I usually need grilled cheese as a bribe for my family to enjoy tomato soup for dinner. My daughter loved this soup even more than the grilled cheese! 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Food 52.com, contributed by Carolina Gelen. I modified the method and proportions. It was a quick dinner packed with flavor. Perfect with our grilled cheese sandwiches and giant green salad.
We swirled pesto into the soup just before serving. Additional cream or crème fraîche could also be added.
Yield: Serves 4 to 5
extra-virgin olive oil
1300 gramsgrape or cherry tomatoes (about 4 cups)
2 yellow onions, roughly chopped
2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
2 to 4 sprigs of basil
2 large sprigs of thyme
1 or 2 red chiles, optional (I omitted it)
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream (I used one 13.5 oz can of coconut milk), plus more for serving, as desired
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock, plus more as needed
homemade or store-bought pesto, for serving, optional
grilled cheese sandwiches or fresh bread, for serving, optional
Heat the oven to 450°F (230°C). (I set my oven to convection roast.)
Drizzle some oil into a deep baking dish. (I used a large enameled cast iron baking dish.)
Add in the tomatoes, onion, basil and thyme, and chile (if using). Drizzle more olive oil on top, plus a big sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix to coat. Add the garlic cloves, cut side down, nestled into the other ingredients.
Roast for 25 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are slightly charred. (I roasted mine for 38 minutes.)
Remove from oven and let cool for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme. Remove garlic cloves from the papery skin.
Add the rest of the ingredients to a blender, along with the coconut milk and stock. (I used a Vitamix on the hot soup setting.) Remove the little plug from the blender lid, then cover the lid with a kitchen towel and blend until smooth.
Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed. Adjust consistency with additional stock, as needed.
Serve drizzled with pesto and/or cream with a grilled cheese sandwich and green salad, as desired.
This recipe was included in the “Tuesday Nights” column of Milk Street magazine. Kebabs are a big procedure on a Tuesday night! 😉 Although the time commitment was misleading, the finished dish was absolutely worth all of the work.
We ate the kebabs with brown Basmati rice, warm naan, and Greek Tzatziki. They could alternatively be served with a drizzle of plain yogurt. The kebabs are an adaptation of mishkaki, grilled skewers of marinated meat from the islands of Zanzibar. According to the article, the islands’ cuisine is a fusion of Persian, Portuguese, and Arabic from the people that once colonized or settled in the area.
This recipe was adapted from “Feast: Food of the Islamic World” by Anissa Helou, via Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street magazine, contributed by Courtney Hill. Fabulous.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
2 T grapeseed or other neutral oil (I used canola)
2 T tomato paste
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus lemon wedges to serve
1 T finely grated fresh ginger
5 medium garlic cloves, finely grated or pushed through a garlic press
1 T curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts), trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (see Note)
1 medium red, orange or yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
Trim the chicken and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks.
In a large bowl, stir together the oil, tomato paste, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, curry powder, turmeric, cayenne, 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
Add the chicken and mix, rubbing the seasonings into the meat, until evenly coated.
Marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes while you prepare the grill or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. (I marinated it for about 3 hours.)
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. For a charcoal grill, ignite a large chimney of coals, let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute evenly over the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high. Heat the grill, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes, then clean and oil the grate.
While the grill heats, thread the chicken, alternating with the pepper and onion pieces, onto 6 to 9 metal skewers.
Place the skewers on the pre-heated grill. Cook without disturbing until lightly charred on the bottom and the meat releases easily from the grill, 3 to 4 minutes.
Flip the skewers and cook, turning every few minutes, until charred all over and the chicken is no longer pink when cut into, another 8 to 9 minutes.
Transfer to a platter and serve with lemon wedges, as desired.
Note: Don’t worry if the cut pieces of chicken are irregularly shaped. As long as they’re similarly sized, shape isn’t important. Don’t crowd the skewers on the grill grate. Allow some space between them so heat circulates and the chicken cooks quickly and without steaming.
Lucky me! My friend gave be several beautiful eggplants from her garden. This flavorful North African vegetarian stew was a perfect way to use them. I served it over whole wheat couscous as well as with warm flatbread to soak up all of the delicious sauce.
The recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com. I modified the recipe to prepare it in my stove top pressure cooker. I also increased the amount of garlic, substituted my CSA beefsteak tomatoes for half of the grape tomatoes, and omitted the harissa. We ate it with steamed CSA broccolini on the side. It was healthy and hearty vegetarian feast.
Yield: Serves 6
4 T extra-virgin olive oil
8 medium to large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 cups (1 pint) grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (or substitute an additional 2 cups (1 pint) grape or cherry tomatoes)
4 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, plus more
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more
2 pounds eggplant, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 of a lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve, if desired
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
harissa, for serving, optional (as a topping for a little spice)
whole wheat couscous, for serving (I cooked 1 cup of couscous per the package directions)
warm flatbread, for serving, optional (I served it with naan)
In a stove top pressure cooker (or a 6-quart Instant Pot), sauté the oil and garlic over medium heat, stirring often, until golden brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Add the onion, tomatoes, ginger, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to release some of their juices, 2 to 4 minutes.
Stir in 1/4 cup water, scraping up any browned bits. Gently stir in the eggplant, then distribute in an even layer.
Lock the lid of the pressure cooker (or Instant Pot) in place. Over medium heat, bring to low pressure (first line on a stove top pressure cooker). Cook for 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the couscous. Set aside.
When pressure cooking is complete, quick-release the steam by moving the pressure valve to vent. Carefully open the pot.
Gently stir in the chickpeas and lemon juice, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the cilantro.
Serve over couscous garnished with additional cilantro, drizzled with additional oil (I omitted it) and with warm flatbread and lemon wedges on the side, as desired.
Christopher Kimball of Milk Street TV announced that this chilled tomato soup was superior in both taste and ease of preparation to my beloved summer gazpacho. I had to try it!
This puréed velvety soup is more elegant, creamy, and filling than gazpacho. We ate it as a complete meal with a green salad. It can be made year round with Campari tomatoes, which I used, or made with peak-season summer tomatoes, of course.
This recipe was adapted from MilkStreetTV.com, contributed by Diane Unger. The bread is undetectable in the finished soup but creates the desirable consistency. The sherry vinegar is an essential ingredient as well. I loved all of the garnishes. Lovely.
Yield: Serves 4
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored (I used Campari tomatoes)
2 1/2 ounces country-style white bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)(I used fresh sourdough)
1/2 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 large garlic clove, smashed and peeled
1 tsp granulated sugar
3 T sherry vinegar, plus more to serve
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup plus 1 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
4 thin slices of prosciutto (about 2 ounces), torn into pieces
3 or 4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced or quartered, optional
finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
In a blender, combine the tomatoes, bread, bell pepper, garlic, sugar, vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Blend on high until completely smooth and no bits of tomato skins remain, about 1 minute. (I used a Vitamix.)
With the blender running, gradually add 3/4 cup olive oil.
Transfer to a large bowl of lidded container, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours.
While the soup chills, make the hard-cooked eggs, if using. Fill a saucepan about a quarter of the way with cold water. Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of the saucepan. Add more water so that the eggs are covered by at least an inch of water. Bring to a full boil, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes, drain. Place eggs in an ice bath. When cool enough to handle, peel and quarter or slice. Set aside.
While the eggs cool, place a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering.
Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate and let cool completely, then roughly chop; set aside.
Taste the soupand season again with salt and pepper. (Chilling the soup blunts the flavor and additional seasoning may be required.)
Ladle the soup into (preferably chilled) bowls. Top with the prosciutto, hard-cooked egg (if using) and chopped parsley or cilantro.
Drizzle with additional oil and vinegar, as desired. (I omitted this addition.)
This dish was also named one of Food and Wine Magazine’s “40 Best” in their 40th anniversary issue. It was super delicious.
The recipe was contributed by Missy Robbins of Lilia in Brooklyn. She was also named a “Best New Chef” in a previous issue. The genius of this dish is that Robbins substitutes chickpeas and kale for pasta in her spicy pomodoro sauce. It still tasted rich and indulgent for a “healthy” dish. I increased the amount of garlic and incorporated my CSA red kale. The inclusion of fennel seeds added subtle sweetness. We ate it with a crusty baguette to soak up all of the sauce- a little bit less healthy but crazy good.
I hope to make this dish repeatedly with my CSA kale. I absolutely love dishes that make kale a crowd-pleaser! 🙂
Yield: Serves 4
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 to 7 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
one 28-ounce can whole peeled Italian tomatoes, crushed by hand (I used San Marzano tomatoes)
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
one 8-ounce bunch of Tuscan kale or red kale, ribbed, stemmed, torn in half, and sliced into 1/4-1/2″ thick ribbons
two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
torn or chiffonade basil and marjoram leaves, for garnish
finely grated Pecorino Romano, for serving
baguette or other crusty bread, for serving, optional
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over low heat. (I used an enameled cast iron pot.)
Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper and a generous pinch of salt. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the sauce is thickened, about 25 minutes.
Stir the kale into the sauce and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the chickpeas and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.
Spoon into bowls and garnish with herbs. Top with finely grated pecorino and serve hot.
Lucky me- I recently received several beautiful homegrown tomatoes from friends. 🙂 This quick and easy tart was a great way to showcase them.
The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit. I modified the method and proportions and added parmesan in lieu of creme fraiche. The punch of lemon surprised my son but I thought that it added bright and fresh flavor.
We ate this tart for dinner with a green salad. It would also be lovely served as an appetizer. A dollop of ricotta cheese may also be nice, so I included it as an option for next time.
Yield: 4 servings
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (one 14-ounce package or half of a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
all-purpose flour, for dusting
2 garlic clove, finely grated
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced into 1/8-inch rounds on a mandoline, seeds removed (5-6 slices)
One of our absolute favorite dinner sandwiches is filled with garlicky grilled eggplant and feta cheese. After seeing this recipe, I kept thinking about making this version on freshly baked sourdough bread. I loved the idea of slathering the bread with fresh ricotta cheese too. Yum!
The recipe was adapted from SaraMoulton.com. I used my favorite recipe for fresh ricotta and served the sandwiches on homemade sourdough bread. I added garlic and grilled the vegetables instead of roasting them as well. We ate them with creamy cucumber-avocado salad on the side. It was an amazing vegetarian meal.
Yield: 4 servings
1 small to medium eggplant, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
2 medium to large zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
6 to 8 Campari tomatoes or 6 plum tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
The evening before serving the meal, start the homemade sourdough bread process, if using. Bake the bread the day of the meal. (Alternatively, use another crusty bread or whole grain bread.)
Place the vegetable slices in a single layer on a cutting board or rimmed baking sheet; season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Crush the garlic cloves with a garlic press and spread the garlic over the top of the eggplant slices. Let rest a minimum of 30 minutes (the longer the better).
Meanwhile, prepare the fresh ricotta cheese. I made it according to the recipe but simmered the mixture for approximately 5 minutes, until it was visibly curdling. I strained it for about 15 minutes and omitted the addition of lemon zest. (The longer it is strained, the thicker the consistency.) Set aside.
Brush both sides of the eggplant and tomato slices with olive oil. Toss the zucchini slices with olive oil.
Grill the vegetables separately until slightly charred and tender; grill the eggplant directly on the grates and grill the zucchini and tomato slices using a grill basket. (Alternatively, the vegetables can be roasted on parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheets in a 425 degree oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.)
Divide the warm ricotta among 4 slices of bread and top with the hot vegetables and remaining 4 slices of bread. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve.
Note: Making fresh ricotta can have varied results- sometimes it has large curds, sometimes it has small curds and occasionally it has no curds. If this should happen to you, don’t panic, just add another tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and the curds will appear.