August 12, 2012

5 min read


Roasted, pickled, dried and fresh.

Apparently, the Aztecs gave the tomato its name and it means “plump with a navel.” They’re delicious in salads, salsas, sauces, cooked, roasted and dried. Enjoy these recipes!

Roasted Tomatoes

  • 12 raw tomatoes, halved and seeded
  • 4 tbsps. olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsps. Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • Thyme, dried or fresh
  • Oregano, dried or fresh, according to taste
  • Basil, dried or fresh
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsps. Sugar

Preheat oven to 200º C or 390º F. Slice tomatoes in half and remove seeds. I leave the seeds in the tomato. For cherry tomatoes, the seeds can be left inside.

Mix all spices in a large bowl with the oil. Toss tomatoes to coat them well with spice mixture. Place on a baking tray line with baking paper, hollow side up.

Bake in oven 25-45 minutes, until slightly browned but not burnt. Use when cool or store in a plastic container in the fridge.

KOSHER SALT – DRIED OR FRESH: Why use Kosher salt? When I use salt in recipes, I use Kosher salt. Basically, all salts have the same makeup. The major difference is the texture. Table salt is fine. When baking, I use table salt. One teaspoon table salt equals one tablespoon Kosher salt. Sea salt is larger grain. It has a crunch to it. Used best with simple foods, e.g., avocado, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes and soup. Kosher salt does not contain additives like other salt. Kosher salt is more uniform in size. Easy to pinch. It is less intense. It has a pure salty taste other salts don’t have.

DRIED VS. FRESH HERBS: In most cases you can replace dried herbs with fresh. The ratio is 3 fresh to 1 dried. To get the most flavor from dried herbs, crumble them with your fingers before adding.

Easy Pickled Tomatoes

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tsps. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp.cumin
  • ½ tsp. hot pepper flakes
  • 7 tomatoes, cut in wedges
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • 2 hot green peppers, sliced thin

In a saucepan, mix vinegar, salt and sugar. Bring to a boil.

In a frying pan, heat oil, ginger, mustard seeds, pepper, turmeric, cumin, hot pepper flakes. Cook 2 minutes, until fragrant. Slowly add vinegar mixture into seasonings.

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, green onions and hot greet peppers with pickling liquid. Let stand for 4 hours. Serve – enjoy!

Tomato Salsa

  • 3 medium sized fresh tomatoes, stems removed, finely diced
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 1-2 hot chili peppers, stems and seeds removed, finely diced
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. oregano, optional
  • ½ tsp. cumin

Chop tomatoes, hot peppers, onion, cilantro and garlic. Combine all ingredients with olive oil in a medium sized serving bowl. If the sals is too hot, add more tomatoes. Add cumin and oregano if desired. Let sit for an hour for the flavors to combine.

Makes 3-4 cups

Tomato Sauce (Marinara Sauce)

  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes, approx.. 30 ozs., with juice
  • 1 can tomato paste (6 ozs.)1 green pepper, chopped
  • 4 tbsps. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt.
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 6 tbsps. oil
  • 1/3 cup onion (diced)
  • ½ cup wine

In a food processor blend tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Then, in a frying pan sauté onions in oil 2-4 minutes. Add tomato sauce and wine. Simmer 30 minutes and serve.

Sun Dried Tomatoes

Sun dried tomatoes tend to be expensive. They are easy to make. Sun dried tomatoes give a gourmet touch to anything. You can even use cherry tomatoes.

Slice tomatoes in half. Place on a raised screen. Sprinkle lightly with salt and optional spices. Place in hot sun until dry. Depending on the sun, this can take anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks. Cover the tomatoes with a cheese cloth raised above the tomatoes, so not to touch them. It keeps out bugs and allows for ventilation. Bring them in at night to prevent dew from forming. Start with 12 standard tomatoes to dry at once in order to get one ounce of dried tomatoes. The end result should be dry, not crispy. No liquid to avoid bacteria growth.

Tomato Salad

  • 6 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 yellow, orange or red pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsps. vinegar

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss, add salt and pepper to taste. Chill and serve.

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