Fresh, ripe tomatoes, warm off the vine. You might think you need a plot of land, or at least a large-ish garden to make this happen, but we have been happily surprised with the productivity of our condo garden this first year. We have planters on our balcony, as well as a metre-square plot in the building’s communal roof garden (a yard, if you’re using imperial measures).
We’ve been incorporating fresh tomatoes into our menu for a couple of weeks now, and have even canned a couple of jars. Small-batch canning is easy enough; you really just need a big pot of boiling water that is deeper than your canning jars. I’ll blog about that another time.
Today’s recipe is for a favourite breakfast of ours. Simply chop a big bunch of tomatoes. Add herbs if you like; we had a bit of basil and also a smoky chipotle in adobo which we chopped and put in the pot. Get the tomatoes really simmering. Once you’ve got them bubbling away, crack in a few eggs, one or two per person. I find the easiest way to do this is to crack them one at a time into a small bowl or cup, and gently pour into the tomatoes. Cover with a lid, turn the heat to medium-low, and check every couple of minutes until they are poached as you like. (Probably 5 or 6 minutes). Typically this is just enough time to make some toast.
This is an easy lunch or brunch dish, or a hearty, healthy, low-fat breakfast.
As the cold weather dissipates and we don’t just move to a different choice set of produce, but preparation tends to change, as well. If you’re inspired to move away from creamy soups and hearty stews, but there’s still a mix of winter and spring produce available, this may fit the bill.
Layer a handful of arugula, a handful of sliced cabbage, 1/4 of an English cucumber, and 1/2 an apple, sliced, on a plate. Drizzle with a mix of 10ml grainy Mustard, 10ml vinegar, and 10ml olive oil (Or use half Dijon/half Kozlik’s Triple Crunch, for the mustard as we did).
Crumble an ounce of Gorgonzola or smoked tofu on top. Enjoy!
We make variations of this salad all summer long, as various vegetables come into season, either in our own garden or the Farmers Market. Start with a good glug of olive oil and vinegar, and a couple of tablespoons of Dijon. Whisk those together to make a dressing.
Next, add some cooked beans or chickpeas (we made Jacob’s Cattle beans a couple of days ago) and some chopped onion (here, baby red and white ones). We had some sliced radishes as well.
Next, two or three chopped hothouse tomatoes and a good handful of chopped greens (we had spinach, baby Romaine, and Swiss chard). Toss on a few olives or anchovies and some sharp cheese or Feta for tangy goodness.
Stir together and let rest at least 10 minutes. It will keep in the fridge for two or three days, flavour improving each day.
This leaves the kitchen cool on a hot day and is quick and easy to prepare if you are busy watching the World Cup!
Yesterday was a slow, sultry day, the kind where salad is the best option for any meal.
We had a bit of leftover roast lamb (the roast came from the East Lynn Farmers’ Market, just down the street) and a small chunk of feta (from Better Bulk) begging to be used. So we put this salad together:
15ml/1T each of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, whisked together in a medium bowl
A good handful of fresh oregano leaves, chopped
90g/3oz of diced cooked lamb
6 black olives, pitted and chopped
1 medium tomato, diced
250ml/1c broccoli florets
Our lamb had been roasted in a coating of Dijon; otherwise add about 5ml/1t of that to the dressing as well. Toss the vegetables and lamb in the vinaigrette. Serve on a bed of:
Over the top of the salads, sprinkle:
30g/1oz feta, crumbled
. There’s a forecast of snow tonight, so some cold weather food was in order. And after several days of traveling, comfort food would be even better. Luckily we always have some cooked beans in the freezer. We sautéed some diced pancetta from Plank Road Market with a shallot and any oyster mushroom. Then we added some yellow pepper and celery. The last things to go in were a couple of servings of cooked white beans and some dried thyme from this summer’s garden. The whole thing went in the oven in a covered casserole for the flavours to meld.
We served it with some leftover roast beets, warmed in the oven with a sprinkling of thyme and a crumbling of Ontario feta. Then we settled in to watch the hockey game and A Charlie Brown Christmas (a classic message about how secular consumerism can’t obscure the true meaning of the holiday).
Let it snow!
Ripe, juicy peaches – mmm! They look so tempting at the Farmer’s Market. We freeze some. We make jam. We put batches up in jars. Yet still, we keep buying them, because they’re so delicious. Then suddenly, they’re all ripening at once!
Here’s a tasty and different way to use them up. We took 4 slices of whole-grain bread, and spread them with Organic Meadow cream cheese. Then we grated a tiny layer of delicious goat cheese from Montforte on one side. Next, grate a bit of fresh ginger, and top with thin slices of fresh peach. Top with the second piece of bread, and butter the top. Grill in a nonstick pan with just a little butter, flipping when they’re golden.
Tastes like summer!
There’s no better breakfast than some fresh-made jam from your own kitchen (we made twoberry, our combination of raspberry and blueberry). Serve it on top of flaky tea biscuits and a hot cup of joe – and you’re golden!