Thursday, August 27, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Tomato Harvest Favorites

One of the greatest things about summer is that it's fresh tomato season! This year I planted my topsy turvey in mid-May and the past few weeks my tomatoes are providing a wonderful bounty.

In addition to being delicious and incredibly versatile, tomatoes are nutritional powerhouses. Nutrition Data also lists tomatoes as a very good source of dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin K, and a good source of vitamin E, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper.

Here are a few of my new/old tomato favorites!


Summer Tomato and Bell Pepper Soup (chilled soup)

Yield: Makes 4 servings

2 1/4 cups tomato juice
1 1/3 cups finely chopped tomatoes (about 11 ounces)
1/2 cup (generous) finely chopped roasted red bell peppers from jar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared white horseradish
1 garlic clove, pressed
Generous dash of hot pepper sauce
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

4 1/3-inch-thick rounds soft fresh goat cheese
6 grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
Additional extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)

1. Combine first 8 ingredients in large bowl; whisk to blend.
2. Season soup to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled and flavors blend, at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Keep chilled.
3. Ladle soup into 4 bowls. Top each with 1 goat cheese round and 3 grape tomato halves.
4. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and basil. Drizzle with oil and serve.

Smoky Tomato and Corn Bruschetta

Yield: Makes 8 servings

1 large ear of yellow corn, husked
1 small red onion (about 6 ounces), peeled, halved through root end
Olive oil (for grilling)
1 1/2 pounds medium tomatoes (such as cluster or vine-ripened; do not use heirloom; about 5)
1 small country bread, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Brush corn and onion with oil; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
2. Place corn, onion halves, and tomatoes on grill. Cook until corn is charred, onion is just tender, and tomato skins are blistered and loose, turning often, about 12 minutes for tomatoes and 15 minutes for corn and onion.
3. Transfer to foil-lined baking sheet and cool. Brush bread with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until crisp, about 2 minutes per side.
4. Core tomatoes and cut in half horizontally. Gently squeeze out or spoon out juices and seeds. Coarsely dice tomato flesh and place in medium bowl.
5. Cut corn kernels from cob; add kernels to tomatoes. Chop onion; add to tomatoes. Mix in garlic, lime juice, paprika, and 1 tablespoon oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Cover; let stand at room temperature. Serve with grilled bread.

DO AHEAD Can be made 3 hours ahead

Images courtesy of tomatoes and basil picked last Sunday!