tomatoes

Green Tomato Pie

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After weeks of enjoying red, ripe summer tomatoes in sandwiches, all sorts of tomato salads, side dishes and puff pastry pizzas, the weather and sunlight have changed and I realized that the remaining tomatoes on the vine would not ripen properly.

So, I picked all the green tomatoes.

In the past when I’ve had green tomatoes, I’ve used them for chutney a few different ways. And I’ve made Fried Green Tomato sandwiches too.

This year I was determined to make a pie. Except that green tomato pie usually calls for slices of tomatoes and my vines were loaded with little ones.

No problem. I cut them in halves and quarters, depending on how small they were, and used them that way.

In addition, many recipes for green tomato pie are layered — tomato slices and dried fruit, usually raisins.

I mixed it all up.

Perfecto! This was delicious.

I made two. Froze one for Thanksgiving.

Can be either dairy or parve.

Green Tomato Pie

  • 2 pounds green tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoon all purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon peel

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • Pastry for 2-crust pie

  • 2 tablespoons butter or solid coconut oil

  • 1 tablespoon milk, optional

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Chop tomatoes if they are large; for mini tomatoes, cut them into halves or quarters. Place the pieces in a bowl. Add the raisins, brown sugar, flour, salt, lemon peel, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice. Toss the ingredients to distribute them evenly and to be sure the fruit is coated completely. Roll our half the dough and fit it into a 9-inch pie dish. Spoon the filling into the dish. Cut the butter into small pieces and place the pieces around the top of the fruit. Roll the remaining dough, place it on top of the filling, crimp the edges to seal in the filling. Pierce the top crust in 2-3 places to allow steam to escape. For a dairy pie, dab some milk onto the top crust and crimped edge here and there, for a golden finish. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. Bake for another 40-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

    Makes one pie serving 8-10 people

Roasted Mushrooms and Tomatoes

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My Seder menu has been more or less stable for the past few years. I change a recipe occasionally, add a new one now and then, but for the most part it's been mostly the same.

Until this year.

I changed quite a bit this Passover. I was bored with some of the old stuff.

Chicken soup with matzo balls? NEVER BORING! Of course I served that!

Also, I served turkey (like my grandma and mother before me) as well as brisket. I also made my old favorite, spinach pie with matzo crust.

But, there was a new haroset (nut-free).

And lots of new vegetable dishes. Like this one, which was incredibly easy and I set it all up in advance and just popped it into the oven minutes before it was needed.

Of course, this dish is a year 'round thing. And it was so well-loved that I know it will be on my menu throughout the year.

 

Roasted Mushrooms and Tomatoes

  • 12-14 medium-large mushrooms, cut into chunks
  • 16 grape, cherry or mini-Kumato tomatoes
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place the mushrooms, tomatoes, scallions and garlic in a bowl, pour the olive oil over the vegetables and toss to coat all the pieces. Spoon the vegetables onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 20 minutes, turning the vegetables once or twice during baking, or until tender. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Makes 4-6 servings

 

Fresh Tomato Puff Pastry Pizza

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Year after year I failed at growing tomatoes. They bloomed too late because I planted them too late, so by the time the tomatoes on the vine were big and green, a frost would come and everything was ruined. 

Last year I decided to plant them earlier than usual. Also in a different spot in my garden.

Perfecto!

So this year I did the same.

Perfecto again!

I got lots and lots of tomatoes! Enough for salad and sandwiches. Enough for homemade sauce.

And also these fabulous puff pastry pizzas.

So easy, such a good lunch, brunch or even hors d'oeuvre (cut smaller). 

Fresh Tomato Puff Pastry Pizza

  • 3 large or 4 medium tomatoes, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • salt
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tomatoes slices on a board, sprinkle with salt and let rest for about 30 minutes. Wipe the slices dry. Place the puff pastry on a floured surface. Cut lengthwise once and widthwise twice to make 6 smaller pieces. Place the pieces on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with equal amounts of the mozzarella cheese, leaving a border of about 1/2-inch. Top with equal amounts of tomato slices. Sprinkle with equal amounts of Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with equal amounts of basil. Drizzle with olive oil. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 6

 

Three Tomato Three Pepper Salad

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IMHO, three of the best things about summer are these:

1. fresh, local, tiny, sugary, fragrant strawberries

2. fresh, local, plump, fragrant peaches and nectarines

3. fresh, local (like my garden!), tender, fragrant tomatoes.

Yes, you can get strawberries, peaches and tomatoes all year, but they don't taste like strawberries, peaches and tomatoes.

So feast now, while the feast lasts. This fruit is perfect, as-is, without anything. Not one of them needs sugar or salt or dressing or whipped cream. On the other hand -- if you have a hankering for more, try these:

1. chocolate dipped strawberries

2. Roasted Nectarines with Oat Crumbles

3. This salad:

 

THREE TOMATO THREE PEPPER SALAD

  • 4 cups halved mixed cherry or grape tomatoes, or cut up regular tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 2 finely chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut up the tomatoes and place them in a bowl. Place the Sichuan peppercorns in an unoiled pan and cook over medium heat, shaking the pan often, for about 2 minutes, or until they are fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and crush the peppercorns on a flat surface with a rolling pan or with the bottom of a glass or mug. Sprinkle the crushed Sichuan peppercorns over the tomatoes. Add the Aleppo pepper, scallions, mint and garlic and toss the ingredients. Whisk together the olive oil, wine vinegar and mustard and pour over the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Toss ingredients. Let rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 4-6 servings

 

Roasted Plum Tomatoes

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When it's really really cold outside, (like it is where I live) I think of soup and make a pot or two

But I also dream about summer and sunshine and the garden fresh tomatoes you can only get at the end of August.

Winter tomatoes are not good. Not for salad anyway. They're typically too hard and the flesh is usually too dry.

But a good tomato taste does come out when you cook them, especially if you use Roma (plum) tomatoes. Use them for sauce for spaghetti or in ShakshukaBraise them with string beans as a side dish.

Roasted tomatoes are also flavorful, even if you use winter tomatoes. This dish couldn't be simpler. It goes with any meat protein and also as part of a meatless Monday meal. 

CRISPED ROASTED TOMATOES

  • 4 large plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs
  • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • cayenne pepper, optional

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and place them cut side up in an ovenproof pan. Mix the olive oil and Dijon mustard and brush this evenly over the tops of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the herbs and breadcrumbs. Dust lightly with a pinch of cayenne pepper for more flavor. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are crispy.

Makes 4 servings

Fried Green Tomatoes

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I go out to my garden now and it's still warm, like summer. But the leaves on big maple trees in the back are starting to turn and I can see the vague copper tips. It's that transition season when you want to grab the last of summer but your head understands that autumn is coming.

I've picked dozens of luscious tomatoes in the last few weeks, but there are still some green ones hanging on the vines. Do I wait for them to ripen and have the last few precious bites?

What if there's a sudden frost! That happened to me last year and all my tomatoes were ruined.

Here's what to do: use some green tomatoes and leave just a few to ripen and hope for the best.

In the past I've baked green tomato pie, fried green tomato slices, baked green tomato slices, made green tomato pickles and cut green tomatoes into different kinds of chutney.

This year I decided to pack them into a sandwich.

Dee-lish.

Fried Green Tomato, Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese Sandwich

  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with one teaspoon water
  • 3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 12-16 slices green tomato (about 1/2-inch thick)
  • 4 Portuguese rolls, sliced
  • vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven broiler or outdoor grill with the rack about 4 inches from the heat source. Remove the stem and seeds from the bell peppers and cut them into quarters. Brush the pepper pieces with the olive oil. Broil the pepper pieces, turning them occasionally, for 8–10 minutes or until charred. Remove the pieces to a plate. When cool, peel off the skin.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Mix the flour with some salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Place the beaten eggs in another dish. Place the breadcrumbs in a third dish. Coat the tomato slices with flour. Shake off the excess. Dip the coated slices in the beaten eggs, covering the slices completely. Coat the slices with the breadcrumbs. Place the tomato slices on a cookie sheet or baking rack to air dry for at least 15 minutes. Heat about 1/4-inch vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Fry the tomatoes for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Place the rolls in the oven to warm them up for about 4-5 minutes. Remove the rolls from the oven. While the rolls are warming, mix the mayonnaise and basil together. Spread equal amounts of the mayonnaise on the bottoms of each of the rolls. Top each with 3-4 tomato slices. Top each with two roasted pepper quarters. Top each with equal amounts of the cheese. Finally, cover with the top of the roll. Place back in the oven for a minute or so to slightly melt the cheese and serve.

 

Makes 4 sandwiches

Roasted Plum Tomatoes

When it's really really cold outside, (like it is where I live) I think of soup and make a pot or two

But I also dream about summer and sunshine and the garden fresh tomatoes you can only get at the end of August.

Winter tomatoes are not good. Not for salad anyway. They're typically too hard and the flesh is usually too dry.

But a good tomato taste does come out when you cook them, especially if you use Roma (plum) tomatoes. Use them for sauce for spaghetti or in Shakshuka. Braise them with string beans as a side dish.

Roasted tomatoes are also flavorful, even if you use winter tomatoes. This dish couldn't be simpler. It goes with any meat protein and also as part of a meatless Monday meal. 

Roasted Plum Tomatoes

  • 4 large plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs
  • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • cayenne pepper, optional

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and place them cut side up in an ovenproof pan. Mix the olive oil and Dijon mustard and brush this evenly over the tops of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the herbs and breadcrumbs. Dust lightly with a pinch of cayenne pepper for more flavor. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are crispy.

Makes 4 servings

 

Panzanella -- the Ultimate Summer Salad for a Crowd?

Panzanella Salad 

Panzanella Salad 

There's a crowd coming to my house for lunch. 

Not really. It's a "virtual" lunch, connecting my fellow kosher bloggers who live throughout the world. We are celebrating three years of friendship. Everyone will post a recipe so we can feast together, if only in our imaginations.

So, what to feed a kosher crowd?

It isn't as straightforward as you might think. The rules of kashruth are not simple. In fact, books have been written on the subject. Most people, even those who aren't Jewish and/or kosher, know the basics: no pig, no shellfish, no meat with dairy; only kosher meat, etc. etc.

But there's more to it and not everyone who is kosher follows the same rules. For example, some people only eat dairy products produced under the supervision of a Jewish person who will make sure the animals are kosher. People who are orthodox won't eat fish together with meat, whereas people who are conservative will. 

And more, too much to go into here.

That, plus all the other, nonkosher dietary stuff -- lots of folks these days are lactose intolerant or gluten intolerant. Some people don't eat meat. There are fish allergies! Nut allergies!

I want to avoid all that.

Oh myohmyohmy. 

Here's what I decided to make:

It's August and it's hot out. No one want s a heavy meal. The best food on the market now?

Tomatoes.

So my lunch is a salad built around summer's gorgeous produce. Plus a sprinkling of August's other culinary gem: fresh basil from my garden.

It's still a filling lunch, because I've added lots of vegetables to the usual bread-and-tomato salad. For the gluten-free folk there are plenty of good, crusty breads to substitute for the Tuscan-style or ciabatta called or in my recipe.

This dish has no meat, no fish, no poultry, no cheese, no dairy. Can be gluten-free. Strictly kosher. Delicious too.

Happy 3rd everyone!

 

Panzanella

 

  • 1 pound crusty, 2-day old Tuscan style bread or ciabatta
  • cold water
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 sweet red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1/2 yellow or green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 7-8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bread into large dice and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the bread for 8-10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and place the pieces in a large bowl. Let cool. Add the red onion, tomatoes, red pepper, yellow pepper, zucchini, peas, capers, basil and garlic and toss the ingredients. Mix the smaller quantities of olive oil and red wine vinegar and pour over the salad. Sprinkle with freshly ground back pepper to taste. Toss the salad and add more olive oil and/or vinegar as needed to taste. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

 

Makes 6 servings

More delicious Kosher Connection recipes right here

Tomato Salad with Chick Peas, Feta and Peas

You know all those people whose gardens are loaded with so many tomatoes that they can’t possibly use them all and so give them away?  I’m not one of them. Gardening is not one of my strong points. I get tomatoes from handouts from friends and at Farmer’s Markets.  Still, whether you grow them or buy them, end-of-summer tomatoes are sensational. Sweet, juicy, tasting of earth and sun. Like a real tomato.  I used some of my friends’ tomatoes in salads over the past week. We liked this one in particular.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tomato Salad with Chick Peas, Feta and Peas   3 large tomatoes, chopped  1 cup cooked chick peas (canned is fine)  1 cup thawed, frozen peas  1 cup crumbled feta cheese  3 thick scallions, chopped  1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint  1/2 teaspoon zatar  salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste  2 tablespoons olive oil  2 tablespoons white wine vinegar  Place the tomatoes, chick peas, peas, cheese, scallions, mint and zatar in a bowl. Toss the ingredients to distribute them evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and toss the ingredients again. Pour in the wine vinegar, toss and place the salad in a serving bowl. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 6 servings

You know all those people whose gardens are loaded with so many tomatoes that they can’t possibly use them all and so give them away?

I’m not one of them. Gardening is not one of my strong points. I get tomatoes from handouts from friends and at Farmer’s Markets.

Still, whether you grow them or buy them, end-of-summer tomatoes are sensational. Sweet, juicy, tasting of earth and sun. Like a real tomato.

I used some of my friends’ tomatoes in salads over the past week. We liked this one in particular.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Tomato Salad with Chick Peas, Feta and Peas

3 large tomatoes, chopped

1 cup cooked chick peas (canned is fine)

1 cup thawed, frozen peas

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

3 thick scallions, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1/2 teaspoon zatar

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Place the tomatoes, chick peas, peas, cheese, scallions, mint and zatar in a bowl. Toss the ingredients to distribute them evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and toss the ingredients again. Pour in the wine vinegar, toss and place the salad in a serving bowl. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings

Tomato Salad with Spices and Herbs

I’m almost there. My first home grown tomatoes in years and years. I used to plant them, but then the deer and rabbits and other wild creatures in the neighborhood would decide to have a feast of the stuff, tomatoes, leaves, flowers and all. So I stopped planting. 
 I decided to give it another try. A small garden only: tomatoes, basil and mint. 
 This year a cute brown rabbit did get to the basil, but so far the tomatoes are intact. 
 I moved the basil to the top of my grill where the rabbit couldn’t get to it, and that’s a pain in the neck when I want to grill something for dinner, which is often during the summer. But the basil does seem to be coming back, although not yet thriving. 
 If you ever have the chance to eat a fresh-picked tomatoes, do not pass it up. The fruit is sweet, juicy, natural. 
 It makes you feel better about the earth.  
 Fresh garden tomatoes are best plain. But if you have enough, you can cut them into a summer salad:                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
 Tomato Salad with Spices and Herbs 

 3 cups halved cherry tomatoes 
 1 tablespoon chopped chives 
 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil 
 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint 
 3 tablespoons olive oil 
 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
  salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste  

 Cut up the tomatoes and place them in a bowl. Add the chives, basil and mint and toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Pour in the olive oil and wine vinegar and toss ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss ingredients. Let rest for about 15 minutes before serving. 
 Makes 4-6 servings

I’m almost there. My first home grown tomatoes in years and years. I used to plant them, but then the deer and rabbits and other wild creatures in the neighborhood would decide to have a feast of the stuff, tomatoes, leaves, flowers and all. So I stopped planting.

I decided to give it another try. A small garden only: tomatoes, basil and mint.

This year a cute brown rabbit did get to the basil, but so far the tomatoes are intact.

I moved the basil to the top of my grill where the rabbit couldn’t get to it, and that’s a pain in the neck when I want to grill something for dinner, which is often during the summer. But the basil does seem to be coming back, although not yet thriving.

If you ever have the chance to eat a fresh-picked tomatoes, do not pass it up. The fruit is sweet, juicy, natural.

It makes you feel better about the earth. 

Fresh garden tomatoes are best plain. But if you have enough, you can cut them into a summer salad:                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Tomato Salad with Spices and Herbs

3 cups halved cherry tomatoes

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut up the tomatoes and place them in a bowl. Add the chives, basil and mint and toss ingredients to distribute them evenly. Pour in the olive oil and wine vinegar and toss ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss ingredients. Let rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 4-6 servings