Even if you got a late start on planting, you should have some homegrown tomatoes by now. You’ve been waiting a long time for this. The first ripe ones you probably popped in your mouth right there in the garden or bit into over the sink.
Here are a few recipes to use some of the others in. Be sure to hum a bit of Guy Clark’s ditty “Homegrown Tomatoes” while you’re fixing them.
Marinated toy box tomatoes
These are served as a starter at Hazel in D.C., but they can be enjoyed at almost any time of day. They are especially good with a scoop of cottage cheese.
Umeboshi (salted plum) paste, Korean chili powder and furikake, a Japanese rice seasoning blend, are available at Whole Foods Markets as well as Asian supermarkets and specialty stores. To make the furikake used at Hazel, see the note below.
Make ahead: The tomatoes need to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature and can be refrigerated for up to 1 day in advance. Sprinkle with the furikake just before serving. If you make the furikake seasoning blend, refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Adapted from Rob Rubba, chef at Hazel.
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 medium shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
5 basil leaves, torn or coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon umeboshi paste (salted plum; see headnote)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut as you like
4 tablespoons furikake (see notes)
Combine the lime zest and juice, shallot, garlic, basil and umeboshi paste in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the oil, whisking constantly to form an emulsified dressing.
Add the tomatoes and toss to coat.
Divide among individual plates; top each portion with some of the furikake. Serve right away.
NOTE: To make Hazel's furikake blend, whisk together 4 tablespoons of chopped toasted nori, 1 tablespoon of white or roasted sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon of flax seeds, 1 tablespoon of puffed sorghum or puffled rice (crushed), 11/2 teaspoons of dehydrated onion flakes and 1 tablespoon of Korean red chili powder. Season lightly with kosher salt. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Per serving: 170 calories, 2 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 15 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 310 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar
Serves 6 to 8
Components of a classic Caprese salad flavor this moist, layered casserole. Make sure your tomatoes are ripe and flavorful.
Note: The chopped tomatoes need to drain for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The assembled strata needs to be refrigerated for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. It needs to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into roughly 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces sliced hearty white Italian bread (about 8 slices), including crusts, toasted to a light golden brown, then cut or torn into roughly 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 cup (8 ounces) whole-milk ricotta cheese
5 tablespoons prepared pesto
1/4 cup loosely packed thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces whole-milk mozzarella, preferably fresh, cut into slices about 1/8 inch thick
8 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
Place the tomatoes in a colander set over a bowl; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and stir to combine. Let the tomatoes drain for 30 minutes to an hour, stirring them occasionally, then place a small plate over the tomatoes and press down firmly several times to remove more liquid.
Grease the inside of a 2-quart baking dish with cooking oil spray. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a single layer of about half of the bread, breaking up some pieces and using them to fill in gaps as needed. Top with a little less than half of the tomatoes, first giving them a good final squeeze to get rid of more liquid.
Stir together the Parmigiano-Reggiano and ricotta cheeses in a bowl, until well combined, then drop dollops of the mixture over the tomatoes. Use the back of a spoon to spread it into an even layer. Drizzle evenly with 3 tablespoons of the pesto. Scatter about half of the basil over the pesto. Sprinkle with a few grinds of pepper.
Add a second layer of bread. (You might not need all of it.) Top with the remaining tomatoes (squeezing them first), drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of pesto and evenly scatter over the remaining basil. Top evenly with the mozzarella slices.
Combine the eggs, milk and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large liquid measuring cup with a pour spout; use an egg beater or immersion (stick) blender to thoroughly incorporate. Pour the mixture down the inside of the baking dish to fill it to within 1/2 inch of the top, pressing down lightly on the assembled strata to make sure all the bread is moistened. You will probably have some of the mixture left over; cover the measuring cup with plastic wrap and refrigerate it. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.
Remove the plastic wrap from the strata and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. The level of liquid should have lowered; give the reserved egg-milk mixture a good stir and pour some or all of it into the baking dish, keeping it below 1/2 inch from the top.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees.
Bake the strata for 45 minutes to an hour or until it has puffed and browned. If the edges begin to get too dark before the middle is puffed and set, tent the baking dish loosely with aluminum foil. (You can cut a piece from the middle of the foil to expose the center of the strata and promote browning there.)
Transfer the strata to a wire cooling rack; let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Per serving (based on 8): 340 calories, 19 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 19 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 215 mg cholesterol, 630 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 6 g sugar
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Tomatoes with capers, almonds and herbs
Serves 4 to 6
This starter or salad is no muss, no fuss, big flavors, with the savory crunch of smoked almonds and saltiness of capers.
Adapted from "The Naked Cookbook," by Tess Ward (Ten Speed Press, 2016).
1 pound 2 ounces mixed-variety small tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon hot Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton)
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons small capers, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup smoked almonds, coarsely chopped
Small handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Cut the tomatoes into a mixture of disks and wedges; different shapes and sizes are nice for variation.
Whisk together the oil, maple syrup, lemon juice and Spanish smoked paprika in a mixing bowl.
Add the shallot, capers, tomatoes, half of the almonds and three-quarters of the parsley; toss to incorporate. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, sprinkle the remaining almonds and parsley on top.
Per serving: 130 calories, 2 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar
Tomato-corn wraps with chicken
Grill 2 ears unshucked corn over medium heat until done, 30 minutes. Remove husks; cut kernels from cobs. Meanwhile, season 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves with salt and pepper. Grill, turning once, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, add 3 green onions, coarsely chopped; 2 tomatoes, diced; the juice of 1 lime; 1 small jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped; 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro; 1 tablespoon olive oil; 1 / 2 teaspoon cumin; the reserved corn; and salt to taste; stir to combine. Slice or shred the chicken; divide among 4 flatbreads. Top with salsa; roll flatbreads into wraps. Makes: 4 servings
Recipe by Renee Enna