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Every once in a while, my husband gets this twinkle in his eye and he starts hinting that it's time for me to roast some tomatoes again. In the late summer and early autumn months, this is a regular occurance. Since my garden is producing tomatoes faster than we can eat them, roasting the plum tomatoes in large batches and freezing half the batch for retrival in the middle of winter only makes sense.
Of course, that's not the only way we use tomatoes. That's what this month's column is about ... using tomatoes. There are many more uses than I'm sharing here, of course, but the three recipes offered are some of my favorites. Feel free to try them as is or add some touches of your own. I also encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!
Roasting tomatoes in the oven deepens their flavor and adds an extra sweetness that's hard to describe. Toss them with cooked pasta for a meal that's almost too easy to make or pulse them in a food processor and spread on toasted bread for an easy appetizer.
Ripe plum tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Cut the plum tomatoes in half lengthwise. Place the tomatoes into a resealable plastic bag. Add enough olive oil to just coat the tomatoes. Seal the bag and turn to coat the tomatoes well.
Arrange the tomatoes with the skin side down on a baking sheet, allowing at least 1/4-inch between the tomatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until the tomatoes bubble and darken slightly. The tomatoes will still be moist. Cool slightly before transferring to a storage container or use immediately over hot pasta.
Serving creamy tuna salad in hollowed-out tomatoes makes it an elegant lunch that's easy to serve.
1 can tuna, in water, drained
1 c. fat-free mayonnaise
1/4 c. finely chopped red onions
1/4 c. frozen peas, thawed
1/4 c. finely chopped celery
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 hollowed-out tomatoes (reserve the insides for making soup)
Several dashes of paprika
In a medium bowl, mix the tuna, mayonnaise, onions, peas, celery, salt and pepper. Chill for 10 minutes while you hollow-out the tomatoes. Carefully scoop one quarter of the tuna salad into each of the four hollowed-out tomatoes. Sprinkle the top of each tomato with paprika before serving.