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Archive for the tag “tomatoes”

Tomatoes with Caramelized Onions

Tomatoes and caramelized onions.

Tomatoes and caramelized onions.

Here’s a really simple and delicious tomato dish that I came up with years ago. With 6 ingredients and 15 minutes you can have a side dish that people will beg you to make again. I usually use a variety of heirloom tomatoes, but this time I had a bag full of vine ripened red tomatoes from a u-pick farm.

Ingredients for 4 servings

1/2 onion – thinly sliced

1 tbsp butter

3 tomatoes – sliced about 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) width

1 – 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (no substitutions on this one)

dash salt

2 tbsp grated sharp cheese

In a pan melt the butter and add the onion slices. It’s better to use butter here to get the best flavor and texture on the onion, but oil will work as well. Cook the onions on medium low heat, stirring occasionally. The keys to caramelizing onions are to cook them slowly and make sure your slices are even.

While the onions are cooking, spread the sliced tomatoes on a serving dish and top them with the balsamic vinegar and salt. I’ve tried other types of vinegar and none  of them tasted as nice as balsamic. Play around with flavored balsamic vinegars though if you like. The tomatoes in the photo were made with white peach vinegar and they had a very interesting sweet and tangy flavor.

When the onions have finished, after about 15 minutes, layer them on top of the tomatoes. Finally top the whole thing with the grated cheese. I like asiago and gruyere best, but parmesan and dubliner are also tasty. It’s very important to layer the ingredients in this order. I’ve tried doing it other ways and it never comes out quite right.

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Picked Cherry Tomatoes

Pickled tomatoes.

Pickled tomatoes.

Here’s an idea to use up extra cherry tomatoes before they go bad. I’ve been experimenting with pickles lately and wanted to try pickling these cherry tomatoes. The results were amazing. At first they taste just like you would expect, rather tart, but then the freshest, sweetest tomato flavor just explodes in your mouth. They’re amazing in salads and with pasta. I’m going to start buying an extra pint at the grocery store just to have these on hand at all times. These pickles are very easy to make, so don’t be afraid to try them if you’ve never pickled anything before.

Ingredients for a half pint

1/3 cup vinegar

1/2 cup water

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes

Chopped fresh herbs of your choice 

In a small pot combine the first 4 ingredients and simmer until the salt and sugar have completely dissolved. Try to avoid inhaling the fumes as vinegar can be very irritating to your eyes and lungs. Not harmful, just unpleasant. While the pickling liquid is heating, pack a 1/2 pint jar with the tomatoes and herbs. I used a combination of basil, dill and tarragon.

Tomatoes, herbs and jar.

Tomatoes, herbs and jar.

Try to alternate the tomatoes and herbs so that the flavors are evenly distributed and pack them in fairly tightly. When all of the salt and sugar have dissolved, allow the pickling liquid to cool to just above room temperature and pour it over the tomatoes. You will probably have some liquid leftover, but it’s always better to have too much. Don’t try to cut the recipe down because any tomatoes that aren’t covered could go bad. Now just cover the jar and store it in the fridge for at least 2 days before eating. Save the pickling liquid when the tomatoes are gone to make an herbed vinaigrette.

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