Category Archives: tomatoes

Salsa Fresca

Why buy salsa in a jar, when you can make this fresh version in 10 minutes.  This recipe is taken from “The Best Recipes in the World” by Mark Bittman.  I always use the fresh lime juice and red onion instead of the white. 

2 large ripe fresh tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/2 large white onion
1/4 minced garlic, or to taste
1 habanero or jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice or 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine all the ingredients, the taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
2. If possible, let the flavors marry for 15 minutes or so before serving, but by all means serve within a couple of hours. 

Grilled Ketchup

This recipe is taken from “Food” by Guy Fieri.  I wish I had some of this left over from making the “Fire-Roasted Shrimp Cocktail” recipe as I would have loved to have made homemade fries to go with it.  This recipe makes 1 1/2 cups of ketchup.  I used white vinegar instead of the apple cider vinegar, not on purpose though…I just thought I had apple cider vinegar in my pantry which I did not. I bought the agave nectar at VitaHealth (a local health food store) as it is not sold at my local supermarket.

1 1/4 pounds Roma tomatoes (about 8), cut in hlaf vertically and seeds removed
1/4 red bell pepper
1/4 small red onion
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons agave nectar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1.  Preheat the grill to high.  Place the tomatoes skin side up on a baking sheet.  Add the red pepper and onion.  Brush the vegetables very lightly with the olive oil.  Sprinkle with the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper.  Turn the tomatoes skin side down and grill all the vegetables until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes.  Set aside to cool slightly. 
2.  Combine the vegetables, vinegar, agave nectar, mustard, and granulated garlic in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.  Taste for seasoning.
3.  Let the ketchup sit at room temperature until ready to use.  You can make it ahead and refrigerate to for up to 1 week. 

Grilled Ratatouille

Ratatouille is my most favorite dinner.  I always make the recipe from my Moosewood Cookbook, but today I thought I’d try it on the BBQ.  It turned out wonderful and I loved the fresh basil in this recipe taken from The New Vegetarian Grill by Andrea Chesman.

1 large onion, quartered
1/2 garlic bulb, separated into cloves and peeled
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and sliced 3/8 inch thick
1 green bell pepper, halved
6 medium-size tomatoes, halved
2 medium-size zucchini, sliced 3/8 inch thick
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in the grill.
2. Skewer the onion and garlic.  Brush the olive oil on the onion, garlic, eggplant, pepper, tomatoes, and zucchini.
3.  Grill the vegetables, turning occasionally, until tender and grill-marked, 10 to 15 minutes for the eggplant, onion, and garlic; about 10 minutes for the pepper and tomatoes; and 5 to 8 minutes for the zucchini.  Remove the vegetables from the grill as they are done.
4. Chop the grilled vegetables into 1/2-inch dice and combine in a saucepan with the basil, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for 15 minutes on the grill or on the stove.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Serve hot or at room temperature. 

Mediterranean Broccoli in a Rose Sauce with Fine Herbs

This is a great side dish! The recipe is taken from “The $10.00 Gourmet” by Ken Kostick. I would suggest to drain the tomatoes as the juices made the dish too watery, and when I added the cream (I used half and half) a rose sauce wasn’t made.

3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
One 28oz (796 ml) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup light cream or whipping cream
Cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)

1. Heat the oil in a large pot and sauté the garlic and all of the vegetables for 5-6 minutes.
2. Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the cream. Bring to a boil the reduce the heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the cream, mix well to a creamy texture, and serve. Garnish with cherry tomatoes, if desired.

Baked Brie with Roasted Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This recipe was taken from the Winnipeg Free Press Recipe Swap section (December 30th, 2009). I used 2 cloves of roasted garlic and they perfectly covered the top of the Brie. I assembled the Brie and toppings in advance and put it in the fridge until I was ready to heat it up. I used a 400g wheel of Brie and it was a good amount for 6 people.

1 or 2 whole heads of garlic (to taste)
5 ml or 10ml (1 or 2 tsp) olive oil
Approx. 450g wheel of Brie cheese
175 ml (3/4 cup) oil packed sun-dried tomatoes (drained and cut into thin strips)
80 ml (1/3 cup) pine nuts
Fresh baguette or crostini

1. Cut the top off each head of garlic (about 1/4-inch). Place in foil and bring foil up the sides but do not completely cover. Pour 5 ml (1 tsp) olive oil on top of each garlic head. Bake at 350F for about 40 to 45minutes. Let cool.
2. Place Brie in an ovenproof dish. Use a sharp knife to slice off top of rind. Squeeze garlic cloves out of skins and smash them slightly with your fingers (or put in a small bowl and use a fork) and spread on top of Brie. Top with sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts.
3. Bake at 400F until warm and softened, about 12 to 16 minutes. If nuts are getting too brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Serve warm with a spreading knife and slices of fresh baguette or with crostini. Will yield about 20 servings.

Gypsy Soup

A great bowl of soup on a cold night. I used about 5 cups of water instead of 3 since there wasn’t enough broth once all the vegetables were added. This recipe is taken from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen.

2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
3 medium cloves garlic, crushed
1 stalk celery, minced
2 cups peeled, diced sweet potato
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. mild paprika
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. basil
A dash of cinnamon
A dash of cayenne
1 bay leaf
3 cups of water
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

1. Heat a medium-sized saucepan of water to boiling. Core the tomatoes, and plunge them into the boiling water for a slow count of 10. Remove the tomatoes, and peel them over a sink. Cut them open; squeeze out and discard the seeds. Chop the remaining pulp and set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, celery, and sweet potato, and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add salt, and sauté 5 minutes more. Add seasonings and water, cover, and simmer about 15 minutes.
3. Add tomato pulp, bell pepper, and chickpeas. Cover and simmer for about 10 more minutes, or until all the vegetables are as tender as you like them. Taste to adjust seasonings, and serve.

Assorted Mushrooms with Chunky Tomatoes

I used this as a cold antipasto for my dinner party, but you can use this as a hot sauce on pasta. This recipe is taken from “The Italian Way – Cooking with the Deluca’s”.

1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, plus the juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as champignons, chanterelles, shiitakes, and oyster mushrooms
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
4-5 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup pepato Sicillian (peppercorn) cheese, grated

1. Seed and chop the tomatoes and set aside. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the garlic. Sauté for 5-10 seconds, turn up the heat to high, and add the mushrooms, bell peppers, chili flakes, and salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes and add the parsley, basil, oregano, tomatoes, and their juice. Turn the heat down to medium and cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Serve hot or cold as an antipasto with slices of Tuscan bread or as a sauce on pasta. Sprinkle with spicy peppercorn cheese before serving.
Serves 4

Turkey and White Bean Chili

Although, this recipe is really good, there is room to add a little more spice. I used ground chicken since I couldn’t find ground turkey. I also used red pepper instead of green. This recipe is taken from The $10.00 Gourmet by Ken Kostick.
(I made this recipe a second time and used ground turkey.  I also used 1 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder, 1 teaspoon oregano, and 1 teaspoon basil.  I used the whole can of white beans and I added just a bit more corn.)

2 tbsp (30ml) olive oil
1 lb (500g) lean ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 28oz (796ml) can diced tomatoes
1 cup (250ml) cooked or canned white kidney beans
1/2 cup (125ml) chicken stock, more if needed
1/2 cup (125ml) kernel corn, frozen or canned
2 tbsp (30ml) liquid honey
1/2 tsp (2ml) dried basil
1/2 tsp (2ml) dried oregano
1/2 tsp (2ml) chili powder
1/2 tsp (2ml) sea salt
1/2 tsp (2ml) ground black pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pot. Sauté the ground turkey until cooked.
2. Add the onion, celery, and green pepper, and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent.
3. Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Add more stock if it’s too thick.

Dill and Parmesan Tomatoes

I make this as a side dish to almost anything. This recipe is taken from The Best of Bridge series – The Rest of the Best and more. I use 3 large tomatoes or 4 medium sized tomatoes.

3 medium tomatoes
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tbsp fresh chopped dill or 1/2 tsp dried dill
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cut each tomato into 4 slices and place on a cookie sheet. Melt butter, add bread crumbs, dill, salt, pepper and cheese. Stir together and spoon crumb mixture into tomato slices. Place in cold oven under broiler (not too close) and turn on broiler. Broil until crust turns golden – about 5 minutes. Serves 6


This recipe is taken from “The Best Recipes in the World” by Mark Bittman.  Instead of the dried whole chilies, I used 1 1/2 tsp of chipotle chile pepper powder.  I also just bought a cooked chicken and shredded it.  This sauce can be made ahead of time.  I used only one cup of the chicken stock since my sauce wasn’t super thick after cooking it. Instead of cooking my corn tortillas in oil I softened them in extra sauce that I warmed in a skillet.

1 cup corn, grapeseed, or other neutral oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 onion, peeled and quartered
4 tomatoes, cored and quartered
6 dried mild chilies, like guajilo or California, stemmed and seeded
2 teaspoons ground cumin, plus more to taste
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 quart chicken stock, preferably homemade
About 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
Forty 5-inch corn tortillas
1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and chiles and cook until the tomato juices are released and the chiles are soft, about 5 minutes.  Season with cumin, salt and pepper.
2. Transfer this mixture to a blender and blend until smooth, adding sufficient chicken stock to make a loose but still creamy mixture.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Moisten the chicken with about half of the sauce, or enough to make it pasty.
3. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a deep skillet over medium-low heat.  Cook the tortillas, one at a time, until softened and pliable, about 10 seconds.  Drain on paper towels.
4. Line a heaping tablespoon of the chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla, roll tightly, and put in a large baking dish.  The rolls should be placed snugly against one another.  Pour the remaining sauce over, top with the cheese, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until heated through.  Serve hot.