Tag Archives: Tomatoes

Sun Gold Tomatoes

Sun Gold Tomatoes

At first I thought I’d make a pasta salad with these sun gold tomatoes from Tecolote Farm. Then I ate one. And another one. And other one. And soon they were all gone.

Bhindi Masala (Okra Curry)

Bhindi (okra, also spelled “bhendi”) is a really popular ingredient in Indian, North African, and Middle Eastern cuisines. This masala recipe uses basic ingredients most westerners have on hand in their pantries, and it is a nice change from the usual American Southern-style deep fried and  gumbo preparations.  Full disclosure: I prepared this vegan dish with jasmine rice as a main course for lunch.  The flavors were great, but Rami and I were both pretty hungry a few hours after eating.  I recommend adding kidney beans, chopped cooked chicken,  or tofu to this dish if you want to serve it as an entree.

Bhindi Masala
1 lb okra, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. ginger powder or 1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp. turmeric
1 pinch red pepper flakes, to taste
1 tsp. salt
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped or 16 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
2 Tbs. water, as necessary
2 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped (optional. Good, but not worth buying a whole bunch at the market just for this recipe.)

Rinse, dry, and chop the okra. Put a few paper towels on a plate near your work station and then heat oil in a large frying pan.  Once oil shimmers, add okra to the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so that all pieces brown evenly.  Meanwhile, prepare other vegetables.  When okra is tender, use a slotted spoon to move it to the paper towel-lined plate.  Add onions, garlic, and spices to the oily pan, stirring constantly to prevent sticking.  Once garlic is tender, add peppers and continue to stir. Add a little water if needed to keep sufficient moisture in the pan.  As peppers become tender, add tomatoes and additional water if needed. Stir and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes.  Finally, add okra into mixture.  Serve with rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Roasted Eggplant Soup & Big News!

You guys, I have big news!! This is the first of a series of posts sponsored by Greenling, my favorite purveyor of local and sustainable foods here in Austin.  In exchange for a discount on my weekly grocery order, I’ll be posting recipes on the Greenling Local Blog that feature ingredients from their local box. I’m joining the fantastically talented Steph Cooks on the blog, plus Greenling owner Mason Arnold, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be in such great company!!

Without further ado: Roasted Eggplant Soup!

Like most everyone in Austin, my allergies are terrible this time of year.  This comforting soup always makes me feel better when I’m sniffly, plus the recipe is easy to adapt according to the vegetables I have on hand.  I’ve experimented by adding some combination of potatoes, apples, leeks, carrots, or mushrooms to this basic recipe with good results. Whatever variety of produce I use, the basic ratio of ingredients remains about 1 cup of liquid for each 1 cup of roasted veggies.

The fall allergy season is going to last at least another month, and we’ll need some more comforting recipes to get through it. What’s your favorite soup when you’re feeling under the weather?

Roasted Eggplant Soup
2 small eggplants, quartered
3 tomatoes, quartered
1 bulb garlic (about 9 cloves), top cut off
1/2 white onion, halved
Olive Oil
1/2  cup hard apple cider or white wine
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream (skip it if you’re vegan– the soup’s great without it)

Preheat oven to 400°F and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Place eggplant, onion, tomatoes, and garlic flesh side up on the cookie sheet and brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.  Roast until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.

Allow vegetables to cool until they are safe to handle.  Scoop eggplant flesh from skin into a medium heavy saucepan. Discard skin. Squeeze garlic cloves from skin into saucepan. Add tomatoes and onion to saucepan, plus parsley, cider, lemon juice and broth.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.  Cool slightly.

Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth.  Return soup to saucepan and add cream, if desired. Heat through.  Garnish with fresh parsley and cracked pepper.  Serve with a hearty grain like these whole wheat rosemary rolls.

Easy Stewed Okra, Tomatoes and Peppers

How do you fix a broken tomato? Tomato paste!

What’s spicy, green and red all over?  A blog post with pictures of stewed okra, tomatoes and peppers on it!

Knock knock. Who’s there? Okra. Okra who? Okra Winfrey’s coming over for dinner!!

(That one’s not really funny unless you say the punchline out loud in your best Oprah Winfrey voice.)

Ok, seriously.  This is one of my favorite summer recipes.  It uses delicious, healthy ingredients and requires almost zero skill to prepare, plus it’s vegan!

Easy Stewed Okra Tomatoes and Peppers
1 onion
1 jalapeno pepper with seeds and ribs
4 sweet or hot bell peppers, seeds and ribs removed
1 lb. okra
1 clove garlic
2 cups tomatoes (12 oz. canned diced or 2-3 fresh diced tomatoes will work)
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. cajun seasoning
A few Tbs. water for consistency, if stew is too thick

Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a large pot. Chop onion, peppers, jalapeño, garlic, and okra, adding the chopped veggies to the pot as you go.  Saute vegetable mixture on medium high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The onions, peppers, garlic and okra should start to caramelize, turning dark brown at the edges. The okra will give off lots of slime.  Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes or open the 12 oz. can of tomatoes and add those to the pot, with liquid.  Season mixture with Cajun seasoning of your choice.  Turn heat down to low. Cover and simmer for fifteen minutes to an hour.   If you simmer it for the full hour, most of the okra will be pretty broken down and the slimy texture will be gone.   Serve this on its own or over rice, grits or polenta.

*In closing: What do you call a nosy pepper? Jalapeno business!!

Friday Favorites

Rami and I have been nesting like crazy, so this is a home-inspired edition of Friday favorites.  Some of my current obsessions include:

Glass Canisters

I’m so over Ziploc bags and grubby paper bags of sugar in my pantry. I like pretty things, and the thought of seeing all my staples lined up on a shelf in clear glass jars (better to showcase flour varietals in their neutral-hued glory) makes my heart sing.   I am obsessed with these Anchor Hocking Heritage Hill canisters in all sizes.  Practical. Lovely. Cheap.

Basil + Tomatoes + My Mouth

I hated tomatoes until I tasted fresh, locally grown heirloom tomatoes.  Now I can’t get enough of the candy-sweet juicy slices of these lumpy lovers. Add a little basil and mozarella, and it is pure heaven.  This week we ate margherita pizzas on Wednesday night, sliced tomato with whole basil leaves on Thursday, and I’m making roasted tomatoes with garlic and basil tonight. Rinse, lather, repeat for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Floor Length Curtains




The Vitamin String Quartet

Pretty much everything the do falls into the “better than the original” category for me.  In order to make packing and unpacking more bearable, I break up the time with random YouTube videos and Grooveshark mixes of their music.

This Judge Judy Clip

Courtesy of my friendy Amy

Brunch Eggs Ranchero

Okay, so my dog Barclay jumped off my second story balcony while I was making dinner tonight.  He is okay, but the fall definitely upstaged the excitement of making Brunch Eggs Ranchero from my 1960s cookbook.  I did manage to take some pictures, which I will upload later when I feel less lazy.  Thus begins my first night of Mad-Men-inspired-retro-cookery.

All in all this was a good meal, and very cheap.  I had eggs and bacon on hand (bacon freezes well) and the can of Rotel tomatoes was only $1 at the store.  Betty Draper would disapprove of the convenience of canned tomatoes, but as a working woman I have to cut corners where I can.  I am sure Peggy Olson could relate.

Here’s the recipe, serves one:

3 slices bacon, cut into fourths
10 oz. can diced tomatoes with chiles & mexican spices
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 325.  Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Drain fat and blot cooked bacon on a paper towel.  Drain the can of tomatoes, then pour tomatoes  into the skillet to heat through.  Add bacon to tomatoes. Once everything’s hot, spoon the mixture into individual-sized casserole dishes or oven-proof bowls.  Gently slip one egg on top of each dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then bake for 15-20 minutes.  I like my eggs runny, and 2o minutes was too long.  Serve immediately with toast or tortillas.

Drink suggestion: bloody mary, screwdriver, greyhound.