Vegetarian and Vegan recipes...that meat eaters will appreciate as well!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tomatoes are taking over my kitchen...
My counter was overflowing with tomatoes...they were taking over my kitchen! I had to do something with at least some of them soon, and I hated the idea of throwing them out and wasting them, and didn't have room in my freezer...so I decided to have a tomato feast! Well, sort of a feast, there were tomato elements in the three parts to the meal, my soup, pizza, and a cocktail!
I wanted my soup to be simple, but something other than tomato basil, so I came up with a roasted tomato soup that was made creamy by the addition of almond butter instead of the usual cream! There was no basil in this soup, I added rosemary and thyme, since it is getting close to the end of summer and those herbs are almost fallish to me. It was delicious and elegant and tasted like there was some decadence to it, but really it was rather simple to prepare, and would also be nice for dinner with some crusty bread! I even served it in what else...a giant tomato shell! But I decided to make a pizza with it to share, a double tomato pizza made with a sundried tomato almond pesto, rosemary and thyme, some fresh tomatoes, toasted almonds, and mozzarella and swiss cheeses. It may sound like an odd combo...but it was scrumptious! I love nuts on a pizza, even though most people would think I was nuts for such an addition! Don't knock it until you try it though...they are a nice textural element, and the toastyness of them adds something as well! I mean I could have just made a margherita pizza, but I guess I got a bit tired of that one after making it so many times. This was a nice change, and very end of summerish to accompany the soup! They did sort of have the same flavoring elements after all!
The last addition to this meal was a Basil Mary...Bloody Mary's sister, since it was not a classic Bloody Mary since I added basil and chipotle with a bit of sea salt instead of the usual worchestershire sauce and tobasco. And no store bought tomato juice this time with all the tomatoes I had! I used the insides from the giant tomato shells I served my soup in for the puree. I have to admit though, this time I made a virgin cocktail for myself, and saved the vodka for my dining guest who had requested the Bloody Marys in the first place. It was delicious without the alchohol addition in my case, but she loved the one with it. So either way, I decided to share the recipe along with the others! This dinner turned out to be a wonderful summer's end feast, and enjoyment of the tomato crop this year! I have included all the recipes in case you are interested in trying them, even if you don't make them all at once! Enjoy!
Creamy Roasted Tomato Almond Soup
8 medium tomatoes, quartered
8 small shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
a pinch red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable stock, or as needed
toasted sliced almonds for garnish
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with non-stick spray. Spread the tomatoes out on the pan and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast the tomatoes for about 20-30 minutes, until starting to char, on the top rack of the oven, then remove from oven. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan, and add shallots. Saute until soft, and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and red pepper and cook until fragrant, about a minute, then add balsamic, the roasted tomatoes, along with any accumulated juices, almond butter, rosemary, thyme, and sea salt and pepper to taste. Add stock if necessary to thin. Let simmer for about 15 minutes to develop flavor, then use an immersion blender, or regular blender (but if using a regular blended be sure to let steam escape out the top of blender before pureeing and cover with a towel so it doesn't explode) to puree until smooth, adding more stock if mixture is too thick. Serve topped with toasted almonds if desired.
Pizza with Sundried Tomato Almond Pesto, Garden Fresh Tomatoes Swiss, Mozzarella and Toasted Almonds
Serves 1 hungry person or 2 if willing to share
4 oil packed sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup almonds
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp water
freshly ground pepper
1 12 inch whole wheat pizza crust, storebought or home made*
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 oz swiss cheese, grated
2 oz mozzarella, grated
1 medium tomato thinly sliced, and patted dry
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 500 degrees with the rack set at the top position with a pizza stone if you own one. Combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth, adding more water if necessary to achieve a smooth consistency. Roll out pizza dough on a large piece of parchment to a 10 inch circle (you might want to spray your rolling pin with cooking spray if the dough is sticking). Spread pesto over pizza, and sprinkle with herbs. Scatter cheeses over, then top with tomatoes and almonds. If using a pizza stone, use an upside down sheet pan to slide the parchment and pizza onto the stone (or place parchment and pizza on a pan if you have no stone, and cook on pan), and bake for about 3 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown and bubble and crust is crisp (it may take longer without a stone, and it may not be as crisp). Remove from the oven, let cool about a minute and dive in!
*Amy's Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
Makes 4 10 inch crusts
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Pkg rapid-rise yeast
1 cups warm water
To make the dough, in a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center, pour in the water and then dissolve the yeast in the water. Gradually stir the flour into the water mixture, until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a floured surface, then knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Oil a large bowl with olive oil, then place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area, such as near the oven, and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk. When dough has risen, punch down and divide into 4 pieces. You can either freeze the dough in individual portions (just place in ziplock bags and take out the night before you want to use it, then it will be ready to use the next day), or set aside to use right away. If making the recipe above, you will need one crust.
Basil Mary (Bloody Mary's Sister)
3 large basil leaves
1 cup ice cubes
1 cup tomato puree
2 oz vodka
juice of half a lemon
1/8 tsp chipotle powder
a dash of sea salt
In a martini shaker, muddle the basil leaves with the ice, crushing them until they are in small pieces. Add the tomato puree (if you puree one medium tomato and strain it that is about how much fresh), vodka, lemon juice, chipotle and sea salt and place top on shaker, and shake until well blended. Pour a chilled glass, adding and serve!