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Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’

52 Weeks Fresh: What Time Is It? Tomato Time

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are an excellent way to concentrate that jammy summer tomato flavor. But when it’s too hot to turn on the oven, take advantage of the sun and use your car.

A car dashboard makes the perfect substitute oven.

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52 Weeks Fresh: Prepping for Tomato Bounty

There’s no such thing as having too many tomatoes, but it does pay to be prepared for the onslaught. The fruits are just beginning to ripen in East Coast gardens, so we have about two weeks to get ready for tomato mania.

Until then, take advantage of near-ripe varieties by making fried green tomatoes. Green ones appear in September and October (when there isn’t enough heat to fully ripen those still growing), so now is a great time to test and refine your techniques for the main event. A dollop of goat cheese on top with some torn fresh basil and cayenne powder will balance the tart flavor. Or keep the stove off by making a raw tomato sauce. Dice fresh tomatoes, and mix them with olive oil, finely chopped garlic and basil, along with some rosemary and sage.

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Summer Fest: Five Fresh Tomato Salsa Recipes

With summer in full swing, what better way to spend an evening than with a few cocktails  and chips and dip? Skip the store-bought brand of salsa and use in-season tomatoes to make these fresh versions and you’ll never go back to jarred.

1. Salsa

Alton’s salsa is as easy to put together as it is to eat. Combine chopped Roma tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos, pepper, onion, ancho chiles, olive oil and lime juice along with chili powder, salt and pepper before letting the mixture sit in the refrigerator overnight to get the full flavor infusion.

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Summer Fest: Tasty Takes on 6 Types of Summer Tomatoes

Refreshing Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Our season-long garden party Summer Fest 2012 welcomes food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. Fresh this week: tomatoes.

Tomatoes are at their seasonal peak. There are thousands of varieties of the bright, juicy and incredibly versatile fruit. We’ve narrowed down the list to our favorite ways to prepare six of them:

Heirloom Tomatoes

A sweet and savory combination of heirloom tomatoes, watermelon and feta cheese makes for a Refreshing Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad (pictured above). Use heirlooms in all colors and sizes to get the most pop on your plate.

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Meatless Monday: Tomato-Cheese Tart

tomato tart
I’ve been waiting for months to make this recipe. I didn’t even consider it in the spring when there were no tomatoes to be found at the farmers’ market and the grocery store’s tomatoes were all hard and salmon-colored. But as soon as there were enough ripe tomatoes at the market, I grabbed enough to make this tart, plus tomato salad and a batch of gazpacho (I really, really like tomatoes).

Chuck’s Tomato-Cheese Tart looks fancy enough to serve at a party, but it’s simple enough for a weeknight dinner at home. You don’t need any special equipment, just a baking sheet, and it’s made with store-bought filo dough, so you won’t be slaving over the crust. Tomatoes are usually paired with mozzarella, so the nutty Swiss used in this tart is a welcome change; the cheese and the sharpness of the Dijon mustard pair well with the sweet tomatoes.

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Meatless Monday: Grilled Squash Quesadillas with Tomato Salsa

squash quesadilla

Manchego and squash-filled quesadillas served with homemade tomato salsa.

It’s not too difficult to go meatless on Mondays in the summer. I mean, have you been to the farmers’ market lately? The stands are overflowing with tomatoes in every variety and color, squash, zucchini, onions, beans, watermelon, and peaches; from a produce standpoint, it’s the best time of the year. My struggle with the market is restraining myself from wiping out the full stock of heirlooms or those tiny, yellow tomatoes that taste like candy. And if you’re lucky enough to have a garden, you’re bringing in quite the bounty from your yard, too. So like I said, eating vegetables on a summer Monday shouldn’t be a challenge. It might be tougher to stop scarfing down vegetables than it is to start.

So while you’re at the farmstand or in your garden, grab a bunch of zucchini or summer squash and some tomatoes. You’ll need them for this irresistible squash quesadilla. It’s comforting in the way that Tex-Mex food is, with little pockets of melted cheese topped with spicy salsa, but this version of the standard quesadilla is full of smoky, grilled squash. It’s so good, you might want to make two batches.

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Canning Tomatoes: Many (Dirty) Hands Make Light Work

Finished Tomato Sauce A little effort today means fresh tomatoes for months to come.

The end of summer means that once again my husband and I, along with a couple of friends, are undertaking a major tomato canning extravaganza. We work together to stock all of our shelves with jars of tomato-y goodness for the year to come, methodically processing the fresh tomatoes from firm, whole fruit to bubbling red jars of liquid summer.

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Summer Fest: Easy Tomato Galette

Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Galette

Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Galette

Summer Fest 2010We’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.

It really doesn’t get much better than a summer tomato.  I may be a little biased: I grew up eating tomatoes straight from the garden, warm from the sun.  Since then, I’ve had a hard-and-fast two-tomato-a-day rule every tomato season.  Sure, I love tomato salads, BLTs and simple, garlicky sauce, but this summer, my favorite way to reach my daily quota is a slice of tomato galette.

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Cooking the Channel: BLT Bruschetta

BLT Bruschetta from Chuck's Day Off

BLT Bruschetta from Chuck's Day Off

I’ve been known to make BLT sandwiches once a week all summer, while tomatoes are at their peak. The classic BLT is quick, simple and requires very little planning, shopping or cooking. My secret ingredients: mayo and crunchy peanut butter—mayo slathered on the top slice of bread and PB on the bottom. It’s really hard to beat (honestly, go try it!), but I’m always on the lookout for new riffs on my favorite sandwich.

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Matt’s Ultimate Summer Salad

Matt Armendariz's heirloom salad

Matt Armendariz's heirloom salad

I try to treat all my seasons equally. I love tender young vegetables in spring long and rich braised meat and stews in autumn. But if you really want to know what gets me going then we only need to chat about summer. It’s where my favorite flavors come together: cool and hot, sweet and smoky, bold and beautiful. It’s a time of year when intense flavors play well with just about everything and everyone gets along peacefully.

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