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How’s your garden growing? Mine’s been doing pretty well, except for some blossom end rot on a few of my big tomatoes. I grow everything in containers now, so I assume I didn’t water as well as I should during the really hot weather. I water every day now. I’ve had lots of bell peppers, jalapenos, zucchini, green beans, onions, and tons of cherry tomatoes, both red and yellow.
I’ve been trying to do a few different things this year with my veggies, starting with the aforementioned cherry tomatoes. Now I love them fresh, in salads or just a pop-in-your-mouth healthy snack, but I always have too many. I discovered a long time ago that even store-bought tomatoes in the winter can be roasted, and it brings out the sweetness and flavor like you wouldn’t believe. So, this year, I’ve been cutting the cherry tomatoes in half, putting them in one layer on a large baking pan, sprinkling with salt, pepper, and olive oil, and roasting them at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, depending on size of tomatoes. You can serve them as a side dish, or use them on sandwiches, and they’re really great on pizza or focaccia. This is so easy, you really need to try it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised I think.
I got some great big green tomatoes at the Lebanon Farmer’s Market. (If you haven’t gone, it’s on Wednesdays and Saturdays on M.L. King Avenue, and you can find some great vegetables there - try it!) I love fried green tomatoes, and always try to make them every summer, but I recently fixed a green tomato casserole that I was mighty fond of.
I’ll share that recipe, plus another roasted tomato recipe, plus my old stand-by Sicilian Tomato-Basil Salad.
What? Too many tomatoes? No way.
Green Tomato Casserole
1-2 large green tomatoes
1-2 Vidalia onions, sliced thinly and sautéed till softened
Salt, black pepper
½ c. grated cheese
1 ½ c. bread crumbs
T. bacon grease (or butter)
Slice green tomatoes very thinly and put layer on bottom of greased shallow casserole. Then put the sautéed onions on top, then salt and pepper, and then grated cheese. Toast the breadcrumbs in a small skillet in bacon grease (or butter, if you don’t save bacon grease like I do.) Sprinkle toasted crumbs on top of cheese layer. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serves four.
Roasted Cherry, Grape, or Plum Tomatoes
1 lb. tomatoes, cut in half
1 T. olive oil
1 T. vinegar
1 t. honey
¼ t. kosher salt
¼ t. black pepper
Mix all together and set aside for 10 minutes, then bake in single layer in 400 degree oven about 18-20 minutes. Serves four to six.
Susan’s Sicilian Salad
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ c. olive oil
½ t. salt
½ t. pepper
½ t. wine vinegar (can also use balsamic or cider vinegar)
¼ c. chopped fresh basil
Cut tomatoes into chunks. Mix remaining ingredients. Pour over tomatoes and toss lightly. Chill at least one hour. Serves six.