Recipes

Roasted Tomato Salsa - Salsa Quemada

This is our favorite salsa in the world!  When tomatoes are in season, you'll always find a large bowl of this in our fridge - for salsa & chips, to dress tacos, or eat with black beans.  Thank you, Mama Calla, for making this for us! 

5 large roma or red tomatoes, whole, not cored or cut in any way
1 serrano or jalapeño chile
juice of 1/2 lime (to taste)
2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
1/4 cup minced white onion
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

Make sure your kitchen is well ventilated. Place the whole tomatoes inside a packet of aluminum foil and seal it at the top so you have a little foil package.  Place over a medium flame - you'll need a gas stove for this, or you could use your grill.  Dry-roast them until the tomatoes feel soft to the touch when you push on them through the foil packet.  About 10 minutes or longer.  You'll hear the foil crackling and the smell of the charred tomato skin.  This is what you want! 

Place the tomatoes and all the other ingredients in a food processor and pulse just a few times - be careful not to over-process or you will end up with soup!  You want some chunks!  Taste for seasoning. The salsa will keep, refrigerated, for several days.

Pasta with Spicy Sausages, Tomatoes, Rosemary and Olives

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed

1 large sprig fresh rosemary

1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped

1 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, trimmed and diced

1/4 cup green pitted olives, slivered

Salt to taste

1/2 pound whole-wheat pasta, like penne.

1. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and rosemary; cook, breaking up the meat with a fork, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and stir occasionally until they have broken down and turned into a sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the olives for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Add salt to taste, cover and keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain well and toss with the sauce.

Source: NY Times - 10/10

GAZPACHO

1 cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled 
2 bell peppers, cored and seeded 
4 tomatoes 
1 red or yellow onion 
3 garlic cloves, minced 
3 cups tomato juice 
1/4 cup white wine vinegar 
1/4 cup good olive oil 
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt 
1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess! After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.

RATATOUILLE

2 1 lb. eggplants, cut into cubes
1 ¾ teaspoons plus ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
2 ½ lbs. tomatoes, diced
5 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup loosely packed, chopped fresh basil
¾ cup loosely packed, chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 ½ lbs. onions, thinly sliced
3 bell peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 lbs. zucchini, cut lengthwise and then into ½-inch slices
1/3 cup dry white wine

Place a single layer of paper towels on 2 large plates. Place the cubed eggplant onto the plates and sprinkle with 1 ¾ teaspoon salt. Allow the eggplant to sit for 20 minutes. In a large saucepan, cook the tomatoes, garlic, black pepper, basil, and parsley, uncovered, over medium heat. In a large skillet, sauté the onions and bell peppers in a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very lightly browned. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the browned vegetables to the tomato mixture. Pat the eggplant dry with a fresh paper towel and add it, along with the zucchini to the tomato mixture. Cover the pot and cook the stew over low-medium heat for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the white wine and ¾ teaspoon salt and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

RICHARD'S SUMMER SALSA

4-5 medium tomatoes 
1/2 medium sized onion
1 scallion
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice (mixed is OK)
1 teaspoon of vinegar
1/4 -1 jalapeno pepper (or a few dashes of Tabasco sauce)
1 clove of garlic (optional, but I use it)
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in blender and use pulse method to get the texture you  want. If I want a very coarse salsa I will blend only one tomato in the machine  and use a knife to cut the remaining tomatoes to the thickness I want.

TUSCAN WHITE BEAN & KALE SOUP

A family favorite that will soon become yours too! A great way to cook the kale and get everyone to love it! 

2 (15 oz) packages of Cannellini beans (in bags or tetrapaks)  OR 3 cups of cooked, dried beans
2 T olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
8 c vegetable or chicken stock
1 bunch kale, de-ribbed and cut into 1 inch ribbons
2 cups of diced tomatoes (Pomi brand or any brand in glass or tetrapaks)
salt and pepper
Parmesan (optional) 

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot and add onion, garlic, carrots and bay leaf. Reduce heat to medium, cook until onions are translucent. Add stock. Bring stock to boil, reduce heat to simmer and beans, kale, and tomatoes. Simmer 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper and Parmesan, if desired.

ROMESCO SAUCE

2 large, thick slices country bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup whole almonds
1 pound ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup fruity Spanish olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, soak the bread cubes in the vinegar for 20 minutes. Toast the almonds for 10 to 15 minutes, watching closely. Cool completely, then grind them in a mortar and pestle or food processor until they are finely ground but not oily. Add the vinegar-soaked bread, tomatoes, paprika, salt and pepper to the processor and grind together briefly until evenly pureed. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream.

FETTUCCINE with ZUCCHINI, ARUGULA, BASIL and LEMON

3/4 tsp salt
3/4 lb whole-wheat fettuccine
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 medium zucchini, julienned
1 medium yellow squash, julienned
4 or 5 sprigs basil, leaves shredded
1 bunch arugula, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes 
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Bring 4 quarts water to a full boil. Add 1/4 tsp salt and stir in pasta. Cook 5 to 8 minutes or until noodles are tender but firm. While pasta cooks, warm oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic, swirl for a moment and reduce heat to low. Do not let garlic brown. Add zucchini and yellow squash and sauté gently until zucchini softens slightly, about 5 minutes. Season mixture with 1/4 tsp salt and remove pan from heat. When pasta is finished cooking, drain noodles. Using tongs or 2 kitchen spoons, combine noodles thoroughly with zucchini mixture over low heat. Add basil, arugula, and tomatoes and season with remaining salt.

Gayle Pirie and John Clark, executive chefs and co-owners of Foreign Cinema, San Francisco

BAKED CHERRY TOMATOES WITH PARMESAN TOPPING

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 12-ounce baskets cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

Pour oil into 13x9x2-inch broilerproof ceramic baking dish. Add tomatoes; turn to coat with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with parsley and cheese. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake tomatoes just until plump and shiny but not split, about 10 minutes. Preheat broiler. Broil until tomatoes begin to split and cheese begins to color, about 2 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

GREEN BEANS BRAISED WITH TOMATOES AND BASIL

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped white onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
2 large plum tomatoes, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup water 

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion softens slightly, about 5 minutes. Add green beans, tomatoes, basil leaves, and 1/2 cup water. Cook until beans are crisp-tender, stirring and tossing occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.

FRESH TOMATO SAUCE

I love to prepare this first thing in the morning and let it sit on the counter all day. It fills the kitchen with the most heavenly aroma and keeps me away from the stove! I usually toss with pasta, but you can easily drain the tomatoes and make bruschetta with this versatile sauce. 

3 lb. tomatoes, peeled and diced 
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil (optional)
2 T. minced fresh parsley (optional)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. coarse salt
penne pasta

Combine all ingredients except salt and pasta. Let it sit in a large non-aluminum bowl at room temperature, covered, for 30 minutes, up to 6 hours. Prepare pasta. Toss with sauce and add salt just before serving. So simple, so delicious!

SICILIAN EGGPLANT STUFFED w/GARLIC & CHEESE

This is one of our family's favorite recipes of all time. Make it for your family, make if for your friends. Just be sure to serve it with lots of warm, crusty bread and a nice bottle of Sicilian wine, like a Regaleali Rosso. Every time we taste it we look at each other and think....Can life get any better than this? 

1 large eggplant or 2 medium to small eggplants
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 lb. tomatoes
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
sugar salt & pepper to taste
5 oz. aged provolone cheese
4 cloves garlic
bunches of fresh mint, basil and parsley

Cut off the stem of the eggplant and roll on the counter to soften. Let sit in a bowl w/ salt water for 1 hour. Make slits lengthwise, spaced 1" apart, 1/2" deep, staying away from the ends. Be sure not to cut the eggplant in pieces. It should remain whole- you're just creating spaces to fill with the cheese and garlic.  Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a casserole dish. Add 1 onion finely chopped, 4 cloves of garlic sliced, and 3 tbsp. of water. Cover tightly and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft.  Then, add 1 lb. tomatoes, chopped. 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper, a pinch of sugar and salt & pepper to taste. Cook an additional 5 minutes.  Stuff the eggplants with 5 oz. aged provolone cheese (sliced) and 4 cloves of sliced garlic. Nestle back into the sauce in the casserole dish.  Sprinkle fresh mint, basil and parsley over the eggplants and cover. Cook over low heat, turning every 30 minutes for about 1.5 hours. Add water if it begins to stick. Sprinkle with more herbs just before serving.

CUCUMBER AND AVOCADO SOUP WITH TOMATO AND BASIL SALAD

1 large cucumber, peeled, diced (about 2 1/2 cups) 
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 avocado, quartered, pitted, peeled
4 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup seeded chopped tomato
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt

Combine cucumber and buttermilk in blender. Chop 1/4 of avocado; set aside for salad. Cut remaining avocado into chunks. Add avocado to blender; then add 2 tablespoons red onion and 1 tablespoon basil. Blend until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover; refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Mix reserved avocado, remaining 2 tablespoons onion and 1 tablespoon basil, tomato and lime juice in small bowl. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover soup and tomato salad separately and refrigerate.) Ladle cucumber soup into 4 bowls. Dollop each with 1 tablespoon yogurt; top with tomato salad and serve.

SALSA RANCHERA

1 medium white onion, quartered
3 lb ripe medium tomatoes, cored
1/2 cup olive oil
1 fresh serrano chile, chopped, including seeds
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar 
Accompaniment: corn tortilla chips 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange 2 onion quarters and 2 pounds tomatoes in a small roasting pan and drizzle with 1/4 cup oil. Arrange remaining 1 pound tomatoes in a small baking pan and drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup oil. Bake both pans of tomatoes in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of pans after 45 minutes, until browned, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove roasting pan and continue baking small pan of tomatoes until blackened, about 30 minutes more. Transfer all roasted tomatoes (do not peel) and onions with a slotted spoon to a food processor, discarding liquid in pans. If your processor is small, do this in 2 batches. Pulse until coarsely chopped. (Alternatively, you can chop with an immersion blender in a deep container.) Chop remaining 2 onion quarters and stir together with tomato mixture, serrano, cilantro, and vinegar. Season with salt and chill, covered, at least 8 hours to blend flavors. Bring to room temperature before serving.