Fresh Tomato Salsa ~ light, spicy fresh tomato salsa with a hint of lime and no cooking involved. Also called pico de gallo ~ it’s a delicious appetizer with tortilla chips or topping your favorite Mexican dish.
We planted our garden again this spring and watered and fertilized all the plants; probably watering more this year than I can ever remember because of the stretches of 90+ temps.
We lovingly cared for these little sprouts like they were our children, anxiously waiting for the first sign there would be a harvest and watching as some of the tomato plants grew as tall as me. Don’t be too impressed ~ I’m only 5’2″.
Our reward for all this tending is lots of tomatoes. I’m talking Lots.Of.Tomatoes. We’ve eaten them in pasta salad, sliced on BLT’s and even a goat cheese-tomato appetizer. Some have a future in marinara but for now, our favorite is this Fresh Tomato Salsa with a basket of tortilla chips and a couple of margaritas.
Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer ~ burst tomatoes, garlic and capers nestled around tangy goat cheese, broiled until golden and served with warm toasted bread.
Back in the winter of 2015 I posted a recipe for one of my favorite combinations, roasted tomatoes and goat cheese slathered thick on a lightly toasted baguette slices. Like women and good wine that recipe has improved with age and is now this Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer. If you made it before, you’ll notice a couple of subtle changes to the process that in my opinion make the dish even tastier.
It’s meant to be an appetizer but a nice glass of red or chilled Rosé, depending on the season along with some warm, crusty bread and for me, it’s dinner.
I make a mean ‘Adult’ Grilled Cheese sandwich – prosciutto, goat and couple of other cheeses, a smear of bacon jam, grilled to a beautiful golden, perfect for dunking tomato soup . I’m just not one of those people who routinely creates amazing sandwiches. Until now. This Smoked Salmon BLT is a big high-five, fist-bumping sandwich. It’s everything we crave in a classic Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich – salty Applewood smoked bacon, sliced tomatoes, crispy lettuce and like the Adult Grilled Cheese, this Smoked Salmon BLT is all grown up.
Chickpea Tomato Cucumber Salad ~ fresh tomatoes, cucumber, protein packed chick peas and tangy feta in a light, lemony-dill dressing. So easy ~ assembles in under 10 minutes for a great side dish or lunch.
Dorothy was right. There really is no place like home. We just got back Saturday after a lazy month in Florida eating way too much delicious but not-so-good-for-us food, cocktails *may* have been served mid-afternoon, binge reading (list down below), kayaking, shark tooth hunting and toes in the sand most days.
The trip was made even better with visits from our good friends and when our kids all came down for a week. Arriving home, there were all sorts of big girl stuff that needed attention like laundry, sorting through mail, unpacking and trying to get back on a smarter eating path starting with this Chickpea Tomato Cucumber Salad.
It’s always nice when a plan comes together. You have a recipe and all the ingredients and time to make it, but I’m also happy to take a win when I happen to have all the ingredients and a meal comes together as deliciously as this Chicken Pesto Sandwich. I’m talking about mmmmm over-the-top goodness. I can’t seem to break the habit of cooking in volume like I’m expecting the kids to walk in the door, along with their friends and maybe a neighbor or two and the result is. . .leftovers. Do you do this too? So when I was looking for something for lunch the other day, I discovered that between the leftovers in the refrigerator, a couple of things in the freezer and the tomatoes I just picked from the garden, I had the makings for one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. I don’t mean gosh I’m hungry that was good. I’m talking one of the best sandwiches. . .ever.
I don’t read much of the newspaper these days, but every Thursday, I make a beeline (I just dated myself again) for the Food Section in our local paper. It has a classier name, but it escapes me right now. There’s usually a recipe or two I cut out and tuck away in my Little Black Book of recipe inspiration. About two years ago the Food Section shared a recipe for Mushroom Risotto. I had eaten risotto in restaurants but never attempted it at home, so I cut it out, made it and fell head over heels in love with my own risotto. I hate to brag, but, but sometimes you just have to blow your own horn. A couple of my favorite risottos are a version of that Mushroom Risotto where I add dried cherries and the other is a Lemon Parmesan that is ah-mazing with pan seared scallops. Today I’m sharing a Tomato Basil Risotto that had me filling my plate more than once. I’m only slightly embarrassed to say I stopped at thirds because my stomach was ready to burst. This Tomato Basil Risotto just may kick the others to the curb. Risotto isn’t hard to make, but it’s like caring for a toddler, and imagine what happens when that toddler is left unattended. . .
In my mind Memorial weekend kicks off the start of summer. Barbecues, boating and the start of a whole new menu that includes some cold salads I haven’t seen in months. They’re like old friends, especially this Pesto Tortellini Salad — even though I haven’t seen you in months, we just pick up right where we left off. My 9 year old neighbor told me summer starts on June 9 at exactly 12 p.m. — the day and time she gets out of school for the summer which to her means long days of playing outside, keeping a vigil for the ice cream truck and staying up a little later at night. Who could argue with that?
Here where I live in Michigan, we’re starting to harvest our tomatoes. Which is a good thing. . .until it isn’t. Let me explain. Sometimes those tomatoes come in so fast and furious you can’t process them before they go bad ~ a cardinal sin among gardeners – letting your crops go bad. So I sought to create a unique side dish with some of my harvest, Tomato-Goat Cheese-Pesto Side Dish which turned out to be really delicious.