Sunday, August 12, 2012

Too Much Tomato?

It's tomato season in Minnesota. Glorious tomatoes from the garden that want to send you protesting the grocery for calling what they sell year-round the same word. After months without these gems, they flood you for a couple months with more tomatoes than you know what to do with. There are quick fixes; such as, slices with a little salt and pepper or dicing tomatoes with a splash of balsamic vinegar, fresh basil and salt and pepper. Or my personal favorite right now, toast with earth balance mindful mayo and thick slices of tomato. But when, a little more effort is warranted try these plant-based ideas to enjoy the bounty:

Caprese Sandwich                                         photo: Jeff Johnson 

Tomato Caprese
serves 4

1-2 tomato
2 handfuls of fresh basil (or homemade pesto)
1 pkg firm tofu
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
1-2 French baguette (or noodles)

You'd be surprised how well the tofu subs for fresh mozarella (add some salt and oil/vinegar directly to the tofu). Simply slice your baguette in half or 1/3, add some olive oil or pesto to the bread, sliced tomato, sliced tofu (add salt, balsamic vinegar and olive oil), basil (if not using pesto) and top with the other slice of bread. If you have cherry tomatoes or just a hankering for pasta, cut tomatoes and tofu in bite sizes and mix with pasta. Yum!

serves 2

8 slices tofurky bacon
2 leafs of kale (or sub lettuce)

1/2 avocado (or sub earth balance mindful mayo)
1 tomato
4 slices of bread
olive oil

Toast the bread. Cook the tofurky bacon (I like to use some oil to get a crispier texture, but it's tasty without). Spread the avocado or mayo on the bread, add tomato slices, bacon, and kale. Enjoy!

Garden Pasta
serves 3-4
1 onion
1 eggplant
2 green peppers
2-4 tomatoes (I used romas from my garden)
1 pkg cherry tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 T oregano
1 c fresh basil
1/4 c white wine (optional)
olive oil
1 pkg whole wheat spaghettini (or noodles of your choice)

Boil water in a stock pot for noodles. Heat 2 qt pan on high and add a splash of olive oil. Brown diced onions and peppers and dd oregano.  Add minced garlic, salt, diced tomatoes (not cherry tomatoes) and diced eggplant (these will cook into a sauce). Turn heat down to medium and toss in white wine and cherry tomatoes. Cover and let cook while making the pasta. Mix all together in the sauce pan, mix in shredded basil, salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Too Many Tomatoes Pizza by Jeff
serves 2-4

2 medium pre-baked pizza crusts (whole foods 365 every day value organic whole wheat crust works well)
5 tomatoes
6 cloves of garlic
1 c shredded fresh basil
4T vegan parmesan (+ too taste as topping)
olive oil
crushed red peppers

Brush olive oil on pizza crusts and sprinkle with minced garlic and vegan parmesan. Add 1/2 inch sliced tomatoes to cover pizza crust, salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 450 degrees for 15 mins or until crusts brown. Remove pizza, slice and top with shredded basil, vegan parmesan and crushed red peppers to taste. Enjoy immediately (crust will get a little soggy from the tomatoes if you wait too long.)

Other tomato recipes from the web that sparked my interest:

Vegan Good Eats' Sake-spiked Gazpacho
Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Tomato Rosemary Scones
One Green Planet's Fried Green Beer Tomatoes
Vegetarian Times' Fennel and Tomato Soup