It’s tomato season!
We can’t seem to get enough of these beautiful tomatoes. I can’t think of any other food that when it’s good, it’s very, very good, and when it’s bad, it’s horrid. Right now, they are very, very good. We have a friend who says that there are some days that are so hot that all he wants to eat is a tomato. I’ve never been that hot. But I have enjoyed some of these fresh tomato recipes.
First, Tomato Mozzarella and Basil (Barefoot Contessa Family Style). This might be my favorite tomato recipe, and we used the fresh heirloom tomatoes from our CSA box for this. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this salad, and this is probably the ugliest batch I’ve ever made. But guess what? Still awesome.
Next up: Tomato Mozzarella and Pesto Panini (Barefoot Contessa at Home). There’s a reason that this isn’t an actual panini.
My dad had a panini maker for his grocery store’s deli. He sold the store, and kept the panini maker, and then generously gave it to me. The catch? It was an industrial-grade panini maker, which only plugged into an industrial-grade electrical outlet. In other words, we’d have to unplug our dryer to plug in the panini maker. Realizing how impractical that was, we sold the panini grill, and suffered through with an electric griddle for these sandwiches instead. We didn’t even have any fancy crusty bread, so we used regular boring sandwich bread. Even with all of those intervening forces, these sandwiches were amazing.
Finally (for now), Greek Panzanella (from Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That?). This was simply amazing, and even though the leftovers were a little soggy a day or two later, I still gobbled them up, and happily. I approached panzanella with some trepidation, since I’d never made or eaten it before. I needn’t have worried – as it turns out, as weird as “bread salad” sounds, it tastes pretty good. Think of a salad with more croutons and no lettuce, and there you go. The oregano and red wine vinaigrette used in this recipe would make a great marinade for grilled chicken to top a green salad. All of these vegetables came from our CSA box.
Bonus item: This is not a Barefoot Contessa recipe, but maybe it should be. I met my friend Amber during my first week of college, and we reconnected a few years ago. Amber is one of the funniest, most delightful, interesting, and interested people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I love that we can keep in touch through her food blog, Awake at the Whisk. I made her Roasted Heirloom Tomato Freezer Sauce last week, and it could not have been easier. (If you’re keeping track of how many tomatoes we’ve eaten, add in some BLTs for four adults over the weekend, and yes, I had to go to the farmers’ market to buy more tomatoes.) I used the marinara on Eggplant Parmesan, and we gobbled it all up.
Here are the tomatoes ready to be roasted. We had a little extra excitement as I brought in the fresh basil from the back porch – a little green worm stowed away and tried to make it into our sauce! Luckily I spotted it before I added extra protein to the recipe. Yikes! I must grow really good basil if even the worms want some.
I’d love to hear about your favorite tomato recipe. During the summer that my husband and I first met, he told me “I just love a plain tomato. With salt and pepper. And white bread. And mayonnaise.” I had to break it to him that that wasn’t exactly a “plain” tomato. What’s your favorite way to eat tomatoes?