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A single plant can produce over a dozen tomatoes, which means you can give a basket to the neighbors and still include almost every meal with this nutrient-rich fruit. Serve them in pasta, pizza, vinaigrettes and even desserts. Paired with the right spices, tomatoes can be sweet, tangy or tart.
Sometimes the best way to enjoy fresh produce is to free it from heavy sauces or other flavor-masking extras. Serve a Mediterranean-inspired stuffed tomato with feta, olives and a little basil. It's a great complement to any grilled entrée or add a little chopped chicken to the mix and serve on its own. Use sturdy, ripe tomatoes for optimal flavor and presentation.
When the temperature climbs, dinner cravings often tend toward light and simple. Make a pasta dish that's packed with the freshest of ingredients, including fresh mozzarella, garlic, basil and, of course, tomatoes. A little olive oil adds flavor that rounds out the simple sauce.
Fresh tomato salsas, chutneys and dressings add color and flavor to almost any meat. Try it with grilled sea bass for a refreshing summer dish. A warm vinaigrette dressing pairs well with fluffy couscous, so make extra to use on other main dishes.
Update pizza night by replacing the standard jarred tomato sauce with a homemade basil pesto sauce. Top a store-bought pizza dough with the pesto, then layer on chopped tomatoes, garlic, provolone and a few sprinkles of basil and bake for a quick homemade pizza.
Looking for some new ideas on how to use tomatoes? Have you thought of these?
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Arrange tomatoes, cut sides up, sweet pepper quarters, onion wedges and garlic between two 15x10x1 inch baking pans. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Roast 30 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and vegetables are lightly browned on edges.
Place roasted vegetables and any pan juices in a large food processor. Add bread. Cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
Stir in vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. If desired, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water to make a thinner consistency. Cover; chill at last 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
Spoon soup in bowls. Top with shrimp. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and, if desired, sprinkle with parsley.
Chop enough meat to measure 2 cups; save the remaining chicken for another use.
In a medium bowl, combine the 2 cups chicken, the spinach, green onions, basil, vinegar, oil and garlic. Toss to evenly coat.
Cut a 1/4 inch-thick slice from the stem end of each tomato. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the tomato pulp, leaving a 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick shell.
Place shells, open sides up, on a serving plate. Discard tomato seeds. Chop enough of the tomato pulp to measure 1/2 cup; reserve remaining pulp for another use.
Stir the 1/2 cup tomato pulp into the chicken mixture.
Divide chicken mixture among tomato shells. Top with bread cubes and cheese.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Dry the pork chops on paper towels. Heat the oil in a heavy, 10-12 inch oven-proof skillet with a cover.
Brown the chops, 2 or 3 at a time, on each side for 3 to 4 minutes. As they are browned, transfer them to a side dish.
Add the onions, cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes. Mix in the flour and stir over low heat for 2 minutes more. Stir in the tomatoes and the next four ingredients.
Cover and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Stir in the wine and beef stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Return the pork chops to the pan and push them into the sauce.
Cover the pan and bring to simmer on top of the stove, then set the pan in the lower third of the preheated oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chops are done.
Arrange the chops on a serving platter and pour the sauce over the chops. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups of the flour, the yeast and salt. Add the warm water and the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping side of bowl constantly. Beat on high-speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in cornmeal and 2 cups of the remaining flour.
You can also use the dough hook on the electric mixer for this addition and the addition of the remaining flour below, instead.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to oil the surface.
Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place until double in size (45 to 60 minutes). Punch down dough; let rest for 10 minutes.
Grease a 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Place dough in the prepared baking pan. Gently pull and stretch dough to the edges of the baking pan, being careful not to overwork dough.
Lightly coat dough with cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let dough rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes).
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Arrange tomato and artichoke slices on a double thickness of paper towels. Let stand for 15 minutes. Change paper towels as necessary so all of the excess liquid is absorbed from tomatoes and artichokes.
Using your fingers, press deep indentations in the dough 1-1/2 to 2 inches apart. Brush dough with the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary. Arrange tomatoes, artichokes, onion rings and garlic slivers evenly on top of dough.
Bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cut into rectangles. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 12 servings.
Pat fish dry with paper towels. Season fish with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook fish in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 3 minutes on each side. Transfer fish to a plate and keep warm.
Add onion and garlic to the skillet and sauté 2 minutes or until the onion is tender. Stir in capers, basil, oregano and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute.
Reduce heat to low, add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Return fish to the pan with the tomato sauce and heat gently. Serve fish topped with the sauce.