Tomato & Basil Salad

Well, my garden is starting to wind down now.  We’ve had some beautiful weather and the cooler temperatures have slowed production.  Matt actually made this Tomato & Basil Salad earlier this summer for the first time and we both really liked it.  We’ve made it several times since then and love that we can use any tomatoes from our garden and we can more or less follow the recipe and it still turns out well.  We still have some cherry tomatoes and the basil is still out there, so yesterday, I quickly tossed together this wonderful salad to go along with some Baked Tilapia and brown rice.  It made for a really nice, quick, delicious dinner.

If you have tomatoes to use up, I highly recommend this salad!

 
Tomato and Basil Salad

 

Tomato & Basil Salad
from a cookbook called Vegetarian

Ingredients
4 large ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 shallot, finely chopped
8 basil leaves, roughly torn
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T balsamic or wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper

What To Do
Overlap tomato slices on a serving platter.  Sprinkle with shallot and basil.

Spoon oil and vinegar evenly over salad.  Season generously with salt and pepper.

My Comments
So, actually, we’ve never done the serving platter thing.  We have just chopped up tomatoes and sometimes put onion in and sometimes add feta cheese or in yesterday’s case, I sprinkled parmesan cheese on top.  Like I said, we more or less follow the recipe.

For the cherry tomatoes, I just sliced them in half and tossed all the ingredients together.  Very simple.

Some Photos Along the Way
Tomato and Basil Salad

Tomato and Basil Salad

Tomato and Basil Salad

 

So easy and so delicious! I hope summer isn’t over yet and I hope to get some more tomatoes out of the garden but if not, I can look forward to more of these yummy salads next year.

Have a great day!

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Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

It’s really cold.  I know it is January and to be expected but my goodness.  It’s really cold.  As I was day dreaming of warmer days I remembered all the tomatoes I put in the freezer from my garden over the summer and decided to make this soup.  It’s full of flavor and perfect to warm you up on a cold day or night.  I know I’ve mentioned before – it pays to stock up on produce over the summer at a farmer’s market or your own garden (or a friend’s garden) when it’s in season and plentiful and then freeze it for winter use.

 

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
slightly adapted from Two Peas & Their PodRoasted Tomato Basil Soup

Ingredients
2.5 lbs Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
4 T olive oil, divided
salt & pepper, to taste, for seasoning the tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 c freshly chopped basil
1 15-oz can of diced tomatoes
4 c vegetable or chicken broth
salt & pepper to taste

What To Do
Preheat oven to 400° F. Spread the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes.

In a large stockpot, heat the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, fresh basil, and vegetable/chicken broth. Stir in the oven roasted tomatoes. Cook for about 30 minutes over medium-low heat.

Transfer the soup to a food processor or blender to blend. The soup should be smooth, with a few tomato chunks. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve warm.

My Comments
First and foremost, wait for the soup to cool down before putting it in your blender!!!! If you don’t, I guarantee you will have soup making all kinds of “art” on your walls and cabinets and counters and floor.

Perhaps I should have waited and given you this recipe over the summer so you can plan ahead when storing your tomatoes.  You can roast and purée the roma tomatoes before freezing them.  You can also dice tomatoes and freeze them in 15-oz increments.  A kitchen scale really comes in handy! Anyway, I do apologize and hope your grocery store has decent produce so you can make this soup now if you don’t already have tomatoes to work with.

This soup freezes well if you want to make the whole recipe and then save some for later.

 

I’m going to have some of this soup for lunch today.  It’s really good and I hope you get to have some soon too!