Archives for posts with tag: Tomato
Orzo with Fennel and Tomato Ragoût by Carmyarmyofme
Orzo with Fennel and Tomato Ragoût, a photo by Carmyarmyofme on Flickr.

This one is easy! From Vegetarian Times. [March 2012]

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Summer Risotto with Leeks, Corn, Tomatoes and Basil

Peter Berley‘s reliability for outstanding food strikes again.  This delicious risotto from The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen is made with plenty of fresh leeks and corn.  Add some dry white wine, fresh tomatoes and basil… stir, stir, stir. Yum, yum, yum.

Zucchini with Tomatoes and Chorizo

This was my first recipe from Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express. Bittman is well known for his tome How To Cook Everything, which was always extremely popular at the library.  I grabbed Kitchen Express one day because it is organized by season (how many times have I said that’s my favorite way to organize a cookbook? Probably too many.)  Something that I love about the book is that it is imprecise – there are no exact  measurements. My husband hates this, he wants to measure out exactly 2 cups of chopped zucchini or a tablespoon of chopped garlic – but I like that this book is telling you to trust your instincts. How much zucchini should you make? Well, how much do you feel like eating?

The zucchini, tomatoes and chorizo dish above was fantastically delicious and I know that both its simplicity and flavor will lead to it being an easy go-to dinner in our house. Kitchen Express will most likely be the start point for a lot of great dinners – an idea book to keep you thinking seasonally and with the knowledge that these meals can be made quite quickly. Check it out!

Herb-Roasted Corn on the Cob

I’ve started getting a CSA produce delivery box again, this time from Farm Fresh to You.  My box of fruit and veggies presents the delightful challenge of deciding what to cook based on what I have.  I recently checked out Local Bounty: Seasonal Vegan Recipes by Devra Gartenstein, and the book has been extremely handy in answering the challenge.  But “challenge” may be the wrong word.  The adventure?  The contest?  Nay, it’s more like an encounter with fortuitous bounty, a treasure box that teases your hungry brain with pieces of a puzzle that you can put together in so many different ways.

All of these Local Bounty meals were made with the contents of my CSA box.  My first and maybe-favorite was the Herb-Roasted Corn on the Cob.  First, roast some garlic cloves in olive oil.  Then purée with herbs, more olive oil, and a bit of salt.  Coat your ears of corn with this concoction and roast them in the oven for seemingly simple but absolutely spectacular results.

Summer Squash with Basil

The sight of purple basil in the last delivery made me ecstatic.  It was dark amethyst in color and delightfully aromatic, absolutely deserving of my excitement.  Since I also received some zucchini and tomatoes in that delivery, Gartenstein’s Summer Squash with Basil recipe came together in a snap.  It is also a very simple recipe that highlights the delicious natural flavors of vegetables, and that would be as at home on a picnic blanket in the sun as it was in my apartment.

Curried Cucumber Salad

The Curried Cucumber Salad is as easy as chopping up cucumber and tossing it with the spices, lime juice, herbs, and olive oil.  Again, this is a summery one that makes a terrific addition either to a picnic or to a packed lunch during the work week.

Yes, everything I made from this book was super simple, super easy and, most of all, super tasty. Local Bounty is another cookbook that is organized by season.  This format makes picking recipes rather easy since you can focus solely on in-season produce.  Though a great deal of the recipes are side dishes, there are also mains and desserts in each of the seasonal chapters.

Local Bounty: Seasonal Vegan Recipes by Devra Gartenstein.

Verdict: Check it out.

A great guide for taking advantage of a wonderful array of seasonal produce, and in such a simple way.

White Gazpacho with Almonds, Grapes, and Cucumber

For Independence Day this year, I decided to try out two very summery recipes from Cuisine à Latina by the Miami chef, Michelle Bernstein.  The book itself is full of recipes that you can tell come from a hot place: many ideas for refreshing salads, scrumptious ceviche, a sandwich with avocado and mango, and other foods that make you immediately picture the warmth of Miami.

Watermelon, Tomato, & Feta Salad

For a sunny, heated fourth of July, I chose two light and cool dishes to match my summertime mood: White Gazpacho with Almonds, Grapes, and Cucumber; and, Watermelon, Tomato, and Feta Salad.  Both were fun.  The white gazpacho does not have any milk or cream in it – the hearty thickness is caused by the puréed almonds!  It’s vegan and surprisingly filling.

The original recipe for the Watermelon salad called for Niçoise olives, which I didn’t buy, but may have provided a bit of savory balance to the sweet watermelon and tomatoes.  The feta is a wonderful addition to watermelon – I would have never thought the two would provide such an equilibrium of flavor, but it was pleasantly toothsome.  If you try these dishes, only select the most delicious and ripe fruits and vegetables – both recipes are raw dishes and really rely on the produce as the paramount flavor, without a lot of external flavor enhancers.

The most enticing recipes from this book are the seafood recipes.  I didn’t try any of them though.  Sounds counter-intuitive, right?  Essentially, it was the quest for good seafood that threw me off of this path.  Because I could not find any seafood at the market that could stand in a leading role, I decided to pass on these recipes that feature seafood as such a star.  But here are some of the delicious sounding seafood recipes that I might try when I can rustle up some champion sea bounty: Lobster, Avocado, and Grapefruit Cocktail; Tuna and Watermelon Ceviche; Conch Escargot; Tuna Tartare with Peanuts, Chile Oil, and Pineapple; Lobster BLTs; Halibut over Salmorejo; or, Salmon with Ginger Caponata.  You can see why I would not place mediocre fish in these preeminent positions.

Cuisine à Latina: Fresh Tastes and a World of Flavors from Michy’s Miami Kitchen by Michelle Bernstein & Andrew Friedman.

Verdict: Check it out

A great summertime cookbook that will intensify premium ingredients – especially recommended for seafood lovers.

Spinach Tofu Burgers with Creamy Tomato Sauce & Roasted Sweet Potatoes

It’s Easter evening and I’m bloated from salty ham and other extravagant holiday meal food.  It actually has me reminiscing healthier meals from earlier this week.  Now, I’m not one to nay-say extravagant food but it often comes with the price of feeling gross afterward.  Vegetables and whole grains excite me because of the association I have with how I feel awesome and energetic following my feasts.

I first heard of Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks from my friend Claire who is one of those creative fantastic d-i-y types who sews, gardens, bikes, and essentially walks-the-walk that so many of us teeter upon.  This is my first foray into cooking Moosewood recipes even though their series of cookbooks are always popular at the library.  I chose Moosewood Restaurant Cooking For Health simply because it was the most recent Moosewood title to come into the library.

The meal in the photo is three separate recipes: Spinach Tofu Burgers, Tomato Sauce, and Roasted Sweet Potatoes.  Basically I chose to make the Spinach Tofu Burgers and then took one of their serving & menu suggestions to round out the meal.  That was a definite virtue of this cookbook – the menu & serving suggestions offer a great variety for these dishes that might mean that you would be less likely to get bored with cooking these recipes.

There were also a surprising amount of nutritious ingredients packed into the burgers and the sauce.  A more accurately descriptive name would be Dill-Miso-Mustard-Oregano Spinach-Carrot-Brown Rice-Tofu Burgers with Onion-Garlic-Carrot-Bell Pepper-Neufchâtel-Fennel-Red Wine-Tomato Sauce.  I can see why they chose not to call them that.  The sweet potatoes are just straight up roasted sweet potatoes with salt, pepper, & cumin sprinkled on top.  The simplicity of one dish was a necessary balance to the complexity of the other dish.

The clear king of the meal was the sauce.  That sauce was the kind that you chased around your plate to sop up every last bit.  It looks so plain in the photo, but if you compared it to other tomato sauces, they would be in Kindergarten and that sauce would have a Master’s Degree.  I would eat this sauce over a variety of veggies, or to top plain pasta, meatballs, or polenta.  Good stuff here.

Moosewood Restaurant Cooking For Health by the Moosewood Collective.

Verdict: Check it out.

The recipes I tried were a bit time consuming, but over all a great source of a variety of tasty, healthy foods (the two are certainly not exclusive).