Posts Tagged “tomatoes”
The gratin is perfect as a vegetarian main dish or as both a vegetable and starch side dish if you serve it with meat. It would also be a great addition to brunch. The two cheeses, together with the tomatoes, eggplant and the squashes was inviting on this chilly post-Thanksgiving day.
Inspired by her 100th birthday, I went on a Julia Child binge last week. I drug out my old, beaten-up copies of both volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking from the 70s. Then I bought a grand spankingly new and beautiful paperback copy of The Way To Cook. Finally, I went into the kitchen with a purpose and set about making one of her seasonal recipes: Eggplant, Tomato and Zucchini Gratin..
I love gazpacho, Fellow FoodBeest, but I would never make it without the freshest seasonal ingredients. If you try to use the usual packaged supermarket tomatoes, your soup will be red, but totally lacking in the flavor we are looking for. It’s not necessary to grow your own, but it is especially satisfying if you are growing your own produce and suddenly find yourself with an abundance of summer produce like I did this morning.
The Italian-Americans I know rave nostalgically about the real deal: the “noodles and gravy” their mothers or grandmothers made; the stuff that Carmella served to Tony on the Sopranos. Often made for Sunday dinner, garnished with meatballs the size of your fist or used as a topping for a nice braciola, real gravy was what set our Italian neighbors’ kitchens apart from our own.
This is a perfectly wonderful summer sauce for fresh pasta or for anything else that loves tomatoes (I used the leftovers in omelets (with a little mozzarella) and on waffled eggplant. The truth was we couldn’t get enough of it.
I know it’s at least a little crazy to “make” ketchup. Ketchup, after all, is red. It comes from a plastic bottle with a label that talks about 57 Varieties. It is a throwaway condiment for French fries, hamburgers, meatloaf or anything else that you want to drown the flavor.
I may be the only person in North America who doesn’t love Campbell’s Cream of Tomato Soup. It was almost certainly served to me as a kid for lunch when I almost certainly didn’t eat it. I know it’s practically Un-American, but to this day I don’t like any cream of tomato soup.
You’ve had cream of tomato soup. You’ve had gazpacho. I have a new one for you: Tomato Water Soup. Chilled, it’s the essence of summer: sunshine and rainwater and ripe tomatoes. It is sweet, translucent and anywhere from ocher-colored to pale pink.
I chilled it, then added cucumber, grape tomato halves, basil and shrimp for a gorgeous light summer lunch.
I tend to go for seasonal, but here we are in very early spring in “USDA Planing Zone 5″ where nothing much will be growing and harvested for at least a few weeks and there’s just not that much calling to me. Everything failed to inspire me until Jamie Oliver.