Tomato Season

Recipes for the Summer’s Tangiest Fruit, the Tomato.

tomatoes

Photo Daniel Costa

Consider the tangy sweetness of a Brandywine; the sweet pop of a cherry, the earthy flavour and spicy scent of a green zebra—what has more variety then the tomato family? When you tire of eating the bounty out of hand, these recipes deliver the best of the fruit of the season.

Tomato and Fresh Ricotta Tart

“I do a couple of simple things with tomatoes. I don’t like to mess with them too much because they are so great on their own. Multi-coloured cherry and grape tomatoes are beautiful in this.”
– Peggy Adams, Juniper Café

¾ c fresh ricotta
1 egg, beaten
¼ c grated Parmigiano
1 c small tomatoes, halved
9-inch x 5-inch rectangle puff pastry rolled to ¼-inch thick
arugula, olive oil, lemon juice

Crumble ricotta into a bowl and stir in egg and parmesan, mix well. For a smoother texture blend with a hand blender until smooth).

Spread mixture to within ½-inch of pastry edge. Scatter tomatoes over cheese and sprinkle with salt.

Bake in a hot oven (425ºF) for 10 minutes. Pastry should be brown and crispy at edges and the tomatoes should be bubbly and charred.

Let cool for 4-5 minutes while you toss some arugula with a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Top the tart with a handful of the dressed greens and enjoy!

The Best Tomato Sandwich in the Whole World

We asked the Edmonton Horticultural Society for their favourite tomato recipes.

“Nothing compares to a fresh, vine-ripened tomato just picked off the vine, lovingly grown and lovingly picked, sun kissed and still warm, juicy, plump, exploding with flavour, with the unbelievable taste and texture sent to us from tomato heaven!”
– Florence Nieberding

2 vine-ripened home grown tomatoes
2 slices very good artisan fresh bread (your favourite)
good quality mayonnaise

Slather your bread generously with mayonnaise. Slice the tomatoes very thick (about ½- to ¾-inch). Place tomato slices on the bread and top with second slice or serve them open faced. To Die For!

Optional: you may add fresh basil leaves, watercress, spring mix lettuce, arugula, avocado, salt, pepper, or any other favourite sandwich ingredients of your choice. You may also toast your bread if you wish. I prefer mine without too many ingredients because I love the natural flavour of the tomato alone to come through.

Now that’s tomato heaven!

Spaghetti with Raw Tomatoes, Basil and Pecorino

“This recipe is perfect for the hot summer months. Use a variety of ripe tomatoes to add diversity in flavour, texture and colour. It is very important that you source out the best possible ingredients for such a simple dish like this. I like using Partanna Olive Oil made from Nocellara Del Belice olives in Sicily (available at Italian Centre Shop) for this pasta. If you would like to try a variation to this recipe, substitute mint for the basil and add fresh chillies.”
– Daniel Costa, corso 32.

tomato pasta

Photo Daniel Costa

1 lb spaghetti (I prefer Martelli or Rustichella d’Abruzzo brand)
1 kg room temperature ripe tomatoes, core removed
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
handful fresh basil leaves ripped into medium-sized pieces
1 sm clove garlic, finely grated
¼ c grated Pecorino Romano
kosher salt

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, roughly chop the tomatoes into medium-sized pieces. Place the cut tomatoes into a large bowl (large enough to comfortably hold all of the cooked spaghetti). Using your hands crush the tomato a few times ensuring not to completely break them down. Add the olive oil, garlic and a generous pinch of salt to the bowl.

Drop the spaghetti in the boiling water and allow to cook until al dente. Just before the pasta is finished cooking add the basil to the chopped tomatoes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water, drain the spaghetti in a colander and immediately add the pasta to the bowl of tomatoes. Begin mixing vigorously, add the pecorino and continue mixing. Depending on the moisture of your tomatoes you may need to add a splash of the reserved pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce. Season to taste with salt. Serve immediately with a little more grated pecorino and fresh chillies if desired.

Small Bites – Grilled Sourdough and Tomatoes

“These three recipes would be great served as a small bite with drinks before dinner, or as open-faced sandwiches for lunch.” Kaelin Whittaker, The Ruby Apron

Grilled Sourdough

4 slices sourdough
olive oil

Heat your grill pan until nearly smoking. Gently rub the slices of sourdough with olive oil and place on the grill pan, grill until each piece is gently charred, flip over and do the same. Reserve.

White Bean and Tomato Bruschetta

3T olive oil
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 very ripe tomatoes
4 T marjoram or thyme, chopped
salt and pepper
egg, slightly beaten

Heat the oil in a medium sized sauté pan. Add the onions with a good pinch of salt and grind of black pepper. Cook gently until soft and slightly golden, add the garlic and cook for another two minutes. Add the beans, season well with salt and pepper, and gently cook until warm. Add the tomatoes and herbs to warm. Taste and correct seasoning if needed. To serve: Pile the tomato and bean mixture on to the grilled sourdough, drizzle with olive oil, and serve immediately.

Grilled Sourdough with Herbed Ricotta with Fresh Tomatoes

perfectly ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
olive oil
coarse sea salt
slices grilled sourdough

Topping

110g ricotta
25g parmesan, grated
zest of one lemon
2 tbsp thyme, chopped
3 tbsp parsley, chopped
nutmeg
salt and pepper

Mix the cheeses together, adding herbs, a grating of nutmeg, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste. If the ricotta is too thick you can thin it with a good glug of olive oil. To serve: Pile the ricotta mixture on to the grilled sourdough, top with sliced tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil, finally add a pinch of coarse sea salt and serve immediately.

Grilled Sourdough with Thinly Sliced Tomato and Basil Oil

thinly sliced tomatoes
basil oil
grilled sourdough

Basil Oil

200g basil
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Place the basil in a food processor with a good glug of olive oil. Blitz to chop the basil, add oil through the funnel of the food processor until you have a thick sauce like consistency. Season with salt and pepper. To serve: Place the tomatoes on the grilled sourdough, and drizzle with basil oil. Serve immediately.

Tomato Soup

“Tomatoes truly are one of those vegetables that when they come into season you often end up with a glut, and unlike a lot of other vegetables, they don’t keep well. By making your own tomato puree, you can preserve the flavour.” Kaelin Whittaker, The Ruby Apron

3 T olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1.2 litres tomato purée recipe follows)
300ml béchamel (recipe follows)
300ml homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste

Gently heat the oil in a medium cast iron pan, add the onion with a good pinch of salt and grinding of black pepper. Sweat until soft and just beginning to colour. Add the tomato puree, béchamel and stock. Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes. Remove from the heat, blitz the soup, taste and correct seasoning adding more salt and pepper if needed.

Tomato Purée

1.8kg very ripe tomatoes
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 tsp sugar
good pinch of salt
a few grinds of black pepper

Cut the tomatoes into quarters and place in a large saucepan with the onion, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook on a gentle heat until the tomatoes are soft. Put through a fine sieve, taste and correct the seasoning if needed. If freezing, allow to cool first.

Béchamel

300ml whole milk
one carrot, sliced
¼ onion, sliced
3 peppercorns
small sprig of thyme
small parsley stalk
50g roux (made by melting 25g of butter in a saucepan, and adding 25g of all purpose flour, mix well and cook for 3 – 4 minutes)
salt and pepper

Place the milk in a saucepan with the carrot, onion, peppercorns, thyme, and parsley. Gently bring to the boil, simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain out the vegetable, place in a clean saucepan, bring the milk back to the boil, adding the roux to thicken, whisking until the sauce is a light coating consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Mary Bailey’s favourite way to eat tomatoes is off the vine while standing in the garden with salt shaker in hand.