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More tomatoes, anyone?

Updated: 
September 19, 2017 - 12:05am

Did you have your fill of flavor-packed, summer-ripened tomatoes this season? My garden yielded the best heirloom tomatoes ever this year. They’ve been the star of salads, pastas, pizza, salsa, and bruschetta. After an abundance of warm days and some quenching rains, the vines show no sign of quitting yet. And when something tastes this good, I want more. So back to the archives I go, for one more harvest of tempting tomato recipes.

Tomato-Ginger Chutney

Quick and easy to prepare, this condiment is great with crab cakes, cold lunch meats, and cream cheese, as well as with curries. Makes 3 half pints.

3 pounds heirloom tomatoes peeled, diced and drained

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a large non-reactive saucepan, combine tomatoes, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until almost dry, about 15 minutes. Stir in sugar, vinegar, cilantro, cumin and salt; simmer until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour into three sterilized half-pint jars, seal, and refrigerate up to a month.

No-Cook Tomato Sauce with Basil and Mint

If you use aromatic local tomatoes, fresh-picked basil and mint, and good extra-virgin olive oil, you cannot fail. Recipe from “The Cook’s Bible” by Christopher Kimball; makes enough sauce for a pound of pasta.

2 pounds tomatoes, seeded and chopped into medium dice

1/2 cup high-quality olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed

2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

2 tablespoons minced fresh mint

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon sugar

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Place chopped tomatoes in a bowl. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan. When hot, add garlic; simmer 4 minutes or until garlic is lightly browned. Remove from heat; steep 10 minutes, then pour hot oil through a strainer onto tomatoes. Combine all ingredients; marinate for at least 1 hour at room temperature. Add to hot cooked pasta and serve.

Free-form Stuffed Tomatoes

If you can find huge beefsteak tomatoes, fully ripe yet firm enough to hold some filling, this is a lovely way to showcase them. Recipe adapted from “Kitchen Garden” by Anna Nicholas; quantity varies as desired.

1 large ripe beefsteak tomato per person

1 hard-boiled egg per person

Cold cooked rice

Chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, chervil and/or parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Mayonnaise for binding

Optional: cooked minced beef or ham, finely minced onion

Cut the tops off tomatoes. Using a spoon, remove seeds and some of the pulp from the centers. Set aside to drain for a while. In a bowl, combine cooked rice, herbs and any optional ingredients desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then bind with enough mayonnaise just to moisten. Stuff tomatoes with the mixture. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven until heated through; serve warm.

Charred Tomato Ketchup

With only 3 to 4 grams of low-glycemic carbohydrate per tablespoon, not to mention great tongue-tingling taste, this homemade ketchup is far superior to mass-market varieties. It can be refrigerated up to three weeks or frozen up to six months. Recipe from “The Gourmet Prescription” by Deborah Friedson Chud, M.D.; makes 2 to 2 1/2 cups.

8 large vine-ripened tomatoes halved horizontally

1 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup malt vinegar

1/3 cup fructose*

2 teaspoons each: bottled white horseradish, minced garlic, minced fresh ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon each: ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground mace, ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/8teaspoon cayenne pepper

Prepare a hot grill, lightly oiled. Place tomatoes on grill, cut side up. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes, until skins are nicely charred. Turn and grill for another minute. Remove from heat; set aside to cool in a non-reactive container. When cool enough to handle, cut out stems and discard. Do not remove skins. Transfer tomatoes and any juices to a deep, non-reactive saucepan. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

Puree mixture in a food mill; return puree to saucepan. Simmer slowly, stirring occasionally, until a thick ketchup consistency is reached, about an hour. Remove from heat, adjust seasoning. Cool, then store as needed.

*Fructose is a low-glycemic natural sweetener derived from fruit. It is available in granulated form in markets and health food stores.

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