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Fresh Tomato Recipes


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The one downside to the Italian Store is, indeed, the wait. You can, however, as mentioned above, call ahead for subs AND for pizza. And during the summer, they have some very expensive, but very delicious local tomatoes -- real tomatoes, that smell, feel, and taste like they should. Craig's invented a lovely recipe for these gems:

Take a beautiful tomato. Cut a "hat" off the top. Scoop out the seeds. Rinse with rice wine vinegar and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Fill with 4% cottage cheese. Top with lemon pepper. Put the hat back on. Serve.

Perfect for a hot summer lunch! And because we live in the apartments kitty-corner from the store (I manage them, too, so if you're ever looking for a fabulous place to live :lol: ), it's good "on a whim" food, too...

Another tomato recipe we used at the Market. Buy nice tomato, in season, remove some interior, mix sel gris, basil, EVOO and 15 year Balsamic. Cram it in there. Marinate two hours. Eat

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Another tomato recipe we used at the Market. Buy nice tomato, in season, remove some interior, mix sel gris, basil, EVOO and 15 year Balsamic. Cram it in there. Marinate two hours. Eat

It is 9 million #$%%! weeks from good fresh tomatoes! Can we please not talk about this? :lol:

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While they are not as good as fresh tomatoes, Harris Teeter is currently carrying UglyRipes. They are better than anything else you will find right now. I used them last night to make a broiled tomato. I thickly slice them, remove the seeds, sprinkle them with fresh pepper, sea salt, fresh oregano, fresh basil, EVOO, and then top them with shredded mozzarella. Then broil until the cheese is gooey and just starts to brown.

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Another tomato recipe we used at the Market. Buy nice tomato, in season, remove some interior, mix sel gris, basil, EVOO and 15 year Balsamic. Cram it in there. Marinate two hours. Eat

Sounds good!

Edited by grover
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A very generous client dropped off a huge amount of tomatoes from her garden on Thursday, and they unfortunately sat in their box and paper bag until I brought them home this evening (we weren't there to receive them Thursday, and I wasn't told about them until late today).

I've washed and sorted them into various collanders, and I estimate that I have 2-3 quarts of beautiful, firm Roma tomatoes, and about the same of large round, over-ripe, soft tomatoes. I hope they will hold up until tomorrow morning, when I can actually do something with them.

I'm thinking some sauce, and some oven-dried tomatoes. I want stuff that I can possibly stow in the freezer to use at my leisure.

Can anyone share some recipes or guidance? Is there such a thing as a recipe for tomato sauce that doesn't require peeling first? (I have Fibromyalgia, and don't know how long I can peel tomatoes before I fall over in a heap on the floor.)

I'm determined to do my best for these red beauties, and will appreciate any and all advice. I am a total novice in this area, so I guess I need "Tomato Recipes for Dummies."

Porcupine, would you mind sharing your sauce and confit recipes--by PM if not on this thread? Anyone else?

Thanks in advance for any and all input.

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A very generous client dropped off a huge amount of tomatoes from her garden on Thursday, and they unfortunately sat in their box and paper bag until I brought them home this evening (we weren't there to receive them Thursday, and I wasn't told about them until late today).

I've washed and sorted them into various collanders, and I estimate that I have 2-3 quarts of beautiful, firm Roma tomatoes, and about the same of large round, over-ripe, soft tomatoes. I hope they will hold up until tomorrow morning, when I can actually do something with them.

I'm thinking some sauce, and some oven-dried tomatoes. I want stuff that I can possibly stow in the freezer to use at my leisure.

Can anyone share some recipes or guidance? Is there such a thing as a recipe for tomato sauce that doesn't require peeling first? (I have Fibromyalgia, and don't know how long I can peel tomatoes before I fall over in a heap on the floor.)

I'm determined to do my best for these red beauties, and will appreciate any and all advice. I am a total novice in this area, so I guess I need "Tomato Recipes for Dummies."

Porcupine, would you mind sharing your sauce and confit recipes--by PM if not on this thread? Anyone else?

Thanks in advance for any and all input.

I am going to a tomato-themed dinner on Sunday. I will let you know how it turns out....

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I usually drop than in a pot of boiling water for one minute, then dunk in cool water, then when they are cool enough to handle, cut them in half, and squeeze them right out of their skin into ziplocks. I like this method if I'm going to be using the tomatoes in something light, a simple tomato sauce with basil or onion and butter.

If you want to use your oven, cut them in half and put them cut side down on an olive-oiled cookie sheet. Roast them, and when they cool after you've taken them out, you can usually peel the skins right off with your fingers. I like this for heavier sauces, Bolognese, etc.

I did three bushels of tomatoes last Sunday. :angry:

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Porcupine, would you mind sharing your sauce and confit recipes--by PM if not on this thread?

The sauce couldn't be easier. Slice your washed Romas in half lengthwise, place in a large pot (no more than 2 deep - use several pots or work in batches if necessary), all by themselves, cover, and heat for about ten minutes, or until they're somewhat softened. Place them in a food mill fitted with a fine disk and crank away - the seeds and skin will be left behind.

Place the puree in a pot with some butter, salt, a pinch of sugar, and halved onions. Cook uncovered until reduced to desired consistency, but don't overdo it - it will always be a somewhat thin sauce. Discard the onion.

Marcella Hazan's recipe calls for one medium onion and 1/4 pound butter for every two pounds of tomatoes. That seems like an obscene amount of butter to me. I used three onions and a pound and a half of butter for about 28 pounds of tomatoes and thought it almost too rich.

I think with confit you're supposed to cover the tomatoes completely in oil, which I didn't do. I cored them, and cut them into quarters, sixths, or eigths depending on size, squeezed out the seeds, doused them generously in good olive oil, spread them out in the pans as much as I could, and put in a 225 convection oven until they were nicely reduced but not leathery. Shake the pans and/or turn the wedges every once in awhile. Again, depending on size, this took anywhere from two to six hours. It was a mistake to hurry one batch by roasting at 250 - they were browning significantly before losing much of the water.

Have fun!

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I've made some progres with my tomatoes. I estimate that I had around 10-11 lbs, about 2/3 Romas and 1/3 large round types. Some were already too far gone to salvage--mainly those at the bottom of the box and bag, which had cracks in them (is that from the drought?). I think I tossed about 10%, which isn't bad.

I slow-roasted about 4 lbs of the Romas yesterday, and they are now in bags lying flat in my freezer. Now I have another 1-1.5 lbs in the oven to make "charred tomatoes" for a pesto recipe I ran across on StephenCooks.com. We've eaten a few of the larger ones as salad. A couple are earmarked for recipes this week, and I hope to try a tomato marmalade that I also found on StephenCooks.com.

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Peeling tomatoes is a concept perpetuated by snooty chefs and cookbook authors who believe that cooking should be eighty billion times the amount of work it needs to be. This dissuades would-be home cooks from going beyond Krap Cheese & Macaroni (on whose payroll said chefs and authors are).

Sauce those tomatoes. Sauce those tomatoes like Boris Yeltsin at Vodka Vorld. Sauce them like a frat boy trapped in a lauter tun. Sauce them like Lindsay Lohan on a Tuesday at 10AM. :angry:

Then freeze the sauce.

If you MUST make something without the skins, try some "tomato water." You'll have to buy Michel Richard's "Happy in the Kitchen" to get the recipe, though B)

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Peeling tomatoes is a concept perpetuated by snooty chefs and cookbook authors who believe that cooking should be eighty billion times the amount of work it needs to be.

You can use a food mill and make it an easy task.

My grandparents used an electric one that we used to make hundreds of quart bottles of sauce every fall. No skin and no fuss.

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Peeling tomatoes is a concept perpetuated by snooty chefs and cookbook authors who believe that cooking should be eighty billion times the amount of work it needs to be.

even rachel ray peels her tomatoes when she's cooking them on the air, doesn't she? otherwise, the skin rolls up into little hard shards that are highly undesirable. surely her mother taught her this much.

i must not have a very good food mill, but pushing through 10 pounds of tomatoes that have broken down over low heat for three or four hours is work, but eventually soup. (start with shallots softened in butter.) if you don't want soup, i suppose you could cook this down into a sauce, though deborah madison in her big book has good basic recipes that are easy. marcella hazan can be better, but she's more difficult.

alice waters has the best tomato compote recipe in her vegetable book. peeled tomatoes, salted and peppered, rest on a bed of lettuce and the olive oil comes half way up them in a pyrex bowl or gratin dish. you can smash them down a bit so there is barely any space between them, and use less oil. start them off at 375 degrees for half an hour, then turn the oven down to 325/350 and cook an additional one and a half/two hours or so, until the tops carmelize. keep them in the dish and they freeze well.

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Peeling tomatoes is a concept perpetuated by snooty chefs and cookbook authors who believe that cooking should be eighty billion times the amount of work it needs to be.

OR maybe it's one of the many details that chefs do with food that distinguish the great ones from the merely average? It's really not hard to do and only takes a few minutes to do pounds of them. Worth every second to get rid of the chewy skin to some of us, I guess.

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alice waters has the best tomato compote recipe in her vegetable book. peeled tomatoes, salted and peppered, rest on a bed of lettuce and the olive oil comes half way up them in a pyrex bowl or gratin dish. you can smash them down a bit so there is barely any space between them, and use less oil. start them off at 375 degrees for half an hour, then turn the oven down to 325/350 and cook an additional one and a half/two hours or so, until the tops carmelize. keep them in the dish and they freeze well.

i don't know why it says a bed of lettuce above, because that's what I wrote i suppose, but it really should be basil.

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The Brandywines are ripening! Who has some more tomato ideas?

Have you tried making Salad Caprese as a stack? When we were visiting my in-laws at their retirement community this week, the chef at the fanciest of the dining rooms had a special that was tomato layered with fresh mozzarella discs of the same size, topped with basil, and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. There was something about the presentation that made it seem like a different salad.

If you want to cook the tomatoes, I sometimes make a tomato-corn casserole. Very roughly: Make a white sauce and add corn and some bread crumbs (or small pieces of torn bread). Top the casserole with more bread crumbs and chopped tomato. Dot with butter and grate some Parmesan over. Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes, or as appropriate for the size of your casserole.

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I made this Tomato Pie recipe from Leite's Culinaria last night. It's really easy to put together. A couple modifications on my part: used fresh mozzarella instead of cheddar cheese and did not peel the tomatoes.

There was a tomato pie recipe published in the WaPost a couple of years ago that I swear by. I need to crack out that recipe and make it again. It's really, really good.

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I was just thinking about this recipe and dug it out. It's from Jeanty at Jack's, a restaurant in San Francisco that is now closed. My husband had this soup there on his 50th birthday and loved it. I wrote the restaurant and they kindly sent me the recipe. I used premade puff pastry to make this, but it would have been far better with homemade pastry.

Bistro Jeanty - Tomato Soup
Courtesy of Jeanty at Jack's
Serves 6

2 ½ lb. tomatoes - ripe, cored, and quartered
½ cup butter - unsalted
½ lb. yellow onions - sliced
6 ea. garlic cloves
¼ cup tomato paste
1 ea. bay leaf
½ Tbl. whole black peppercorns
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 cup water (use only if tomatoes are not ripe and juicy)
4 cups heavy cream
1-2 Tbl. butter
salt - to taste
½ tsp. ground white pepper
1 lb. puff pastry - defrosted if frozen
1 ea. egg - beaten with 1 Tbl. water

Procedure:
Melt the Â½ cup butter in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Do not let the onions color. Add the tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste, bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and the water if needed. Simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes, until the onions and tomatoes are very soft. Puree in a blender (working in batches) or use a handheld immersion blender; strain. Return the soup to the pot.

Add the cream, salt, white pepper, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to taste. Bring soup back to boil.

Let the soup cool for 2 hours or overnight (in the refrigerator).

Divide among six 8-ounce soup cups or bowls. Roll out the puff pastry to Â¼". Cut 6 rounds slightly larger than your cups or bowls. Paint the dough with the egg wash and turn the circles egg-washed side down over the cups, pulling lightly on the sides to make the dough tight like a drum.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Lightly paint the tops of the dough rounds with egg wash without pushing the dough down. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Do not open the oven door in the first few minutes or the dough will fall. Serve immediately.

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We just made our favorite tomato dish last night. Chop up some of your beautiful sweet tomatoes, some jalepenos for that fresh outdoor flavor, and mix them into polenta with cheese (we use cheddar). Serve that on top of cubed chicken in a bowl and you have an amazing and simple meal that takes little effort to make. tip: you can get a whole rotisserie chicken from Haris Teeter for about $2 after 8pm.

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It is! We use 'normal' cottage cheese and mozzarella, not the low fat stuff. And I use real Parmagiano Reggiano, not Parmasan, and I up the amount used. It's really a great dish. When we make it, I eat half of the whole pie in one sitting for dinner.

Made this today for a decadent lunch. Oofah! It's indeed a great recipe.

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Here's a recipe that I entered in the Washington Post's tomato contest a few year ago.  It didn't get selected, but to me, it beats any of the contest entries in the last 2 or 3 years.

Ken's Tomato Soup

This recipe was created by my friend, Ken, as a way to quickly and easily process large amounts of home grown tomatoes and store them for use later in the winter.  If you grow a lot of tomatoes, you'll need to purchase and extra freezer(!), but I've kept some of the soup for over 2 and a half years(!) with no loss in quality.  The soup ends up being a creamy, smoky blast of summer that can be served all year long.  Serve alone or with bread.

The ingredients are few and the quantities are approximate, but that's the nature of the recipe"¦ not a lot of measuring, and no chopping, just grab the items and throw them in the pan.  Quick and easy!

  1.  Cut the stem end off of tomatoes (about a half inch or so).
  2. Place the tomatoes cut side down in a lightly olive oiled casserole pan
  3. Fill the pan with as many tomatoes as you can (one layer deep)
  4. Stuff a handful of fresh (or dried) oregano into the "corners" between the tomatoes (put a little pinch in 10 or so of the "corners").  No need to chop them up.
  5. Stuff a handful of fresh basil in the "corners" (same as oregano).  No need to chop them up.
  6. Insert 15-18 or garlic cloves into the "corners"
  7. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  8. Pour ¾ cup olive oil over the top
  9. Bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees (or a hour and 15 minutes if the skins aren't black)
  10. Let cool and remove the skins by hand (they will have risen up above and off the tomato bodies.  You should be able to just pull off the skins and leave the pulp behind.  Some may take a little squeezing out.
  11. Dump the entire pan into a big bowl and mix with a wand mixer until it's smooth.
  12. Serve, refrigerate, or freeze.  For a little texture, leave as is "“ the tomato seeds will provide some crunch!  If you want a completely smooth and creamy version, strain it through a mesh sieve. 
  13. For reheating frozen soups, use the wand mixer again to completely mix everything back together and make it creamy.  (you don't have to do the re-wanding if you don't feel like.....I've pretty much stopped doing it)

You can make it with all red tomatoes, all yellow, all green or a mixture of colors.

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This sounds brilliant! what I have mostly are cherry tomatoes, so I've been doing quick sautes of toms, eggplant, garlic, green onion, w/ some olives & herbs, but I hope some of my larger tomatoes start ripening soon, so I can try your recipe.

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Last night I made a couple batches of the tomato soup from a couple posts up.  Here are some before and after cooking shots:

(I had to cut some of the bad parts off of some tomatoes in the first shot, that's why they don't look whole)

post-3390-0-63332200-1375273465_thumb.jp

post-3390-0-82837800-1375273474_thumb.jp

post-3390-0-21743400-1375273486_thumb.jp

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The other day, I made a savory tomato tart. Cut up red and yellow tomatoes, put in a bowl with crushed garlic, salt, parsley, olive oil, and a little potato starch. Rolled out some pastry dough I had left from a cherry tart a couple of weeks ago (Italian 00 flour and pastry flour, 3:1, butter, salt). Put the filling in the middle, folded the edge around it, baked in a 425F oven for about 40 minutes. Sprinkled with shredded gruyè (re for the last five minutes or so. It looked like this while I was eating it (accompanied by scrambled eggs, which didn't make it into this picture):

IMG_46271024x768_zpsa45eb5bb.jpg

As I was eating this, I thought how good it would be with the addition of some really good tuna packed in olive oil. So the next day, I made one like that, with Ortiz bonito del norte. Delicious. It looked like this (this is a serving, not the whole tart):

IMG_46541024x768_zps6046f9c7.jpg

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Last night I made a variant of the Ken's soup from upthread. I also roasted onion and red peppers with the tomatoes. I did not roast the herbs, but added fresh basil and rosemary and blended. I then re-heated it and finished it with some buttermilk. Served with parmesen toasts and corn on the cob. Summer deliciousness.

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A year later and another Washington Post tomato recipe issue is out:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/top-tomato-2014-a-most-interesting-bunch-of-recipes-topped-by-rabbit-ragu/2014/08/18/c635a7f0-2272-11e4-86ca-6f03cbd15c1a_story.html

Once again, after a quick scan, I don't see anything that jumps out at me as a dish I MUST make.  I used to love this issue, but for the past couple of years the dishes seem to be getting wierder and less interesting.  Tomato doughnuts?!?!?  I'll pass.

I know that soups and sauces have been done to death, but I'd much rather see some more of those listed.

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^ When I opened the paper this morning, they had the food section on top with an enormous photo of tomatoes.  I tend to agree with you about the recipes, but I have also read the entry "instructions," and know that they solicit "interesting" treatments rather than classic ones.  I gravitate toward the classic, mostly because I think these types of recipes take best advantage of home-grown flavor.  With that in mind, here's Mark Bittman's incredible tomato paella.  I make this recipe about once a week during tomato season, and we never get tired of it.  Simple, fresh, and showcases the tomato flavor.

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A year later and another Washington Post tomato recipe issue is out:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/top-tomato-2014-a-most-interesting-bunch-of-recipes-topped-by-rabbit-ragu/2014/08/18/c635a7f0-2272-11e4-86ca-6f03cbd15c1a_story.html

Once again, after a quick scan, I don't see anything that jumps out at me as a dish I MUST make.  I used to love this issue, but for the past couple of years the dishes seem to be getting wierder and less interesting.  Tomato doughnuts?!?!?  I'll pass.

I know that soups and sauces have been done to death, but I'd much rather see some more of those listed.

After a few years, the good basic ideas--the ones that are go-to methods by good cooks--have been covered, and have won the contest. They don't like to repeat themselves, so end up with off-the-wall ideas and oddities. After two years, the bbq sauce contest was dropped, because of a lack of unique entries. They were getting too much of the same-old, same-old, and some truly weird recipes that weren't even bbq sauce. I suspect that the tomato contest will either run out of steam altogether, or they will go back to choosing classic sauce-salsa-soup-stuffed-sandwich-tart recipes again.

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 With that in mind, here's Mark Bittman's incredible tomato paella.  I make this recipe about once a week during tomato season, and we never get tired of it.  Simple, fresh, and showcases the tomato flavor.

That's a very interesting recipe, which I don't remember seeing before; thanks for posting it. Bittman doesn't discuss tomato type, but I assume you use juicy "salad"-type tomatoes and not plum/roma type? And do you use water rather than stock as he suggests you might? I've been going with water for vegetable-based soups such as potato-leek, and have really come to prefer them made this way. I think the tomato paella would also be more to my taste made with water. And what kind of rice? I usually have at least one short-grained Italian rice at hand, but Spanish rice is much harder to find. I guess I'm full of questions this evening.

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That's a very interesting recipe, which I don't remember seeing before; thanks for posting it. Bittman doesn't discuss tomato type, but I assume you use juicy "salad"-type tomatoes and not plum/roma type? And do you use water rather than stock as he suggests you might? I've been going with water for vegetable-based soups such as potato-leek, and have really come to prefer them made this way. I think the tomato paella would also be more to my taste made with water. And what kind of rice? I usually have at least one short-grained Italian rice at hand, but Spanish rice is much harder to find. I guess I'm full of questions this evening.

I use some medium-sized cherry tomatoes that I cut in half and marinate in a little olive oil and salt while I prep the rest of the dish.  If you want to make a nice pattern with them, just cut off the flame while you arrange them, then turn it back on to bring to a simmer before finishing.  I use a little bit of better-than bouillon in the water, usually mushroom, and I also "bloom" the saffron in the water - it needs to be hot - while I cook everything.  That's actually the first thing I do, put the saffron into the hot water, and I think it brings out a great deal more flavor than just tossing it in.  Goya medium grain works really well in paella and is both readily available and inexpensive.

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I use some medium-sized cherry tomatoes that I cut in half and marinate in a little olive oil and salt while I prep the rest of the dish.  If you want to make a nice pattern with them, just cut off the flame while you arrange them, then turn it back on to bring to a simmer before finishing.  I use a little bit of better-than bouillon in the water, usually mushroom, and I also "bloom" the saffron in the water - it needs to be hot - while I cook everything.  That's actually the first thing I do, put the saffron into the hot water, and I think it brings out a great deal more flavor than just tossing it in.  Goya medium grain works really well in paella and is both readily available and inexpensive. 

Looks great.  Sounds like a summer delicacy.  Must try it.

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I had a bunch of tomatoes needing to be used rather quickly, but did not have time to go to the store and it needed to be easy to be made on a weeknight. So I used roasted walnut oil, white wine vinegar, salt, sugar, touch of oregano and fresh basil. Pretty much a standard marinade, but the roasted walnut oil really added a unique and tasty flavor.

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Mark Bittman's tomato paella recipe is great. I've made it three times now, and it's very little trouble and more or less foolproof. I've used carnaroli rice each time, since that's what I had. A variety of farmers'-market tomatoes, onion, garlic, saffron, smoked Spanish paprika, tomato paste, salt, olive oil, water, pretty much just as Bittman prescribes. Here's this evening's edition.

TomatoPaella_zps35586620.jpg

Very good left over, too, heated briefly in the microwave.

Thanks for the tip, lperry!

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Waaaay out of season for fresh tomatoes, but not for freezer food.

We recently defrosted two batches of tomato soup from this recipe ( http://www.donrockwell.com/index.php?/topic/2157-fresh-tomato-recipes/?p=234599 ), post #29 above. One was from the summer of 2010 and the other was from 2011 and both were as good as the day they were made! No joke. Four and a half years in the freezer and it still tasted like liquid summer!

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Bumping this thread for a reminder for everyone of some great recipes.

Also a question........I thought I remembered a post (maybe in a different thread?) where someone took smallish tomatoes, cut them in half and slow roasted them for hours until they dried out quite a bit, and then froze them for use latter in the year in soups, sauces, etc. and a flavor booster.

Does anyone remember that?

Details?  Skin on or off?  Roasting temperature/time?

Thanks!

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Bumping this thread for a reminder for everyone of some great recipes.

Also a question........I thought I remembered a post (maybe in a different thread?) where someone took smallish tomatoes, cut them in half and slow roasted them for hours until they dried out quite a bit, and then froze them for use latter in the year in soups, sauces, etc. and a flavor booster.

Does anyone remember that?

Details?  Skin on or off?  Roasting temperature/time?

Thanks!

Yes, I core them, cut them in half, quarters for larger ones, skin on, and roast them for a really long time at 200 in the oven, on a baking rack over a baking sheet.  I would say overnight, but when I do that, I feel like I sleep with one ear open, but I really worry about that sort of thing.  I have done this for stonefruit too.  It is GREAT when you are going on vacation and have stuff that is going to go bad if you don't use them.  The time really depends on the size and juice content.

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