German Tomato-Cucumber Salad

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German Tomato-Cucumber Salad
1 large, peeled English cucumber. Thinly sliced
3 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Place all ingredients in bowl; set aside.

Dressing
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons whole milk or cream
Salt to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Whisk together all the ingredients until smooth.
Place dressing into bowl with tomato-cucumber mixture. Toss gently.
Place in cover bowl in refrigerator for at least two hours.

Tomato and Tomatillo Soup with Chicken Meatballs and Chiles

Tomato and Tomatillo Soup with Chicken Meatballs and Chiles

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Chicken Meatballs

1 1/2 lbs ground chicken

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chile powder

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup cooked rice

1 egg, beaten

zest of 1 lime

1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

To make the meatballs, combine all ingredients and mix well until combined. Form into 24 balls and set aside.

Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 stalks celery, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed, sliced

2 Anaheim chiles, seeded, diced

1 jalapeno, seeded, diced

3 red bell peppers, seeded, diced

1 cup white wine

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

2 tsp. chile powder

1- 28 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes, diced

8 cups chicken stock

zest and juice from 2 limes

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon hot sauce or to taste

salt, to taste

6-8 sprigs cilantro, chopped for garnish

Sour cream, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large oven proof stockpot over medium heat . Add the onion, carrots, celery. garlic, tomatillos and chilies and cook until tender. Add wine, cumin, coriander, chile powder, tomatoes and stock and bring to boil. Add the uncooked meatballs, cover with lid and braise in the oven for 45 minutes.

Remove soup from oven, stir in lime juice, vinegar and hot sauce. Salt and pepper, to taste

Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro, sour cream and lime zest.

Hummus with Tomato-Cucumber Relish- Arugula on Ciabatta

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Hummus

1 1/2 cups canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

3/4 cup tahini paste

3 cloves garlic, chopped

juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp. toasted, ground cumin

salt, to taste

Tomato-Cucumber Relish

2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 tsp. chopped peeled fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 tsp. chile paste

1 tsp. cilantro, chopped

salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped

arugula

ciabatta bread

To prepare the hummus add all the ingredients to a bowl of a food processor bowl fitted with a metal blade. Blend until smooth. Add more oil if needed. Set aside.

To prepare the relish add all ingredients to a large bowl and stir. Set aside.

To prepare the sandwiches, spread hummus on one half of a sliced ciabatta roll and top with tomato cucumber relish and then place arugula on top. Top with other half of roll.

Tomato Garbanzo Soup with Rosemary

Tomato Garbanzo Soup with Rosemary

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2 -15 oz. cans garbanzos, drained and rinsed

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2-3 inch long rosemary stems, leaves removed-stems discarded

2-2o oz. cans diced tomatoes in juice

pinch of sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

pinch of fresh ground black pepper

4 cups chicken stock

In a soup pot add olive oil and garlic and cook over low until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, rosemary leaves and 1 can drained and rinsed garbanzos. Bring to simmer and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and puree in blender until smooth. Place back into the soup pot and stir in the remaining garbanzos and heat through.

Tomato-Prosciutto-Arugula Tart

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2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed using manufacturers directions

3 cloves garlic

2/3 cup olive oil

1/4 lb. prosciutto

1/2 tsp black pepper

10 firm Roma tomatoes, sliced thinly

1 tsp. fresh thyme

1/2 cup loosely packed arugula, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out pastry sheet to 1/8 inch thickness. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Combine the garlic, prosciutto, pepper and 1/3 cup olive oil in a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until mixture is a rough puree. Spread half the prosciutto mixture onto the pastry sheet , leaving a 1/2 inch edge. Arrange the sliced tomatoes over the prosciutto mixture. Sprinkle the thyme over the top of tomatoes. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over tomatoes. Roll edges around outside of tart to form a crust. Repeat with remaining pastry.

Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle the chopped arugula over the top of the tarts. Serve immediately.

Tomato, Goat Cheese and Basil Tart

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2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed using manufacturers directions

10.5 oz. Soft Goat Cheese

Salt ,to taste

1/2 tsp black pepper

10 firm Roma tomatoes, sliced thinly

1/2 cup loosely packed Basil, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out pastry sheet to 1/8 inch thickness. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Spread half of the goat cheese evenly over the pastry , leaving a 1/2 inch edge.

Arrange the sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle the half the pepper and salt, salt , to taste over the top of tomatoes. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over tomatoes. Roll edges around outside of tart to form a crust. Repeat with remaining pastry.

Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle the chopped basil over the top of the tarts. Serve immediately.

French Provencal Eggplant Spread

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Provencal Fresh Tomato Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup minced shallot

1 tablespoon minced garlic

3 lbs. ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 tsp. fresh minced fresh thyme

2 tsp. tomato paste

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1/4 cup fresh minced basil

salt and pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan, heat oil. Add the shallot and garlic and saute until fragrant and slightly softened. Add tomatoes and thyme; reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened.

Add tomato paste, butter and basil; whisk until butter melts. Season with salt and pepper,  to taste. Refrigerate or freeze leftover for other uses.

Eggplant Spread

2 eggplants

1/2 large onion, peeled

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup fresh tomato sauce

3 tablespoons minced basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the eggplant in half and place on foil lined lightly oiled baking sheet. Roast until very soft, about 1 hour.

When cool enough to handle, scoop the pulp from the eggplants and place in a  bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the onion and garlic to the eggplant pulp. Blend until smooth. Add oil, vinegar and lemon juice and pulse to blend. Stir in 1/2 tomato sauce and minced basil. Serve at room temperature. Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers.

Serve with crackers or fougasse bread. Also wonderful as a pasta sauce.