Tasty tomatoes: 8 fresh recipes to give you a big bite of summer

2 easy tomato dishes

  • TOMATO SALAD WITH BASIL DRESSING

Process together 1/2 packed cup basil leaves, 1 Tbs. white wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper in a food processor until mixed well. With processor on, slowly pour in 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil; process until smooth. Divide 2 sliced yellow tomatoes, 2 sliced red tomatoes, and 2 cups cherry or pear tomatoes among 4 plates; drizzle with dressing. Makes 4 servings. Each serving: 160 cal., 14 g fat, 2 g protein, 9 g carb.

  • PARMESAN-BASIL-GRILLED TOMATOES

Cut 4 large beefsteak tomatoes in half horizontally; brush both halves with olive oil. Grill tomatoes, skin side down, over high heat with grill lid closed, 2 minutes. Turn and grill 2 minutes with lid closed. Turn again, then sprinkle with 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil, and 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan; cook with grill lid closed until cheese begins to melt, 1 to 2 minutes. Makes 8 servings. Each serving: 72 cal., 5 g fat, 3 g protein, 3 g carb.

  • GRILLED BEEFSTEAK-TOMATO-AND-BRIE SANDWICHES

Spread 1/2 Tbs. Dijon mustard on one side of each of 4 thick slices of white bread; remove rind of 6 oz. softened Brie and spread half on each of 2 of the slices. Top cheese with sliced tomato and cover with remaining bread. Melt 1 tsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat and place sandwiches in skillet; cook 2 minutes. Add another tsp. butter to skillet; turn sandwiches and cook 2 more minutes. Makes 2 sandwiches. Each sandwich: 622 cal., 41 g fat, 26 g protein, 40 g carb.

  • TOMATO-MOZZARELLA TART

Roll 1 sheet of puff pastry into a 14 in. square, fit into a 9 in. pie plate, trim the corners, and tuck the edges under to form a crust; prick the bottom and sides of pastry with a fork. Top pastry with foil and fill with pie weights or uncooked rice and bake at 400[degrees] for 10 minutes; remove foil and weights and bake 8 more minutes. Layer pastry with, in the following order, 6 oz. thinly sliced fresh mozzarella, 3 Tbs. pesto, 1 thinly sliced large red tomato, 3 Tbs. pesto, 6 oz. thinly sliced mozzarella, 3 Tbs. pesto, and 1 thinly sliced large yellow tomato; then dot top with 3 Tbs. pesto. Cut into wedges. Makes 6 servings. Each serving: 481 cal., 35 g fat, 30cj protein, 13 g carb.

Tomato Sipper

Process 7 large tomatoes, 1 seeded jalapeno, 1 cup cilantro leaves, 4 chopped scallions, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 cup lime juice, 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper, 1 tsp. ground cumin and 1 tsp. salt in a food processor until smooth. Press through a strainer; discard solids. Chill and serve as is or with 2 Tbs. vodka stirred into each 8 oz. glass. Makes 6 cups. Each 1 cup serving (without vodka): 90 cal., 1 g fat, 4 g protein, 20 g carb.

TOMATO TIPS

  • Buy tomatoes at a farmer’s market if at all possible. Even during the peak summer season, the ones offered by many supermarkets are the same low-on-taste tomatoes that are sold during the winter.
  • Choose firm tomatoes that are heavy for their size and avoid any with soft spots. Select tomatoes that are ripe (bright red all over) or slightly under-ripe (a few streaks of green). Let them ripen at room temperature for a few days.
  • Never refrigerate tomatoes. Cold temperatures cause tomatoes to stop ripening and give them a mealy texture.
  • Plum tomatoes are less juicy than other varieties and are good for sauces. Juicy beefsteak tomatoes are good all-purpose tomatoes to eat on their own or to add to soups or salads. Cherry tomatoes are good in salads or quickly sauteed in olive oil and served as a side dish. Grape tomatoes are sweeter than cherry tomatoes, but you can use them the same way.

2 simple sauces

  • Tomato-dill vinaigrette

Whisk together 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 Tbs. white wine vinegar, 1 pressed garlic clove, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper in a large bowl. Stir in 2 peeled, seeded, and diced yellow tomatoes and 2 Tbs. chopped dill. Serve over grilled chicken or use as a dressing for pasta salad. Makes 1 3/4 clips. Each 2 Tbs. serving: 73 cat., 8 g fat, 0 g protein, 1 g carb.

  • Fresh tomato sauce

Combine 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 4 pressed garlic cloves, 2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a large bowl. Quarter 10 plum tomatoes and add to a food processor with 10 basil leaves; process until chunky. Add tomato mixture to olive-oil mixture. Makes 5 cups sauce, enough to coat 1 lb. pasta. Each 1/2 cup serving: 74 cal., 6 g fat, 1 g protein, 6 g carb.

Pesto Pronto

Spoon this easy-to-make sauce over sliced tomatoes, or toss with hot pasta and chopped fresh tomatoes. Process together 2 cups basil leaves, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts, 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, 2 tsp. lemon juice, and 1 tsp. salt in a food processor until mixed well. With food processor on, slowly pour in 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil; process until smooth. Makes 1 cup. Each Tbs.: 100 cal., 10 g fat, 2 g protein, 1 g carb.

Leave a Reply