Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’

Heirloom Tomato Concassé with Wilted Swiss Chard

This recipe, by Martha Rose Shulman, is from the New York Times.  The recipe is mainly a sauce, used here for Swiss Chard, but it can also be used on pasta or rice.  The recipe calls for blanching in water, but I usually blanch by cooking in a casserole dish in a microwave for a few minutes.



  • 1 pound fresh, sweet, ripe heirloom tomatoes, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), minced or puréed
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Several fresh basil leaves, cut in slivers or torn
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 or 2 bunches Swiss chard (about 1 1/4 to 2 pounds), stemmed (keep stems if they are wide and fleshy), leaves washed in 2 changes of water
  • Feta for garnish (optional)


1.  In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes with their juices, garlic, salt, vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and half the basil.  Cover and let sit for 30 minutes or longer.  Stir, taste, adjust salt and add pepper.
2.  Meanwhile, wilt chard by blanching in boiling salted water for about a minute or by steaming above 1 inch of boiling water for about 2 to 3 minutes, flipping the bunch top to bottom using tongs halfway through.  Transfer to a bowl of cold water, drain and squeeze out excess water, taking up the chard by the handful.  Chop coarsely.
3.  Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add chard and heat through, stirring, until coated with oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove to a platter or to plates, spoon on the tomato sauce, sprinkle the remaining basil over the top and serve.
YIELD:  Serves 4 to 6
  • Note:  Advance preparation: The tomato concassé can be made a few hours ahead. The wilted chard will keep for about 3 days in the refrigerator.

Big Woods Fresh Tomato Salsa

Serve with chips, as a condiment, with grilled meat or poultry, or with rice and beans.  Ideally, you should use processing tomatoes (“Roma” type) – these tomatoes have less water and make a less watery salsa.
4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces (plum or other firm variety)
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 TBS to 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (depending how much you like cilantro)
1 TBS chopped Italian parsley
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 fresh jalapeño peppers, minced (depending on hotness of peppers and on degree of heat in salsa desired)
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS lime juice
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh oregano, or 1/4 tsp dried (optional)
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cover and set aside for several hours to allow flavors to blend.  Before serving, drain off excess liquid.

Makes 2-3 cups

Gazpacho (cold tomato soup)

This recipe is modified from the cookbook “A Midwest Gardener’s Cookbook” by Marian Towne.  The recipe can be altered to suite your taste or depending on what vegetables you actually have on hand.

1 large cucumber (peeled and seeded if very mature)
1 medium sweet onion
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped (optional)
1 hot pepper, such as jalapeño, with seeds removed
6 large ripe tomatoes
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Blend together all ingredients for 2 or 3 minutes, making sure that the garlic and pepper, especially, are well blended.  Chill in refrigerator.  Serve over several ice cubes (optional) in a bowl and garnish with crisp, seasoned croutons (also optional).

Serves 6

Fresh Tomato Sauce

This is a nice tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes that can be used for pasta, eggplant Parmesan, gnochi, etc.  David’s father made if for us last week and served it on eggplant parmesan – delicious!

2 lbs fresh ripe tomatoes
5 TBS  butter
1 medium onion, cut up
Salt and black pepper, as needed

1. Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for minute, remove, and slide of skins. Coarsely chop.

2. Meanwhile, saute onions in butter until translucent. Add tomatoes, and cook at a simmer until soft and 1/2 of liquid has boiled off. Add salt and black pepper as needed.

Iranian Tomato and Cucumber Salad

This is adapted from a recipe in the Iranian cookbook “New Food of Life,” by Najmieh Batmanglij, via the New York Times (Aug 9 2010).  The salad emphasizes fresh herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers.

2 cucumbers, or 1 long Asian cucumber (long and ridged)

1 pound ripe tomatoes

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Salt to taste

1 garlic clove, mashed to a puree with 1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 scallions, chopped

1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1. If using non-bitter cucumbers (like an Asian or European cucumber), cut in 3/4-inch dice. If using regular cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise and use a small spoon to scrape out the seeds and discard. Cut the cucumbers into 3/4-inch dice. Place in a large bowl with the tomatoes.

2. Whisk together the lime juice, garlic, pepper and olive oil. Toss with the cucumbers and tomatoes. Add the remaining ingredients, and toss everything together thoroughly. Taste, adjust seasonings and serve.

Yield: Serves four.

Advance preparation: You can make this a couple of hours ahead, but don’t salt or toss until you s

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