Tag Archives: Tomato

Scrumptious Summer Salads

July-August-2017

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2017.  All rights reserved.  Reprinted with permission.

Fresh from the Farm Stand

Fresh from the Farm Stand

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2014 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association.  Copyright © Delaware State Bar Association 2014.  All rights reserved.  Reprinted with permission.

Summer Pasta with Onion, Bacon and Tomato

During this heat wave, a light dinner showcasing fresh ingredients is ideal.  This pasta with onion, bacon and tomato is simple enough to prepare while enjoying some Olympic events.

Ingredients:

1/2 sweet onion, diced

Extra virgin olive oil

2 slices slab bacon

1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes

Fresh ground pepper

6 to 8 ounces egg capellini

Fresh basil

Sauté the onion in several tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil until soft and translucent, about five minutes.  In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Slice the bacon into 1/4 inch strips, then halve each strip.  Add the bacon to the onion and sauté until lightly browned, about seven minutes.  Keep stirring the onion and bacon with a wooden spoon, and season with pepper to taste.  Stir in the tomatoes and sauté for several minutes until they “pop”.

Throw the pasta into the boiling water and stir.  The pasta is so delicate that it should only take about two minutes.  When al dente, remove the pasta with tongs and add to the onion, bacon and tomato mixture.  Also, add about 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the pan to help the sauce stick to the pasta.  Using a wooden spoon, coat the pasta with the sauce, and toss in some fresh basil.

Pasta!

Serve with grated parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.  Enjoy with a light red wine, such as a Grenache.

(Extra)ordinary – Chicken Livers

Transform ordinary chicken livers into an extraordinary sauce with this recipe from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins, authors of The Silver Palate Cookbook – two of my favorite cookbooks!

“Pitti Palace Pasta”

Ingredients:

1 pound chicken livers, trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

4 fresh ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/4 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup dry red wine

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

8 ounces wide noodle pasta (such as tagliatelle)

If the chicken livers are large, cut them in half.  Combine the flour, paprika, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper in a mixing bowl.  Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Dredge the livers in the flour mixture, and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes.  Raise the heat slightly, and add the tomatoes, vinegar, chicken stock, wine, and rosemary.  Simmer until slightly thick, 5 minutes.

Chicken liver sauce

While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the pasta, and cook at a rolling boil just until tender.  Drain, and toss with the sauce.  Add the remaining 1 teaspoon pepper, and serve immediately.

In response to Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: (Extra)ordinary

Not Your Boar-ing Burger

While picking up a few items from the grocery store last Friday, my husband decided that a D’Artagnan free range wild boar mini roast would be perfect for dinner.  Just recently, our local grocery store started carrying a wide variety of D’Artagnan products.  While this is very exciting, I still intend to take advantage of special offers from the website at http://www.dartagnan.com!

Rather than roast the roast, we decided on more casual fare – boar burgers.  Below is our recipe…

Ingredients:

One D’Artagnan free range wild boar mini roast (1.5 pounds)

One egg

Worcestershire sauce

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

One tomato, sliced

One sweet onion, sliced

Dill pickles

Crusty Italian bread

To prepare the meat for grinding, cut it into small chunks (about one inch cubes).  Then spread the chunks on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.  Grind the chunks in a Cuisinart in two batches, pulsing until it is the consistency of ground beef or ground pork that you would purchase from a butcher.

The roast makes the perfect amount of ground “pork” for four burgers.  In a large bowl, mix one egg into the ground meat.  Then add several shakes of Worcestershire sauce, a few pinches of sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.  Mix with your hands and form into four patties.  Grill on medium high heat to your desired temperature.  Top your burger with a slice of tomato and some onion and pickles on toasted Italian bread.  (While I am a purist, my husband likes to add Dijon mustard.)

So, for a truly sweet and juicy “ham”-burger, check out D’Artagnan’s boar online or at your local grocery.

Boar Burger

Eggplant and Tomato Tian

This Provençal dish is a bright accompaniment to a grilled steak or lamb chop.  The term “tian” refers to both the earthenware dish in which the vegetables are cooked and the gratin of vegetables and cheese itself.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant (preferably Sicilian), thinly sliced

2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced

Fresh ground pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Fresh basil

Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a round 9-inch ceramic tart pan.  Arrange the eggplant in a layer on the bottom of the dish, permitting the slices to overlap slightly.  Then add a layer of tomato and season with pepper.  Continue to layer in this fashion until you use all of the tomato and eggplant.  Top with another drizzle of olive oil, and bake covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes.  Uncover, add the cheese, and bake for another 30 minutes until the vegetables are browned and the eggplant is tender.  Top with fresh basil and sea salt before serving.

Tian

Corn Salsa and Crab Cakes

Corn salsa is a refreshing, and somewhat spicy, way to enjoy summer’s bounty of fresh corn.  I recommend pairing this salsa with crab cakes…

Ingredients for Corn Salsa:

2 ears of corn, preferably white, sweet corn

2 scallions, thinly sliced

4 slices jalapeno, chopped

1 large tomato, cut into small chunks

Chiffonade of 5 basil leaves

Juice of 1/2 lime

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

Cut the corn from the cobs and place in a large bowl.  Add the scallions, jalapeno, tomato, basil and lime juice.  Mix together and taste before adding the desired amount of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Corn and Scallions

Ingredients for Crab Cakes:

16 ounce container lump or jumbo lump crab meat

1 egg

Zest of 1 lemon

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

2/3 to 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

3 tablespoons butter

My recipe for crab cakes is very simple – no filler! In a large bowl, mix the crab and egg with a fork.  Then, mix in the lemon zest as well as sea salt and pepper to taste.  Add the bread crumbs last, using your hands to mix the ingredients and feel for the amount of bread crumbs necessary to bind the crab.  Shape the mixture into 4 cakes, and chill on a plate in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to set.  Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a nonstick pan.  When the butter begins to foam, add the crab cakes and sauté until golden brown on each side (about 8 minutes total).

Plate the crab cakes topped with the salsa; or, serve the salsa in a flat serving dish alongside other summer favorites, such as slices of nectarine and mozzarella.

Corn Salsa

Jersey Tomato Sauce with Shrimp and Fettuccine

Now is the time to savor Jersey tomatoes, from a tomato salad to a marinara sauce.  Last night I prepared fettuccine tossed with shrimp in a Jersey tomato sauce.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, sliced

3 medium tomatoes (I used 2 red and 1 yellow), cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Chiffonade of fresh basil and parsley

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper

6 to 8 ounces fettuccine

12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Heat the olive oil and garlic in a pan over medium heat until the garlic is pale gold.  Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the basil and parsley and stir with a wooden spoon.  Bring the sauce to a boil and then turn down the heat to simmer.

Allow the sauce to simmer while bringing a large pot of water to a boil.  When the water comes to a boil, add a pinch of salt and 6 to 8 ounces of pasta.  I used a combination of Antica Pasta’s peperoncino fettuccine and spinach fettuccine – one of my favorite new finds (flavored pasta that actually has a flavor!)  Add the shrimp to the sauce, cooking about two minutes per side or until they become opaque.  Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve.

Shrimp in Sauce

I was so eager to take the first bite, that I neglected to photograph a freshly plated dish!

Shrimp in Pasta

An Herb-Filled Day

From breakfast to dinner, make the most of your herb garden this Saturday or Sunday…

Breakfast: Add herbs to your scrambled eggs.  In a bowl, crack two eggs per person and whisk.  Stir in a generous splash of milk or cream and add as many roughly chopped herbs as you would enjoy.  Consider different varieties of basil, Christmas basil (with purple flowers) and sweet basil, for example, chives and hot and spicy oregano.  In a nonstick pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and scramble the egg mixture.

Eggs and Herbs

Lunch: Slice some colorful heirloom tomatoes and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar glaze.  Season with fresh ground pepper and sea salt.  Then sprinkle with a chiffonade of basil and oregano.  Savor with some crusty bread.

IMG_1650

Dinner: Stuff a whole fish, such as sea bream, branzino or steelhead salmon, with a generous bunch of fresh herbs.  Lemon thyme, lemon verbena and rosemary are all good choices.  Grill the fish in a pocket of aluminum foil after drizzling with olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon or lime.

Steelhead salmon

Okra on the Side

Fresh okra has probably caught your attention at the farmers’ market this summer.  It has certainly caught mine…

okra 1

If you would like to enjoy this summertime treat without committing to a gumbo, try it as a side dish with another summer star – cherry tomatoes.

To prepare this simple and healthy side, slice a pint of okra into chunks on a bias and halve a cup of cherry tomatoes.  Sauté the okra slices in two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick pan.  This small quantity of olive oil may seem like it is not enough, but it will permit the edges of the okra to brown.  It will also enable the okra to retain its crispness rather than become too slimy.

Sauté for about seven to eight minutes while moving the okra around the pan with a wooden spatula.  Add the tomatoes and cook for another two to three minutes until they are slightly softened.  Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.  I also recommend some Aleppo pepper for its medium heat and somewhat salty taste.

Serve immediately and enjoy okra’s pleasant crunch and unique flavor.

okra 2