by Foodlets in Family, Recipes, August 19th, 2015
by Christie Bok in Recipes, August 10th, 2015
Whether it’s a backyard garden or the bargain bin of your supermarket, by this stage of summer one thing is clear: Tomatoes have taken over. Cherry tomatoes, heirlooms, red, yellow. They’re inexpensive, sweet, juicy and packed with vitamin C. The problem? Tons of kids just won’t eat them. Until now. These recipes are the kid-tested turn-’em-around tomato dishes that my kids eat happily, and it’s a good bet that yours will too.
Cheesy Bagels with Sliced Tomatoes (pictured above): These are toasted bagels like your kids have never had before. Melted cheddar works perfectly with a slice of cool, sweet tomato right on top. It’s like pizza for breakfast, if pizza made your taste buds do the cha-cha.
by Allison Milam in Recipes, August 6th, 2015
Let’s face it: If you’re new to the no-meat-on-Mondays plan, eating a veggie-centric meal can be daunting. But the good news is there are a few tricks to not missing the meat, and perhaps the most important is playing up the vegetables with a variety of textures and flavors, just as Jeff Mauro does with his Fried Green Tomato Parm Sandwiches (pictured above).
The fun part about these Southern sandwiches — which make for a delicious addition to eat-with-your-hands barbecue and cookout food — is that kids can get involved, too. Set up an assembly line for the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs, and take turns battering the tomatoes before frying. Though the crispy texture of the green tomato stars in this classically Southern sandwich, Jeff puts an Italian twist on it by adding creamy Burrata cheese and canned tomatoes that he bakes until caramelized. Layer the cheese and two types of tomatoes on a soft brioche bun and top with giardiniera, a mixture of pickled vegetables, for a tangy bite.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, August 23rd, 2014
Tomatoes aren’t like other types of in-season produce that we lose our minds over when they reach their peak (we’re lookin’ at you, peaches). We eat tomatoes year-round — no matter the season — and we rely upon shelf-stable staples like canned plum tomatoes, tomato paste, sun-dried tomatoes and more to get us through. Right now, however, tomatoes are juicier and sweeter than ever, and with great bounty comes great responsibility. A true tomato whisperer and lover of all things tomato — a champion of tomato cookin’ — holds these 10 peak-season values true all season long.
1. Makes a Different Kind of Pie
Countless times, you’ve beckoned the delivery dude or even made your own pizza pie from scratch. But now that tomatoes are in their prime, slathering a pie in from-the-jar marinara would be a travesty. Do as Food Network Magazine does and make a picturesque Heirloom Tomato Pie (pictured above) that would never dare show up in a cardboard pizza box. With a buttery cornmeal crust, fresh herbs, Manchego cheese and mozzarella, this elegant beauty is crowned with a gorgeous sunset-spectrum of mixed heirloom tomatoes.
by Virginia Willis in In Season, Recipes, July 11th, 2014
Just like the long days and high temperatures that are quintessential parts of summer, the time to enjoy the season’s fresh produce is limited. To preserve summer flavors as long as possible, many resort to pickling, jamming and jarring various fruits and vegetables, but when it comes to tomatoes, canning is the way to go. With just a few everyday tools, you can keep the juicy, fresh taste of sweet summer tomatoes alive all winter long, thanks to an easy-to-master canning process. Read on below to get the dish on canning tomatoes from Sean Timberlake, the founder of a DIY food site, then check out the details in his one-stop guide.
Tomato Picking: There are countless kinds of tomatoes on the market, but Sean recommends plum and San Marzano. “You’ll want to choose a tomato variety with ample meat … and you’ll want them just ripe.”
by Maria Russo in Recipes, July 2nd, 2014
Tomatoes, eggplant and peppers are members of the nightshade family. There’s something a bit sexy about those nightshades; maybe it’s the deadly yet beautiful part …. Tomatoes are, in fact, a fruit, but their affinity for other savory ingredients means that they are usually classed as a vegetable. Fruit or vegetable, they are a rock-solid part of summer down-home comfort.
Fresh tomatoes are only ever good in summer. There is nothing as wonderful as the full flavor of a garden-ripe tomato — and there is nothing as sad and disappointing as the insipid, lifeless flavor of a tennis ball-like tomato held in cold storage and shipped in a case from the other side of the world. I don’t eat those atrocities and strongly suggest that you don’t either. So, when it’s tomato season, I vigorously support eating those glorious ripe ones as often as possible.
by Maria Russo in In Season, Recipes, June 7th, 2014
When it comes to warm-weather produce, much is made of the importance of finding just-ripe fruits and vegetables for their natural sweetness and juicy insides. But that all changes when the spotlight is shined on one particular summer classic: fried green tomatoes. This Southern staple is best when made with firm, not-yet-ripe tomatoes — which are most often green — because they’re not packed with liquid yet. Traditional tomato sauce relies on ripe red tomatoes because they burst open with juices when cooked, but it’s those same juices that would render red tomatoes limp and the crumb coating soggy if they were fried.
As you peruse your gardens this summer or shop at farm stands and the supermarket, reach for green tomatoes and put them to work in the Neelys’ can-do recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes (pictured above). Ready to eat in only 30 minutes, this simple-to-make dish features slices of green tomato dunked in garlic powder-laced flour, a batter of milk and eggs, and finally panko with a pinch of cayenne for subtle heat. Fry them until they’re golden brown and crispy on the outside and serve a creamy, tangy buttermilk sauce alongside for deliciously easy dipping.
by Foodlets in Family, September 10th, 2013
Along with longer days and warmer nights, late spring and early summer ushers in an abundance of ultra-fresh produce. From tart rhubarb and sweet strawberries to colorful squash and bell peppers, there’s no shortage of fruits and vegetables during these warm months, and one of the best, most-versatile items to enjoy is a bright, ripe tomato. Simple pastas and salads are classic picks for putting the tomato to work, but these juicy bites can go beyond the basics as well, as The Kitchen co-hosts showed off this morning with their takes on stuffed tomatoes. Read on below to get 15 ideas and recipes for taking tomatoes to the next level, and learn how to celebrate these beauties all summer long.
1. Perhaps the most-traditional use for tomatoes, a pasta-ready sauce is a must-have in every recipe arsenal. Master Alton’s Tomato Sauce recipe this summer, and keep coming back to it when you need a satisfying meal. He starts off by baking the tomatoes to add a subtle sweetness to the sauce, then processes them through a food mill to achieve a smooth texture.
2. Just like pasta sauce, salsa is also a no-fail way to put tomatoes to work. Instead of picking up jarred salsa, try Marcela’s speedy homemade version instead. Her Roasted Tomato Salsa is made with just a handful of ingredients, and it features a single serrano chile, which offers manageable heat.
3. Whether you need a last-minute potluck addition or an elegant appetizer, The Pioneer Woman’s party-perfect Bruschetta (pictured above) is a timeless favorite, made with colorful grape tomatoes and a splash of balsamic.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, September 9th, 2013
First things first, don’t call a dish a “salad.” Most kids don’t like salad or the thought of a salad. Try something more fun like, “We’re having a cherry tomato surprise!” Most kids like surprises.
Next, let them get involved. For this particular easy late-summer dish, even the tiniest hands can help. I slice the tomatoes and my 2-year-old puts them into a bowl. Same goes for the basil. I handle the onions (and more on this in a second), then our 4-year-old adds the olive oil and helps to gently stir.
So the onions. Yes, I left in the long slices of red onion. I know most kids don’t like onions, but there are usually two ways to approach this: Make the onions so small kids won’t see and taste them or make them big enough to easily avoid. We went with the latter. And it worked.
by Foodlets in Family, August 20th, 2013
Before another tomato season comes to a close and you say goodbye to summer’s fresh caprese salads, bruschetta, gazpacho and pasta sauce, you should surely indulge in one of the season’s simplest pleasures: a fried green tomato sandwich. Nothing more than an unripe tomato, a green tomato is firm and drier than its red and yellow counterparts, which means it can sustain a coating of batter and won’t fall apart in hot oil.
A dressed-up version of the original, Food Network Magazine’s recipe for easy-to-make Fried Green Tomato Sandwiches (pictured above) features just a few key components: green tomatoes, of course, plus a creamy, spicy sauce, sliced bread (something slightly soft works best so it absorbs the sauce) and a topping of yellow and red tomatoes. The juiciness of ripe tomatoes works well for the topping, as their moisture adds welcome sweetness. To add extra flavor to the green beauties, Food Network Magazine pickles them with dill before frying, then triple coats them in layers of egg wash and cornmeal with chili powder. Once the green tomatoes golden brown and crispy on the outside, build the sandwich with both the fried and raw tomatoes and a smear of mayonnaise-scallion sauce. This spread features a few dashes of hot and Worcestershire sauces, which together create a tangy taste that cuts through the richness of the dish.
When I saw the heirloom tomatoes at the farmers market, I was in. And I wasn’t alone. That afternoon, my 4-year-old and I set out to make this Heirloom Tomato Pie. It took a long time, with many steps, but the results were delicious and best of all, both of us thought so.
The secret to this tart’s success was twofold: fresh, sweet tomatoes, plus the truest rule of getting kids to try new food — let them help cook. Because she had so much skin in the game, our preschooler was nothing but proud of the tart once it came out of the oven. Carefully delivering a teetering plate to each person at the dinner table, she only looked happier at one other moment of the meal: when she tasted the first bite herself.
You can’t win ‘em all, but boy, isn’t it nice to have a hit?