Friday, July 24, 2009
I thought I'd pass along some favorite recipes using farmer's market purchases in case you are needing ideas for the weekend.
A summer favorite of mine is bruschetta. First, let's talk about how to pronounce it! In Italy, it is pronouced brus-ketta' but most English speakers will pronounce is bru-shetta. The noun comes from the Roman dialect verb-bruscare-which means "to roast over coals". Bruschetta to me is the "dish" but to some it is the "topping". Either way it is a fabulous use for summer-abundant tomatoes.
You will need:
A hearty bread that toasts well-I use Theresa's bread from the market, but a french or italian bread will do fine. I wouldn't recommend the really hard crusted, more holey version of french bread but maybe your basic grocery store variety,
Vine-ripened tomatoes- I like heirlooms, but I'm a picky tomato eater,
a good quality olive oil,
fresh basil, I grow my own (yea!)
salt and pepper.
I chose two peach tomatoes (yellow), a Pink German, and a Cherokee Purple. Place your tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute, this will cause the skin to split and make peeling easier, great trick for peaches that you are using in a cooked dish, too. It's important not to let the time go longer, you don't want cooked tomatoes. See the split skin?
For this minute, I begin to peel and chop about 4 cloves of garlic, let's say one for each tomato to make it easy to remember.
I like to "seed" the tomatoes, this gets rid of a lot of the water in them and allows the toasted bread to stay toasty. I cut tomatoes in half and just pinch the seedy part out. You will come to learn where along the tomato the little seed areas are and you can just stick your finger through the peeled tomato and rake seedy gel into the trash. I'm sure someone else has a great use for this part of the tomato, not me.
See all of the nicely prepared tomatoes?
Let's move on to basil, a favorite herb of mine. I add it to eggs, salads, spaghetti sauce I had in the freezer, really just about anything can use a little basil in my opinion. I keep some in a glass on the kitchen counter to have handy. I like the way my hands smell when I rub a leaf, too.
I remove the leaves from the stem and roll them up into a fat cigar shape and slice them diagonally, then chop a bit more. This seems easy to me and I like taking the time to do this. It is like being patient while properly brewing a pot of tea, a nice ritual.
Chop tomatoes, add the garlic and basil, salt and pepper to taste. I like a lot of pepper but I feel that way about everything I pepper.I should note that most recipes also add olive oil to the tomato mix, feel free if you like. I find I like just the olive oil on the bread. It's more calorie friendly and I figure I can have an extra slice.
Time to slice the bread. I like it sliced a bit on the diagonal, but, hey, whatever makes you happy. Place it on a cookie sheet and brush with olive oil. Place the oiled bread under the broiler. Do not look away, it doesn't take long. No, there is no time for kitchen clean up here, trust me. When the bread in really toasty, it's ready. Take it out of the oven. I haven't tried it, but grilling the bread sounds lovely.
Time for topping the toasted bread. I put about an 1/8 cup on my fairly good-sized slices of bread. Serve it immediately. The bread will get soggy even though you took the most watery part of the tomato out. If you don't think you'll eat all you prepared, save the topping in a plastic container for the next day with freshly toasted bread.
I like a nice Pinot Grigio with it every now and then. I'm thinking tonight some ice tea with a sprig of my Kentucky Colonel mint from the yard, sounds nice. Enjoy.