GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. – If you love tomatoes and want to enjoy them all winter long, Chef Lisa O’Connell is here to help!
Lisa stopped by KARE 11 at 4 to talk about ways to store the summer fruits and share these some tomato recipes:
Classic Tomato Basil Bruschetta
1 Baguette, sliced into rounds
3-4 Roma tomatoes
2 Cloves garlic, peeled, crushed
2-3 Tablespoons Olive oil
10-12 Basil leaves
¼ Teaspoon salt
Slice Baguette and toast under broiler until golden brown. Rub toast with crushed garlic cloves or finely chop garlic and add to bruschetta mixture. Rubbing toast will give nice garlic essence while adding the chopped garlic to tomato mixture will give stronger garlic flavor.
Wash, dry and chop tomato into small chunks, place in a small glass bowl. Roll Basil leaves and with sharp knife, slice into strips. Toss tomatoes, basil, a good swirl of olive oil and a pinch of salt together. Serve with a plate of fresh toasted baguette slices.
*Try adding black olives, balsamic or small chunks of your favorite cheese to make variations of this classic dish.
Tomato, goat cheese and walnut bruschetta
3-4 Roma tomatoes
3-4 Tablespoons fresh goat cheese
¼ Cup chopped walnuts
10-12 Fresh basil leaves, sliced
*Honey for drizzling
Trim stem, wash and dry tomato, chop into small chunks, place in small glass bowl. Roll basil leaves and slice into strips. Add chopped walnuts, sliced basil, salt, pepper and olive oil to the tomatoes and toss lightly.
Slice baguette and toast to golden brown. Spread each piece of toast with a bit of goat cheese, arrange on platter, goat cheese side up. Top each piece of toast with small spoonful of tomato mixture. Drizzle with a light honey to sweeten if desired. Alternatively, drizzle with additional olive oil and/or balsamic glaze to enhance or deepen flavor profile.
Tomato salad with fresh herb topping
4-6 Tomatoes, such as Roma, Beefsteak or Heirloom (number of tomatoes depends on variety used).
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 small jalapeno, remove seeds if desired, minced
½ Cup olive oil
¼ Cup red wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, add chopped parsley, garlic and jalapeno oil and vinegar, toss until well combined. Alternatively, ingredients can be added to a food processor and pulsed lightly.
Layer tomatoes slightly overlapping on plate and spoon herb mixture down the center.
*Note hand chopping ingredients will give a coarse texture to herb topping. If blender or food processor is used, pulse lightly to maintain a more coarse texture.
Tomato sauce for stews, soups and other future pairings
6-8 Roma tomatoes (more or less depending on intended use)
1 Onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
10 Basil leaves
¼ Cup olive oil
1 Teaspoon salt
Trim stem end of tomato to remove brown core and chop into pieces or place whole tomato in food processor or bender. Add onion, garlic, olive oil, basil and salt. Puree until desired consistency or until a slightly smooth texture is reached.
Store in a glass container or freezer safe plastic bag for up to 6 months. This sauce/base can be used anytime you need a base for sauce, soup or stews.
Alternate storing methods for summer tomatoes
Trim stem ends wash and dry tomatoes. Store in a freezer bag for up to 6 months. To use, slightly thaw frozen tomatoes. If desired, remove skins by running frozen tomato under water, skins will slip off easily. Use frozen tomatoes in any soup, sauce or stew recipe. These fresh/frozen fruits will bring brightness to any dish.
* Note it is not advised to use frozen tomatoes in and non-cooked dish such as a salad. They will lose texture once frozen.