Good Morning to ALL!!! It is Monday morning and I am sure you are all thrilled about it! Well Monday’s at the Cottage Market spell MEATLESS…even though every day is meatless here at the Cammarata household I like to share a recipe with all of you on this day that Sir Paul McCartney dubbed as “Meatless Mondays”. Hope you enjoy!
Before we start…my dear friend Keren is sponsoring a GiveAWAY for me at her SENSATIONAL blog…you all know it… Free Pretty Things For You …go check it out!!!!
Now what is at it’s peak right now in the produce world…TOMATOES…beautiful plump, juicy, gorgeous tomatoes. They are scrumptious regardless if they are cherry, grape, beefsteak, jersey, plum, heirloom and all of the other fabulous and wonderful varieties of these amazing jewels! Today I bring you a few fresh and quick recipes that I think you will enjoy on these hot Summer Days!
Let’s start with some delicious Tomato Salad Dishes these are both made with Jersey beefsteak tomatoes…mmmmmmm!
What is the best salad that I can think of? Well it is the most simple of them all but one that brings out the farm freshness of tomatoes and Summer like no other salad in the world. It is the Caprese Salad. Everyone has their version but in the end this amazing salad is a symphony of fresh and fabulous flavors.
If you are going to put this on your menu this week you will need to go to the market and pick up some juicy beautiful tomatoes of your choosing, the nice round beefsteak varieties lend themselves to perfect slices but if you find some heirlooms that are at their peek…they would be WONDERFUL!!!! Now you are going to need some fresh basil leaves (the aroma will bring a smile to your face immediately!) then another ALL important ingredient is fresh mozzarella cheese, you know that kind where the milk squirts out when you cut it! Pantry ingredients consists of sea salt, cracked pepper and yummy balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I am including a quick and easy balsamic glaze if you want to kick it up a notch! All you have to do now is slice your tomatoes and cheese and layer, top each one with a fresh basil leaf, drizzle with balsamic glaze or drizzle with balsamic and olive oil…you can’t go wrong whatever way you go! Of course this dish would not be complete without some crusty Italian bread! Dig in and ENJOY!
Oh one side note since you have these ingredients in the house a terrific lunch or light dinner would be toasted Italian bread with a brushing of garlic butter or good olive oil, a slice of tomato, a poached egg topped with a few slice of fresh avocado sprinkled with your favorite grated cheese (I adore pecorino romano) . It is soooooo YUMMY and SOOOOOO quick and easy! Give it a try!
Ingredients: Balsamic Vinegar
Just take your best balsamic vinegar and place it in a non reactive sauce pan (if you are doing a small amount, please use a small sauce pan, it works the best) All you have to do is pour the amount of vinegar you want and reduce it slowly to half. If you would like a sweeter glaze, just add a bit of sugar. Keep stirring and watching. You don’t want to burn this. One of the easiest methods of knowing when it is done is that the glaze puts a heavy coat on your spoon. By the way, why not make a lot because this nectar lasts forever. If you like your glaze a little sweeter you can put a touch of sugar in it. ENJOY!
Now how about some simple tomato salad? Give me a piece of Italian bread, a chunk of extra sharp provolone, a glass of red wine and this salad and I am in heaven.
All you need is the freshest most fabulous tomatoes that you can find, fresh basil, a good rich olive oil (I like using Olive Oil, its richness of flavor is something that I really enjoy in this salad instead of a Virgin Olive Oil) balsamic vinegar and fresh garlic minced extremely fine, coarse salt and freshly ground pepper.
Cut your tomatoes into bite size pieces, add your minced garlic and ripped basil, salt and pepper to taste and give a mix, now whisk 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1/3 of a cup of balsamic vinegar and a touch of sugar together and pour the amount you would like over the salad. You can also just drizzle olive oil and balsamic over the salad and toss. This salad should be left on the counter for at least an hour before eating so the juices can form, dunking in a necessity. Top the salad off with shavings of your favorite grated cheese and viola!
For those of you that have a little problem with fresh garlic I have a solution for you so you can enjoy this yumminess. Just roast yourself some garlic. Take a head or two and slice off the top so the cloves are exposed, place in a small crock or just aluminum foil, pour some olive oil in the top, a touch of salt and then cover or close foil, roast at 375 degrees or 400 degrees in the oven for about 45 minutes or until it is lightly caramelized and all squishy. Let it cool and then you can mix the roasted garlic with your oil and balsamic vinegar until it is completely blended you can use a little blender, food processor or whisk by hand and then add your fresh torn basil. This is so much easier on the stomach but yet you still enjoy that garlic goodness. Try it you will LOVE IT!
Now here is another quick and easy recipe that you will love! Once again with the abundance of fresh veggies out there right now, this is a creation that you can add additional farm fresh goodies to! You can mix and match, all I know is you are going to love it! Grab your favorite chip, maybe make some Guacamole and you are ready for a party or some delicious fun for the family!
5 tomatillos aka…Mexican Tomato
3 red and ripe Jersey Beefsteak tomatoes (of any delicious red meaty tomato available to you, if you need to you can use grape tomatoes, it’s still yummy)
1 cups of thinly sliced scallion greens and white
1 cup of fresh corn kernels (frozen is always the perfect alternative)
1/2 cup finely chopped sun dried tomatoes that have been packed in oil
1/2 cup of seasoned pinto beans
2 jalapeno peppers chopped finely (more or less according to your taste)
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped cilantro (if you do not like it…leave it out!)1 finely minced jalapeno (this can be excluded…only for those who like the heat!)
juice of 1 lime, 1 lemon and 1/2 of an orange and a tablespoon of honey whisked together
salt and pepper to taste
This is such a simple creation to put together, just chop all of your ingredients and place in a nice size bowl, add your corn, and beans, and then top with the juice of the fruit, salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Garnish with a bit of sliced scallions and cilantro! Let is sit for at least an hour before serving. Put a nice big bowl of tortilla chips out, guacamole maybe add a top shelf margarita and you will achieve a delicious experience!!! ENJOY!