Tuesday, August 18, 2009

mmmmmmmmmmmmmm Tomatoes!

Man, All I can think about is tomatoes! Not gross grocery store tomatoes but yummy, local, organically grown goodness! I happen to have tomato plants, but no tomatoes in my garden. Six weeks of rain and my inability to garden in the rain contributed to this. So sad, but........These wonderful people have some of the most amazing tomatoes I have ever EVER tasted. Black Krim, Orange Banana, Striped German, Green Zebra, the list goes on and on. So, what to do with tomatoes.

Well my all time fave is a mile high tomato sandwich, with veganaise, fresh basil and salt. but here is a recipe I love for dinner its super easy and you only have to cook the pasta so no hot kitchen.

Summer pasta

no measurements here. you have to make enough for your family and it tastes great the next day too. Here is an approximate for a family of 6

6-8 large tomatoes chopped to bite size chunks
2 cloves of garlic pressed (this is the best way)
a good solid drizzle of olive oil (don't be afraid, its good for you)
about a cup or so of balsamic vinegar( you want a good amount in the bowl to drizzle on the pasta)
a few good fist fulls of fresh basil leaves chopped well

mix it all together and let it sit covered on the counter while you cook your pasta

in my non vegan days, we added fresh buffalo mozzarella diced just before serving, not too early because the vinegar can pickle it.

dish out pasta, something with lines holds the vinegar,
drown in tomato mix, salt generously

mmmmmmm, seriously delicious!

This next recipe has been requested and it does involve tomatoes so here goes

L&J's Tofu Sandwiches (for my sister, its originally her's)

1 pkg extra firm tofu drained and pressed for an hour **see below for pressing inst.
sesame oil
canola oil
1 haas avocado, peeled and sliced
1 big and juicy local tomato sliced
veganaise (or mayo)
Dijon mustard
balsamic vinegar
toast slices, something wholegrain and yummy

slice pressed tofu thinly into rectangles
coat slices well in tamari to marinade (just for a minute or two is fine)
heat a cast iron skillet on med to low heat
add a few table spoons of canola oil and a drizzle of sesame oil
fry tofu until well browned on bottom and flip, ( i like em crispy like bacon)
place on paper towel

if you have a splatter guard for your pan, use it! I use a giant oven mitt and extra long tongs! ha ha!

make a little dressing with dijon and vinegar

stack up a good fatty sandwich with mayo on both side, drizzle with dressing and some salt(yes I like-a-the-salt)

makes at least 4 sandwiches, probably closer to 6 if Mike is not eating at your house

enjoy! tastes like a fancy BLT for all you non tofu eaters, even my kids like it!

***pressing tofu****

new to tofu? this is an awesome recipe to start with! just slice it nice and thin and let it get good and brown Bacon, I SWEAR!

pressing tofu

take two plates and a 2 piles of about 10 paper towels each ( I have been known to use dish towels or cloth napkins to be earth friendly but i compost my paper towels too)
fold up the piles to the size of of the tofu
place one pile on a plate
put tofu on top
place next pile on top of tofu
put another plate on top of that and top it with a nice heavy cast iron skillet and leave for 30 minutes, check and replace towels if saturated, leave for 30 more minutes
the idea here is to squeeze all the water out to make room for the marinade. trust me, its well worth it!

let me know if you try these!

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