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Posts Tagged ‘summer’

One of my favorite things about Summer, other than the sunshine and the beach and the seafood and the vacations and the cocktails, is tomatoes.  In our latest CSA haul we got 4.5 pounds of gorgeous orangey-red toms, and I couldn’t get one in my tummy fast enough. Sliced up, slapped on toasted fancy bread with some mayo, salt, and pepper: heaven.

That is the beauty of a good tomato: you don’t really need to do anything to it.  Salt, Pepper, Mayo, bread.  The tomato sandwich is simple, but so so freaking good.  It sounds a little weird for those of you who consider a tomato on a sandwich an accessory rather than the main component, but trust me on this one.  Give it a try.

When I was a wee child I actually didn’t like tomatoes.  I was young and stupid then (I also “didn’t like” hot sauce, red wine, or hamburgers. Like I said: stupid), and I think it was more of a textural thing than a taste thing.  Those little gooey globuals of tomato seed seriously grossed me out.  They were too akin to Jellyfish material than I was comfortable with.

Mouth is watering already...

Thankfully I grew out of that phase, and now I get downright gleeful when good summer tomatoes come my way.  But only summer tomatoes.  I cannot tolerate those awful sickly pink, rock hard things that pass for toms in the winter.  Ew.

I am going to eat as many tomato sandwiches as I can in the next few days (once, my sister K., who basically invented the tomato sandwich, ate so many that she got an acid bubble on the inside of her lip.  Disgusting, but worth it). But then I have other things planned: roasted tomato soup (you can find my recipe here!), maybe some sauce, obviously an epic Caprese salad. But like I said: the less you can do to a summer tom, the better.

I’ve been trying to make that my food motto lately: “Do as little as you can.”  Because the food we get in our CSA is so fresh and so good, you really don’t need to do anything to it. A quick toss in a pan with some olive oil, a splash of lemon juice, even eating things straight up raw.  Too much of my veggie haul has gone bad in the past as I’ve pondered what to do with it.  Epiphany time: you don’t have to do anything.  Just eat it.

Now: inspire me.  What are some of your favorite ways to eat tomatoes?

Also something to consider: why does the plural of tomato have an -e in it?  Unnecessary, English language.  Unnecessary.

I particularly love when they look all freaky.

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It is suddenly excruciatingly hot here in NYC.  I’m usually a fan of summer purely because I am always ALWAYS cold (it’s a medical disorder, okay?), and summer allows me to be less cold than usual.  But NYC in the summer is just disgusting.  It’s humid and there is no air-flow and it absolutely stinks like rotting garbage.  You walk down the street and get dripped on by what one hopes is air-conditioning liquid.  Waiting for a train becomes an impromptu trip to a sauna.  Ever try sitting next to a very sweaty person on public transportation? It’s as bad as you imagine.  Really, really bad.

So of course I decided this week that I wanted to make calzones.  Which involves an oven, and standing over a hot stove.  Because I am a genius.

Was it hot?  Yup.  Was I sweating profusely as I not only cooked, but then tried to eat my delicious concoction?  Yup.  Was it worth it?  YUP.

From now until August it’s salads and sandwiches.  But as my last cooking hurrah, I give you:

Broccoli & Sausage Calzones

You’ll Need:

1 container of pre-made pizza dough

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 package of sweet (or hot, if that’s your thing) italian sausages

1 medium-sized bunch of broccoli

1 small container of ricotta cheese

1/2 an onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Marinara sauce, for dipping

A few dashes of Italian seasoning, or equal parts garlic powder, oregano, salt, pepper

A very small dash of nutmeg

Parmesan cheese

To Do:

  • Pre heat oven to 425 degrees (I’m sweating just thinking about this)
  • Saute onion and garlic in a pan w/a drizzle of EVOO until browned
  • Remove outer casing from sausage and add to pan, tearing the meat into small pieces
  • While sausage is cooking, steam broccoli, then chop into bite-sized pieces
  • When sausage is done, remove from pan w/slotted spoon (to drain fat)
  • Combine broccoli, sausage crumbles, 1/2 the container of ricotta, spices and mozzarella into a bowl, stirring well.
  • Stretch pizza dough onto a non-stick pan.  Divide evenly (I divided it into 2 big pieces, but I think next time I’d divide it into 4 smaller sections as I had leftover filling)
  • Pile filling into the center of the dough and cover, making sure to seal the edges
  • Cut 2 or 3 small openings in top of calzone to allow ventage
  • brush tops with oil, Parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of garlic powder
  • Bake for approx. 20 minutes
  • Heat marinara sauce and enjoy!

I was so preoccupied with being a hot sweaty mess that I didn’t take pictures.  Whoops!  Suffice it to say that the outside was crusty and golden, and the inside, because I pre-mixed the filling, was yummy and melty and awesome.  Try to use your imagination.  If you aren’t too hot to do so.

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