Category Archive: Tomato Season

Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta Pasta

When it comes to simple summer dinners, this recipe is as good as it gets.  In the time it takes for the water to come to a boil, I can have the entire recipe prepped and ready to cook.  By the time the pasta is perfectly cooked, the sauce is ready and dinner is served.

The inspiration for this pasta dish came from another summer favorite:  Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta with Basil.  We love to celebrate our beloved heirloom tomato season with fresh bruschetta on a warm summer afternoon.  So, why not prepare the rustic bruschetta topping and serve it with pasta instead of the traditional crusty loaf of bread?

The results are equally delicious.  It’s nice to have more than one way to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of heirloom tomato season.  It’s also nice to be able to serve a delicious, fresh dinner at our family table in less than 30 minutes from start to finish!

Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta Pasta
Serves 4 as a main course

1 pound heirloom tomatoes, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1 Tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes
1 Tablespoon  extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces mozzarella, cut into cubes
2 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into cubes
12 ounces penne pasta
1 handful basil leaves, torn
salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

Bring a large pot of water to a roiling boil.  Add 1 Tablespoon of salt to the water and return to boil.  Add pasta and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, combine the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes with the olive oil and minced garlic in a large skillet.  Warm gently over low heat until the garlic is fragrant.  Roughly chop or julienne the sun-dried tomatoes before adding them to the warm oil.  Add the fresh tomatoes to the skillet and warm over low heat.

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to coat.  If the pan is dry, add water from the pasta pot to moisten.  Remove from the heat and add the basil and mozzarella.  Gently stir the mixture.  Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if needed. Serve warm garnished with balsamic vinegar glaze.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/heirloom-tomato-bruschetta-pasta/

Slow Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

During the height of heirloom tomato season, we harvest several pounds of cherry tomatoes every day.  It’s intentional:  we plant two dozen cherry tomato plants every summer in our garden.  We have found that they store amazingly well in the freezer, allowing us to make this fresh sauce all winter long.  When the snow is flying outside, a pot of this sauce bubbling on the stove is a wonderful way to remind ourselves that summer will indeed come again.

At 1840 Farm, we enjoy this rich sauce served on fresh polenta made from cornmeal we grind ourselves.  It is also delicious tossed with spaghetti or served with pasta and meatballs. The flavor is rich and earthy with just the right amount of acidity and natural sweetness.

To freeze cherry tomatoes, simply wash them and allow them to dry fully on a clean kitchen towel.  Line a baking sheet or pan that fits into your freezer with freezer paper or parchment.  Place the tomatoes on the pan and place in the freezer.  Allow the tomatoes to freeze solid overnight before transferring to a freezer bag.  Don’t be concerned if the skins rupture as they freeze.  The tomatoes will still store incredibly well and produce a delicious sauce.

Slow Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

We love to use our favorite heirloom cherry tomato, the Black Cherry, in this recipe.  You can substitute your favorite cherry or grape tomato variety with equally delicious results.

1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ounce dry vermouth
2 ounces tomato paste
1 pound Black Cherry Heirloom Tomatoes or your favorite variety
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
salt and pepper to taste

Place a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add butter and olive oil.  Once the butter is melted, add the onion and stir to coat.  Cook until the onion is translucent, approximately 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for one minute.  Add the vermouth, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any caramelized pieces of onion or garlic.  Add the tomato paste and stir to fully combine.

Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan and stir to combine.  Allow the tomatoes to cook for 2-3 minutes or until they begin to soften and release their juices.  Using the back of a spoon or a potato masher, lightly crush the tomatoes.  Reduce the heat the low.  Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes or until thick.  Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.   Add more broth if necessary to achieve the desired consistency.

Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to continue to simmer, adding liquid if necessary.  The longer the tomatoes are allowed to cook, the more intense their flavor will be.  Serve the sauce spooned over polenta, spaghetti, or tossed with your favorite pasta, topping with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/slow-roasted-cherry-tomato-sauce/

Broiled Cast Iron Skillet Eggs with Heirloom Tomatoes

I am always looking for a recipe that offers me a new way to prepare our fresh eggs to serve at our family table.  If that new recipe also includes heirloom tomatoes, all the better.  I happened upon this recipe in a copy of Martha Stewart Living from June 2011.  The technique was so simple and the photo so beautiful, that I couldn’t wait to try it.

The original recipe calls for using a nonstick skillet, but I prefer to prepare it in one of our seasoned cast iron skillets. I chose to use a locally produced smoked cheddar cheese and the heirloom tomatoes fresh from our raised bed  garden.  In a matter of minutes, this dish was ready to be served alongside a salad of fresh greens and a homemade flatbread.

The eggs were delicious.  They paired so well with the melted smoked cheddar and heirloom tomatoes that we couldn’t wait to enjoy them again.  Of course, we also couldn’t wait to try them with other types of cheese.  When heirloom tomato season ends, we’ll be experimenting with other flavor combinations.  Don’t worry, we’ll share our seasonal favorites right here with you!

Broiled Cast Iron Skillet Eggs with Heirloom Tomatoes
Inspired by Eggs Kevin from Martha Stewart Living, June 2011
Serves 2 as a main course

When preparing this dish for more than two people, I like to use two skillets.  You could use a single skillet, increasing the cooking time as needed to compensate for the slightly crowded pan.

1 Tablespoon butter
4 fresh eggs
salt and pepper
1 large heirloom tomato, sliced
fresh thyme
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup smoked cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  By preheating the oven, your broiler will be better able to properly finish the eggs in an incredibly short amount of time.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  When the pan is hot, add the butter, swirling to coat the surface of the bottom of the pan.  Crack the eggs into the skillet and season with salt and pepper.  Allow the eggs to cook for 1-2 minutes or until the whites are beginning to set.

Remove from the pan from the heat.  Evenly arrange the heirloom tomato slices in the pan.  Top with a sprinkling of fresh thyme and cover with the shredded cheddar.

Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven.  Turn on the broiler and broil until the whites are completely set and the yolks are done to your liking, approximately 1-2 minutes.  Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/broiled-cast-iron-skillet-eggs-with-heirloom-tomatoes/

Oven Roasted Heirloom Tomato Ricotta Tart

I originally posted this recipe back in the very early days of writing this blog.  It seems fitting that this would be one of the longest lived recipes on the blog as it has been a family favorite since before we made 1840 Farm our home.  Each summer, we look forward to this rustic tart topped with our homegrown heirloom tomatoes.

The combination of flavors in this dish is perfectly balanced.  The acidity and earthiness of the tomatoes is the star, but the creamy ricotta and bright basil accent it deliciously.  It’s no wonder that this dish is a perennial family favorite.

 

Oven Roasted Heirloom Tomato Ricotta Tart
serves 4 – 6 as a main course

This recipe was inspired by a recipe published in Martha Stewart’s FOOD.  I use homemade bread crumbs from our Farmhouse Country Loaf for the crust.  Prepared bread crumbs or panko are also delicious. 

180 grams (2 cups) breadcrumbs
2 ounces (4 Tablespoons) olive oil
16 ounces ricotta cheese
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed or shredded
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 pound heirloom tomatoes
olive oil for brushing
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare a 9 inch springform pan by wrapping the bottom in aluminum foil.  Set aside.   j

Slice bread into thick slices and place in the oven to dry.  When dry and cool, use a food processor to chop the toasted bread into fresh breadcrumbs.  With the motor running, add the olive oil and process until evenly moist.  Press mixture evenly in prepared pan, covering the bottom of the pan.

Rinse out the bowl and blade from the food processor.  Add ricotta cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, and egg to the food processor and process until completely smooth.  Add basil and pulse until basil is evenly distributed throughout the ricotta mixture.

Carefully add the ricotta mixture to the springform pan., spreading to cover. Slice heirloom tomatoes and place on top of the ricotta, overlapping where needed to fully cover the top.  Brush the top of the tart with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place springform pan on a baking sheet and transfer to the preheated oven.  Bake for 40 minutes or until the tomatoes are beginning to dry and the ricotta mixture has become firm and golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for ten minutes.  Carefully run a thin metal spatula or paring knife around the outside edge of the tart to loosen it from the pan.  Unmold the tart, cut into slices and serve warm.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/oven-roasted-heirloom-tomato-ricotta-tart/

Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta with Basil

In the early days of writing this blog, I shared a recipe for traditional tomato bruschetta.  It’s a family favorite during heirloom tomato season here at 1840 Farm.  On days that we come back to the kitchen with pounds of freshly picked tomatoes, this is what’s for dinner.

When the day is long and I’m tired from a full day’s work on the farm, I make a simpler, more rustic version of bruschetta.  I don’t slice the bread and toast it in the oven.  Instead, I place the whole loaf in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes to warm it slightly and freshen the crust.

As the bread is warming, I prepare a lovely warm bruschetta topping.  By the time the bread is warm, the topping is ready and we can start enjoying that delicious combination of earthy heirloom tomatoes, bright basil, and a great loaf of bread.

Rustic Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta with Basil
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 loaf of crusty French or Italian bread
  2. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 8 ounces fresh heirloom tomatoes
  4. 1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  5. 1 Tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes
  6. 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  7. 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  8. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  9. 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  10. 1 ounce ricotta salata or Parmesan cheese
  11. Balsamic Vinegar Glaze
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the tomatoes by chopping roughly or slicing cherry tomatoes into thirds. Place in a medium serving bowl and set aside.
  2. Place the loaf of bread in the warm oven and set the timer for 10 minutes. As the bread warms, prepare the topping by combining the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes with the olive oil and minced garlic. Warm gently over low heat until the garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Roughly chop or julienne the sun-dried tomatoes before adding them to the fresh heirloom tomatoes. Add the basil, salt, and black pepper to the tomatoes before pouring the warm oil mixture over the top. Gently stir the mixture. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if needed. Add the crumbled ricotta salata or shaved Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Drizzle with balsamic glaze if desired.
  4. Slice the warm bread and serve with the bruschetta topping, spooning the topping over the bread and eating while it is still warm. Enjoy!
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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/07/heirloom-tomato-bruschetta-with-basil/

Oven Baked Polenta with Heirloom Tomato Sauce

Oven Baked Polenta with Heirloom Tomato Sauce at 1840 FarmSeveral months ago, I was invited to participate in The Grain Mill Wagon Challenge sponsored by The WonderMill Company.  As a participant, I was sent a WonderMill electric grain mill to utilize while developing five recipes that Grain Mill Wagon Challenge - 1840 Farmshowcase freshly milled flours and meals.

So far, I have used the mill to produce cornmeal and whole wheat flour.  I have been amazed at how well The WonderMill performs and at what a difference the freshly milled flours and meals have made in our favorite recipes.  The results are so delicious that It’s hard for me to imagine ever returning to purchasing cornmeal or whole wheat flour at the store again.

I just published my first recipe in The Grain Mill Wagon ChallengeOven Baked Polenta with Heirloom Tomato Sauce is a favorite here, especially during heirloom tomato season when we have an abundance of tomatoes fresh from our heirloom gardens.  I’m sure that your family will enjoy it as much as mine does.

Don’t miss the entire collection of fantastic recipes on The Grain Mill Wagon blog.  You’ll find great recipes for everything from pancakes to cookies and everywhere in between.


To make sure that you don’t miss any of the recipes that I’ll be sharing during The Grain Mill Wagon Challenge, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form. In a few seconds, you’ll be the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/07/oven-baked-polenta-with-heirloom-tomato-sauce/

Heirloom Tomato and Eggs with Roasted Potatoes

In my experience, cooking with great ingredients requires more restraint than technique.  The better quality the ingredients, the less needs to be done in order to make the final dish extraordinary.  In fact, having the best, local and seasonal products from our farm and neighboring farms allows me to prepare simple meals that deliver incredible flavor without extra effort.

This was definitely the case earlier this week.  My husband had visited Butternut Farm and came home bearing the gifts of freshly picked strawberries and a few early season slicing tomatoes. The strawberries were destined to be enjoyed with my Great grandmother’s Daffodil Cake, a delicious way to welcome summer’s arrival.

As soon as I saw a tomato, I knew that it would be featured on our dinner plates.  We also happened to have fingerling potatoes on hand from a recent visit to Rosemont Produce Company.  Add in the fresh eggs collected from our beloved heritage breed hens and baby lettuce from the heirloom garden and dinner was indeed beginning to take shape.

I sliced the fingerlings into thick coins and sautéed them in a hot skillet with a generous Tablespoon of butter and rosemary, sage, and thyme pulled fresh from the garden.  I harvested our first Stuttgart onion and sliced it thinly before adding it to the potatoes and herbs.  I sautéed them for approximately 20 minutes, turning occasionally and seasoning liberally with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

I transferred the pan into a preheated 425 degree oven and began preparing the tomato and eggs.  I sliced the washed tomato into thick slices and placed two on each dinner plate.  I would usually season the tomato with sea salt and fresh pepper before I placed the egg on top.  Then I remembered that I had a new seasoning waiting to be used in the spice drawer.

A few months ago, I was invited to participate in the Fennel Friday Cooking Club by The Hungry Goddess. I happily accepted the invitation and joined Fennel Friday.  A few days later, my package of ingredients from Pollen Ranch arrived.  Last month, I shared my recipe for Smoked Cheddar Gougères with Fennel Pollen.  They were delicious and I had every confidence that the Zen-Sational fennel pollen would also help transform a simple slice of tomato into something extraordinary.

As the potatoes were nearing the end of their time roasting in the oven, I placed a cast iron skillet on the stove top over high heat.  Once the skillet had come up to temperature, I placed a large pat of butter in the skillet and swirled the pan to cover the entire surface with melted butter.  Cracked eggs were added next and each was seasoned with salt and pepper.

I placed the lid on the pan, reduced the heat to medium, and removed the potatoes from the oven.  As soon as the eggs were barely set, I removed the pan from the heat.  I topped each tomato slice with a sprinkle of Pollen Ranch’s Zen-Sational Blend.  An egg was placed on top of each tomato slice and then I decided to add a dash of Zen-Sational to each egg for good measure.  As soon as I did, the intoxicating aroma of fennel began to fill the farmhouse kitchen.

The roasted potatoes were added to each plate and dressed with our favorite roasted potato topping:  sour cream and sriracha,  Once a salad made with greens harvested from our garden was added, dinner was served.  It was simple and delicious.  The fennel was a perfect pairing to the acidity and earthiness of the tomato and richness of our fresh eggs.

Everyone agreed that this was a dinner plate we wanted to see more often on our family table.  Lucky for us, heirloom tomato season is fast approaching.   I know that I’ll be making this simple and delicious dinner all season long.

Heirloom Tomato and Eggs with Roasted Potatoes
serves 4 as a main course

The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity.  You can substitute your favorite herbs and use the best of your locally available, seasonal produce.

Fingerling potatoes,  sliced into 1/2″ thick coins
butter
fresh herbs
1 small onion, diced
1 large heirloom tomato, sliced thickly
8 fresh eggs
Pollen Ranch Zen-Sational Pollen Blend

Prepare as directed above.  Serve hot and enjoy!


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form. In a few seconds, you’ll be the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/fennel-friday-tomato-and-eggs-with-zen-sational-fennel-pollen-blend/

Smoky Tomato Jam

Smoky Tomato Jam at 1840 FarmI started this blog almost three years ago.  During that time, I have shared countless recipes here and on other blogs.  Some of them are simple, others complex.  All of them are family favorites, tried and true dishes that never fail.  For the life of me, I can’t figure out why I haven’t shared this delightful recipe earlier.

Smoky Tomato Jam is truly a family favorite.  We honestly haven’t bought a bottle of ketchup since the day I made the first batch.  It’s really that good.  The flavor is earthy and full with so much more body than ketchup could ever deliver.

Coming from me, that’s a real compliment.  From the time I was a young child, I looked for reasons to add ketchup to my plate.  I couldn’t help it.  It was my childlike way to add a bit of tomato flavor to nearly every meal I ate.

I am happy to say that my love of tomatoes has endured and that my taste for them has improved. My tomato love now revolves around a perfectly ripe heirloom tomato.  In fact, you’ll find me in the garden each summer tending to well over 100 heirloom tomato plants.  In spite of all the tomatoes we grow, eat, can, and store, I still never get my fill of that pure tomato flavor.

So, when I saw an incredible looking recipe for a savory tomato jam, I was intrigued.  When I saw that it was written by a blogger who I enjoy and whose recipes are outstanding, I was in.  I went straight to the kitchen and made a batch.

It was amazing.  You know how much I love to tinker with a recipe, so I did.  I adjusted the spices, changed them slightly, and kept tinkering until I got it just to my family’s liking.  I have been making it the same way ever since.

We use this jam in a variety of ways here at 1840 Farm.  Of course, we use it instead of ketchup on burgers, hot dogs, and the like.  We also always feature it with our afternoon cheese course.  It is delicious paired with thinly sliced Piave or on a warm chunk of crusty bread with our homemade goat’s milk quark.  One taste of this divine concoction, and you’ll be dreaming of ways to use it in your kitchen.

So, with a hearty thank you to Jennifer Perillo, one of the first bloggers I followed, I give you the recipe for my family’s favorite Smoky Tomato Jam.  While I’m glad that you’re here at 1840 Farm collecting new recipes, I can’t help but encourage you to leave and browse Jennifer’s blog at In Jennie’s Kitchen to collect a few more.  You won’t be sorry, but I hope that you’ll be back here soon for more of my family’s favorite recipes!

Smoky Tomato Jam
We prefer this jam to be chunky, but I have pureed it in the past to make a smooth puree that more closely resembles ketchup. The spices can be changed and adjusted to suit your palate. While I often use heirloom tomatoes during the height of our fresh tomato season, this recipe is equally delicious using canned diced tomatoes. Once the tomatoes have been reduced and spiced, it becomes very difficult to discern if they are fresh from the garden or fresh from the pantry.
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  2. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 2 ounces tomato paste
  4. 28 ounces chopped or diced tomatoes with juice
  5. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  7. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  9. 1 teaspoon paprika
  10. 1/3 cup (60 grams) unpacked brown sugar
  11. 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, sauté minced garlic in olive oil over medium heat until fragrant, approximately one minute. Add tomato paste and stir to blend with the oil and garlic. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer before reducing the heat to low.
  2. Continue to simmer uncovered for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally until the desired thickness is reached.
  3. Enjoy as you would ketchup or as a delicious accompaniment to a cheese course.
Adapted from Jennifer Perillo’s Sweet & Savory Tomato Jam
1840farm.com http://1840farm.com/

 


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


PostFeatureGraphic


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/05/smoky-tomato-jam/

Heirloom Tomato Profile: German Johnson

The German Johnson Heirloom Tomato is a potato leaf variety of tomato plant with an indeterminate growing habit.  It produces large, round, Beefsteak shaped fruit with bright red skin.  The ripe fruit commonly show bright yellow striping along its shoulders.

The German Johnson’s flesh is pink and meaty with a delicious, old-fashioned tomato flavor.  Fully ripened fruits may weigh in excess of one pound each.  It is not uncommon to harvest tomatoes that tip the scale at 24 ounces or more. In fact, the big, beautiful 23 ounce specimen in the photo above was harvested in our vegetable garden this morning.

The German Johnson is one of the parent species of the Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter tomato.  For me, that is reason enough to include it in the heirloom tomato garden at 1840 Farm.  One bite and I think you’ll agree that the German Johnson is a delicious slicing tomato that transforms the ordinary sandwich into an extraordinary meal.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/09/heirloom-tomato-profile-german-johnson/

Heirloom Red Quinoa with Roasted Tomatoes and Chick Peas

I’ve been busy in the 1840 Farm kitchen the last few days trying to develop a recipe for the new Food 52 challenge.   A week ago, I received an Email challenging all members of Food 52 to enter recipes using products from the bulk bin at their local grocery store.  The focus of the challenge was whole grains and dried beans.  Since these ingredients find their way onto our dinner plates on a regular basis, I was in.

Let me start by saying that I would never, ever buy anything from the bulk bins.  No, I’m not a germophobe of the Melvin Udall variety from As Good As It Gets.  Well, maybe a little, but not to his extreme.  I do carry hand sanitizer with me everywhere I go and I certainly don’t go looking for germs to bring home with me.

I can assure you that I do not wear plastic gloves to pick up our dog Pete or take my own disposable silverware with me when I leave the house.  Of course, now that I think of it, Pete does resemble Verdell quite a bit.  But getting back to my point, my germ avoidance does have its bounds.

I steer clear from the bulk bins because I know that allergens are lurking there.  I have no way of knowing if the bin containing beautiful red quinoa today was home to cashews yesterday.  The bulk bins are definitely off-limits in our house.  When you live with food allergies, you skip the bulk bin in the hopes of skipping an ambulance trip to the emergency room.

In spite of my self-imposed limitation, I played along with the theme of this contest.  Although none of my ingredients originated from a bulk bin, they could definitely be found there.  The recipe has been posted and the meal was delicious, if I do say so myself.

If you have been trying to convince someone in your life to give quinoa a try, this may be the perfect place to start.  It was creamy and slightly sweet due to the roasted tomatoes with flavor to spare.  We served it with an arugula salad and a freshly baked loaf of crusty bread with roasted garlic.  It would also pair beautifully with roasted or grilled meat if you are so inclined.

I’ll leave it up to you to choose where you want to purchase the ingredients and what you to serve it with at your house.  I hope that you enjoy the recipe as much as we did.  There were a lot of happy diners gathered around our farmhouse table last night.  No matter how my recipe fares in this challenge, we’ve got one more delicious, healthy dinner recipe to add to our collection, so I’ve won already.

Heirloom Red Quinoa with Roasted Tomatoes and Chick Peas
serves 4 – 6 as a main course

       

  • 1  1/2 cup dried garbanzo beans
  • 4  1/2 cups water
  • 12 ounces red quinoa
  • 28 ounces vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • parmesan cheese for serving

    1. Carefully pick over dried beans. Remove any damaged beans or foreign objects. Cover with 4 1/2 cups of water and allow to sit at least four hours or overnight in container large enough to allow beans to expand.

    1. Drain beans and rinse with cold water. Place rinsed beans in large stockpot with enough water to cover by three inches (this should be between 4 and 5 cups of water depending on the size of your pot).

    1. Bring beans to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Continue to cook at a gentle simmer, stirring often for 60 to 90 minutes or until tender. Do not add salt to the water as the beans cook. Doing so will result in a bean with a mushy outer shell. Instead, salt the beans as soon as they are cooked to your liking. Adding salt after they are cooked completely will not affect their texture or appearance.

    1. Remove the beans from heat. Drain beans in colander. Set aside.

    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil.

    1. Rinse tomatoes. Split each tomato in half lengthwise. Toss tomatoes with chopped garlic and olive oil. Spread into a single layer on one of the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with chopped thyme, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.

    1. Pour drained garbanzo beans onto a clean tea towel and dry by gently rubbing moisture from the beans. Move garbanzo beans to the second prepared baking sheet. Toss with olive oil. Chop fresh rosemary finely and sprinkle over garbanzo beans. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

    1. Roast tomatoes and garbanzo beans in the oven until slightly charred and fragrant, about 20 minutes.

    1. Meanwhile, cook chopped onion in a large pot over medium heat with olive oil. Cook 5 – 6 minutes or until translucent.

    1. Slowly add vegetable stock and quinoa to pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often. You will know the quinoa is done when the white germ ring becomes visible on the outer edge of each grain.

    1. When quinoa is completely cooked, remove lid and turn off heat. Add roasted tomatoes and garbanzo beans and stir gently to incorporate without breaking up the tomatoes.

  1. Top with shaved parmesan cheese. Serve warm.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2011/03/heirloom-red-quinoa-with-roasted-tomatoes-and-chick-peas/

Tomatopalooza

Fall Harvest at 1840 Farm

This just in.  I harvested 17 pounds of organic, fresh produce from the 1840 Farm gardens yesterday.  I feel proud.  I feel victorious.  I feel exhausted.

This is the time of year that the hours of labor in our gardens finally seem to make sense. That moment when the kitchen counter seems to struggle under the weight of the mother-lode of new produce every day.  Trips to the store to purchase more canning jars are a regular occurrence.  A serial gardener never seems to have enough of them.  Never.  Just ask my husband.

I’ve already confessed my deep-rooted love for the heirloom tomato.  I’ve come clean about the fact that I just might need to start a support group for gardeners who don’t know when to quit when its planting time.  What I haven’t told you is that I’m drowning in tomatoes.

Yesterday I picked over ten pounds of them and I left at least four pounds on the vine that seemed like they could use another day in the sun.  I’ve been giving them away to anyone who sets foot on our property.  Anyone.  Seriously, don’t stop by unless you are prepared to leave with both arms full of tomatoes.  Our neighbor stopped by the other day and complimented me on my tomato garden.  He should have known better.

That being said, I’m still not suffering from tomato fatigue.  I keep expecting to raise my tomato laden fork to my mouth and be less excited about the prospect of eating more tomatoes.  I am happy to say that it hasn’t happened yet.  I am however, struggling to find new ways to utilize my beloved fruit.  So, I’m off to the cookbook shelf to see if I can find something to inspire tonight’s dinner.

Then I have to decide what to do with the four pounds of eggplant I picked.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2010/09/tomatopalooza/

Tomato, my love

Heirloom Tomatoes at 1840 FarmIt’s time that I came clean.  I love tomatoes.  No really.  I love them.  Not the languishing in the produce aisle in February variety.  Sorry.  You may label me a tomato snob, but I can’t help it.  If you’ve ever tasted an heirloom tomato fresh from your garden, still warm from sunlight, then you’ll understand.  If you haven’t, get thee to a local farmer’s market.  Immediately.

Seasonal tomatoes should really not be expected to share the name “tomato” with the Fruit that Shall Not be Named.  You know, the February variety that I’ve already mentioned.  I don’t like to make hard and fast rules about what I will or will not eat.  I try not to paint things with too broad of a brush where food is concerned.  Tomatoes are an exception.  I will buy tomatoes at the farmer’s market when our tomato plants still need weeks in the summer sun to set and ripen.  I will not buy tomatoes when snow is two feet deep outside my front door.

I’ve been growing heirloom tomatoes for the last four years in our garden.   When other people are buying their gallon sized tomato plants at the local nursery, we’ve already been tending seedlings for months.  That’s right-we grow them from seed.  We sow them.  We let them live in our house under a special blend of fluorescent lights.  We thin them.  We transplant them several times.  We water them at least once a day with a spray bottle.  We run our hands over the top of them to encourage the vines to be stronger.

Okay, I didn’t intend to make us sound like tomato fanatics.  But maybe we are.  In fact, who am I kidding?  I might as well drop the maybe and admit to being a card-carrying member of the tomato lunatics club.  We love them.  We put in six month’s worth of gardening by the time the first tomato ripens.  We celebrate the arrival of the first cherry tomato, followed by the first slicing tomato.

This year, we planted over 60 heirloom tomato plants in our garden.  I could say that it was too many, but I don’t think that it was.  We haven’t let one go to waste yet.  We eat them every way possible and yet they never get old.

Trying to grow tomatoes in a part of the country with a growing season shorter than 90 days is a bit crazy.  It’s like trying to catch sunlight in a jar without a lid.  It’s impossible.  It’s frustrating.  But, when I watch my kids walk through the tomato patch surveying this year’s crop, sampling a sun-kissed cherry tomato, it’s suddenly all worth it.

While I’m coming clean,  you know when I mentioned being in the tomato lunatics club?  I’ve decided to run for president next year.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2010/08/tomato-my-love/

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