Tomato Chutney

tomato chutney2 C grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ C red onion, minced
3 T golden raisins
1-2 T natural cane sugar
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T fresh ginger, minced
½ t red pepper flakes
¼ t ground coriander
1/8 t ground allspice

Simmer all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until the tomatoes have broken down, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Off eat, puree have the chutney in a food processor, then fold back into remaining chutney. Serve with crackers or on top of warm Brie, or as an accompaniment to an antipasto or cheese platter. Makes 1 cup.

BLT Pasta

blt pasta2 strips thick-sliced bacon, diced or 4-5 strips turkey bacon, diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or 1 large ripe tomato, cut into large dice
½ t sugar
1 leek, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
¼ C dry white wine
½ C chicken broth
1 t red wine vinegar
Dash of red pepper flakes, optional
1 large handful baby spinach leaves

4 ounces bucatini or spaghetti, cooked according to package

For the bread crumbs:

1 C (about one ½” – thick slice) French or rustic country bread, cubed
1 garlic clove

Make the bread crumbs: mince the garlic in a food processor, add the cubed bread and process until coarse. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the crumbs. Toast until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Set aside.

Sauté the bacon in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook until crisp, then drain the pieces on a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of drippings. If using turkey bacon, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet and sauté bacon until browned (turkey bacon will not crisp up like thick-cut bacon). Remove bacon bits from skillet, add another splash of olive oil if necessary. Add the cut tomatoes and sugar, cook about 5 minutes, until tomatoes begin to caramelize. Add the leeks and cook until wilted, 3-4 minutes.

Deglaze the tomatoes with wine, simmer until liquid is nearly evaporated. Add the broth, vinegar, pepper flakes and simmer until reduced by 1/3. Add the spinach, bacon pieces and cooked spaghetti. Toss to coat, season with salt and pepper. Divide the pasta between two plates and sprinkle with bread crumbs before serving. Serves 2.

Tomato and Sweet Onion Pie

tomato pieDouble sweetness from the tomatoes and onions, makes this a summer treat.  Brookside July 2014

1 medium Vidalia onion
3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
1 T fresh thyme, chopped (or 2 t dried)
1 C (4 ounces) Swiss or Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 9-inch pie crust
1 C Panko breadcrumbs
1 t lemon zest
1 T olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
Fresh chopped basil, for garnish – optional

Peel, cut in half and thinly slice the onion. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive and add the onions. Sauté until tender but not brown, about 10-15 minutes.  As the onions are cooking, add the thyme, a pinch of salt and a bit of pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350̊F. Prick the crust around the bottom with a fork. Shred the cheese and sprinkle all of it around the bottom of the shell. Cover the cheese with half the onions. Slice the tomatoes fairly thin and arrange one layer in a concentric form over the onions. Add a second layer of onion and tomato. Lastly, mix the Panko, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of olive oil together in a small bowl. Cover the top layer of tomatoes with the mixture and gently press down on the pie with a spatula to tighten all the ingredients together, but without damaging the tomatoes. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until breadcrumbs are lightly browned and pie is bubbling slightly at the edges. Let pie sit at least 15 minutes before cutting. Pie is best served warm or tepid and is best served the same day it’s baked. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil before serving. Serves 6.

Creamy Tomato Gaspacho




Gaspacho is a term that means, simply, a soup made of uncooked vegetables.  The choices and combinations are endless.  In fact, fruit “gaspachos” are making their way onto restaurant menus and family dinner tables. Some gaspachos are delivered with meaty chunks of vegetables floating in vegetable juice, while others are blended or processed to a chunky or smooth puree. This is a pureed version, made rich and creamy with a handful of sliced blanched almonds that have been toasted to draw out the nuttiness. It’s a lovely variation on traditional gaspacho and is certain to become a favorite. Adapted from Martha Stewart.  Adrienne demoed this at Brookside July 16 and US Botanic Garden July 17, 2014.

2 pounds tomatoes (about 4), cored and coarsely chopped
½ English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
½ onion, coarsely chopped
1 small garlic clove
½ t hot pepper flakes
1 t salt
2 ounces blanched almonds (scant ½ cup), toasted
2 T sherry vinegar
2 T olive oil, plus more for drizzling
¼ – ½ C water
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Puree tomatoes, cucumber, onion, garlic, almonds, vinegar, oil, and salt in a blender until smooth; add enough water to get the right consistency, not too thick. Refrigerate two hours. Drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper just before serving.


Halloumi with Salsa




This Mexican-Middle East fusion salsa eschews traditional cilantro for mint and parsley, making it slightly mysterious and terrific. To showcase our tomatoes in July, we served it over grilled halloumi, the salty Middle Eastern cheese that’s become a fixture on our summer grill. The salsa works equally well on grilled meats or vegetables and, of course, with crispy tortillas. We demoed this at Brookside July 16 and US Botanic Garden July 25, 2014. The recipe is adapted from “Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales: Flavors from the Griddles, Pots, and Streetside Kitchens of Mexico.”

1 C seeded and diced tomatoes (1 medium-large)
1/3 C chopped red onion
1/4 C olive oil
2 T fresh lime juice
2 T sherry vinegar
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1 T chopped fresh mint (leaves only)
1 T sugar
1 t chile de arbol powder or cayenne pepper
½  t fine salt
½  t dried oregano, preferably Mexican, crumbled
1 pound halloumi

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Let to rest for one hour prior to using. Meanwhile, remove halloumi from its package and prepare the grill or grill pan. Drizzle halloumi with olive oil. When the grill or pan is hot, add the cheese and grill until marks show on one side; flip and continue grilling, about four minutes total. Slice the halloumi and arrange on a platter; top with salsa, serve immediately. Salsa keeps in the refrigerator one day.