Cherry Tomato Galette

Happy Monday! It’s a much needed rainy day here in central IL and I’m happy to have some rainy day projects…one being to post this Cherry Tomato Galette recipe.  Things have been quiet here on Thirty Seconds on High for a while and I’m not sure when I’ll post again, but rest assured, I haven’t completely abandoned this blog, just needed a break.

So I did plant a garden this year (remember previous Garden posts?) and I got to expand this year since we had an ailing tree removed last fall which meant more sun-filled yard space.

This:
Back Yard

Turned into this.  It’s roughly 10′ x 30′ and I love every inch.
New Garden Space

All this to say, I have a plethora of cherry tomatoes! I planted both red and yellow and they are as tasty as they are gorgeous!

Cherry Tomato Galette

A couple weeks ago I discovered Kitchen Vignettes on PBS Food.  It is a farm-to-table video blog and each one I have watched has been absolutely fascinating! I love it! I highly recommend taking some time to check it out.  One of the vignettes I watched was for this Cherry Tomato Galette.  Since I had cherry tomatoes I decided to try it out and I’m so glad I did because it was delicious!!! I’m definitely going to make another.  It wasn’t hard at all and it’s a great way to use up several cherry tomatoes.

Cherry Tomato Galette

Cherry Tomato Galette
slightly adapted from Kitchen Vignettes

Ingredients
Crust
Use your favorite single 9″ pie crust recipe (or buy one). I used KAF’s Guaranteed Pie Crust and used half (the other half is in the freezer for my next pie).

Filling
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
About 1 pound of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp. olive oil
Freshly minced basil for garnish (4 or 5 basil leaves)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Glaze
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. water

What To Do
On a floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll the chilled dough into a large round about 12 to 14 inches wide and between 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Place the rolled-out dough on a piece of parchment paper on a large baking sheet. (You may find it easier to handle the dough if you roll it out directly onto the floured piece of parchment paper).

In a small bowl, mix the ricotta and grated parmesan together. Crumble and spread this mixture onto your dough, leaving a 2-inch border all around. Place your halved tomatoes, cut-side up, tightly together to fill the circle, leaving the 2-inch border intact. Fold the border edges of the dough inwards so that the tomatoes are encased by dough around the edges but exposed in the center. Brush the edges with the egg yolk glaze. Season with salt and pepper if you wish and drizzle the olive oil on top of the tomatoes.

Bake in a 375°F oven for about 45 minutes or until crust is golden.

Remove from the oven, let it cool for a few minutes before sprinkling shredded basil on top. Slice and serve.

My Comments
I prepped all ingredients before rolling out my pie crust.

I just happen to have a lifetime supply of 12″ round parchment papers so carefully rolled up my pie crust onto the rolling pin then unrolled it onto the parchment paper.  You can then use the parchment paper to help fold the edges inward to make the border crust.

This smells great while baking and it tastes so good! I highly recommend buying a wedge of Parmesan cheese and shredding it yourself, as opposed to buying pre-shredded.  The flavor is incredible!

Some Photos Along the Way
Grating parmesan cheese
Cherry Tomato Galette

Cherry tomatoes, cheese filling, pie dough
Cherry Tomato Galette

Pie dough rolled out
Cherry Tomato Galette

Crust with cheese filling
Cherry Tomato Galette

Add the cherry tomatoes
Cherry Tomato Galette

The edges folded up and glazed, sprinkled with salt & pepper, drizzled with olive oil
Cherry Tomato Galette

Fresh from the oven
Cherry Tomato Galette

Basil from the garden
Cherry Tomato Galette

Want a slice?
Cherry Tomato Galette

Or two?
Cherry Tomato Galette

 

I know this is a lengthy post but it’s been a while and I really wanted you to see this recipe.  “Galette” sounds fancy and maybe even hard but it’s really just a “rustic” pie and therefore doesn’t have to be perfect.  It’s really really really good and I hope you try it out especially while there are fresh cherry tomatoes.  Someone recently told me that “fresh is best” and I completely agree!

Enjoy!

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!

BLT Bites

Ahhhh….nothing says summer like a good BLT on a warm evening.  Slice a big red juicy tomato from the garden, add some tasty bacon and lettuce between some great bread and voila – a simple sandwich that is amazing.  Well, sometimes you don’t have a big red juicy tomato from the garden and sometimes you need something cute to take to a party.  These BLT Bites are as cute as can be and deliver that awesome punch of summer flavors.

I’ve made these a couple of times and they were a hit at both events.  Most recently, I took them to my family reunion.  They were gone in no time.  I heard several people saying how much they enjoyed them and one of my uncles even asked me to bring them again next year. Wow!

BLT Bites

BLT Bites
slightly adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients
about 20-25 cocktail tomatoes
1 pound of sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/3 c green onions
3 T of grated parmesan cheese
a little bit of shredded lettuce to garnish the tops

What To Do
Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each tomato so they can stand up. Slice the top off.  Scoop out and discard pulp. Invert the tomatoes on a paper towel to drain.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Spoon into tomatoes. Refrigerate for several hours.  Top with shredded lettuce before serving.

(the filling can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until needed – I made mine the day before stuffing the tomatoes)

My Comments
The original recipe says to use cherry tomatoes but I think those are too small.  I found cocktail tomatoes at the store and they were just right.

You can save the tomato “guts” to throw in chili or soup later on.  Freeze now, then thaw when ready to use.

Both times I’ve made these, I ended up using more than 1/2 a cup of mayo.  I suggest starting with the 1/2 cup then adding more as desired.

Also, I’ve used less than 1/3 cup of green onions.  That just seemed like a lot to me so I just used what I wanted to throw in.

For the parmesan cheese, I did not use the stuff that comes in a green can.  I highly recommend grating your own.  The flavor is so much better!

You can top the BLT Bites with shredded lettuce a few hours ahead of time.  Just don’t do it too early and end up with lettuce that doesn’t look so good.

This time, I had 26 cocktail tomatoes and had some leftover stuffing.  Maybe 3 or 4 tablespoons leftover.

Some Photos Along the Way
BLT Bites

BLT Bites

BLT Bites

BLT Bites

BLT Bites

 

Miniature food is just so darn cute.  But don’t let size fool you.  These are mighty in flavor.  Perfect for summer gatherings, these little appetizers are sure to please.  I hope you give them a try this summer.  It will be one bite you won’t forget.

 

Crock Pot Pasta Sauce

Garden tomatoes are finally ripening! If you’ve got a bumper crop, here’s a great way to use some up.  I did this for the first time on Sunday and it turned out great!

 

Crock Pot Pasta Sauce

 

Crock Pot Pasta Sauce
from the Pillsbury Savvy Shopper’s Cookbook

Ingredients
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb bulk Italian pork sausage (I used mild)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 medium bell pepper (any color), chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped (1 cup)
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes, undrained (I used fresh tomatoes from the garden)
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 T packed brown sugar
3 t Italian seasoning
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

What To Do
Cook beef and sausage over medium heat on the stove for 8 – 10 minutes until thoroughly cooked.  Drain.  (I spread it out on paper towels to soak up extra grease).

Spray a 3.5 – 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.  In cooker, mix beef mixture and all remaining ingredients.

Cover and cook on low heat for 8 – 10 hours.

My Comments
I think you can use whatever veggies you like.  I added some chopped mushrooms!

I dipped my garden tomatoes in boiling water for about a minute so the peels came right off (be sure to let them cool down some before handling) and then crushed them using my handy potato masher.  Fun times!

You can freeze this sauce for later use.

 

Enjoy!

 

Crock Pot Pasta Sauce

 

 

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!