In the share this week:
- big ‘ole sweet onions
- red, orange and green bell peppers
- heirloom slicing tomatoes
- small and medium paste tomatoes
- sungold cherry tomatoes
- zucchini and summer squash
- jalapeño peppers
∞ Ways to Eat Peppers and Onions
You’re getting freshly pulled sweet onions this week from my friend and neighbor Beth Smith of Oak Hill Farm. Beth has been growing onions for years, so I defer to her in all things allium. May I suggest the classic combination of sliced onion and sweet bell peppers, the base of many a fantastic summer meal, including:
- Italian sausage
- pizza topping
These sweet onions will also caramelize beautifully. Dark and flavorful caramelized onions are excellent on burgers, pizza, in pasta or as the base of a caramelized onion tart with apples, potatoes, cauliflower, or, of course, bacon. The key to making the best caramelized onions is “slow and low”. Use a heavy-bottomed cast iron pan or dutch oven and cook on medium-low heat for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to scrape up crispy bits. Don’t stop until the onions are dark brown and super soft. Deglaze the pan with wine, stock, balsamic vinegar or water to dislodge the remaining sticky bits. For the best results, follow Bon Appetit’s Caramelized Onion Common Mistakes — And How to Avoid Them.
Stuff Those Tomatoes
We learned this recipe on our honeymoon and come back to it again and again during the height of tomato season. You can use any tomatoes for this, but the small and medium paste tomatoes (oval-shaped instead of round) are the easiest to scoop and stuff. Roast them until they’re almost falling apart and they’ll create an instant sauce when folded into your favorite pasta.
Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes & Pasta
- 10-12 medium and small tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- bunch of fresh basil, chopped
- 4 sprigs of Italian parsley, chopped
- Italian bread crumbs, roughly 1 cup
- olive oil
- your favorite pasta; linguini is good here
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Grease a large baking sheet with olive oil spray
- Cut each tomato in half and scoop out the seeds and loose flesh into a mixing bowl. Place the halves — which now resemble oval-shaped bowls — on the baking sheet
- Add the garlic, parsley and chopped basil to the mixing bowl. Pour in bread crumbs a little at a time until the mixture thickens enough to stay on a spoon
- Add salt to taste
- Scoop out spoonfuls of the mixture and fill each tomato half
- Top each stuffed tomato with a little more bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil
- Bake for 25 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and slightly charred on the bottom
- When you make the pasta, save a half cup of the cooking liquid
- Fold the whole roasted tomatoes into freshly boiled pasta, adding a little of the cooking liquid to help the tomatoes spread evenly.
- Serve with fresh-grated parmesan
You’re Never Too Old for Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
We made this for dinner last week and earned our children’s undying love for at least 20 minutes. The soup is great, but it’s greatness is multiplied by 1,000 when you dip a corner of a sourdough-cheddar grilled cheese sandwich into it.
Cream of Tomato Soup
- 4-5 lbs of tomatoes, quartered if really big
- half a yellow onion, sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic with the skin still on
- olive oil
- 4 cups of stock or broth (beef is best, but veggie and chicken work, too)
- 1 tsp of sugar (optional)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, yogurt or sour cream
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Generously oil the bottom of a large glass baking dish, then toss in the tomatoes, onion and garlic to coat with oil
- Roast the tomatoes, onion and garlic in the oven until tomatoes are nicely blackened and very soft, about 30 minutes
- Meanwhile, bring the stock to a simmer
- Let the tomatoes cool slightly, then lift away the charred skin (tongs are helpful here) and remove skin from roasted garlic
- Add tomatoes (with all their juices) and onion and garlic to the simmering broth. Let the flavors blend for 5 mins.
- Blend the soup with a hand blender or regular blender. Add sugar to taste, then stir in cream or yogurt.
There’s Always Room for (Tomato) Pie
These scrumptious tomato pie recipes employ the killer combination of tomatoes, cheese, garlic and pastry crust. Thanks again to our friend Kara for introducing us to this summertime delicacy.