Roasted Green Tomatoes

I don’t remember ever eating a green (unripe) tomato in the past, but we received a few in our CSA share for the last couple of weeks. But how to eat them!?

I found a whole bunch of recipes online, and the chutney intrigued me, as did the green tomato jam. But I decided to go the simple route, and just roast them with some red tomatoes; I love roasted tomato and olive oil sauce.

So last week, I made a batch of roasted green and red tomatoes, and poured it over some quinoa pasta. The green tomatoes tasted sour, but they melded very well with the sweeter red tomatoes, giving a wonderful balance of flavors. I enjoyed it so much, I roasted another batch of red and green tomatoes last night. After cooling, I poured them into a freezer bag and added to my ever expanding freezer, so we can enjoy them at a later date.

Ingredients & Instructions for Roasted Green Tomatoes:

Olive oil
Fresh basil leaves

Chop the tomatoes into large chunks, and arrange in a baking dish with basil leaves. Drizzle olive oil on top and bake in a 275° oven for 1-2 hours until shriveled and juicy. Enjoy!

If there’s room in the baking dish, you can also add a chopped onion and/or peppers. Yum!

Tomato Patio Plant – Review

I originally blogged about the patio cherry tomato plant I purchased from Mahoney’s Garden Center back in June. It was a steep initial investment of $30, but I was willing to take a chance that it would be worth it.

It was a massive plant, about 3 feet tall when we bought it.

Tomato plant on our deck

It grew grew grew all summer, mostly outward, and we had to string the branches several times so they wouldn’t droop on the deck. When we brought it home, there were tons of yellow flowers along with many green tomatoes. It didn’t take very long for them to turn red, and I was very pleased with the vast amount of tomatoes the plant gave us!

It was wonderful to pick handfuls and bowlfuls of delicious cherry tomatoes – every 2nd or 3rd day, I was picking them. I ate them in salads, sauces, and bruschetta. I think my favorite was roasting them in the oven!

So, yes, the $30 investment was worth it. The plant gave us hundreds and hundreds of tomatoes all summer long. I would definitely purchase it again!

the huge bounty of cherry tomatoes

Eggplant Parmesan Soup

I found a fabulous soup book at the library!

New England Soup Factory Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Nation’s Best Purveyor of Fine Soup is written by a local woman who operates two restaurants in the Boston area. I’ve never heard of her restaurants, but the book looked interesting with gorgeous photos and glossy pages, so of course I borrowed it!

Now that the cooler weather is upon us in New England, I’m starting to crave soups & stews. I was thrilled to find a whole bunch of intriguing recipes to try in the book, but the Eggplant Parmesan Soup (pg 51) really caught my eye. I knew I’d be getting some eggplant in the CSA share this week, so I made a commitment to myself to make the soup!

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Freezing Raw Tomatoes

Maria, my Facebook buddy, informed me that you can indeed freeze raw whole tomatoes…awesome!

I wish I knew this BEFORE picking up my CSA veggie share this week, as there was a “take as many as you can use” box of free “seconds” tomatoes that were bruised or gouged! I didn’t take any because I didn’t want to overload myself with too many tomatoes, as there were several already in the share.

yes it's possible to freeze tomatoes raw

So, I googled, and it looks like you can freeze raw tomatoes either whole or in pieces.

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Fresh Roasted Tomatoes with Pasta

I had an amazing dinner tonight! I recently picked up the CSA share for the week and there was an abundance of wonderful tomatoes! I knew I had to roast some for pasta.

yummy fresh tomatoes from the CSA

I sliced the heirloom tomato we received, plus one roma and two slicing tomatoes, and I mixed them in a baking dish along with some chopped pepper, onion and basil leaves.

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Quinoa Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce

It’s Raw week over at the “I Heart Cooking Clubs” web site. Raw? Hmm, what kind of inventive dish could I make that’s raw?

I launched the Mark Bittman “How To Cook Everything” iPhone app and searched for “raw” – the first recipe that popped up was “Linguine with Raw Tomato Sauce” – oh that sounded good.

I was hungry for lunch this afternoon, so I decided to make one serving for me.

simple ingredients

The ingredients and cooking steps are so simple, it’s laughable!

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Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Apples & Almonds

UPDATED 2011-06-22:

I just made this quinoa salad for a reunion dinner tonight.

quinoa salad with tomatoes, feta, apples and almonds

Quinoa is a very small grain, actually it’s technically not even a grain, it’s a seed, but it’s always lumped into the hearty whole grain category. It’s gluten free and fairly quick to make. It smells earthy when cooking.

uncooked quinoa seeds

I found excellent cooking instructions for quinoa in the Lorna Sass book “Whole Grains Every Day Every Way“. Cook quinoa similar to how you cook pasta: use a large portion of boiling water and then drain.

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Flatbread Pizza with Roasted Tomatoes & Onions

Just made the most delicious flatbread pizza tonight, with freshly roasted tomatoes and onions.
flatbread pizza with roasted tomatoes and onions

I am obsessed with roasted plum tomatoes! Normally, roma plum tomatoes are dull and flavorless if eaten raw. But when they finish roasting, the flavor is intense! The only problem is, it’s best to cook them low and slow, so you need at least an hour or more of roasting time.

I roasted this batch for a total of about 3 hours @ 250° but you can reduce the cooking time if you increase the temp.

I found an interesting recipe in the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics book (borrowed from the library) for Roasted Tomatoes with Basil – here’s a similar recipe from her, sans the basil leaves.

I adjusted the recipe for my needs, but I was really intrigued by the addition of balsamic vinegar. I normally don’t cook with vinegar, but I see it in so many recipes, I was inspired to try it. It really adds a layer of flavor to the dish, without a strong vinegar taste. Don’t be afraid to try it!

First, here’s my recipe for the tomatoes. After, you’ll find my easy flatbread pizza recipe using the roasted tomatoes.

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Recipe – Roasted Tomatoes & Spinach Over Pasta

I love roasted tomatoes. I made them by accident a couple of weeks ago, on top of chicken breast, and ever since, I’ve been dreaming about their delicious flavor. Similar to sun dried tomatoes, but even better!

So, I the other night, I roasted a batch, added some pasta with wilted spinach and we had a delicious dinner!

roasted tomatoes & spinach over pasta topped with parmesan reggiano cheese

Ingredients for Roasted Tomatoes & Spinach Over Pasta

  • 4 or more Plum Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 5 oz whole grain pasta (we ate Barilla Plus elbows)
  • 3 cups of baby spinach
  • 1/2 oz Parmesan Reggiano Cheese – or any other hard cheese (grated or thinly sliced – I like using a veggie peeler)
    Salt & Pepper to season

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New Deck Veggie Garden

Tomato plant on our deckWe went to the local nursery to purchase a tomato plant for our Topsy Turvy Upside-Down Tomato Planter and ended up purchasing an established larger tomato plant in a container for $30.

Yes, we have plenty of room to grow veggies normally in soil in our yard, but I thought it would be fun to grow a tomato plant on our deck; I just have to remember to water a couple of times weekly. I set an alarm on my iPhone every other morning to remind me!

It’s a very large plant, about 3 feet tall, and it’s exciting because there are already tons of green cherry tomatoes on the plant, and I can’t wait until they are ripe! It came with a wire rack around the plant to keep the plant from drooping, and DH also added a long stake that we will eventually “tie off” if it gets taller.

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