Make dinner tonight, inspired!

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? This is your place for quick and healthy meal inspirations. Here you'll find recipes for seasonally focused dinners, desserts, breakfasts, and everything in between.

My cooking focuses on the freshest ingredients prepared in a simple and careful way, to highlight their uniqueness. My own diet is primarily vegetarian, but does include sustainable fish and seafood, and is gluten free.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to sharing some of my favorite recipes with you!

23 August 2010

Tomato Salad, 3 ways

If your garden is anything like mine, it's most likely overflowing with tomatoes right now. They were late to ripen this year here, since we've had such an unseasonably cool summer, but finally they've arrived, and in full force! They all seem to ripen at once so I've been eating tomatoes with practically ever meal lately. No complaints here though. They're one of my favorite summer treats and I can think of a million ways to use them.

I thought I'd share 3 of my favorite tomato salad recipes here today. Look for many more tomato ideas in the coming weeks as well.


Classic Caprese Salad:
Yields 4 servings

3 large slicing tomatoes (beefsteak, marble stripe, purple cherokee....)
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (sweet 100's, sungold, yellow pear....)
fresh mozzarella, about 2 'ovolene' balls
12 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced
2 TB basil puree (recipe below)
extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1) Arrange the sliced tomatoes on a serving platter and sprinkle with the whole (or halved) cherry tomatoes. Tear the mozarella into bite size pieces and arrange it around the tomatoes. Sprinkle over the sliced basil. Drizzle the basil puree over the tomatoes as well as the olive oil & salt & pepper, to taste.

Basil Puree:
yields about 6 oz

2 bunches basil leaves (@ 2 1/2 cups)
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1) In the jar of a blender, add the basil and lemon juice, and process until coarsely chopped. Scrape down the sides and add the salt & pepper. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil until emulsified. Scrape down the sides and process again for a few seconds until the puree is relatively smooth. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.

Tomato & Watermelon Salad:
Yields 4 servings:

3 cups seedless red watermelon, diced into 1 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (any color or variety)
2 large slicing tomatoes, cut into 6 wedges each
1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1/2 ripe but firm avocado, diced into 1" pieces
1 small scallion, finely diced
2 TB basil puree (see recipe above)
juice of 1/2 lime
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1) In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, tomatoes, sliced fennel, avocado, scallion, and lime juice. Drizzle in 1 TB olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt & pepper. Toss gently to combine.

2) Place salad in a serving bowl or on a platter and drizzle with the basil puree, the remaining 1 TB olive oil, and additional salt & pepper to taste. Serve chilled.
Tomato Salad with Fresh Corn, Stone Fruit, Lime & Jalapeno served in Avocado 'Bowls':
Yields 4 servings

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small slicing tomatoes (like early girl or green zebra), diced into 1" pieces
2 small nectarines, diced into 1" pieces (like july red or fire sweet)
2 medium plums, diced into 1" pieces (like black beauty or elephant heart)
2 ears fresh corn, kernels removed from cob
1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
2 TB cilantro, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
2 medium Haas avocados, ripe but firm
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1) In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, stone fruits, corn, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and 1 TB olive oil, salt & pepper. Toss gently to combine.

2) Slice the avocados in half and remove the pit. Using a spoon, carefully remove the avocados from their skins, taking care not to damage the outer flesh. Scoop out a bit more of the inner flesh, around the pit area, to create a larger cavity. Dice the avocado flesh you just removed into 1" pieces and add it to the mixture.

3) Spoon the tomato salad into the hollowed out avocados. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt & freshly ground pepper to taste.

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