Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Trilogy of Tomatoes

In the Village of the Brothers Grimm...

... there was strife, calamity, disease, suffering, evil enchantment, poverty, hardship...

And a fox! All wanted to live "happily ever after." Especially the Fox who would be granted a goose to eat ... that is as soon as the geese finished their bedtime story....


... which the geese never did... in fact they are still telling that bedtime story. So the geese and in the end - all of the villagers lived "happily ever after."
`
The tomatoes in the garden were my happily ever after. Twelve-hour days left me as a food metaphor. I was either "toast" or a "wet noodle." So I devised dinners based on tomatoes.


Tomatoes can break evil enchantment. After all, they are known as the Pomme D'Amour (love-apple) in France. As for me, I could dine on tomato topping for bruschetta all summer.

Four tomatoes, a fistful of chopped basil (all right - 1/2-3/4 cup), 2 minced shallots, 4 minced garlic cloves, a little bit of Italian parsley, a drop of vinegar and a swish of olive oil. Maybe salt and pepper.
`
Perched on lightly toasted Italian bread - magically turned into crostini by the rubbing of a cut garlic clove and brushed lightly with olive oil. Toasted at 350 degrees F for only 10-12 minutes - so the crostini is not hard as a rock and dinner is served.

Put it on fresh mozzarella. I had more than one.
`
A non-authentic panzanella salad was summer magic on a plate. Chopped tomatoes, torn stale bread that was brushed with olive oil and a little minced garlic and just thrown under the broiler for a few minutes. Add to that a few thinly-sliced red onions soaked in vinegar for fifteen minutes. Toss all with basil and Italian parsley and have a summer feast. Drizzle with a good balsamic. Luckily I had the Saporoso Balsamic from the House of Modena sent to me from Gera at Sweets Foods. Perfect!
`
Bread and Tomaotes - a title for a play?

When the tomatoes are vine-ripened, just-picked - there's no need to fuss. Let the tomatoes do the talking. Don't dress too much. The tomatoes are center stage.
`
And I knew the show weekend would end in "happily ever after" when I sat down to these tomato stacks from Sommer Collier's A Spicy Perspective blog.


Softened goat cheese mixed with herbs (I used a lot of thyme) and drizzled with a good balsamic and stacked.
`
This may be as good as it gets.


Or maybe not. Maybe three is better. And so I now dwell happily ever after in the Village of White Bear Lake. And in case I didn't make my self clear - as for those long days with the 42 young performers. I had the time of my life.

40 comments:

Velva said...

You know I am a partial to the fresh Summer tomato. These dishes you prepared after long hours of work are awesome. They are prepared with simplicity and it's a beautiful thing.

I can see your summer has been a very busy one. Cheers to you.

foodalution.com said...

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by foodalution today.You are not far from hickory nuts in Minnesota...we have lots here in Wisconsin. Do you guys have a market? Okay - my husband's mother is Sicilian and when pasta is cooked.... they toss it with olive oil, garlic, oregano (i think) and bread crumbs. I noticed the bread crumbs in your salad above. I love that addition! It adds something, texture, taste - yumminess. foodie love from neighbor to the east!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Your production looked so charming Claudia! Look at all those happy faces -- you gave them wonderful skills and memories that will last a lifetime!

I love tomatoes and I'm anxiously waiting for mine to turn red. I've had soem ripe cherry tomatoes but I want the the big beef steak ones.

I love all your recipes but the stacked tomato is a new one to me and something I definitely want to try!

Monet said...

I agree...what a lovely production. It is evident the amount of care and work that went into the play! And I adore tomatoes...especially with cheese...even more with cheese and bread!

pegasuslegend said...

So glad to have the privilege of eating fresh ripe garden tomatoes almost all year long, I love tomatoes...mostly just with garlic and olive oil and fresh crusty bread...yours looks great heaven on a plate for me...can make it a whole meal!

Angie's Recipes said...

These layered tomatoes with thyme flavoured goat cheese sound look marvelous!
Tomatoes and Bread...sounds chocolate and milk :-))

Mister Meatball said...

Summers are defined by tomatoes.

You know this, I am sure.

Yes, you do.

Wanda..... said...

You sound full of joy, Claudia! My meals have been based around tomatoes, basil, zucchini and cucumbers from the garden too. They along with the fact that my granddaughter is in Ireland has made me think of you often this week!
Happy cooking and writing!

My Little Space said...

Congrats on another wonderful play, Claudia! I'm sure you have fun with them. Btw, the tomato recipe sounds simply delightful. What a great way to make good use of them. Hope you're enjoying your day.
Best wishes,
Kristy

Sophie said...

Congrats on another wondeful play, dear Claudia!

The actors & actrices are looking quite cheerful & happy!

Those red tomatoes from your garden are looking fab! I also love these easy yet very stylish tomato recipes!

They are certainly very flavourful!!

Kisses & hand waves from Brussels!

Barbara GF said...

Happily ever after, indeed, Claudia. It looks like your production was a hit - how precious, all those little charges inspired by your work. Congratulations!
And what better way to celebrate than with garden tomatoes - brava! I love all of those recipes, but the stacks are most elegant. I could dig in right now.

Choices said...

I liked all those tomato recipes. I love tomatoes. Although, I don't grow any vegetables, I am always buy lots of fresh vegetables. I must try those recipes. I am not a fan of goat cheese, so I would choose a different cheese.
Happy cooking.
Take care.

Cinnamon Girl said...

I am loving your 'themed' posts Claudia! This is a mouth-watering celebration of tomatoes. All delicious - I am especially loving those tomato stacks! And I enjoyed seeing the pictures from your play!

gina said...

Love the play pictures! The tomatoes, my favorite, you are making me hungry!
-Gina-

Kim said...

I always love it when you tie in the play with the food! Love those pics of the kids. Looks like they had a grand time:)

Loving all your tomato dishes, especially the stacked tomato with the goat cheese and herbs. That one looks really dreamy!!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

First of all, let me send kudos to you for the work you do with the kids and drama. My daughter was a thespian throughout high school and college and I can appreciate all the hard work you do for these kids. I am just starting to get to Jersey tomatoes after being away for three weeks - and love all your suggestions.

3 hungry tummies said...

Congratulations on the play! Love the way Italians use the tomatoes. Cant wait til summer to have delicious vine ripen ones again.

Shree said...

beautiful production and beautiful dish :)

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

Nice on the play!! The tomatoes look scrumptious! I'm so happy now that mine are coming in! Yea!

Jen_from_NJ said...

Thank you for the great ideas of ways to use my beloved Jersey tomatoes! I am glad to hear that you so enjoyed working with the children.

Alison said...

Garden tomatoes are sooooooooo good. I love your goat cheese / tomatoe idea!

~Prairie Story ...care of Alison Zulyniak

Katherine Aucoin said...

You are on a roll with your summer veggie themed posts! I'm with you on the bruschetta all summer long. You've shown us some wonderful ways to utilize our summer tomatoes.

Your actors are adorable too!

Carol Egbert said...

A short tomato season in Vermont makes tomatoes even more delicious. Thanks for a great post - The play looks terrific.

Foodessa said...

Claudia...I can seriously have a bath in fresh garden tomato...oh wait a second...I actually did! Once in Jamaica I had burned pretty badly under the sneaky heat of the sun. Their solution was to bathe me in tomatoes LOL It actually worked!

Ciao for now and have a wonderful evening.
Flavourful wishes, Claudia


P.S. It's nice to see how you keep busy and out of trouble ;o)

Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog said...

I can eat tomatoes even in desserts! With garlic and olive oil plus goat cheese is superb :)

Cheers,

Gera

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

Wonderful post! I'm so honored you like my recipe. It is sort of a decedent little salad!

Sweet & Savory Summer said...

I'm still trying to use up the fresh tomatoes my neighbor brought over, this looks like the perfect way :)

joe@italyville said...

it's the perfect summer snack or appetizer! love it.

The Mom Chef said...

All three are glorious. I've been eating tomatoes raw like an apple so a change will be great. thanks!

Proud Italian Cook said...

You might have had long days, but such rewarding work! I'm going to reward myself with your panzanella salad this weekend, daily I'm picking beautiful tomatoes!

Lynn said...

Tomatoes and cheese .. heaven!

Mary said...

I would have loved to see that production. I must also add I would love to add any one of your tomato creations to files. They all sound fabulous. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Sook said...

Oh what fun you had! The dish looks so yummy, too!

theUngourmet said...

I love seeing your performance photos! How fun! There's nothing like the taste of fresh ripe tomatoes. Pure Heaven! Love the stacks!

OysterCulture said...

As much as I get slammed with tomatoes in the summer, I never tire of them, and I think you just proved why. You've showcased some incredible tasty and wonderful recipes that just leave the eater begging for more.

Chow and Chatter said...

wow the play looks wonderful and wow what amazing ways to eat home grown tomatoes your a talent sweet Claudia

Magic of Spice said...

Those are some happy tomatoes:) And what a fun production...

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Tomatoes are perhaps my favorites. I'm bookmarking all of these. The bruschetta could be breakfast, lunch and dinner for me.

The play sounds like such fun!
Sam

girlichef said...

Oh yes, I am totally enamoured by tomatoes fresh from the garden...all beautiful dishes! I haven't made a panzanella yet this year...I think I'm due ;) I think your work must be so rewarding!

Lori Lynn said...

YAY for summer and tomatoes.
Love the stacks!
LL