, you will never use a bread knife to slice your tomatoes again.
What are your favourite kitchen gadgets?
It’s my turn to write about one of my favourite topics—seasonal produce. So just in case you missed my recent article on Mother Nature’s Best, check it out on savvymom.ca. I do love August for all the great fresh food we can enjoy. Nothing fancy, just good simple ingredients, that we can feel good about eating and enjoying. The article is full of ideas on different ways to prepare and enjoy watermelon, corn, tomatoes, peaches and blueberries.
Just yesterday we had visitors from Loblaws come and visit us at the office. They brought a truck load (literally) of fresh seasonal produce for us to see, eat and learn about—straight from the farmer who grows them. We learned that 40% of the fruits and veggies sold in your Loblaws grocer are local and it only takes them 1–2 days to get the produce to the store from the farm. That’s progress—and that’s pretty fresh by our standards. Those peaches and blueberries were delicious!
So enjoy what you can now and freeze what’s left for later in the year.
Jarred spaghetti sauce was a definite staple in my cupboards when I was a student and for a number of years thereafter, but somewhere along the way I developed a distaste for it. Maybe it was the salt or maybe it was the lack of resemblance to a fresh tomato, but I started making pasta with accompaniments such as homemade meat sauce and other additions (goat cheese and basil ranking high up on the list).
But now as a mom of three, I felt like I was making my life unnecessarily difficult not stocking up on the stuff – after all, most kids love spaghetti with sauce. Then Eden Organic’s No Salt Added Spaghetti Sauce caught my eye and I am glad it did. Made from organically grown, vine-ripened Roma tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil, it’s cooked within hours of harvest (so you can taste the freshness) and has no salt added (and you definitely won’t miss it). One night I made a quick lasagna with it and another I served it to the kids with spaghetti. Big hits! So no more feeling nostalgia for the big jars for me – I’m all stocked up.
During the summer months, we spend a lot of time at the cottage and do a lot of entertaining. Because of the abundant supply of fresh vegetables in the summer, cooking for a crowd is sometimes easier (and less expensive) than cooking for our family of five. I love to cook, but when I am on holidays, I like to keep the time I spend in the kitchen to a minimum and the time I spend outside with my family to the max. Menus at the cottage are simple, yet delicious.
Largely because they’re my favourite dish, fresh salads are the backbone of most of our meals. The simplest, and often most delicious, are the ones that are made up of a variety of summer-inspired ingredients—tomatoes, corn, fresh herbs, peppers, beans…
Two of my current favourite salad recipes happen to come from the same cookbook, Dish Entertains by Trish Magwood. The Lemon Orzo Salad with Baby Spinach, Feta and Caramelized Onion is a big fave in our house as well as the Tomato and Bread Salad. Both are simple, can be made ahead of time and are huge crowd pleasers.
Tomato and Bread Salad
Courtesy of Trish Magwood’s Dish Entertains
Serves 6 to 8
Prep and Cook
What is your favourite summer salad recipe?
In our home, we love soup. It’s guaranteed to be eaten by my two-year old, it’s my fave way to use leftovers (especially when cleaning out the veggie container), and it’s a fun way to explore international recipes. As my husband is half-Italian, I’ve come to truly appreciate this classic Ribollita Soup (which literally means ‘re-boiled’) in both the summer and winter months.
Originating in Tuscany, and known as a ‘peasant’ soup, the traditional version includes stale bread, cabbage and black kale along with a myriad of veggies. I have become fond of a recipe that skips the bread, and utilizes veggies that have detoxifying properties, making it both delicious and healthy. The version we cook is a slightly modified version of the recipe from Detox Dieting by Nicola Graimes.
Remember, this is ‘leftover’ soup, so it’s a perfect opportunity to add some of those fresh summer veggies like corn, new potatoes, broccoli, peas or green beans (which we add to ours).
Good to Know: If you’ve been growing fresh basil, or basil bunches are available to you, blend the leaves with olive oil, a clove or two of garlic and pine nuts (we used walnuts) to make fresh pesto for the soup. Or just substitute chopped basil for the pesto.
Prep and Cook
A nice addition to your soup includes sautéed baby spinach, fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese as a topper. Stew-like in nature, it’s a great ‘first soup’ for toddlers as well.
What is your favourite soup?
Nothing looks nicer or smells better than a basket of fresh, local tomatoes. I can’t seem to make it down the produce aisle of the grocery store or through the farmer’s market without stopping to pick up a few (dozen) heirloom, field, roma, grape, cherry tomatoes…they’re all delicious. Fortunately, everyone in our family loves tomatoes and we go through a large number of them—sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes or served on a veggie platter as a snack.
This week, I had more tomatoes than I knew what to do with, so I pulled out a recipe I had been given to by one of my colleagues at Savvy HQ. (Yes, we really do swap recipes in our office—we’re moms after all.) The chowder reference comes from the chunks of potato and celery, but you can make this soup as thin or chunky as you wish. It doesn’t look very pretty in the pot, but the smell and the taste make up for it. All three kids loved the yummy flavour and asked for a second helping. That’s a pretty good endorsement. Guess what I am packing for lunches tomorrow?
Chunky Tomato Chowder
Recipe courtesy of Leslie McCormick
For white sauce:
Prep and Cook
What is your family’s favourite soup recipe?
Hey, guess what? I hate tomatoes.
I know, I know. How can I possibly be a food writer and despise the vibrant and heirloom orbs that are currently lining the stalls of every market and store I visit? In short, I don’t know. But I like to blame it on the fact that until I went to university, I never saw anyone eat tomatoes other than the way I did growing up: thinly sliced, plated and covered in thin blanket of sugar. True story.
I’ve tried to embrace them now, and the only way I can is if they’re cooked in such a way that they no longer actually taste like tomatoes, or if they’re turned into a pizza sauce, which inevitably means they get covered with cheese and a slew of other toppings (hopefully!).
So I bought a basket of romas last week and turned them into pizza sauce.
The quantities listed below in the recipe make a small batch of sauce—I’m thinking it will cover 3–6 pizzas.
Find the full printable recipe here: Roasted Tomato Pizza Sauce