Archive for October, 2011

Fall is officially here. The days are shorter with less sunlight but my tomatoes are still hanging on. In fact the Sun Gold and Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes are STILL going strong and sweet. Of the four types of tomatoes I planted this year, only one type beside the cherry tomatoes produced really sweet tasty fruit. Those were my Marzanos which are still producing one to two-inch flavorful babies. The Romas were a disappointment. They were mild and somewhat mushy in texture.

The plant itself is mondo healthy with massive bushy leaves surrounding prodigious amounts of fruit. I keep finding clusters of beautiful red ripe tomatoes amidst these leaves. I can’t stop hunting and picking them. I feel like a kid on an Easter egg hunt. So what can I do with these less than tasty beauties? I hate to waste what Mother Nature offers me plus I like getting boosts of lycopenes from the tomatoes into my body. I’m into doing everything possible to eat foods that will boost my immune system.

So here’s a couple of remedies for helping bland tomatoes taste better. Like most of my non-baking recipes, measurements are somewhat flexible. If you add more tomatoes and less chicken stock you have a denser soup. Since these Romas were not very sweet I added a few ingredients to boost and adjust flavors. A sprinkling of sugar and a handful of squishy overripe cherry tomatoes helped sweeten the tomatoes to be roasted. The end result was a concentrated rich spread which I served with focaccia bread. I added a couple of thinly sliced carrots to mellow out the acidity in the soup. I also used more tomatoes than stock which resulted in a dense and rich soup punctuated with bites of sweet corn, herby flecks of cilantro and a bright splash of lime juice. It was a mighty nice lunch.

Roasted tomatoes

4 cups tomatoes- cut in half
A light sprinkle of kosher salt -approx. 1/2 to 1 tsp.
Sugar- about 1 tsp for about 4 cups
3-5 sliced garlic
2-3 Tablsp. olive oil
several sprigs of fresh oregano or basil

Toss and roast in large pan at 300 degrees for 4 hours or until there is no more liquid in pan. Can be used for a light pasta sauce with onions and pancetta, in soups, topping for crostini or spread between foccacia with roasted veggies( eggplant, zucchini /goat cheese, pesto.

MexiCali Rose Tomato soup

1 chopped onion
4-5 smashed chopped garlic
2-3 Tablsp. olive oil
1 heaping tsp. cumin powder
1 heaping tsp. coriander powder
1 Tablsp. smoked or regular paprika
1 tsp.oregano leaves
4-6 cups of roughly cut up fresh tomatoes
1 tsp.chopped jalapeno pepper ( take out seeds and connective membrane)
2 large carrots thinly sliced
3-4 cups chicken stock
1 cup diced potatoes
1 cup corn- fresh or frozen
Handful of chopped cilantro stems
fresh lime wedges

Saute onions and garlic in oil till soft. Add cumin, coriander, paprika and oregano and saute over medium heat for 1-2 minutes till aromatic. Add tomatoes and jalapeno pepper. Cook at medium heat till soft. Add carrots,potatoes and chicken stock. Bring to boil, simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Add cilantro and corn. Simmer for 5-10 minutes longer. Add salt to taste. Serve with wedges of fresh lime.

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