Tomato and Garlic Pie

Adapted from Bon Appétit

This year, David and I decided to try growing tomatoes at our house in Western Mass. We chose to grow eight plants, not really knowing just how many tomatoes that would be! We’ve been getting an abundance: we’re picking 1-2 quarts of red and sungold cherry tomatoes every single day.

I made this for dinner last night. We ate the leftovers for breakfast! It’s a bit time consuming, but well worth the effort.

Ingredients

  • ~6 cups cherry tomatoes*, sliced in half
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt (~1 teaspoon, divided)
  • Black pepper, ground (~ 1/2 teaspoon, divided)
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) of butter
  • 9oz or 10oz box of whole grain crackers
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Fontina cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme), plus extra for garnishing
  • 1 shallot, sliced thinly

*You could absolutely use a different kind of tomato! The original recipe calls for mixed heirloom tomatoes. Slice them ~1/4″ thick. 

Directions

Preheat oven to 475°F.

  1. Pick tomatoes. Just kidding…well sorta! That’s what we did! :)

  2. Put the tomatoes on a baking sheet or in a pan. Toss them in the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and some salt and pepper.

  3. Roast the tomatoes for 25-30 minutes.
  4. While the tomatoes are roasting, put the garlic cloves and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir often. The butter will turn golden brown and foam on top in 5-10 minutes–that’s when it’s done.

  5. Strain the butter mixture to separate the garlic.
  6. Dice the garlic and set aside.

  7. When the tomatoes are finished, leave them to cool and reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
  8. In a food processor, grind the crackers with 1/4 teaspoon salt until you are left with fine crumbs.
  9. Add eggs and all but two tablespoons of the garlic butter. Pulse until well combined.
  10. Push the crust into the bottom of a springform pan and 1 1/2″ up the side.
  11. Bake the crust in the 375°F oven until crust starts to change color, around 8-10 minutes. Leave the crust to cool.
  12. Mix the cheeses, mayonnaise, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and chopped garlic in a bowl. Stir until well combined.


  13. Using a spatula, spread half of the cheese mixture into the bottom of the crust. Be gentle–you don’t want to break the crust!
  14. Spread half of the tomatoes over the cheese layer, then repeat — add the other half of the cheese, then add the other half of the tomatoes.

  15. Arrange the shallot slices on top of the pie.
  16. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of garlic butter on top, then garnish with some extra thyme.
  17. Bake until crust is brown and tomatoes are bubbling, around 60-75 minutes.

  18. Leave to cool for at least one hour before serving. It’s delicious both cold and warm!

Couscous Caprese Salad

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Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 8oz Israeli couscous
  • 6-8oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Cook the couscous according to the directions on the box. (Trader Joe’s makes a great Israeli couscous!)
  2. In a bowl, combine the couscous with the rest of the ingredients.
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  3. Refrigerate for a few hours. This dish really tastes best cold. Also, the lemon and vinegar will become more flavorful after sitting for a few hours.
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Margherita & Artichoke Panini

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Ingredients

  • 2 slices bread
  • 2-3 slices fresh mozzarella
  • 2 artichoke hearts, sliced
  • 2-3 slices tomato
  • 2-3 large basil leaves
  • pesto (optional)
  • few slices of butter

Directions

To make this sandwich, I used a George Foreman grill, which is perfect for panini making: both sides of the sandwich get perfectly crisp, the cheese gets melty, and it takes no time at all. Oh, and you get those great great ridges pressed into the bread, which magically seem to make it taste even better. 

If you don’t have a grill, though, don’t fear! You can grill your sandwich in a saucepan the good, old fashioned way. These directions are for the saucepan method.

  1. Spread butter on one side of your slices of bread. Place the first slice in the saucepan, with the butter side down. Put all the fixings inside the sandwich, then place the second slice of bread on top with the butter side up.
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  2. Place a lid over the saucepan and let it cook for a minute or two. The lid helps the cheese get all melty and delicious.
  3. Check to see if the bottom is lightly brown. If it is, flip the sandwich over and cook on the other side, putting the lid back over the saucepan.

Pita Pizza

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I was craving pizza, but wanted it right now. I didn’t feel like spending the time making and rolling out dough. I had some pita bread and 15 minutes later, I was eating pizza!

Ingredients

Makes 1 pita-sized pizza

  • 1 slice of pita bread
  • 1/4 marinara
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • a few scoops of ricotta cheese
  • 5 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

Customize away! These are fabulous because everyone gets to make and assemble their own pizza, so you can make it how you like it. Prefer pesto to marinara? Go right ahead! Craving some olives or broccoli or black beans? Add ’em!

Directions

Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 350°F

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  1. Spread the marinara sauce evenly over the pita bread.
  2. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top, followed by small spoonfuls of ricotta. Add the tomatoes, basil, and oregano.
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  3. Bake in the oven or toaster oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melty and the pita is just barely starting to crisp.
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Spaghetti Squash Taco Bowl

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I had half of a spaghetti squash leftover from making spaghetti squash primavera, and was craving something spicy, so I made a spaghetti squash taco bowl!

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1/2 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 fresh jalapenos, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper (color of your choice), chopped
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Note: This is fairly spicy! If you need to tone down the heat, deseed the jalapenos. You can also add only half the curry powder, paprika, and cumin.

To serve

  • cilantro, diced
  • green onion, diced
  • greek yogurt (or sour cream)*
  • salsa
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese*

You could also use: lime wedges, avocado, extra jalapenos… !

*Leave off to make vegan

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F

  1. Place the squash, uncut, on a baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes. Take out of the oven, let cool for half an hour.
  2. Cut the squash in half. For this recipe, you’ll only need half (or you can double the recipe). Remove the seeds with a spoon or your fingers. Using a fork, scrape the sides of the squash, scooping out the “spaghetti.”
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  3. In a large saucepan or pot, toss the jalapeno and onion in the olive oil. Cook over medium heat for about five minutes, until slightly softened.
  4. Add the bell pepper and continue to cook for another few minutes, until the bell pepper is slightly softened.
  5. Add the spaghetti squash, tomatoes, corn, beans, and spices. Stir until well combined.
  6. Cover the pot and simmer for ten minutes.
  7. Serve with lots of toppings. Make sure to stir your bowls up–the greek yogurt makes it nice and creamy!
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Breakfast Sandwich

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When I need a hearty, filling breakfast this is my go-to sandwich. It’s quick to make and leaves me feeling full into the afternoon. If I am in a rush and need to take it on-the-go, I leave off the salsa, push it down gently to flatten it a little bit, and wrap it up in tin foil.

Ingredients

Makes one sandwich

  • 1 egg
  • onion slices
  • tomato slices
  • avocado slices
  • cilantro
  • scoop of salsa
  • cheese (I like sharp cheddar or pepper jack)
  • bagel/english muffin/bread

Directions

  1. Place the cheese on half of the bagel and put it in the toaster oven*, face up. Toast until cheese is melty and gooey.
  2. While the bagel is toasting, cook your egg. I like mine over easy (fried on both sides, with a runny yolk).
  3. Assemble, then cut in half for easy eating.

*If you don’t have a toaster oven, toast the bagel in your toaster and melt the cheese on top of your egg instead. IMG_8156

Cannellini Bean, Tomato, and Spinach Soup

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This soup is so quick to make and perfect for a cold day. (I know, I know, I live in southern California now… But it’s been in the 50s and you would not believe how quickly I have adapted to sunshine all the time!) The cannellini beans make this soup pretty filling and hearty. I love it because it is really good reheated. Make a big pot, and it tastes even more flavorful the next day.

Ingredients

Serves 6-8

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 15oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4-5 cups spinach, torn
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil, over medium heat, until slightly softened.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes, broth, and beans.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer the soup, uncovered, for ten minutes.
  4. Stir in the spinach and cook until the spinach wilts. IMG_6357
  5. Add salt and pepper taste.

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White Bean Soup

Adapted from Vegetarian: Over 300 Healthy and Wholesome Recipes Chosen From Around the World.

Ingredients

  • Three 15oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 celery rib, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1) Puree 1/2 of the beans in a food processor, adding water (1 tablespoon at a time) if necessary, until the beans are a smooth puree.

2) In a large pot, combine the oil, onion, carrot, and celery. Stir until the veggies are coated in the oil. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until they are soft, but not mushy.

4) Add the tomatoes, garlic, and thyme. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

5) Pour in the vegetable broth, followed by the beans and the bean puree. When you add the beans, the soup will turn bright white–which was a bit startling to me!–but it goes away. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6) Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.