Tuesday, September 6, 2011

You Say Tomato-

I say-

Oven Roasted Tomatoes
Fresh Tomato Salsa

Last summer was our first attempt at a garden. It went so well we decided to upgrade this year and go bigger and plant more veggies!

We did several varieties of tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, several types of lettuce, radish, sweet onions, red & green peppers, banana peppers, pickling cukes, slicing cukes and lemon cucumbers along with a couple different herbs. Our bounty this year has been amazing!

All summer long we picked fresh lettuce for salads, snacked on fresh cukes, grilled zucchini and waited for the tomatoes to start turning red!

Over the last couple weeks we got what we wished for and then some...the tomato crop is BOOMING!
So many tomatoes it was time to get cooking.
I made 3 bean chili. I made homemade marinara. I made basic tomato base to freeze for future use.
Then I needed to get a little more creative.
Then it hit me-I'll make SALSA!! This was my first attempt at making salsa and I am glad I gave it a go.
So delish!! We tested it out with a small batch and liked it SOOO much, we decided to make a giant batch. And everything (except the limes) came directly from my back yard.

Fresh Tomato Salsa
3 cups chopped tomato
1 cup chopped onion (we used sweet onion)
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1-2 hot peppers* such as jalapeno, Serrano, habanero, banana peppers, etc. (we used banana peppers)
*the variety and amount of hot peppers you use depends on how hot you want it
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

combine your chopped veggies and cilantro.
Dissolve the salt, pepper and cumin into the lime juice.
Mix everything together and enjoy!
Store in the fridge.

This salsa is soo good topped on grilled chicken, over brown rice or even just by itself!
I cannot tell you how many blue corn chips we sacrificed to the salsa gods this weekend!!

The second tomato preparation I tried was
Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Another first for me. I love roasting veggies--Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of any vegetable and it is a great way to bring variety to your regular rotation of veggies.
Not a fan of steamed asparagus? Try roasting it.
Sick of baked sweet potatoes? Chop some up and roast!
It really makes any old veggie taste completely different.

If you are a fan of sun dried tomatoes, you will certainly love this cost effective and easy alternative.

Preheat oven to 325*

All you need is a bunch of tomatoes, some olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe even some garlic cloves.

You can use any variety of tomato for roasting-
Cherry Tomato-cut in half
Roma Tomato-cut in half
Regular large Tomato-cut into quarters

Cut the tomatoes accordingly and toss with a generous amount of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. If using garlic, add a bunch of cloves to the mix.
Toss well so each tomato is coated in the oil and seasoning.

On a cookie sheet, place each tomato skin side down. You can use parchment paper or even foil to line the sheet if you desire.
Pop in the oven and roast for 2 1/2 hours.
They will shrink down in size and look a bit shriveled. The edges may brown and this is just fine.

These are great in sandwiches, tossed with pasta or rice or just by themselves.


misszippy said...

I agree--roasting veggies is the best! I envy your garden; we have a very shady lawn and can't grow a thing.

new URL: www.misszippy1.com

Tricia said...

super yum!it all sounds great

Finallyfit2011 said...

That salsa look AMAZING! YUMMO! Hope you had a great Labor Day weekend!!! About to get real busy here. Adam's been doing cross country and this week Kaylee starts "Girls on the Run"...along w/ my 1/2 training, we'll be hoppin'!!! Love u!

adena said...

I am definitely going to try roasting some tomoates, it looks so easy!!

ps - ever roasted asparagus? cut in halves, add a little grape seed oil, salt, pepper and maple syrup. To Die For..

Katie said...

ooh, that tomato salsa sounds amazing.

BabyWilt said...

I love growing food in my garden, its been our first year this year and its SO rewarding.

Jason said...

Just booked my flight to ME. No worries as you don't have to host me, just bring the food to the airport and I'll head right back to Big D.