My husband LOVES tomatoes! Every year he plants and nurtures heirloom tomato plants from seed. He starts the incubation in the middle of winter, in his greenhouse, and when his toddlers are ready for tomato kindergarten, he gives them protection from squirrels in their custom-built screened enclosures. All of his care and attention is worth every minute as our summer table overflows with these once a year, sweet, juicy colorful gems. To honor these sunkissed fruit of the gods, we hosted a tomato palooza at my daughter’s apartment. Here are some of the recipes from our tomato feast as well as a round-up of past favorites.
Savory Tomato Muffins with Spicy Tomato Jam
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 1/3 cups flour (you can use 1/2 whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped basil
Set oven to 370 degrees. Spray 12 muffins cups with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, and tomato puree. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix lightly. Fold in basil until combined. Divide batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Spicy Tomato Jam
3# chopped tomatoes (about 4 cups)
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
Add all ingredients to a Dutch oven. Simmer on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2- 2 hours or until mixture becomes thickened and similar to jam.
Store in a glass container in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
Try a deconstructed Caprese by mixing chopped tomatoes, cubed mozzarella cheese, and thinly chopped basil in a large bowl. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of salt.