Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Tomato Dilemma

Okay, so receiving a bag of home-grown tomatoes -- on top of an existing inappropriately large retail supply born of my inability to resist them -- is not really a dilemma.  But the desire to not waste, and more importantly, to enjoy every summery, juicy morsel, provides an opportunity to be creative.  Here are our tomato endeavors from the past week. 

Tandoori Spiced Chicken with Grilled Tomato Jam and Herbed Yogurt Sauce (click here for recipe)

This recipe is outstanding, giving you spice, savory, tangy and fresh all at once. The jam is divine and could be employed in countless other ways. So if you have any leftovers, keep them! I love the flavor complexity added by grilling the tomatoes. 

My only variation is related to the chicken... I applaud anyone who can handle the quantity of cayenne pepper called for in this spice rub. I am NOT one of those people, so I significantly reduce the measurement of that ingredient.

Classic California BLT

Simple. Fast. Close-your-eyes-delicious.

  • Toasted Bread, spread with a layer of mayo - just keepin it real, friends.
  • Thick-cut black forest bacon
  • Sliced tomato sprinkled with salt and pepper (important!)
  • Iceburg lettuce
  • Sliced avocado

Not to be neglected, the corn was done on the grill and rubbed with chili lime butter - which was just softened butter stirred together with lime zest, lime juice, a couple dashes of sriracha and salt.

Asparagus with Grilled Tomato Tarragon Vinaigrette (courtesy of Bobby Flay)

I'm providing recipes below for everything on this scrumptious plate, but to point of this post: this vinaigrette is to die for and uses the same grilling strategy for the tomatoes described above.  I could (do) eat it with a spoon.  Grilled tomatoes plus tarragon equals amazing. 

Grilled Tomato Tarragon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 ripe plum tomatoes
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
Grilled asparagus
Hard boiled eggs (my new obsession, I've found)

1.  Heat grill to high.
2.  Whisk together the vinegar, garlic, tarragon, salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl.  Slowly whisk in the 1/4 cup olive oil until emulsified.   Let the vinaigrette sit at room temperature while you grill the tomatoes.
3.  Brush the tomatoes with the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill the tomatoes until blackened on all side, 2-3 minutes per side.
4.  Remove the tomatoes from the grill and let cool slightly.  When cool enough to handle, cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and remove the seeds.  Cut the tomato halves into small dice and add to vinaigrette.  Add the onion and season with salt and pepper.  Allow the vinaigrette to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving. 
5.  Place the grilled asparagus on a large platter and spoon the vinaigrette over the top.  Top with sliced eggs.

This incredible side supported a ridiculous entree of Tea Rubbed Filet Mignon Steaks with Buttery Mushrooms (click here for recipe).  I don't think praise is warranted after you've read that title.  Our portion sizes were admittedly not reasonable, and I don't regret it.  There, I said it.

I don't have a spice grinder, so I used a mortar and pestle to make the rub.


Provencal Tomatoes (click here for recipe)

These little jewels are somehow sweet, light, satisfying and savory all at the same time.  They're stuffed with a mixture of herbs, bread crumbs and Gruyere cheese that plays perfectly off the sweet tomatoes.  To impersonate my girl Ina who authored this go-to recipe, how bad can that be??

End tomato rant.  Thanks for your patience... there were a lot of tomatoes.


Joanna said...

What is better than some delicious local tomatoes in the summer. The options are endless...perhaps some Panzanella?? Yummy!!;)

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